Review of the Hottest Place to Eat on Campus

Beck Williams, Staffer

For many teenagers, cafeteria food is a staple of the high school experience. A cheap and easy way to fill up, some students find it easier to get school-provided lunches than to bring their own from home. Being such a large part of high school culture, these lunches are often portrayed in movies and TV-shows in a rather nauseating light. Figuring it could not be that bad, I set out to try some of the most popular lunches from the LBJ cafeteria and find out for myself.

To start, I tried the sides and drinks that can be purchased with any of the meals available in the cafeteria. To drink, there are a few options: 1%, skim milk and chocolate milk are available with all meals, and other beverages like tea and sparkling water can be added for extra charge of one dollar. Other sides, such as tater-tots and fruit, are available. All of these are fairly reliable options. If one is unhappy with these, however, there are also chips available for an extra charge.

The first meal I tasted, and my personal favorite, was the pizza. There simply isn’t very much opportunity to go wrong with this American staple. The pizza comes in pepperoni or cheese, and both are delicious options. In my experience, the pizza was usually cooked well, and there were no major concerns or issues. While not Michelin Star cuisine, the cafeteria pizza is a dependable choice that won’t let you down.

Another meal students have to choose from is Asian food. When I tried it, I got brown rice with orange chicken and a spring roll, topped off with soy sauce. While the chicken was somewhat dry and the rice a bit flavorless, the Asian cuisine was all-around very respectable. As is the case with most cafeteria food, it was nothing to write home about, but the Asian food at the LBJ cafeteria was a good choice that got the job done.

Another option for lunch at LBJ is the grill, from which I tried two entrees. The first I ate was the chicken sandwich, which was my least favorite thing I ate from the cafeteria. I even tried it twice to make sure I hadn’t gotten one bad sandwich, but it was the same the second time as well. The chicken had a funny taste that I can’t quite describe, and it seemed undercooked to me. It was definitely low on my list of cafeteria foods, and I would not recommend getting it.

Another meal from the grill, the cheeseburger, had similar problems to the chicken sandwich. It too had a strange flavor and was undercooked, although not to the extent of the chicken sandwich. The cheese helped alleviate these problems, and with a healthy dose of ketchup, the issues were completely unnoticeable. The cheeseburger may not be my favorite lunch I tried, but is not a terrible choice either.

The meals I ate for this review were, of course, only a small sample of what is available at the LBJ cafeteria, but I believe I was able to get a good sense for the general quality of the food. I learned that there are certain entrees, such as the pizza and Asian food, that are pretty safe and tasty options. On the other hand, there are also dishes like the chicken sandwich and the burger that should be avoided if possible. The sides and drinks were also both solid choices. With all of this information, I would say that the LBJ cafeteria is a decent place to eat lunch, and I will soon be returning to get seconds of their delicious pizza.