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Dorm Delicacies: College Cuisine Done Right

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Does the food at your cafeteria suck? Want to make some extra cash? Can you cook candied olive crumble with fish, braised short ribs with scallops, robiola cheese with fizzy carbonated grapes or chai ice cream with miso-sesame chocolate and powdered peach and pineapple?

Didn’t think so.

Fortunately for Duke senior Bryan Zupon, who just loooves food, all this was a possibility. So, he opened a restaurant…in his dorm room.

Those Duke kids, they’re always going the extra mile. Damn overachievers.

“I don’t think that New Southern cooking has changed since the mid-’90s,â€? Zupon said to the New York Times. “I’d talked to a lot of big-name chefs in the area — for personal reasons and also for the newspaper — and they were so apprehensive to change. I was like, this is frustrating, so I’m just going to do my own thing and see where it takes me.â€?

Now I know, having grown up in North Carolina, that the state is not known for its culinary wiles. Although there aren’t any top restaurants, there are still some delicious places I look forward to eating every time I go home that could rival some of the best southern cooks out there.

Allow me to share:

• Bojangles. Nobody makes a Southern fillet biscuit so perfectly fluffy with just the right amount of crisp on the outer edges. Mmmm delicious. And even better when you’re high. And the sweet tea?? Don’t even get me started. It’s about as good as my Aunt P’s.

• Taco Bell. You can’t eat fast food in New York. I’ll eat street food but I do not eat fast food and you shouldn’t either (unless you like mouse poo burritos). But back home in the South, the Taco Bell has a 100.1 rating and awesome service. Who doesn’t love a seven-layer burrito for fourth meal?

• Waffle House. Sure, the waitresses are usually missing a few teeth, but who am I to discriminate? Just because Waffle House may not be in the upper echelon of NC Cuisine sure as hell doesn’t mean they don’t serve up a mean cheesy eggs. And don’t try to switch out the raisin toast, people! When paired with the apple butter, it’s a match made in taste bud heaven.

Two weeks and counting before I hop on a plane and head home to some of the most delicious food EVER.

Maybe Zupon should open his mind — and his mouth — to the South.

COED Writer