When words are associated with the Greek system, Filet Mingon are probably not the first ones that come to mind. Or Beef Stroganoff. Or good food. But each day hundreds of fraternity and sorority members take their seats around their homey dining room tables, kick back their heels, and stuff their stomachs with hot, home-cooked meals. For years, the Greek system has had their own answer to the University's meal plan. Through catering services and chefs, fraternities and sororities have been feeding their own. And while each fraternity and sorority continually cite their uniqueness, Greek members point to several common factors for dining in, including convenience, cheapness and camaraderie. For instance, Theta Xi leaves their informal buffet dinner, prepared by Fiesta Catering, out over a burner, so the brothers can come and eat when they want. "It's very convenient for the guys who row [on the crew team]," explains steward Ken Marran, a College junior. Others, like Alpha Phi sorority, prepare a plate and set it aside for the sisters that can't make it to dinner. On Tuesday night, they were featuring fresh salmon, tender broccoli and white rice. Alex Miller, Alpha Phi's cook for three years, says he tries his best to accommodate the twenty-two women he cooks for by having the sisters fill out a questionaire early in the fall. He then sets the menu from their responses. "It's much better than Dining Services," says Alpha Phi sister Kathryn Roberts. Many students said it is this catering to personal eating desires makes it different and better than other options. Chi Omega's cook, Jewel Robinson, makes homemade "goodies" each Wednesday for the sisters ranging from Rice-Krispie treats to apple cobbler and whipped cream. "Jewel is great - just like a mom," says Nursing junior Melanie Baron. "You'll never starve here." Four nights a week, Robinson prepares a wholesome supper for the nearly three dozen women who dine at the house. Robinson explained that the meal always consists of an entree, a pasta or potato, as well as a salad and vegetable. The women, who alternate setting up the table for dinner, had only one complaint -- that they eat too much. But they all enjoyed the friendly atmosphere they found at meals. "It's a home setting away at school," says College junior Noreen Reilly. "It's a warm surrounding with awesome desserts." Robinson even makes birthday cakes, and there are always "lots of leftovers," because of the inordinant amount of food the cook always makes. On Tuesday, for example, they were serving Chicken with mushroom sauce, roast pork, scalloped potatoes and a green salad. Zeta Beta Tau's diners, on the other hand, gather each night for a formal dinner, restaurant style, while two hired waiters cater to their needs. Alex Mahone, their cook for the past five years, prepares fifteen meals a week for approximately fifty men, with a special brunch on Saturday of french toast, pancakes, any style of eggs, as well as lox and bagels. Another highlight of the week is Friday's dinner, when the men eat some type of steak -- either filet mignon, a flank, or prime rib. The brothers, Mahone said, often come in for a snack in between meals or just to say hello. "They're like younger brothers of mine," he added. Another important factor in Greek dining is the cost -- which is sometimes $200 less than a comparable meal with the University's Dining Services. For ten meals a week, the University charges $1023 a semester, according to Dining Services. The same number of meals at Phi Gamma Delta, however, costs only $800. "[Meals at the house] are a big bonus," says Fiji brother Dan Raymond, a College junior. "They're both convenient and cheaper than Dining Services." The meals also have developed many friendships among Greek members and the chefs that pander to their needs. The men and women who cook their meals, it seems, are more than "just the cooks." They play an integral part in the fraternities and sororities for whom they cook. Bob Jones, who has cooked at FIJI for the last eight years, speaks highly of the fraternity brothers. "It's the best house on the whole campus to work -- I wouldn't go anywhere else," Jones said earlier this week. "They're just nice bunch of guys." The admiration seems to be mutual. "You can eat so much more, because you want to eat more," says Fiji brother Dan Raymond. Chi O's cook Robinson said that she doesn't intend to leave the group until her retirement.Comments powered by Disqus
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