A Guide to Café Mac

By Marissa Warden

Café Mac serves multiple purposes in your Macalester tenure: a medium for socialization, a provider of sustenance and a distraction from homework. It is also an excellent place to grab a cup of coffee and enjoy your favorite campus paper (or that other one from New York). In an effort to help you make the most out of your Café Mac experience, I offer some dos and don’ts and helpful suggestions on all things food, social and survival.Do as mom says; eat your vegetables and say thank you

Avoid that notorious freshman 15 cutting back on the cookies and fro-yo. Instead, frequent the salad bar for some healthy and delicious options. They change the salad toppings daily, so you’ll always have something new to choose from. The balsamic vinaigrette and olive oil at the end of the station are always a nice way to dress your salad if you have outgrown the creamy ranch.

You can also avoid packing on the extra pounds by diversifying your diet. Stop by the curry station for some rice; grab some tofu from the burrito bar and top it off with veggies and a tall glass of ice water. In general, it’s a good idea to scope out the menu before you go so you don’t spend time aimlessly wandering and wasting precious time deciding what to eat. When you are in a time crunch, you can always grab an apple.

The best advice I can offer you is to be courteous to the Café Mac employees. Let’s be honest, it is not easy to stand over hot platters serving you hungry and eager students food, especially during the lunch rush. Do what your mama told ya and say your please and thank yous.

Don’t stand around like a fool or steal the salt

The lunch time rush is not fun for anyone involved, so make it easier on everyone and don’t socialize in the middle of a high traffic area–save it for the lunch table. Condiments are sacrosanct; don’t take them to your table, or steal the salt without asking first.

The toaster is key to many Café Mac meals. Don’t be stupid and put cheese in it– you’ll start a fire and make an enemy out of everyone in the cafeteria. Also, tread carefully around the toaster in general, no one wants their toast stolen and no one likes line cutters.

Try new foods, meet new people and learn new things

Make the most of your days in Café Mac by opening your eyes to wonders of the curry bar. No, really, this is your chance to try new food (and most of the food is really good) and to catch up with your classmates. Don’t ignore the table tents, they have fun facts and information about events on campus. Read the signs hanging from the atrium too, you may learn about a fun Friday night activity for you and your friends to do. And of course, read The Mac Weekly, all the cool kids are doing it.