Special finals dinners start tonight

Dining halls at the University of Connecticut will be holding a variety of special dinners to help relieve the mundanity of the looming finals season.

Whitney Dining Hall will have a fantastical Hogwarts-themed dinner tonight.

Debra Cornell, Whitney’s Assistant Manager, said she hopes students will enjoy the event.

“That’s why we do it,” Cornell said.

Cornell said she was inspired by how the layout of Whitney resembles Hogwarts’ dining hall in the “Harry Potter” movies.

The evening’s menu will also be thematic. Whitney will serve Yorkshire pudding, pumpkin pastries and a vegan kidney pie, all of which are inspired by dishes that appear in the world of “Harry Potter.”  

South Dining Hall will have a plant-based event Friday during which vegan or vegetarian dishes will be served alongside their traditional counterparts.

“The idea is that when the average person thinks about vegan or vegetarian dishes, their mind immediately goes to a salad and rice and beans, but plant based food is so much more than that,” South Assistant Manager Kristina Breuninger said. “By serving this meal, we’re trying to show that you can eat your favorite comfort foods and still cut back on your meat consumption.”

For example, they will be serving jackfruit pot pie next to chicken pot pie and vegan mac & cheese alongside regular mac & cheese.

“We hope that this helps our vegan and vegetarian students feel more included and also entices our meat-eating students to branch out and try something new,” Breuninger said.

South will also have a Holiday Dessert Extravaganza on Tuesday, Dec.12. South will serve yule log, holiday cupcakes with festive toppings, gingerbread cut-out cookies, holiday mini cannoli, mini strawberry mousse cups, holiday butter cookies, chocolate-covered holiday pretzels and holiday crackle crunch truffles, Breuninger said.

The following night, South will have Breakfast for Dinner and will serve breakfast sandwiches, a pancake bar, cinnamon buns and omelets. South will also have fried dough at the pasta station Breuninger said.

“We hope (all these special meal events) make finals week just a little bit more fun and reduces some stress for our students,” Breuninger said.

Putnam will have a zen juice bar for finals week. The bar will serve premade juice made of a blend of blueberries, spinach, carrots and fresh mint.

“These four ingredients are known to help reduce and relieve stress,” Putnam Manager Steve Sharkis said. “Spinach also is high in (the) amino acid tryptophan, which promotes better sleep.”

Putnam had this zen juice bar during finals last year, Sharkis said.

Students are also able to vote on whether they would rather have an omelet bar all week for breakfast and lunch or omelets at breakfast and quesadillas at lunch through lunch today, Sharkis said.

“Both are very popular action stations and we’ve run omelets all week in the past, so I’m giving (students) the choice,” Sharkis said.

Buckley Dining Hall will also have their semiannual Specials Under the Tent during finals week. In the past, these specials have included mozzarella sticks and soft pretzels, a waffle fry bar and cookies that students can decorate themselves.


Anna Zarra Aldrich is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at anna.aldrich@uconn.edu. She tweets @ZarraAnna.