Andi Hendrickson / Lantern reporter
The newly-renovated Kennedy Commons dining hall on South Campus has kept its comfort-food roots, but added some more modern touches, both on the menu and in the design.
Kennedy Commons used to be a dim, stale-smelling place to get mediocre, albeit large quantities of, comfort food. Macaroni and cheese and meat smothered in various types of sauces dominated the food line.
The new dining hall boasts five different stations, each specializing in a different type of cuisine — the usual comfort-food line with all your home-cooked favorites, the vegetarian station, the expansive salad bar, an all-day breakfast bar, and an “international” option which changes weekly.
Reminiscent of the Union Market, the new décor is bright and sophisticated, boasting high ceilings and contrasting dark-wood paneling, much improved from the previous design.
However, the close vicinity of each station to the next makes for long lines during prime eating hours, especially at the more popular stations.
The food itself was good — much better than I expected based on my previous experiences with good ol’ “K-Comm.”
The tofu-fried rice from the vegetarian station was flavorful and cooked-to-order. The cumin was heavy-handed, but the tofu was perfectly cooked.
I also enjoyed the choice of naturally-flavored waters available in lime, orange or lemon with visible slices of real fruit.
For those of you who enjoy “brinner” (breakfast for dinner), you are in luck. French toast, scrambled eggs, biscuits and home fries are an all-day option at Kennedy. And the home fries are worth the wait: salty, cooked thoroughly and delicious.
One major issue I had with the new design was the dirty-dish conveyor belt. Tucked into a tiny hallway near the entrance, the line to put away your dirty dishes is long and annoying, and the conveyor belt moves at a glacial pace.
Overall, I was impressed with what used to be a last resort. The food was better than expected, the décor was nice and the staff was friendly and talkative.
And the cookies are still addictive.