Thursday, September 4, 2008

Food For Thought

Long day today, as I’m in a 9-5 routine for a little while, so let’s jump straight into the letter I was saving for today and figure out a way to make it connect to sports as we go along.

Actually, first things first: Loyal reader P.J., who is much more experienced at this blogging thing than I am, points out that “E-mail on a blog is known as a comment.” Yeah but “comments, we get comments…” doesn’t roll off the tongue. We thank P.J. for reading and join him in hoping that the Phytins embarrass the Mets again this month!

Anyway, we got a cool comment the other day from “Mozzarella Fish Sticks,” which is the early leader in the clubhouse for the coolest screen name here. Writes Mozzarella: “Does Lackmann still serve those rubbery yet addicting Mozzarella Sticks? I ate those for dinner 5 out of 7 nights for three semesters in a row in the Ratt.”

First of all, who came up with the bright idea to bestow upon a campus eatery a name (Rathskellar) that could be shortened to mean a filthy rodent? I’d prefer it if the place was named after the guy who is still waiting to sleep with Stacy Hamilton or, perhaps, if it was named after the totally awesome hair metal band. And along those lines, thanks to Loyal Reader Mike, who pointed this out to me tonight (scroll all the way to the bottom). I have a new favorite Division I-A player.

Back to The Ratt. As most of you probably know, it’s located in the basement of the Student Center, and with Greek letters adorning the walls, has been the dining hall of choice for fraternities and sororities for generations. Since I spent most of my waking hours in the Student Center and could only take so many Hofstra Burgers that had grown hard as a rock sitting under a red hot lamp for 27 hours, I ate at the Ratt more than most independents. I never felt unwelcome there, though I can understand why other non-Greeks would.

I don’t remember the Mozzarella Sticks at the Ratt. I do remember ordering some truly awful pizza there, though, during my first few Friday nights on campus. Nobody partied like me! Then I discovered that Fezziwig’s didn’t card for Happy Hour and that was the end of Friday night pizza.

On the bright side, the Ratt made the freshest burgers this side of Hofstra USA and had a pretty good steak sandwich too. They’d also cook to order: I also remember when two friends, including this guy, went down there on Elvis’ birthday in 1995 or 1996 and asked for an Elvis sandwich. Minutes later, they were paying tribute to the King.

Mozzarella continues to wax nostalgic about Hofstra food: “The other two nights it was dry yet floppy subs for breakfast at 3:00 in the afternoon, at Dutch Treats. My arteries are clogged with Pennzoil, but it was worth it.”

Not having a car—and having a meal plan—helped conceal what a giant ripoff Dutch Treats was. What was the markup there on six-packs of Coke? Seven hundred percent? They did make a mean ham sandwich, though, which was my preferred meal during Monday Night Football, and it was a great place to use up points at the end of the semester. Of course, all the points in the world usually netted me a six-pack of Coke.

Here's my completely unofficial rundown of my favorite places to eat at Hofstra:

Hofstra USA: Great place to watch the late Sunday afternoon football games. Also the place I had my first legal drink in 1994.

Netherlands: As I noted earlier this week, it was home to steak night, where Sully Ray, myself and a bunch of other Chronicle staffers would put Chris Turk to shame every Wednesday night.

Lion’s Den: A hidden gem next to USA. My roommate, Loyal Reader John, and I used to assault that all-you-can-eat-buffet.

Hofstra Café: I think that’s what it was called, anyway. It was across from the Stadium and it was the only place on campus to buy a hot pretzel.

Student Center: They served a pretty good breakfast and all-you-can-eat pasta night on Tuesdays was a favorite tradition. Everything else? Ehh.

Bits-n-Bytes: We used to call it Bits-n-something-that-rhymes-with-Bits. Those fries were horrible. Indeed, the only thing good about B-n-S, err, B-n-B was its location. And even then I’d walk the Unispan to get something better.

Don’t get me going on Sbarro’s, which single-handedly disproved my notion that pizza, like baseball, was still pretty good even when it was bad.

We’ll allow Mozzarella to take us out. “This was back when smokes were $1.90 per pack at the HUB, so damn I feel old,” writes Mozzarella. Well, Mozzarella, how’s this for sticker shock. Doesn’t even leave someone enough money to buy a six-pack of Coke—inside or outside of Hofstra.

Well. That wasn't really about sports at all, was it? Come back tomorrow and I promise we'll have a sports-related post.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bits and Bytes! Where all the cats ate! I forgot about that place. Somehow, in my deranged memory in a time before Starbucks ruled the world, Bits and Bytes had the best coffee on campus. I am sure it was shit, but because I had a lot of late afternoon and night classes, I must have consumed a gallon of joe there per week. The cats didn't seem to like it, but I thought there was no better cup of coffee in the hofstra world.