Since beginning my freshman year at Fairfield, amid a pandemic, the Daniel Grace Tully Dining Commons has significantly improved. I can distinctly recall when there were limited options, which resulted in days of just eating nothing but rice and a banana. But now, I look forward to every meal at the Tully, so much so that I check the dining calendar days in advance. More specifically, I immediately swipe down to check what the True Balance section has in store for me that day, as it is undoubtedly the best section there.

The True Balance station, previously known as Simple Servings when owned by Sodexo, has easily become my go-to spot for every meal. It is one of the few parts of the Tully where it is almost completely allergen-free. One can view the Tully menu to see which dishes of this station exclude dairy, wheat/gluten, peanuts, soy and egg. 

As someone who is allergic to dairy, I feel so fortunate to have a section that I can eat in enjoyment and without fear. Every day, twice a day, they serve what is considered to be the “perfect,” balanced meal, providing every Stag with a choice of protein, carbohydrates and vegetables.

Most often they serve pork, fish, chicken and beef with rice or potatoes and a vegetable of the day. My favorites, however, include their pulled pork (both barbeque and citrus marinated), salmon, cauliflower tacos, sausage paella, brussel sprouts and roasted potatoes. But honorable mentions include orange chicken, marinated steak, diced sweet potatoes and their breakfast hash. 

Overall, the best dish I had there recently was their new oat milk alfredo pasta. It was so creamy that I actually had to double check with one of the workers before eating it that there was no dairy in it because I could not wrap my head around how similar it was to regular, cheesy alfredo. I hope they include this meal more often because it’s truly amazing.

The only time I ever eat anywhere else is if they’re serving meatloaf, which has nothing to do with the True Balance section, I just have always disliked that meal. But I know a lot of students who enjoy it and it’s not often that they make it so I have no problem with it! 

The only thing that I just wish was different is the dessert selection! The rare times that they do put a dish of cookies or muffins out, they aren’t that tasty and the texture is pretty odd (which I’m pretty sure has something to do with the no gluten or eggs). Even so, I encourage them to continue to try different recipes each week and experiment with what allergen-free desserts the bakery world has to offer. 

Nevertheless, I’m extremely satisfied with the True Balance station every day, as well as most of my peers. It’s tasty, healthy, allergy free and they’re served on pretty blue plates – what could be better?

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