Last November, on Election Day, hundreds of students had the opportunity to vote for their favorite meals served at D2 in Dietrick Hall.

On Wednesday, Jan. 28, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at D2 their votes will be heard with Welcome Back Favorites, the first of many theme dinners Virginia Tech Dining Services will feature this semester. The favorites to be served include: tortellini, fish tacos, pear and goat cheese salad, and the classic turkey dinner.

For the first time, Indian food overthrew the long-running champion of Japanese food in Pan Asia, and chicken tikka masala will be on the menu.

A full daily menu will also be served, and the meal will cost $4.50 FLEX or $13.50 cash.

Virginia Tech's Dining Services was named No. 1 for “Best Campus Food” by The Princeton Review in 2015.

“We believe that the special events and theme meals extends our services and contributes to the Aspirations for Student Learning,” said Ted Faulkner, director of Dining Services. “Often our events are designed to provide exposure to new food selections, methods of preparation, building of community, food sourcing, and a deeper understanding about cultures or events in history.

“Additionally, it provides an outlet for the staff to create new experiences for our guests in an engaging and exciting setting. It is a great way for us to push the boundaries of our capabilities while enhancing the student experience.”

Welcome Back Favorites is only the beginning of a semester full of special events and theme dinners exhibiting Dining Services' stellar success.

For those students who are missing mom’s meatloaf or dad’s desserts, the Home Sweet Home meal showcases recipes sent in by Hokie family and friends. The deadline for entries is Jan. 30, and registration, along with prizes and helpful information, is available at the Home Sweet Home website

This meal, hosted during Spring Family Weekend on Sunday, April 26, takes students’ favorite meals cooked at home for average-sized families, and Dining Services multiplies the recipe to create well over a thousand servings for the Home Sweet Home event.

The last published cookbook featured delicacies such as squash, shrimp, and apple chowder, grilled marinated flank steak with chimichurri sauce, and fruit salsa served with cinnamon sugar tortilla chips.

“We’ll find some recipes with Home Sweet Home that are so good that we can’t just cook them once,” said Gabe Petry, operations manager of D2. “We add them into our rotation in the dining centers.”

Decadent Desserts adds a favorite specialty dessert to each shop in D2. Brownie Bash Night allows residential advisors to honor their residents by stepping behind the counter and serving ice cream and brownie sundaes. Brain Freeze II offers free ice cream sundaes to all meal plan holders as a study break in the midst of final exams.

As a “thank you” to students, D2 Customer Appreciation Day is the biggest event of the semester, sporting a different theme each year. This year’s theme remains a secret, but word on the street is that students should follow Dining Services’ social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to learn more about this social media-driven event as the April 15 date nears.

“So many things are done in dining halls besides eating,” said Petry. “Some come in to find solitude, some come in to socialize. Students can come to a theme meal after a hard day, and we have the chance to change their day into something positive by putting extra work and effort in to make the event extraordinary.”

Written by Holly Paulette.

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