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Mission Dining Hall
Since its major renovation in the summer of 2002, which opened the kitchen space to view from the serving line, added an open grill, and moved the salad bar into the dining area, Mission dining has been some of the finest on campus -- and that includes the Faculty House.
Mission serves the same fare as other dining halls, but its new facilities have allowed it to prepare dishes, especially grilled meat and fish dishes, better. No one makes a salmon steak like big Dave at the open grill at Mission, and if you ask him nicely, he'll even give you one of the rarer pieces of beef on a steak night.
Each of Williams five dining halls has something unique in its food lineup, either through a daily available option, or a weekly special night. Mission has excelled in both departments, in fact setting the standard in this practice in 2002 - 2004 when it was fresh off its renovations. Mission's offerings, current and historic, are enumerated below:
Pizza night. One of the oldest and most beloved traditions is the pizza. Once available only Wednesday nights, the renovation included two pizza-ovens that are manned nightly, providing a constant stream of cheese, pepperoni, and vegetable pizzas to students as a solid backup to any (disappointing) meal. After the 2002 renovation, Wednesdays went from pizza night to Top your own pizza night, during which students fill bowls to too-high with a handpicked selection from about ten toppings, which the excellent staff turn into hot personal pizzas in 15 minutes.
Sundae bar. Fall 2005, Mission added a unit between it's two salad bars where an assortment of ice-cream toppings are available daily.
Friday Fruit night. Beginning in fall 2003, continuing into spring 2004 and with occassional revivals thereafter, Fruit Night was a weekly offering of delectable all-fresh fruits selected, sliced, and artfully arranged by Brenda, one of Mission's staff. According to conversations with Brenda, who also had card-swiping duties, this was a very labor-intensive task, which probably led to its discontinuation.
Mission's staff has been perennially acclaimed as one of the friendliest, most helpful, and most motivated-to-excellence staff of the five dining halls. Lest this be taken as mere opinion, it receives support in the nomination of "Entire Mission Staff" for College Council's "staff member of the year" award in Spring 2004. The committee that year selected Lynn Chick, Dean's Office Secretary, but Mission's staff was a close rival.
In the 2002 - 2003 academic year, Misssion's staff took to piping music over the dining hall speakers, and would take your requests. Big Dave, the large man often behind the grill, takes pride in his juicy meats and the gravies that go with them. (Big Dave is not, by the way, the Dave behind Dave's Melons, which are locally grown fruits seasonally served in Mission.) Brenda, the thin bright-eyed brown haired young woman, is always willing to take her time packing up the salad bar if she sees you come in late.