K is finishing his last semester at Berkeley and invited me to brunch at Crossroads, one of the main dining halls on campus. Hard to believe that the last time I was there, I was a pudgy Freshman waddling from the dorms with my motley crew of dorm-mates. Five years and fifteen pounds lost later, I return on a mission of reminiscence. Did it taste good? Absolutely not. But I rose to the all-you-can-eat occasion and ate with gusto, from salad to soft-serve.
The dining hall is open almost all the time and is pretty impressive if you don't come regularly.
Our first round included a pork adobo with stirfry that K inhaled already, an apple which got taken away from me (I retaliated by tossing a pear and some scones into my bag for later), boring bland eggs, spicy sausages that were actually alright, and fries that were fried but tasted dry and healthy (Instead of my favorite tater tots? This is a new level of low, Crossroads). On my end, you see the vegan goulash, salad medley and sweet potato soup. Nothing really tasted like food but it also goes down easy if you don't think too hard about it. I ate the soup because I was cold.
Moreover, this food tastes exactly as I remember it five years ago. K's second serving of Asian slop, two scones, Christmas-style tortellini and vegan pizza. All just as bad as before. Quality control at its finest.
By this point, we would've loved to go home and nap it out. But I forged ahead, taking on the DIY waffle station that took twenty minutes to wait for. Other than the "Cal" logo, I topped my waffle with whipped cream, syrup and vanilla soft serve. I'm not incompetent at ladling--I just like thin and crispy waffles. Of course, we couldn't really eat the thing. Being a realistic creature, I knew this. Even though these waffles suck everyone still lines up for them because they're fun to make.
Like Chuck E. Cheese’s, Crossroads serves horrendous food but adds a dash of collegiate entertainment that makes me forget its sins. It captures the purest definition of “mediocre” which, if you know my college career, I’m perfectly satisfied with.