Recollections of campus dining

Alums and readers share their memories of eating in The Main, The Pit, Deco Deli and other campus places to get their grub on.

Recollections of campus dining

Recollections of campus dining

Alums and readers share their memories of eating in The Main, The Pit, Deco Deli and other campus places to get their grub on.

When butterfat went to war and skim milk came to TCU’s cafeteria, whatever school humor magazine (can’t remember the name) printed the following (maybe in 1942), it was inspired:
I never saw a light blue cow,
I never hope to see one.
But from the way the milk looks now,
I’m sure there must be one.

Ben H. White M.D. ’44

Unfortunately, at my mother’s insistence, I transferred as a junior to DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., where we ate in the girls’ dorms dining hall. The dean happened to ask the transfers if we were happy with the food and service. My answer did nothing to endear me — after the super dining experience at TCU, great variety etc., I told her that now we didn’t know what we were getting to eat and seldom knew after even after trying to eat it. I was back at TCU for my senior year! Thank heaven!
Kathryn (Kay) Clarke Hays ’42

Oh, those salmon croquettes — loved them, and those grapes with seeds, ugh.
Frances Armstrong Taylor ’45

I can’t remember where the cafeteria was in 1948 when I was a freshman, but I remember passing by the warming dish of barely scrambled eggs. I tried to fish around for something solid. The football boys would pile their plates high with runny eggs and sausage — yuck! There was a jukebox and someone kept playing “Slow Boat to China” over and over. I could sing it for you today. I will be 80 this year, the same age as that stadium you guys just blew up. Oh well! Hail, all hail, TCU!
Dale Maybrier Moore ’50

When I was a freshman in 1947-48, the cafeteria still suffered from the food shortages of WWII. Among other things, we were expected to eat reconstituted eggs — which were green in color. You needed a doctor’s note if you didn’t eat in the cafeteria, so I asked my mother to get me one. My family doctor in Breckridge wrote, “Marie Davis is allergic to food and should not eat in the cafeteria.”  It worked.
Marie Davis Otto ’51

I’ll never forget the pink and green pies, piled high with canned whipped cream! Also, as a freshman, having to get up on the tables at lunch, as part of our initiation! Great fun and memories.
Peggy Daniel Meeker ’55

I lived in the former Tom Brown Hall. That summer, a well-known TCU football player lived down the hall. Two favorites: the pea salad and bread or toast soaked in tomatoes. We ate together at the cafeteria on Friday nights and on Bluebonnet Circle to “recover.”
Edward Kolbe ’55

It was the spring semester of 1957. I was in a night class, Dr. Estus Polk’s English Romantic Poets. At the break in the three-hour class, I invited a beautiful, brown-eyed girl, Dolores Warden, to go to the Student Center for a cup of coffee. When we go there, she asked, “May I have an ice cream cone?” We married the next year, and I have been buying her ice cream cones ever since.
Don Vann ’59 (MA ’60)

In the late ’50s, in the Brown-Lupton snack bar, the best — bar none — was the hot fudge sundaes, only our version was just part of a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a cup with hot fudge poured to the top of the cup: Absolute chocoholic heaven! No one else would do this for us but the workers at the snack bar.
Sandra O’Donnell Perry ’60

Pecan waffles and hash browns any time day or night.
Joe E. Nix ’63

My very favorite dish was the Eagle Brand Lemon Meringue Pie. Oh yes!!
Penny Hurley ’64

The lemon lime slushies — definitely. I can still remember the taste on a hot summer day.
John Reynolds ’64

I ate 1,100 Honey Buns with butter on them. That’s a conservative estimate from my four years at TCU. I loved them and they always helped me start the day off with a great sugar high. They also filled in as lunch on many occasions in the Student Center. I still devour them on the weekends at our Duck Hunting Club.
Philip Schoeneck ’64

Since I lived nearby, I usually brought a sack lunch, as there were so many quiet and attractive places indoors or out to eat and study. Otherwise, I would eat at the frog pond across from Cantey Street as that is where I spent most of my time.
Charles Ellis ’65

I still think of the honey buns warmed up so the sugar was gooey … breakfast for years!
Ginger Greene Westin ’68

The snack bar in the basement sold the yummiest chocolate chip cookies. They were wrapped in plastic wrap so you could take them back to the dorm. I remember making many trips to get those cookies.
Carol Black Gallman ’73

When I came to TCU in 1970 I came from a home where we ate the same things, and it never included dessert! So, of course every time I ate at school I was in heaven because I could choose from among many of the great desserts in the main dining hall in the Student Center! And, since we paid with coupons instead of money, it was like eating free!  Once I gained my freshman 20, I began eating all of my lunches in Reed Hall. It was a smaller, quieter area, didn’t have as many choices, but offered cottage cheese and peaches — something I had never eaten before and learned to love! I think I ate it every day for lunch through the second semester of my freshman year. Often, we chose to eat sandwiches in the Snack Bar, located in the basement of the Student Center, because it was cheaper (and we thought better) than when we ate in the Main. During my freshman year, after a blood drive, a number of us went to the Snack Bar for dinner. I can remember having a BLT — one of their BEST sandwiches — when John Andrews asked if I was feeling okay. As I said “no” I fell to the floor in a dead faint and my tray contents spewed all over the floor! When I finally came to consciousness, I was in a separate room with a TCU nurse from the health center standing over me. I was hungry, but so embarrassed I didn’t go back to the Snack Bar for over a week!
Janet Hester Swan ’74

Having from up in Columbus, Ohio, coming to TCU and eating in the Main or in Reed Hall dining rooms highlighted some cultural difference. Greens? Grits? Hominy? Where were these foods?!Are they considered vegetables? And what about “black-eyed peas?” Doesn’t anyone eat green peas? I will never forgt the first night the Main cafeteria offered broccoli! A real vegetable!  A familiar one!  I ran back to Colby Hall Dormitory to spread the news to all other “Yankees” that there was broccoli. Immediately, a large group descended upon the cafeteria and asked for double orders of broccoli (or maybe triple?). We all agreed we had never before craved a familiar green vegetable. Our parents were so proud!
Lesley Wilson Schaab ’74

That red “fruit punch” they served in the basement snack bar. My friends and I used to refer to it as “Red River.”
Chip Lucas ’75

When I was attending graduate school at TCU, my favorite food was the pimento cheese sandwich that I could make in the snack bar in the basement of Brown-Lupton. The bread was always fresh (wheat was my choice), the pimento cheese was fresh, and I loved the addition of tomatoes, lettuce and pickles. It was a treat for the limited budget of a graduate student.
Richard A. Hudiburg ’75 MA (PhD ’79)

Although my parents were Texans, my mom was an early follower of the health food movement. So on my first morning at TCU’s cafeteria, I was astonished at the server’s question, “Do you want gravy on the biscuit?’ I couldn’t imagine it, so I said, “Sure.” That was life-changing.
Irene Minton Pham ’82

“The Pit” was always there when I needed it. My “Main” memories though involved the guest speakers at Ed Landreth Auditorium in 1985-86. On April 17, 1985 and Nov. 13, 1986, I had the opportunity to see and hear G. Gordon Liddy (and meet with him). Also, on Oct. 30, 1985, I saw, heard and met with Vincent Price, for which I still have the ticket stubs (autographed) and truly appreciate and will never forget.
Robert Gasser ’86

I always took early classes so it was the Main for breakfast that I remember most. There was a setup with bagels and cream cheese, not your everyday cream cheese mind you, but cream cheese with strawberries, blueberries and one of my favorites, chocolate chip! The Main was a great place for meeting up with friends for a cup a coffee, before the days of Starbucks on campus!
Laural Madden Koons ’86

I can remember going to eat at “The Pit” after hours when the Main closed. You had your choice of sandwiches, burgers, or ice cream. This place offered fried, fresh, comfort, fast food!
Linda Martinez Petrey ’86

I will never forget going to The Main for several days and wondering, “Where are all the forks? There are no forks! This is ridiculous.” Then that week some guys dumped all those forks outside of The Main in protest of the food. At least that’s the story. I think it was a dare. My favorite food was the ice cream yogurt and the make-it-yourself waffles. Yummy. I remember if you wanted “the junk food” you went downstairs to the basement (although I can’t remember what it was called) and if you wanted “the healthy food” you went to the dining hall behind The Main, which I think was called Eden. Good times.
Melinda J. Williams ’95

I remember always getting a tea and a slice of coconut cream pie. Always a favorite on a rainy day!
Jean Palmer Savigny ’96

My friends and I had “our” table at Edens Greens. We used to get salads and baked potatoes. I avoided the “Texas-shaped’ chicken fried stead at all costs.
Michelle Dolbec Coolidge ’96

The Main really was the heart of the TCU community. You could find almost anyone in there, and had to before cell phones. My favorite food item was the build-your-own pizza station in the basement. I also remember watching the O.J. Simpson trial verdict on the big screen TV down there.
Alissa Simpson ’97

As a music major at TCU, I had to take an 8 a.m. Ear Training class, and my friends and I would always hit up The Main between Ear Training and Class Piano for those larger-than-life muffins. They were the equivalent of four muffins in one muffin cup! The discussion during breakfast was always centered around which part of the muffin we should eat first: the top or the inside. It was deeply philosophical conversation for 8:50 in the morning.
Virginia Neely ’05

I loved eating at Eden’s Wok. For about a year after graduation I still craved the soy chicken teriyaki with noodles and broccoli. It was similar to Genghis Grill, but so much better. The students today are missing out. Eden’s was a big hit!
Emily Campbell ’05

My friends and I loved eating at the Deco Deli that used to be in the basement of Reed Hall. This was by far the best eating place on campus. The ladies who worked there knew our orders and were always terribly friendly. We had many history, geography and Spanish classes in Reed and our stomachs would be grumbling anytime between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. if we hadn’t already had one of the tasty sandwiches down there. Deco Deli, you are quite missed!!
Jacob Langford ’05
Scott Baldree ’05

I and many of my sorority sisters (Alpha Delta Pi) gathered at Eden’s in Reed. You never really knew who would be there, but the same three tables were always filled with friendly faces. Some of the best and funniest conversations occurred at these lunches. The Wok guy was there too. I believe his name was Peter, and he was the funniest and one of the best employees TCU had. As he made food, he always engaged with students and made jokes. If my day was bad, he’d make me smile.
Jacqi Powell Garcia ’06

I loved when Eden’s was open one night a week for dinner; it was such a luxury to get some stir fry on a week night! I also loved the crazy crowded line at Deco Deli during lunch everyday. The ladies would yell at you when you were in the back of the line saying, “Bread Baby?” You answer. “Meat?” By the time you actually got up to the sandwich line, your sandwich was already halfway done.
Michelle Nelson ’09

My fondest memories of campus dining took place in the Main on Saturday afternoons in the fall of my freshman year (2005), specifically Saturdays that marked a TCU football home game. I could comfortably enjoy a relaxed, slow-paced meal in the Main. I sat at a table in the middle section near the large windows that drew your sight due west toward Amon Carter Stadium and the western horizon in the distance. As I sat in the Main, I realized that I was no longer a mere undergraduate away from home. I felt a new space develop in my heart — a space for Fort Worth. By seeing the sun’s light dim over the rooftops of the TCU campus and far off tree line, I fell in love with Fort Worth.
Nikita Ostrovsky ’09
My favorite memory of the old Reed basement was eating at Deco Deli every week and getting Chinese Food at the Chinese restaurant down the hall.
Luke Urban ’10

Eden’s, primarily the salad bar. I went there every Thursday my freshman year. The Deco Deli turkey sandwich on a croissant — the best part is that it gets smashed by the Panini cooker to make it thin and crispy!
Lindsay Ostertag ’11

I liked everything from the Main. I worked at the Student Center and am still part of TCU as a retiree.
Norma Thoms