Dining centers provide value, variety to students

David Irons, campus ministry staff member, is handed his lunch from the Willie Wok line in the Derby Dining Center on Thursday, Oct 14. The dining center is one of three on campus that offers meals to residents. (Renee Dick | The Collegian)

The three dining halls on campus – Kramer, Derby and Van Zile Dining Centers, provide meals for students who are living on- and off-campus. Together, the centers serve more than 5,500 on-campus residents as well as some students living off-campus with meal plans.

Serving thousands of students a day means the dining centers have to provide a variety of different foods including classics, Italian, deli, lunch classics, stir-fry and a salad bar. Not to mention a variety of treats in the dessert line.

The number of options are enough to make some students lose their mind when it comes to choosing what to eat.

“It is hard to chose sometimes but to me my favorite thing at the Derb is anything in the Italian line, and the ice cream machine,” Abby Kammermeier, freshman in pre-journalism and mass communications, said. “I definitely get ice cream on the regular, I can’t get away from it.”

Kammermeier eats at Derby regularly and chooses ice cream over other treats because it is unlimited.

“The ice cream is always there which is awesome, but if they have really good cake, I will chose that over ice cream,” Kammermeier said.

Students can sign up for a meal plan through the dining center. The meal plan gives students a limit to get a certain number of meals throughout the week.

Sarah Henkle, junior in dietetics and undergraduate management assistant at Kramer, said she admits that at times it is tough keeping up with such a high demand for food because of the number of people the dining centers serve throughout the day.

“On an average day, we definitely go through our fried foods very quickly,” Henkle said. “On Tuesday nights, Willie Wok, our oriental stir-fry is also very popular. We have to constantly cook more meat and vegetables to keep up with the line.”

Willie Wok, is a type of stir-fry that is served with a student’s choice of meat including chicken, steak, tofu and shrimp and served on top of steaming, hot rice and a variety of vegetables.

Natialie Kutney, sophomore in life sciences, who lived in the Derby Complex last year, said Willie Wok was one of her favorite dinners.

“I liked Willie Wok because the crab ragoons that came with the meal were so good,” Kutney said. “ I miss living in the dorms because I won’t be able to enjoy the Thanksgiving dinner.”

The Dining Centers host a huge Thanksgiving and holiday dinner for students every year. It is an all you can eat buffet extravaganza with unlimited turkey, mashed potatoes, crackers and cheese, desert tables and much more.

“The Derb has a pig during holiday dinners,” Kutney said. “An entire pig. What more could you want?”

Even though Kutney does not live in the residence halls anymore she still manages to come back and eat at K-State dining complexes by obtaining a guess pass through residents she knows.

“I typically go on lunch dates with some of my younger sorority sisters,” Kutney said. “I just miss the Derb and my favorite thing to eat there is Kansas Cup of Dirt.”

The Kansas Cup of Dirt is a chocolate pudding, oreo crumbs and whipped cream mixture. According to Kutney, this is a classic favorite among the dining centers.

“I just love it.” Kutney said. “It’s just like heaven in a plate.”