This morning I thoughtlessly meandered over to Stimson at 10:30am hoping to get a little jump-start on the day. I was just five feet from the dining hall's entrance when I suddenly remembered that they wouldn't open for another half-hour. This was the third time I've made that mistake this semester. It's especially embarrassing now that I am the creator/editor of a blog that aims to be an authority on dining halls, particularly those at Goucher. The last time this happened I wrote a post called "Delicious Omelet at Stimson Brunch" and today, guess what? I had the exact same thing! But since writing about that twice would be a major snooze-fest, I'm going to tell you a little bit about that it's like to be the first to swipe for Stimson brunch.
During the weekend "prime time" for Stimson brunch is between 11:00 am and 12:00 pm. That's the first hour the dining hall is open and the only time you can be one hundred percent sure they won't be out of the food and silverware you desire. I can't begin to tell you how many times I went to a late brunch (1:00 pm and later) only to find the cereal dispensers depleted, no silverware other than knives, no milk, hardly enough batter to make a full waffle, no fruit, no syrup, no cups, and no coffee! (Please note that these disasters never happened on the same day.)
If you plan on having an omelet make sure to get on line immediately; it grows fast! Even during the first hour of brunch people can find themselves waiting as long as 15 minutes before they place an order. Most of these hold-ups are caused by people who reach the end of the line but have no idea what they want in their omelet. Please, think about what you want before it's your turn. You are allowed to jump to the front of the line for a second or two to see what the options are. There is no excuse for standing dumbfounded in front of the omelet chef.
It is extremely easy and enjoyable to make a waffle during the first hour of brunch. The line moves quickly and the batter is the freshest it can be. Stimson usually offers a few kinds of waffle batter. In the past I've seen plain, whole wheat, blueberry, and chocolate chip. If the line is not too long you might consider adding some berries from the fruit salad to the batter while it's pouring onto the iron. Stimson will, on random occasions, provide cans of whipped cream that like to hang out by the waffle machines and the salad bar.
If you are worried about finding a seat, prime time might be the right time for you. The Stimson rush usually starts at noon and can run all the way through to 1:30 pm or later. Large groups arriving during the rush often have to split up or crowd extra chairs around a table. It's common to see tables so crowded that they spill over into the walkways and block traffic. Sometimes the rush is so bad that the dining hall staff cannot keep up with cleaning the tables. It is crucial that diners do their best to properly dispose of their waste and return their plates, silverware, and cups to the wash belt. This is considered appropriate dining hall etiquette and is greatly appreciated by dining hall staff and fellow diners.
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