One of the many unique aspects of Kenyon is Peirce Dining Hall. Featuring striking architecture, views of the Ohio hills and stained glass windows, Peirce is the only dining hall on campus. Traversing the food choices and rush hours in Peirce is a day-to-day skill that students have learned. The results from a survey asking students about their Peirce tips and tricks made it clear that students aren’t scared to get creative with what Peirce offers in order to round out a delicious meal or recreate their favorite flavors and dishes.
Just wandering around Peirce, you will notice students’ resourcefulness, from elaborate breakfast sandwiches made in the panini press with bagels, cheese, hash browns and eggs to drink combinations like seltzer water and fruit juice. Ahyanna Lindsey ’25 mixes hot chocolate powder with the vanilla-flavored brewed hot coffee and creamer. Mariah Szabo ’26 puts soft serve in between cookies, while Molly Smith ’24 occasionally adds soft serve to her cold brew. Whether food or beverage, Kenyon students aren’t afraid to get creative with the available options.
Lindsey, a student-worker at Peirce, said that she makes her own sauces with the condiments and spices. She mixes sriracha, honey and seasonings to make hot honey to enjoy with burgers and fries. But her favorite hack is taking the large pieces of french toast and making breakfast sandwiches with them in the panini press.
Both Smith and Lindsey like to use the panini press to heat up desserts. “You really can’t go wrong with the classic cookie in the panini press,” Smith said. Other students like Lauren King ’25 take tortillas from the deli section and add veggies, beans and rice from the salad bar. Laura Caldwell ’25 said, “Salad bar never fails.”
When asked to share her advice to incoming students, Lindsey said, “Get accustomed [to the servery’s layout] and know what they offer so you can mix things together and make something that you like. Also, utilize the menu and look at it ahead of time, so you can make a plan before the servery opens.” Brookie Wilkens ’23 noted that the seasonings by the condiments are underused. Several students advised steering clear of popular meal times to avoid the long lines. Julia Friedman ’23 suggested going into the servery 15-20 minutes after the top of the hour to avoid crowds. King said, “Don’t be afraid to take up space even if it seems overwhelming. But also don’t loiter in the middle ’cause that’s annoying.”
When it comes to navigating Peirce and meals, Kenyon students find ways to be creative and enjoy their experience, either by frequenting the dining hall at calmer times or combining ingredients from multiple sections of the servery. Many of the responses to the survey were the same: encouraging others to not be frightened of Peirce but to learn the environment. If you are intimidated by all the options and other students’ Peirce-prowess, know that we have all been there and are rooting for you.
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