Pasta Bar, Pasta Bar, Where Have You Gone, Pasta Bar?

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

What has happened to Wednesday pasta bar? Traditionally a staple of Sunday and Wednesday night dinner, the timeless institution has been nowhere to be found in the past two Wednesdays.

Rumors have begun to fly that despite its past unwavering consistency, Wednesday pasta bar is, in fact, gone forever. We contacted Linda McDougall, Dining Services Director, to get to the bottom of this mystery.

“Pasta bar is not gone,” she reassured us in an email. “We will just have it on different nights, as it will not be only designated to Wednesdays anymore.” She added that there will be more variation in general in the specialty bar rotation.

“We heard feedback that the menus are too predictable, so we are trying some new things,” she wrote.

However, this rotation is not random. “Menu planning takes a lot of thought,” Linda wrote. “We have to consider equipment needed to prep and cook each menu item, timing of preparation, what foods are batched cooked, and what might hold well if cooked in advance, who the staff is on a meal, and product availability. If all is planned well, it is like a well oiled clock.”

And while the Swarthmore student body has historically had mixed feelings about pasta bar–ranging from praise regarding its regularity to abhorrence of its very existence–it has helped define the Swarthmore experience, as exhibited by the 2014 orchestration of Sharples: The Musical (feel free to enjoy acts one and two here and here, respectively).

In the words of the musical,

“Pasta bar
Pasta Bar
Pasta Bar
Pasta Bar
Pasta Bar
Pasta Bar”

Featured image courtesy of

Natalie Flores

Natalie, a desert-dweller, has recently declared a Psychology major and minors in Linguistics and Art History. It is quite possible that she will never leave The Daily Gazette and will eventually die in the Parrish 4th office.

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