With decorations of a ghost and a hanging scarecrow, students were invited into the Gastronome with a promise of a good time. The windows, covered with black tarp to block out the sunlight, darkened the cafeteria, enhancing the chilling effect. The walls were decked out with spider webs, giant spiders and creatures. No station was left untouched with decorations. Even the temperature in the room created goosebumps.
Excited students lined up for the new menus and laughed at the names. The regular deli station now served “pizza from hell,” such as witch hair (cheese pizza), hairy mole goo (pepperoni) and stinking garden slop (veggie). The salad bar was renovated into a cemetery with rotted corpses looming above with their usual entrees, plus “spooky soups” which consisted of intestine bile with cow’s stomach (menudo), road kill stew (albondigas) and fish guts (potato chowder).
“It turned out great. The food is great, they kept it creative with doing pasta as eyeballs, and they had kitty litter which was just crumpled up cake. The decorations are great. I liked how they blacked out the windows, keeping it a little darker and dimmer. The music is great; they are playing good … Halloween music,” said Timaeus Le, 21, a fourth-year dance major.
The Gastronome staff’s enthusiasm showed through their creative costumes. Among the employees alone there were pirates, vampires, a joker, cowgirls, a redneck hillbilly, a chick magnet and even an imitation of the cast of the jersey shore. After 6 p.m. more students in costumes started arriving. As costumes poured in, the Gastronome’s photographer was at the door to snap a photo of everyone to enter them in the costume contest.
Also by the entrance were the student-decorated cupcakes on display with a voting box at their side. Students who wanted to vote on the cupcakes simply had to place their votes like first-time visitor Danielle Noriega, who was drawn in by the decorations, did.
“The cupcakes are cute. I am really looking at number 30 right here. Those are Food Network in my book. I feel that it is a great idea to get people to join in and participate in this whole thing. It looks like a fun place to be and I am definitely going back,” said Noriega, a kinesiology major.
The Fear Factor section was in the exhibition kitchen with the main “fear” being the “crows feet and toenail jam,” or chicken feet and curry sauce. The Gastronome decided to start small with its first fear factor and have the chicken feet be the most exotic item.
“We want to see how receptive the students are to this station so next year we can order more exotic items,” said Marketing Manager Quinice Salmond in a previous interview.
And there were some brave students who dared to try it.
Among other special treats there was also a grape cotton candy station by the deli station, which seemed to be a hit with students. And as a surprise performance, The Gastronome had the Titan Break Dancing Club do a flash-mob-style dance.
“I like how they go the extra mile to supply us students. We live on campus and a lot of us don’t have a lot of money to go out and spend and I guess this is housings way of making it good for us without having to spend money. They are really looking out for us when they do this kind of stuff,” said Jeffrey Barner, 18, an undeclared major.
The night ended on a high note after the surprise performance with chatter and laughter echoing off the walls.