Today (Tuesday, 11 October 2016) I was on my way to the city centre after class for a while, I planned on comparing the food made for students and staff at Dublin Institute of Technology and this college, Griffith College Dublin. This is probably an unnecessary comparison but since this isn’t America and I can just walk into any college as if it was my own house, and the fact I can fit in two courses of lunch back-to-back, I decided to do it.
This was the first ever time being in the DIT building on Aungier Street, I liked the look of the main building’s foyer. The castle-esque shape to it looked pathetic, the shape to our buildings are much cooler. Anyway, I followed the general direction of people as it was coming up to lunch time.
When I first saw the menu, I smirked at the prices at they were higher than ours. It was €6.40 for “Roast Chicken Piri Piri” with “roast cherry tomatoes, stir fired vegetables and crispy potato cubes, €5.90 for “Pork Meatball in a tomato and basil sauce” with penne pasta. The third and final option was Vegetarian bean chilli for €5.25.
I was planning on having a meal in each college but I wasn’t going to eat in DIT after seeing those options. To quote the eccentric Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville, the two non-vegetarian options for me, meant “its like having a choice of two blokes to nick your wife.”
I lingered around the canteen area, I would classify it as a “canteen” over a restaurant which I and many of us classify Arthur’s as. It was like I had in school – only the individual trays of pre-cooked food being kept warm under a heated light. There wasn’t a “Live Action-esque” option, made famous here in GCD by Gustav and his henchmen, a deli area or even a Starbucks – at least not in the main eating area. Often in GCD at 1:30pm, there is hardly a seat to be had in the seating area but that shouldn’t be a problem in DIT, the seating area was almost a big as an McDonald’s- then again I would say the percentage of students eating there is much lower than us due to many scenarios non least than the quality of food over there. Other than that there were little more than what you’d find in your local shop just a coffee machine and crisps. The final nail in DIT’s coffin was the fact that a can of coke cost €1.10, which if I was having four lunches a week there like I have here, it would end up costing me an extra €4.80 on coke alone throughout a semester. Which is appalling. I get over a free weeks supply of drink here in GCD!
Here in GCD, I had a lot more options. Today I couldn’t decide on the burger or trying for the first time – an enticing sounding southern chicken wrap. The “Live Action” option before 2:30pm’s switch over was a “Gourmet Burger with a choice of three fillings” for €4, onion rings were a €1 add on, as were chips and wedges for €1.95 each. At “The Classics” today’s options were “Seafood Pie with cheesy potato top” for €5.95, “Southern Fried Chicken wrap and chips” for €4 – i got that! “Chicken Fillet and chips” were €4 too. Chicken wings were €2.70. The “Global Weigh n’ Pay” went Italian today. And there were the usual options in the Deli section. The southern fried chicken wrap with cheese and salsa sauce was incredible, add to that curry chips and I’m still full as I’m writing this three hours after, and that’s good going for me.
As you can see from above if you live your food, we here at GCD are getting a lot kore options for less. When I thought of this experiement I thought it would be not to dissimilar between the two colleges a stones throw away from each other, but DIT may as well be hundreds and hundreds of miles away. Without intending to offend the unfortunate women and children, but I’d say the Syrian refugees on the hills of Northern Cyprus are getting better food than what the DIT students are getting served. For what ever reason, if you are a DIT student and you’re reading this you’re welcome to come to our holy grail for lunch, just don’t whatever you do take the last southern fried chicken wrap. I would definitely do so if I was in that situation.
GCD is miles better, Gustav makes incredible Cajun chicken ciabattas. I had a similar sandwich in Bournemouth, Brussels and Barcelona this past summer costing twice as much than the €4 here. They were fancy pubs and restaurants but they had nothing on Gustav an his percision on turning the chicken. Though the chips in Brussels were better than in GCD. After all, those great Belgians invented them.