Let’s TACO ’bout Food

Hi everyone! My name is Kailee and I am a rising sophomore here at Mudd, (woooo Class of ‘21!). Like any other person, I really like food, and hopefully you do too, so let’s see what Claremont has to offer!

A woman in a purple dress stands and smiles at the camera

Kailee Lin, HMC ’21

DINING HALL FOOD

We get to eat at any of the 7 dining halls at the 5Cs, and while I usually just go to the Hoch (the Mudd dining hall), it’s also fun to go to the other dining halls, especially when they have special desserts!

LEFT: A plate of curly fries. MIDDLE: A waffle on a plate topped with whipped cream, strawberries, and chocolate chips. RIGHT: Two slices of dessert on a plate.. On the left, a chocolate pie topped with chocolate ganache and pomegranate seeds, and on the right, a cheesecake topped with chocolate and peppermint.

LEFT: My friends and I enjoying our last plate of Hoch curly fries of freshman year. MIDDLE: My artful waffle topped with whipped cream, strawberries, and chocolate chips! RIGHT: A chocolate pie topped with chocolate ganache and pomegranate seeds on the left and a cheesecake topped with chocolate and peppermint on the right.

First of all, I’d like to give a shout out to the Hoch curly fries. My friends and I will always make sure to get a plateful (or two, or three platefuls) whenever the Hoch has them because they’re just that good.

Also, at brunch at the Hoch, there is always a make-your-own waffle station. It’s kind of hidden behind the cereal and milk, so I’m really good at forgetting it exists, but the one time I did make a waffle, it was beautiful and tasted even better!

And last, but definitely not least, look at this glamorous dessert selection from McConnell (the Pitzer dining hall). A lot of the dining halls do special, fancy meals around holidays or special occasions, and this was a special winter holiday dinner night dessert!

LEFT: A selfie of me eating a chocolate chip cookie. RIGHT: A baby lizard on a my finger.

LEFT: Me enjoying a cookie as I leave the Libra Complex after my last bio lab, and my last class of my first semester at Mudd! RIGHT: My new baby lizard friend, courtesy of Prof Adolph.

At the end of freshman bio lab, Prof Adolph was super sweet (literally!), and brought us cookies and made coffee and tea for us to enjoy as we worked on our final bio lab reports.

Bonus Fact! Prof Adolph does research with lizards, and sometimes he brings in his lab lizards for us to play with! (note: lizards are friends not food)

CLAREMONT CUISINE

Moving beyond the “Mudd Bubble”, there’s lots of good food in the Claremont Village, or “The Village” as we call it, which is about a 30 minute walk from Mudd.

LEFT: A young woman sitting at a table and two pizzas. RIGHT: A group of 8 friends sitting at a long table with pizzas.

LEFT: Katharine Larsen (‘21) and me at Blaze over Fall Break. RIGHT: My suitemates, Gary Luo (‘19), Noah Bekele (‘21), Martin Gonzalez (‘21), Ande Toutman (CMC ‘19), Yi Sheng Ong (‘19), Jane Wu (‘18), Cathy Chang (‘21) and me bonding over pizzas at Blaze during our “suite brunch”.

First, there’s Blaze Pizza, a “build your own pizza” place, meaning I like piling on as many toppings as possible and I’d say Blaze is definitely one of my most frequented places in the village. If you come here, expect to see other Mudders and students from the other Claremont Colleges here as well. We even spotted Prof Dodds from the Computer Science Department here once!

LEFT: A full plate of colorful vegetables, meat, and a fried egg. RIGHT: Four friends at a table with plates of food.

LEFT: I got the Bibimbap Bowl which had all sorts of veggies and BBQ Korean beef which left me feeling nourished and most importantly very happy 🙂 RIGHT: Chris Thompson (‘21), Kalani Duran (‘21), me, and Katharine Larsen (‘21) at the Junction before we dig into our dinners.

Two stores down from Blaze is Asian and Spanish inspired fusion restaurant called The Junction. Their menu has everything from salads to burritos to food truck inspired dishes. I was glad that I could get my picky-eater friends to branch out and try some exciting dishes here!

LEFT: A crepe topped with strawberry sauce and and powdered sugar on a plate. RIGHT: An array of raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and figs at a farmers market table.

LEFT: My beautiful strawberry nutella crepe! RIGHT: An abundance of raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and figs at the Claremont farmers market.

Also in the village is a great crepe place called Crepes De Paris with amazing sweet and savory crepes. There was cute seating outside the restaurant with tables and seats lined up on the porch that reminded me of the seating style outside many cafes and restaurants in Paris (a nice throwback to when I visited last summer)!

And if you enjoy shopping at farmers markets, don’t worry, Claremont has a farmers market in the Village every Sunday morning, year-round! The few times I have gone, there has been an abundance of fruits, veggies, flowers, and more, and walking through and buying some fruit reminded me of my local farmers market at home.

LEFT: A young woman poses, eating her frozen yogurt, with another cup of frozen yogurt on the table. MIDDLE: A young man eats a frozen yogurt, the spoon in his mouth, with another cup of frozen yogurt on the table. RIGHT: A cup of ice cream topped with cacao beans and honey on a wooden table.

LEFT: Katharine Larsen (‘21) and I went to 21 Choices for our second time early first semester. Little did we know we’d be back for many many more rounds. MIDDLE: Ethan Falicov (‘21) enjoying his 21 Choices dessert as we celebrated the end of 5C Science Bus, a 5C club where we went to elementary schools and taught a science lesson to students once a week. RIGHT: Chocolate lavender ice cream topped with cacao beans and honey from à la minute!

As for dessert options, my absolute favorite go-to is 21 Choices, where they have a bunch of different toppings that you can choose from, and then they chop them up and mix them into your frozen yogurt flavor of choice before serving it to you. I am somewhat a creature of habit, and also somewhat obsessed with circus animal cookies, so I always make sure to ask for extra.

For ice cream, right down the street inside the Claremont Packing House is à la minute, a little hipster liquid nitrogen ice cream shop adjoined to the coffee shop Augie’s. à la minute has unique flavors such as olive oil vanilla bean, strawberry balsamic, sea salt caramel, and orange honey.

BOBA…

LEFT: About 20 multicolored boba drinks scattered across the floor with empty cardboard boxes. RIGHT: A math assignment and a half empty boba cup on a table with two students working on homework in the background.

LEFT: T-pumps runs are no light matter here at Mudd. One of our math grutors (upperclassmen graders and tutors) made a spreadsheet for people to order boba and then went to pick it all up for us so that we could enjoy boba as we did our work. RIGHT: Kyle Grace (‘21) and Omari Matthews (‘21) know, boba and differential equations homework make the perfect pairing.

Most of my high school friends could tell you that a  pretty significant portion of my diet before coming to college was boba. Luckily there are plenty of places nearby where I can continue to satisfy that need. There is Fruizen, Tocaja, Tea and Joy, and the Mudd favorite, T-pumps. The first three are all walkable distances from Mudd, and T-pumps is a short drive away (a good reason to make friends with upperclassmen with cars!). T-pumps offers mega chubby sized boba cups, and on Tuesdays they have a special deal where all drinks are upgraded to this supersize for free! In case you couldn’t tell, I just love boba so MATCHA!

…AND BEYOND

Three students with many metal bowls and meat on a Korean barbecue grill.

Me, Chris Thompson (‘21), and Katie Partington (‘21) with our KBBQ feast.

At beginning of summer, my suitemate took us to a Korean barbecue restaurant called Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong. This was about a 20 minute drive away, but the travel time was definitely worth it. We got a beef combo which came with thinly sliced brisket, marinated prime short rib, and prime rib eye as well as endless side dishes, kimchee soup, steamed egg, an a-MAIZE-ing cheese and corn sauce.

Anyway, that’s all for now. I hope that you’ve enjoyed coming on this EGGciting adventure, because we all know, nothing BEETs a good meal!