By PETER ELLISON
Every day, veritable hordes of starving and voracious students stumble, groggy and disoriented, from their fifth period classes in a wild, no-holds-barred dash to be first in line at the Carmel High cafeteria, and as students gorge themselves on the succulent offerings found within, discussion of which menu item is best occasionally emerges to great contention and gnashing of teeth. Here to settle the debate once and for all, with poll data and interviews from more than 30 students, we present to you the Carmel High cafeteria tier list.
But before we meet our contestants, first a quick disclaimer!
The data generated and foods compared in this tier list are strictly the foods traditionally available from the outside cafeteria windows. While there are more varied and specialty options inside the actual building, this list is not concerned with them.
Starting with C tier with two or fewer votes we have the burrito, typically filled with beans and not much else. It’s a consistent option at the cafeteria often available even at the very end of a busy lunch day, but unfortunately is outdone in both flavor and volume by the rest of the cafeteria’s options. Joining the burrito are the Tornadoes, a set of two taquitos that are quite good, but lack the general appeal of other choices on this list.
“My favorite cafeteria food is the Tornado because the meat is really good,” sophomore Caleb Barstad says. “I like it when they don’t give me veggie versions.”
The cheeseburger comes in alone in the B tier with five votes for its solid flavor, volume and style, but unfortunately the cheeseburger doesn’t excel at any of these criteria unlike the higher ranked options on this list. When paired with a hearty helping of ketchup, the cheeseburger is perfect on a cold day, with junior Sakina Munsinger noting that she often gets the cheeseburger just because it’s warm.
Arriving in A tier at six votes we have two fierce competitors: the spicy chicken burger and the pizza. Both of these options are excellently flavorful, but lack the volume required to reach the God tier. The chicken burger’s iconic spicy flavor gives it a unique edge in this competition as the hottest player in the cafeteria’s bullpen—this doubles as a curse because the powerful flavor drives off anyone who can’t handle it.
The pizza is also wonderfully flavorful, but is hamstrung by a distinct lack of volume: By the time you start eating, it’s already gone! This does not stop some students from appreciating it.
“I generally get the cheese pizza because it’s the most consistent vegetarian option,” junior Zachary Keaton explains. “It’s always here every day so I don’t have to change it.”
Finally, we have our grand champion alone in the God tier with 10 votes: the rice bowl. While this dish of rice and teriyaki chicken served in a Chinese takeout container is a fairly simple and uninspired meal, it truly is the hardest hitter on the cafeteria’s lineup. While the rice and meat combine for mediocre flavor, the dish’s true strength lies in its off-the-charts volume.
“The rice bowl has more food for unit price than any other object, and rice is more filling than any other food,” sophomore Ronan Loberg notes. “It’s not that flavorful, and the sauce is very minimal.”
The shortcoming of the rice bowl—the flavor—can get boring after weeks and weeks of consuming only rice bowls, but if you’re looking for something to fill the empty void of your stomach after a hellish fifth-period block, look no further than this voluminous option.
A plethora of delicious and dependable options await you at the Carmel High cafeteria, so if you’re a genius who has seen the light of the rice bowl, maybe branch out and try the underrated Tornado, or if you’re a plebeian who only eats the cheeseburger, expand your mind with a teriyaki rice bowl.