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Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Crime log: Subject barred after shoplifting at bookstore
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

Best GW-run dining venue: Thurston

Jordan Tovin | Staff Photographer
Students chat over a meal at Thurston dining hall.

Location: 1900 F St.
Readers’ Pick: Shenkman

From a once not-so-appealing fire and mold-prone residence hall to the shining gem of campus tours, the finished product of Thurston Hall’s makeover has produced the preeminent dining hall on campus.

The Foggy Bottom campus got its first taste of a buffet-style dining experience since 2016 when the Thurston dining hall opened to students in October. Four on-campus dining venues, found in District House and West, Shenkman and Thurston Halls, are part of the University’s rollout of its new all-you-can-eat dining system.

The Thurston Hall dining hall serves breakfast ($8), lunch ($10) and dinner ($12) meals on the weekdays, and brunch and dinner on the weekends. Located in the basement of Thurston Hall, the dining hall is the best of the GW-run venues thanks to its combination of an upbeat, communal atmosphere and plentiful food offerings.

The dining hall only serves breakfast in the mornings, however, abundant cereal options and waffle stations are open and ready all day. Yogurt, pastries and fruit – usually cantaloupe and honeydew melon – are also available in the mornings at “The Nook.” Options for hot breakfast food, available from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m., include an omelet station and rotating warm dishes including pancakes, grits, bacon, oatmeal and sausage. Oat and soy milk are located near the coffee station for those avoiding dairy.

Lunch and dinner is where the full dining experience begins with all eight stations – Flame, 500 Degrees, Fresh 52, Crave Global, Innovation Kitchen, The Nook, Pure Eats and Butcher & Baker – up and running. If you’re a fitness fanatic or want something healthy, the salad bar comes with a wide variety of add-ons including seasonal fruit and vegetables, fresh bread, dressings and pasta salad. The create-your-own options don’t end there. The dining hall also offers a deli station, Butcher & Baker, where students can craft their own sandwiches from a variety of sliced meats, cheeses and vegetables that can be paired with homemade chips.

For a hearty meal, pasta with marinara or alfredo sauce alongside cheese, pepperoni and veggie pizza can be found daily at the “500 degrees” station. But for those looking to get a taste of global cuisine, the “Crave Global” station is serving up noodle, broth and rice dishes inspired by international flavors.

After breakfast, the yogurt station area transforms into a dessert station with a plethora of different types of cakes, pies and cookies spread out and ready for consumption. The cherry on top of the dining hall’s offerings is the ice cream machine that offers chocolate, vanilla and swirl soft serve, the ideal finish to any meal.

Although the ceiling is quite low in the dining area, the volume of the music is more noticeable in comparison to the dining halls in West and Shenkman Halls, helping create an upbeat vibe in the space. Through the app Rockbot, students are able to request a song from the surprisingly expansive list of over 16 million songs.

With so many options in such a small space, Thurston’s dining hall feels like a mini buffet, presenting the same level of choice as District House but with an elevated atmosphere where students can converse and hang out with each other. As the University plans to shift to an entirely swipe-based plan starting next Fall, Thurston dining hall is the place to go to satisfy any food craving because, let’s face it, no one wants to make a trip to the Vern, District House is lonely and Skenkman’s dining hall has lackluster offerings.

Earning my vote as the best campus dining hall, Thurston dining hall’s convenient location, variety of options and community atmosphere makes it the superior choice.

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