I’ve admittedly been hesitant to review the salad, which is apparently the most popular thing to eat on Cornell’s campus, because there really is no standard. The salads are custom-ordered. With that in mind, I’ll give you the rundown with my lunchtime experience today.
Ordinarily, whenever I go to Terrace, I tend to go for a burger or a burrito. Personally, on a cold Ithaca day, I do prefer having something warm and filling in my stomach as opposed to an assortment of vegetables. However, I decided to go for the salad for a change of pace.
I’ll spare you the gory details of what I asked for in my salad because the salad bar does have a very large variety of options for vegetables, meats, cheeses, dressings, and other constituents. No matter who you are, chances are you will find something you like. I went with the Terrace’s house dressing, which is sesame ginger. It’s kind of sweet without being too sweet. Though I put mozzarella in my salad today, I ordinarily go with the more pungent feta, and sesame ginger dressing complements the feta perfectly.
Besides that…it’s a salad. I’ve been a Cornell student for five years, and I still don’t know why everyone feels like the Terrace salad is the greatest thing on campus, particularly when I think Martha’s flatbread salads, with their freshly-baked flatbreads, are better. Terrace’s salad requires next to no skill to put together because nothing is actually getting cooked. No matter how hard the salad mixers (I hesitate to call them chefs) try to make people’s salads quickly, the lines are still excruciatingly long. The fact that the line can even get so long speaks for itself as to how slowly it goes.
Today, I think I found out the answer as to why so many people line up for the Terrace salad when I overheard a guy behind me talking to his female friend: he admitted to never having tried anything else Terrace has to offer. People tend to flock toward the salad because they heard good things about it, and somehow they’re never inspired to try other things at Terrace. Again, there are some pretty good non-salad things there.
I stand by my argument that hauling your butt over to Teagle and logging some time on an elliptical will do a lot more to shave pounds off than eating a salad covered in dressing and cheese, so I have a hard time buying that people eat the Terrace salad because it’s healthy. I’m pretty convinced people say they like it because everyone else does. I know Cornell students tend to be pretty conscious of what’s fashionable and thus try to be as “normal” as possible.
In conclusion, my opinion of the Terrace salad is unchanged. I still think it’s the single most overrated thing in the long history of Cornell Dining, and my aversion to the long lines still stands.
The verdict: The overrated-est overrated thing Cornell Dining has to offer