(COVINGTON, La.) — Walking from second period to lunch, I can see students quickly strutting to the cafeteria in order to bypass the line, as per usual, regulated by Coach Gibbe. Progressing onto the glass doors of the St. Paul’s cafeteria, coerced by the strict voice of Coach Gast telling me to go either left or right, I can smell the tangy combination of chicken nuggets and General Tso’s sauce. Today’s lunch will be gumbo, chicken nuggets, fries, and cinnamon bread. In my and many others’ opinions, this is the best lunch the cafeteria serves.
After waiting in the winding line, I finally make it through the doors into the buffet area. As I arrive, the first thing I see is the sight of delicious hamburgers and spicy chicken sandwiches. Then, I can hear the sweet voices of the same cafeteria women that help serve us everyday.
They say, “Would you like a sausage with ya gumbo?” I reply with, “Yes, ma’am.” Next, Bro. Ray Bulliard, FSC, who always lends a hand in the cafeteria, serves me chicken nuggets with a welcoming smile. As I check out, I don’t even have to scan my school I.D. because the woman already knows who I am, and that I’m going to get a water and a juice with my meal.
As I go to sit down, I go to the sauce station and get a fork, a spoon, and a big helping of teriyaki and honey mustard. Seating arrangements are a tradition at St. Paul’s, so I proceed to take my regular seat at the end of the second table to the right, just as my friends come flooding out of the now jammed lines.
The beautiful, golden brown nuggets, which I always eat first, are right out of the fryer. They are juicy, yet firm — the perfect combo for a chicken nugget. Most days, I finish them before my friends even get to the table.
Next, I move on to the steaming bowl of gumbo. I can see the floating bits and pieces of sausage and chicken, and take my first bite, instantly wanting more. The rice is perfectly cooked along with the enticing broth. I even start to dip my crispy fries in the gumbo. I finish the gumbo off in a split second, and all I have left to devour is my cinnamon bread; the bread is perfectly cooked where it’s not doughy, but it’s not burnt.
The cinnamon bread has no chance of survival.
My experience is remarkable, and the best part about it is that I get to relive it every day. Overall, I give the cafeteria a never-before-given score of 10 out of 10.