Eating Lavish on North: A Trial Lunch at Morrison Dining Hall


When you first see the Morrison Dining Room, you may ask yourself, “Am I at the Cornell or the Hyatt Regency?” ”

With the expansion of the North Campus, some freshmen have had the privilege of taking advantage of the new gymnasium and dormitories. If you think,Why are our tuition fees so expensive? ” Now you know. But before I give you an overview of the Morrison Dining Room (which will open in Spring 2022), I want to give you some good news: you can have a hotel-quality lunch in Morrison every Thursday! So if you’re in the mood for a Shake Shack or Panera Bread on campus, next Thursday is your chance.

Either way, let’s explore the Morrison Dining Room together!

How is the interior?

As you enter through the glass front door, you will see breathtaking greenery on your left and endless food stations on your right. As the walls are mostly glass, the entire dining room is lit with natural light.

Diners can enjoy the natural light and greenery while dining at Morrison’s (Reika Nakagawa / Sun Staff Writer).

Beyond the GET app’s slide-in machine is the Ice Cream & Dessert Bar, which features a fancy pancake griddle and anti-griddle (think of a steel cooktop to make stir-fried ice cream).

Then, as you wander further inland, you’ll pass several stations ranging from a Flat Top Grill & Salad Bar to the Fruit & Juice Bar. Since these stations were closed when I visited, let’s focus on the Pizza Bar instead.

Transparency and freshness are the strengths of the Pizza Bar. Diners can witness the entire production, whether it’s kneading the dough, adding toppings or baking the pizza.

Equipped with two gigantic wood-fired ovens, the bar allows for quick self-service with three sides to grab a pizza (i.e. shorter wait time, woohoo!). When I grabbed my pizza I was amazed at how huge a slice was (about 7 inches in length). The three flavors available were white garlic vegetables, pepperoni, and cheese. I also helped myself to the fresh salad, two cookies and two “fancy” water cups (which I will introduce later).

Pepperoni Pizza and Salad at Morrison (Reika Nakagawa / Sun Staff Writer).

How’s the pizza?

Although better than North Star and Okenshields, the pizza didn’t deserve this a lot of hype. Considering this was a pre-open trial lunch, I’ll try to be more forgiving with the quality.

The texture of the different pizza flavors varied. While the pepperoni was crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside, the white garlic vegetable was like a thin version of flatbread. When I lifted the white garlic vegetable, it was so stiff that it stayed perfectly horizontal.

The taste of the pizza also showed an inconsistency, as some pizzas were done right and some were overcooked. As the unpleasantly burnt crust eclipsed the vibrant toppings, I was unable to distinguish the actual flavors.

It should be mentioned that Morrison’s pizza is not as fatty as the pizza offered in other dining rooms. This allows diners to eat without having oil on their sleeves.

How are the salad, the dessert and the drinks?

The salad was standard, but the cookies were surprisingly delicious. For regulars at North Star, you may have noticed that their cookies sometimes taste like baking soda and are sometimes too brittle. Morrison’s m & m cookies and dark chocolate cookies were different, however. They were chewy like Insomnia Cookies, and the dark chocolate harmoniously balanced the sweetness of the base.

Finally, let’s talk about water. It’s no surprise that Morrison has a selection of fruit-infused waters like other dining rooms, but their sophisticated water maker deserves special attention.

A $ 3,000 water dispenser (Reika Nakagawa / Sun Staff Writer).

Dispensing four types of water (hot, cold, sparkling, and alkaline), Morrison’s water machines are possibly the fanciest water dispensers I’ve ever seen. I first tried the alkaline water which actually tasted similar to normal water. Alkaline water has a pH of 8-9; Although some people drink alkaline water for its health benefits, more scientific evidence is needed to support this belief. The sparkling water did not taste sparkling at all which I think could be an issue with the dispenser I used.

To sum up, the Morrison Dining Hall is so special mainly because of its unique atmosphere, rather than the food itself. It is invigorating to dine in a new dining room with natural light, spacious surroundings and sophisticated facilities. However, it might not be a good idea to expect the same quality of food that a casual New York restaurant might offer. After all, Morrison Dining Hall is still part of Cornell. Please don’t get me wrong – I am grateful for the new facility and I love the way it stands beautifully on the edge of the North Campus. If you are looking to give Morrison a try, I suggest you come without expectations and let your experience unfold.

Reika Nakagawa is currently in the first year of the School of Hotel Administration. She can be reached at [email protected]

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