There are four sources of food on campus: Raymond Dining Hall, Alumni Food Court in the Slavin Center, and Jazzman’s Café and the C-Store on the first floor of Davis Hall. Ray Café, the main cafeteria at PC and the one at which the meal plan applies, was refurbished in 2003. Although the decor was jazzed up with the addition of booths, swank lighting, and iron grating for the individual stations, Ray can leave a bitter taste in the mouth of more finicky eaters. With new interior design comes a new menu—a more diverse one at that. Items such as rosemary chicken and falafel bars now mingle among the staples of burgers (both the meat and vegetable variety), fries, and the salad bar. Furthermore, now that Student Congress has a Dining Relations Representative who meets with the head of Ray once a week, the dietary needs, concerns, and wants of the students often bring about positive changes. Slavin is the epitome of fine dining on the PC campus. Slay, as it is affectionately called, carries something for everyone. Whether it’s a burger off “the Grill”, chicken parm from the “the Pizzeria,” or a fresh sandwich from “the Deli,” there is always an option when Ray is extra disappointing. Many students who need a pick-me-up during the day frequent Jazzaman’s Café, as it serves the tastiest Starbucks-like treats. Next door to Jazzman’s is the C-Store, the convenient store on campus, where anything from frozen dinners to chips and salsa for a dorm room gathering can be found.
Ray may not be the equivalent of a home-cooked meal, but its yum factor is increased exponentially by the Ray staff, who are the most darling women you have ever met. Those lacking an iron stomach and the courage needed to attempt the more exotic cuisine can take solace—Ray Café is the best place to eat when they keep it simple and stick to the basics. Slavin is the place to be if you have a group project or can tolerate noise and interruptions when you are studying. The drawback—other than the ridiculously overpriced salad bar—is that Slavin requires money that is put on your all-purpose Providence College ID card at the start of each semester. The amount depends on your meal plan, and generally, the fewer meals you have at Ray, the more “Slavinbucks” you get. Regardless of the amount you have in the beginning, your funds will diminish rapidly as the semester progresses, until you are left with that random 23 cents that won’t buy you anything. You or your parents can always add more money to your card, and there is always the option of paying in cash.