A First-Year’s Initial Impressions of the Food at Frank


The primary dining hall on campus. First-years will likely eat most of their meals here.  

The Curtiss E. Frank Dining Hall, also known as “Frank,” is Colgate’s main dining hall. It has a coffee bar, it is open 24/7 and is fairly convenient if you are living on campus due to its central location. In my first days as an official Colgate student, I have wondered if Frank’s popularity is due to its centrality and convenience or to the actual quality of the food. To answer this question, I set out to gather my first impressions and review a selection of dishes .

I tried as many lunch foods as I possibly could in one day. The first food I tried was the potato wedges. Some odd seasoning made them taste slightly different than expected, but it is hard to go wrong with potatoes. They are the only item I think I could fairly call delicious. I even found myself going back for more. They do not make much of a main dish, but as a side, I certainly enjoyed them. Rating: 8/10. 

If you are looking for a main dish rather than just a side, the grilled chicken is not a bad choice. The piece I tried had a sort of smoky flavor, so if you are not a fan of smoke, steer clear. It was a touch dry but the quality was decent. Rating: 6/10. 

Vegetables, while not the most exciting are always important in one’s diet, so one might find themselves using the cauliflower puree to serve this purpose. I would not recommend doing so because the combination of flavor and texture made something resembling a strange cheese. It is still perfectly serviceable as a vegetable dish, but was not the best option that I found. Rating: 5/10. 

If you are looking to add more vegetables to your diet, the salad in Frank is ideal. It tastes decent, is low-calorie and there is an array of dressings available. There are also large bowls available, so you can create a salad large enough to satisphy your hunger. The salad is exactly what you would expect. Rating 9/10. 

If you would prefer a cooked vegetable, you might be inclined toward the steamed broccoli. This would be a fine decision. Between the seasoning and garlic, the flavor of the broccoli itself can be somewhat overpowered, but I still enjoyed it nonetheless. Rating: 4/10. 

Steamed broccoli is also available as part of another dish in Frank: the “Broccoli Lemon and Garlic Penne Pasta.” I may be biased due to the love of pasta I have carried throughout my life, but I do highly recommend this dish. It is not the best pasta I have ever had, but it is still solid. Rating: 6/10. 

If you are looking for a quick snack, the parmesan peppercorn chips are alright. They taste somewhat like burnt kettle chips, but in a pinch, you could do worse. Rating: 7/10.   

Speaking of doing worse, I have taken specific issue with the grilled cheese at Frank. The issue is not their taste, only Frank’s description of it. Allow me to describe the process involved in creating these sandwiches. Take two pieces of white bread and toast those pieces for a few seconds, and place a piece of cheese between them. That is the end of the process. These sandwiches are certainly not inedible, but I take umbrage at referring to them as “grilled cheese” when the cheese has blatantly not been grilled. Rating: 2/10.

After trying as much as I could, I would have to say that the food at Frank is fine for a college dining hall. There are a few specific menu items I take issue with, but in general, it is hard to go wrong with so much food available. While some of the dishes are more enjoyable than others, all are edible, and I would recommend all except the grilled cheese.   

Contact  Joseph Giordano at [email protected]