What’s on your plate: Sitting down at the Union

Posted on Nov 2 2018 - 5:50am by Trevor Davis

Human beings cannot survive without food, but we don’t eat the same thing for every meal of every day. What we eat is something that speaks to our personality and our character.

Some people prefer long meals with many courses. Some eat something small for every meal. Those who are dieting eat less in a day than those who aren’t. Some might refrain from eating certain foods for religious or cultural reasons.

This new series, “What’s on your plate,” explores those different choices and the reasoning behind them. It’s an effort to learn more about people — specifically Ole Miss students — through the food they’re eating at a meal during the day.

This week, I went to the most frequented eating spot on campus: the Union. Home to five national chain restaurants, the Union offers a unique mealtime dynamic designed for relatively quick eating experiences.

Students eat at the Ole Miss Student Union food court. File photo by Marlee Crawford

Chick-fil-A: “Ol’ Reliable”

For students like Silas Nelson, a freshman public policy leadership major from Horn Lake, a quick eating experience is his usual choice. Nelson was eating a chicken sandwich and fries from Chick-Fil-A earlier this week. “Ol’ Reliable” is what he called the meal.

“I wanted to eat kind of fast and didn’t want to wait in line, so Chick-Fil-A was the obvious choice,” he said. “You’re never going to get something that you didn’t order or something that is not cooked well.”

He spoke highly of the restaurant’s speed, consistency and hospitality. Nelson said he doesn’t like to spend a whole lot of time doing stuff he doesn’t have to do, and eating is one of those things for him, both in Horn Lake and in Oxford.

Nelson explained that Desoto County is largely occupied by chain restaurants, so on his way home from high school, Nelson would frequent a selection of the many chains that his hometown has to offer.

Which Wich: A simple sandwich

While Chick-Fil-A seemed to have a bit of a monopoly on the particular lunchtime I visited the Union during, sophomore accountancy major Logan Gage ate a sandwich from Which Wich while we discussed the importance of a good sandwich and compared the food in Oxford to the food in his hometown.

Gage, a Ridgeland native, was eating a turkey and ham sandwich on white bread with American cheese and lettuce. He said he doesn’t get much on his sandwiches, at least at Which Wich.

Gage said his hometown is another city mostly dominated by chain restaurants, but it has its fair share of gems, such as a sushi place called Sushi Village with a fantastic deal on all-you-can-eat sushi. According to Gage, it’s a hot-spot for young people looking for a deal on a usually expensive meal.

“Sushi Village is that place that you go to see someone you know,” Gage explained. “It’s $11 for unlimited sushi so it attracts a lot of people around our age.”

Gage said he thinks Oxford could benefit from a place like this or Waffle House, which is known for its cheap food available 24/7.