The Black Canteen is a great space that all students should take full advantage of at Blair. It provides an area for students to spend time with their friends and has a hot bar menu as well as snack and drink menus. Students tend to stay away from all the food diversity that the Can has to offer and only stick to one type of food when they visit. The Oracle is here to introduce you to overlooked foods, though.
We interviewed five students about the Can.
Question: What kind of food do you get regularly at the Can?
Simon Dong ’19 says he regularly gets a bottled water or the bacon, egg, and cheese, which is also a favorite of Sean Um ’22. Nick Harpe ’21 prefers his egg and cheese with sausage instead, though. Abby Morris ’20 says she usually gets granola bars, hummus, or coffee. Sophia Papadopoulo ’22 says she generally goes to the Can to buy mozzarella sticks.
Question: How often do you go to the Can?
Simon, Abby, Sophia, Sean, and Nick all go to the Can once a day or every other day.
Question: Anything that the Can can improve on?
Some students, like Simon, insisted that the Can is great the way it is. On the other hand, Abby suggested that having more options for hot food would make the Can even nicer, while Sophia said she wished that the Can could be open 24/7. Sean wished food service was faster, and Nick wished the staff cut the bagels in half and were more consistent with the food quality overall.
Question: What food do you wish the Can had that it doesn’t?
Again, Simon, Sean, and Nick reiterated that the Can staff is doing their best and providing students with good food. Abby wishes that the Can would sell more healthy foods, including healthier sandwiches. Similarly, Sophia suggested that healthy grab-and-go salads could be a popular menu item. June Dinias ’20 wishes they had cake, ice cream, and hot wings. Ally Kim ’20 would love it if they offered banana bread.
Question: What do you like most about the Can? According to Simon, the ping pong table is the best part. Abby insisted that the set-up of the Can makes it a great place to go socialize, and Sophia agreed that she loves the Can because it’s a great hangout place on campus. Sean and Nick also said they love the Can’s cozy atmosphere.
We also interviewed Trish, an experienced Can staff member, about the menu.
Question: What is the most popular menu item?
Trish said that the most popular drinks were the Island Oasis smoothies, which include many different, mostly fruit, flavors. The most popular food, according to Trish, though, was an egg and cheese sandwich with either bacon or sausage. A lot of students go to the Can during their free blocks to get a quick breakfast sandwich.
Question: Do you have any food recommendations that not a lot of people know about?
Trish recommended the chocolate chip pancakes. She said that the staff is very good at making them. Although some students already do get the pancakes, she wishes that more students would try them out.
Question: What is your favorite menu item?
Although Trish did not want to sound cliché, she does like the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich. However, she also likes the coffee, fresh fruit parfaits, and frozen grapes, which, according to her, not a lot of students know about.
It is clear from our interview that Blair students love going to the Canteen to socialize and eat food.
We held a “food tournament,” with brackets of different Can foods and asked students to pick their favorite. The clear winner, unsurprisingly, was the bacon, egg, and cheese bagel.
We still highly recommend that people try the lesser known menu items like chocolate chip pancakes and the fresh fruit parfaits. The staff also strongly recommended that more students try the coffee and frozen grapes. The Black Canteen is a space that all students should appreciate and take full advantage of.
(Copyright 2018 Joseph Min, Shauna Kwag)