Ah, Collins LLC, the oft-forgotten residence hall of the Northwest Neighborhood. Located conveniently at the intersection of 10th street and Park Avenue, the Collins has some excellent features, the foremost of these being its unique dining hall. Upon entering the hall, one finds themselves in a vast, atrium-like space not unlike that of the Hogwarts Great Hall in Harry Potter. Cathedral ceilings and wood furnishings just ooze character and a cozy atmosphere as you make your way over to the buffet. That’s right I said it--buffet.
For those of you who are unaware, buffet-style dining means that you are charged a small fee for entering the hall but then are free to eat yourself into a coma if you should so desire. Obviously the opportunity to stuff your face as much as you want for a small cover charge is heavenly, but I could understand how the charge could be a little inconvenient if you aren’t in the mood to eat a lot. Nevertheless, on to the food!
The defining characteristic of Collins is that the food is never the same! You can basically never expect the same thing twice, which is great for adventurous eaters like me, but maybe not so much for people to crave stability in their culinary habits. However, the food I enjoyed on my trip to Collins was quite good. The main course was a jalapeno casserole of sorts that was piping hot and oozing cheesy Tex-Mex splendor; I quite enjoyed it. As a side, I built my own salad over at their salad bar, which was adequate but nothing really spectacular. Finally, the last component of my meal was a type of ziti that had me practically writhing in ecstasy. Simply put, it was a cheese connoisseur’s dream.
As we all know, food always boils (pun) down to personal preference, but if you’re looking for something to break the banality of your local dining hall seriously consider Collins. The mixture of atmosphere and wild card entrees is hard to complain about at only around 4 meal points or roughly 7 dollars.
Reviewed by Mick Pence