Give it a Chance: The Cafeteria

Despite the constant diatribes against the quality of high school cafeteria food, there are a breadth of different quality food options available in the Fairfield Warde High School cafeteria. While this may not seem to be the case when investigating the pizza, it becomes evident when you visit the deli or the “Tex-Mex” section of the lunch line. 


For the deli area in particular, the line is usually quite reasonable in length, and the meat is of decently high quality. Even the tuna salad is of Subway-esque quality! Here is my go-to deli order:


  • Bread: wrap
  • Meat: turkey
  • Veggies: jalapeños, tomatoes, lettuce, and onions 
  • Sauce: honey mustard


The reason I prefer a wrap over a traditional bun is due to the fact that a wrap keeps the honey mustard perfectly mixed in with everything else, even after you take the first bite of the tomato and its juices start to drip out the sides of the wrap.


The “Tex-Mex” area has notoriously long lines, so if you do choose to eat there, I would wait 13-ish minutes into the lunch wave, by which the line is usually diminished, before attempting to claim your food. This still gives you around 15 minutes to actually eat your food, and you can talk with friends or do whatever other lunchroom activities you so desire instead of spending those 13 minutes waiting in line, becoming slightly more and more infuriated as you see the despicable rapscallions of the day cut their way to the front…


There is also the little known wild card next to the deli section, where they often serve dishes ranging from pasta or a simple fried chicken leg to an intricate Thanksgiving-inspired feast. This section ranges in quality to such a degree that it really comes down to your personal taste and judgment when deciding what to eat there. I believe it is technically called the “World Market”, but I am not currently in the position to confirm that fact. They usually have quite pleasant offerings there, though, so I would definitely give it at least a passing glance.


Now we go onwards to the, in my professional opinion, significantly worse part of the cafeteria: the rightmost section. Here, they serve the aforementioned pizza, which can barely even be classified as such. It tastes alright, but it sure doesn’t taste like any kind of respectable pizza. Though the “pizza” is middling at best, occasionally they serve calzones at this same section, which, surprisingly, are actually pretty good. If you see the calzones next to the pizza, you should definitely try it out!


Next to the pizza/calzone section, we have what’s referred to as “Ruby’s Grill” by our cafeteria overlords. This section is entirely carried by the fact that they serve pretty good tater tots or french fries with whatever else you order from there. Without that, I genuinely believe that nobody would order anything from there. The chicken sandwiches and burgers are not particularly appetizing, the meat is questionable, and the buns are pretty doughy, not even slightly crisped! How tragic…


And finally, we have the menagerie of sides available in every section of the cafeteria, ranging from grilled cauliflower to some sort of vinegar bean salad (I still have no idea what’s up with that, if you catch my drift). Every other day, they also have fruit punch available there, which is very good (albeit sugary) and oftentimes frozen solid, which makes it impossible to drink. The pure vegetables at this section are pretty fresh, especially the celery and baby carrots. I would recommend getting those, and then also asking the cafeteria workers for ranch–a tantalizing combination.


Overall, while our cafeteria might be lacking in some regards, there are some decent options, opportunities to try, and palate-expanding foods you have never experienced or even fathomed before. 


Next time you go to the cafeteria, don’t be intimidated by the cardboard looking pizza; fortune favors the bold, and instead of shying away, pursue new experiences! Break the monotony of your usual school day, the mindless droning of waking up an hour too early and dragging yourself through first period while only half-cognizant of the very class you are in, the monotony of walking through the school hallways with earbuds in to drown out the endless buzz, the slow killing of individuality that is the daily lecture, after lecture, after lecture–all to be ended with a drive or perhaps a brisk walk home in the pre-spring chill. Venture into the unknown, my newly-educated cafeteria connoisseurs, embrace the vast unexplored paradise that is the Fairfield Warde High School cafeteria, try something new, and believe me–you won’t regret it.

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