Lazy Boy on Campus: My "beef" with Dining Services

UConn Dining Services introduced a new "blended burger" to its menu this semester. The burger is 50 percent mushrooms and 50 percent beef. (Bnilson/Creative Commons)

For the first time in the history of the “Lazy Boy on Campus” column, I have a gripe. As in I have a problem with a certain organization on campus. That organization is UConn Dining Services. You could say I have beef with dining services. Can you see where this is going? To be precise, I have beef with dining services over the lack of beef in their new “blended burger.”

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the entire beginning of the semester, then you have probably heard of the “blended burger.” This “burger” is 50 percent mushrooms, 50 percent beef and 100 percent nightmare.

Dining services introduced it because the “less beef” part makes it more eco-friendly. I am all about eco-friendly solutions, especially when it comes to dining services. I used to work in dining services and I remember how much food would get wasted. If this somehow lessened that waste then I would be all for it. Except there is one problem: the burger sucks.

The hamburger is the quintessential American food. It’s fatty, it’s greasy and it tastes good all the damn time. I’m personally a fan of cheeseburgers. Hell, I’m even a fan of hamburgers with mushrooms. The old dining services hamburger, while not a fantastic one, was a hamburger. It was a nice beef patty that was a good break from the monotony that is living without a meal plan. One of the highlights of my week was to be swiped into a dining hall and chow down into a nice fresh burger.

Dining services has destroyed that moment for me. This “blended burger” is an abomination to burgers everywhere. I have three major issues with it.

1. The burger does not taste like a burger. Taste should always be first and foremost for a dining service group. It doesn’t matter how healthy it is, if it doesn’t taste good then nobody will be interested in it.

2. The texture is way off. I don’t need to describe to anyone what the texture of a good burger. It has the perfect balance of moisture to substance. The “blended burger” just doesn’t have that. What’s the point of a burger if it doesn’t act like a real burger?

3. The burger doesn’t end well. You know that feeling you get after having a nice, delicious meal? That feeling where the meal sits comfortably in your stomach and you feel all warm and giddy? The “blended burger” doesn’t do that. That odd mixture of mushroom and beef sits all sad and balled up in your stomach. It’s similar to the feeling you get after eating a 7-ll donut.

Now all of you are probably asking what this has to do with being lazy. This isn’t the dining hall beat or the food review. Discussions on dining services shouldn’t really have a place here...until it does. Dining services is being lazy and not the good kind of lazy. Nobody on campus likes the blended burger (aside from our news editor, but he is a little weird). Our newspaper has written multiple articles about the hatred for the burger. The students on campus have created a petition to bring back the all-beef burger. The student body is approaching its breaking point.

And yet, despite all of that, dining services refuses to bring back the wonderful beef burger. Dining services is too lazy to bring something back to help appease students. This is not some kind of tough love, this is an insult to all of the students that pay thousands of dollars to eat in the dining halls every day. It is an insult to the thousands of chefs who slave away over hot flat-tops cooking delicious patties for the world.

Dining services has a duty to the student body to create tasty, good food. The “blended burger” falls ridiculously short and should be avoided by all people until it is fixed, no matter how lazy about food you are.

Remember it is okay to be lazy, just not as lazy as dining services is with this dumb faux-burger.  


Amar Batra is a senior staff photographer and opinion’s staff columnist for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email amar.batra@uconn.edu. He tweets at @amar_batra19.