Meals in basic training were…. rapid. You didn’t have time to taste them. But the burping the rest of the day let you know what it was you had wolfed down. Not bad meals. Just not really a great environment to enjoy them. We did have Thanksgiving during my cycle, and my mom and an aunt and uncle were able to join me. As usual, the Army does a fine job of putting on a traditional turkey dinner.
My unit mess in Hawaii seemed to be… poorly staffed. Breakfast was always good. It’s pretty identical throughout the Army. But lunch and dinner, while occasionally good, were usually just serviceable.
I was on three different posts in Germany. The first was excellent, the second was very good, and I simply cannot recall the third. Seriously, I’m drawing a blank on where it was, or what it was like.
You see, about halfway through my tour in Germany, I was assigned as a driver for the brigade XO. And the XO doesn’t plan his day around my ability to eat in the mess hall. So onto BAS I went. I could eat in the mess hall when feasible. Or failing that, I was expected to eat on the economy. Even after I left that job, I simply stayed on BAS the rest of my time in the Army. I still ate in the mess hall often. I simply paid cash.
Worst mess hall experience? TDY to Fort Benning for a couple months. We were billeted well away from any mess hall. And the school hours precluded us from actually eating in a mess hall. But the byzantine regulations that cover feeding and pay said that technically a mess hall was available, so we didn’t get any extra money. BAS hardly covers eating out for an entire month. There was at least a decent food court near our billets. For lunch, the instructors for the course set up a grill and made burgers for a buck a pop. Two or three burgers, and a quick trip to the vending machine for a couple bottles of YooHoo! were lunch.
Not exactly a mess hall, but ABN-AMRO/LaSalle Bank in Chicago had a cafeteria in the basement of their offices. And it was fantastic. And the members cafeteria of the Chicago Board Options Exchange had a monthly prime rib for about $7. A slap of nearly raw beef the size of a dinner plate!
What’s your fond memories? Good mess halls? Bad college meal plans?