Unpopular Opinion: In Defense of Frank’s Dry Chicken

LJ Coady, Staff Writer

Nothing is more maligned, abused, mocked and abhorred on this campus than the grilled chicken breast regularly served at Frank Dining Hall. The unassuming slices of plain white meat are constantly attacked and labeled “gross” by students. Enough is enough. It’s time we appreciate Frank’s grilled chicken as the healthy and unproblematic source of protein that it is.

Complaints abound about how bland, unseasoned and dry the chicken. And to be clear: I am not claiming that Frank chicken is some juicy and delicious bastion of flavor. It is undeniably lacking moisture and tastes fairly unexciting. 

Get over it.

Frank grilled chicken is the perfect base for an infinite number of toppings. The chicken is tailorable to any taste and palate, accommodating a range of food preferences. Though I enjoy it plain, I have friends who cover the chicken in hot sauce and spices and even top it with sliced avocado for extra protein and moisture. It can be difficult to create nutritious and well-balanced meals as a college student, but Frank’s grilled chicken is a consistent and healthy meal option available to anyone with access to the dining hall. 

Frank chicken is served in small portions and is always available to supplement any meal with extra protein — a win for many people on our fitness-conscious and athlete-dominant campus. Who doesn’t need more protein? Many people count their macronutrients as they strive to gain muscle and become more fit, and many others simply want to ensure they are eating enough of every food group to stay healthy.

Frank’s grilled chicken is unfashionable and unfussy, without frills or complexity. It is a basic meal foundation and serves that purpose well.

Not every meal can be a miracle. Not every piece of food you eat will be spectacular or taste like the best thing you’ve ever tried. Grilled chicken is generally unexceptional, and other than increasing the moisture content there’s not much Frank could do to make it any differently.

If you really hate Frank’s dry chicken that much, just don’t eat it. Need protein but refuse to eat the grilled chicken? The halal station regularly serves chicken (and other meats) cooked with much more flavor in their industrial rotisserie oven, the salad bar offers cold grilled chicken pieces and Sono often has their own chicken as well. Tofu and garbanzo beans are also generally available in Frank, as well as spinach and other protein-packed vegetables. 

I love Frank’s dry grilled chicken, and I’m tired of getting hate for it. It’s great for lunch or dinner and sometimes even breakfast when I feel like I need a protein kick. It’s filling without being heavy and has a mild taste that blends well with whatever else I’m eating. The portions are reasonable and buildable, and I know whatever else Frank is serving, there will always be wholesome grilled chicken.

Colgate does many things wrong when it comes to food — ending 24-hour Frank, cutting other dining hall hours and running out of food way before closing all come to mind — but consistently providing plain and simple grilled chicken is not one of them.