By Abby Humphreys
Café Evansdale has yet to disappoint in their annual holiday celebration meals, and their Christmas dinner on Dec. 8 was no exception.
Christmas meals in West Virginia public schools are typically no more than a sad piece of turkey, gelatinous gravy, dry mashed potatoes and overcooked green beans, so I had no idea what to expect from one held by a university dining hall.
However, I felt like I was transported to a high-class restaurant as soon as I walked in.
The dining hall was already filled with people only a half-hour after opening, and on each table was a white tablecloth with a Christmas-themed centerpiece. Faculty, staff and their families were among students enjoying the festivities, and the Christmas music playing throughout the hall set a lively and enjoyable mood.
Two meat stations offered duck and prime rib next to serving trays holding foods like green bean casserole, stuffing and mashed potatoes. Surprisingly, there were even samples of fresh popular sushi creations set out for the taking.
The dessert display was by far the most impressive aspect of the dinner. A massive gingerbread city greeted each student as they walked in, and sweet international Christmas treats, such as France’s croquembouche and England’s figgy pudding, disappeared as quickly as they were set out.
I tried everything the dinner offered and thoroughly enjoyed every part of it. Luxury foods like duck and prime rib are rare parts of any college students’ diet, and adding them to the menu gave the evening a special feel.
All the side dishes complemented the meats well, and there were so many desserts that I had to get a second plate just to try them all. Even the sushi took away from the heaviness of the meal and cleansed my palate before going back for seconds.
My favorite dishes of the night were the prime rib, green bean casserole and the bread pudding. The prime rib tasted just like that of a restaurant, and the green bean casserole reminded me of Christmas dinner at home.
However, the bread pudding was the real winner. I couldn’t believe a dining hall was offering such a warm, sweet and rich dessert to students, and I savored every bite.
In conclusion, the dinner felt more like a ritzy Sunday brunch buffet than a simple meal offered by West Virginia University’s Dining Services. Attending was a fantastic way to celebrate the end of the fall semester and prepare for the upcoming finals week.
Café Evansdale will be hosting a Health and Wellness Dinner on January 19th, so be sure to check back next week for a review.
All photos by Abby Humphreys