The Food and Drank section of the Mac Weekly is devoted to reporting on, reviewing, suggesting and preparing food and drink at Macalester and throughout the Twin Cities. To introduce the section, here is a rundown of places Mac students can utilize their plethora of meal swipes, aux points and flex points on and off campus.
The Loch Weekdays 11:00 am – 4:45 pm 5:00 – 7:30 pm
First and foremost, the Loch is known for its selection of ice cream with ever-changing and expanding flavors. The Loch currently has a flavor called “This [email protected]! Just Got Serious.” It is “smooth, salted caramel ice cream brimming with rich chocolate sea salt fudge and salted cashews.” Go for it.
Pizza is a popular option at the Loch as the Café Mac ‘za is usually pretty underwhelming. The main draw of the Loch meals are the calzones, which you can order with sausage, pepperoni, cheese or veggies. Your pizza or calzone order comes with a cookie, fruit and a drink. Additionally, you can get a meal-swipe bag lunch here just like you can at the Grille (read on for that).
Another upside of making this your regular place of consumption is the cozy booths. Snuggle in one of those booths and get some reading done after a meal one day, and it can be quite pleasant. The new, and much improved popcorn strategy, (only salt, no butter) has made “THE LOACH” quite the coop. I plan on heading over to the Loch and just eating that popcorn for dinner at some point. They recently added toppings that you can apply yourself. These include nacho cheese, parmesan garlic, caramel, and white cheddar.
Scotty’s Daily 11:30 am – 2:30 pm
They are known for one thing and really one thing only. The FRIED chicken caesar salad. Yeah, you heard right, FRIED CHICKEN (basically chicken tenders), in a salad. Supposed to be quite the party in the mouth. Get it to go because they give you more food. They also feature a revolving hot lunch, usually featured from Cafe Mac. Use that meal on the salad, though, that’s the ticket.
The Atrium Market Weekdays 11 am – 1:30 pm
Located upstairs in the Campus Center, the Atrium is the place for a quick sandwich (sub-style), bag o’ chips, cookie and a drink. Not a bad deal. Unlike Cafe Mac, though, the quantity of food you can get has a maximum. Between 11:50 and noon this place is an absolute nightmare. If you are in an extreme rush I suggest asking the queue if it is possible to cut the line. Shockingly, in the few times I have lunched there, this strategy has worked pretty well. Meat, veggie and cheese options are plentiful and the beloved sandwich makers are not shy about piling on the meat. The double edged sword that the Atrium presents is the sauces. Beware of asking for sauces. In my personal experience, the Atrium employees tend to be quite liberal on the mayo, sriracha and mustards, so unless you like super wet sammies, stay dryer and ask for dabs rather than dollops of your condiments. The other side of the sword is that the variety of sauces is phenomenal. Be sure to try the Basil Mayo.
Places to use Aux Points Shish: Probably the most affordable and consistently solid food option around the neighborhood. It’s hard to argue with a 10 pm Shish Burger and garlic sauce. Also, the manager is awesome, and if you’re nice he’ll give you free pita and hummus. What more could you ask for?
Culver’s (on University): Home of the original midwest butter burger (in which they butter the bun). Also be sure to try the custard. Some hate Culver’s; others find it to be an institution.
CVS (on Snelling): Gummy worms and shaving cream are the main draws to CVS. Probably much cheaper than getting that stuff at the Highlander.
French Meadow: Only eaten there once. Overpriced, quite mediocre. Unless you want to tell others that you have tried it, then try to use those Aux points somewhere else.
Noodles and Co. (on Hamline Ave): Quite the schlep to use some aux points, but if you love those noodles then carry on!
Topper’s: Topperstix come highly recommended. Dustings of cheese on top and a variety of meats and veggies. Be creative!
The Grille Monday-Wednesday: 7:30 am – 11:59 pm Thursday: 7:30 am – 11:00 am, 3:00 pm – 11:59 pm Friday: 7:30 am – 12 am Saturday: 1 pm – 10:30 pm Sunday: 1 pm – 11:59 pm Breakfast swipes: weekdays until 9:45 am Lunch swipes: until 4:45 pm
Swipes are good for a bagged lunch, bagged dinner or the newly featured breakfast swipe (bagel, drink, fruit). Flex and aux points are more popular here because the options are greater with points. The Grille is always good for a quick bite ranging from greasy sandwiches (think bacon, fried chicken and cheese) to the comparatively healthy avocado melt (avocado, tomatoes, cheese). There is such a variety here. Tiny Footprint Coffee, Naked juices, white chocolate chip macadamia cookies (and others) and fried foods (fries, onion rings, mozzarella sticks and chicken tenders) are all great choices.
A lesser known perk of the Grille is that they do bagged to-go lunches. You can choose from a variety of sandwiches, salads and burgers which come with a bag o’ chips and a cookie. You can use a meal swipe for that as well. Also check out the breakfast sandwiches, which come highly reviewed.
Café Mac Weekdays Breakfast: 7:30 – 9:30 am Lunch: 11 am – 1:30 pm Dinner: 5 – 7:30 pm Weekends Brunch: 10:30 am – 1 pm Dinner: 5 – 6:30 pm
Seems pretty self-explanatory. Lots of food. I recommend making the Dr. Pepper and soft-serve float. Add in some Oreo bites.
NEW PERK: Students can now swipe in people using the meals that they choose not to use. This means that students living off campus without a meal plan can find a buddy and pretty much eat for free. This also means that if you forget your ID one day, just find a friend have them swipe you in. If you both use all of your meals, then swipe your friend in another time. This is a win-win situation for all parties and it is really great that the administration has added this feature to the meal plans.