Commentary by Vinny Saglimbeni
Let me start off by saying both Cataldo and the COG are great options for on-campus students to eat a meal. They are also great options for off-campus students who want to change up their dietary routine of grocery shopping and tempting deals at Dominos. However, I would argue that Cataldo is a better food option than the COG, and here is why.
The main reason Cataldo is the better food option compared to the COG is the consistency of the food students eat. You always know what you are going to get at Cataldo, with the options of a hamburger, cheeseburger, chicken caesar wrap, grilled chicken and last but not least, the coveted popcorn chicken. The quality of the food only increases the popularity of Cataldo, and to complement the entrees, the side options of salad, macaroni and cheese and french fries make it even better.
Yes, the COG may have the overall best food option available, but the consistency of knowing what you are going to eat every time pushes Cataldo ahead of the COG. Knowing what you’re going to get before you eat it allows for people to plan their meals better later in the week, and Cataldo provides that opportunity for students. You could also argue that the COG may not have the least favorable option as well.
Furthermore, the Cataldo serving sizes rule supreme to the COG serving sizes. Yes, you can go back and get multiple plates of food at the COG, but the serving sizes at Cataldo make it so that you don’t have to go back and swipe your ZagCard again. Knowing people going to get a healthy serving every time leaves people with an increased feeling of satisfaction.
Again, both options are great food options for GU students, but if I’m picking one over the other, I’m choosing Cataldo.
Commentary by Luke Modugno
I’m going to be as clear as possible: I love Cataldo. Offering a considerably different menu and general concept than the COG, the second dining hall on campus is something that everyone appreciates. Arguably, the holy trinity at Cataldo (popcorn chicken, mac and cheese and french fries) is one of the best meals a Zag can get on campus. But, as all Zags also know, it gets old, very, very quickly. On the other hand, the COG’s rotating menu and themed-nights give GU students a diverse palette and plenty of options to choose from.
With a menu that doesn’t rotate at all, going to Cataldo everyday is simply not enjoyable or sustainable. After about two meals at Cataldo, the limited menu starts to restrain how creative students can get with their order at the dining hall. Additionally, Cataldo is simply out of the way for most students living on campus. Other than Kennedy, the walk to Cataldo is a hike, compared to the prime location of Hemmingson, the home of the COG. Furthermore, Cataldo does not even offer breakfast, further limiting the dining options available there.
The COG has too many aspects that go under-appreciated. At breakfast, the omelette bar offers students a hearty and fully-customizable breakfast that suits a wide variety of preferences. Along with Spikes offering dishes like pancakes, eggs and bacon and Zagriculture offering yogurt, oatmeal and fresh fruit, breakfast at the COG is elite. Not to mention the make-your-own waffle bar on the weekends.
For lunch, the COG offers great sandwiches daily, along with a rotating menu that keeps COG-lovers on their feet. Other than Daily Bread, every station at the COG constantly changes their lunch selection. For example, today Spikes is offering a beef-mushroom blend cheeseburger with fries, and tomorrow it is offering a crispy tempura cod sandwich.
The COG also offers more healthy options to students. With the plant-based, sustainable meals offered at Zagriculture and the allergy-safe Simple Servings, eating on a diet is easy at the COG while it is nearly impossible at Cataldo.
Furthermore, late-night COG on the weekends is a great way to connect with friends and have an accessible way to get some late-night snacks.
From the rotating menu and diversity of options, to the quality food and location on campus, the COG is simply the superior dining option at GU.