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What was your favorite cheap meal when you were on Grounds?

A Bodo’s everything bagel and Caesar salad
It’s no surprise that several alumni from the 1990s to present day wrote in to tell us about Bodo’s Bagels. While most spoke lovingly of their famous round sandwiches, two told us not to sleep on their Caesar salad, including Christine Darby (Col ’09), who said: “The Caesar salad at Bodo’s is SO good. Overshadowed by their obviously delicious bagels and breakfast selection, but I’d often grab it for a healthier, cheap meal option.”

“Hamburger steak with humongous baked potato and wedge of lettuce with delicious blue cheese dressing for 99 cents. A restaurant near The Corner on the downtown side of the railroad bridge.”
—Grace Repass (Educ ’61)

A to-go box from Cook Out with a sandwich and fries

A handful of more recent alumni extolled the virtue of a Cook Out tray. Says Annie Forrest (Col ’15): “So much food for so few dollars.”

“La Hacienda had Mexican-style family meals that our family splurged on when my wife’s payday from UVA Hospital arrived at our Copley Hill student housing. As Canadians, we felt quite worldly!”
—Joe Murphy (Educ ’72, ’76)

A bag of bread ends from Take It Away
“The half-price Hindenburg at Macado’s. In the mid-’90s, you could get it half price on Mondays. You could make two meals out of that sandwich. Also, bread ends and sauce from Take It Away.”
—Evan Gower (Col ’96)
A grilled cheese sandwich cooked by an iron
Grilled cheese cooked on my iron. Or whatever the Glass Hat had that was inexpensive.”
—Natalie Krovetz (Col ’80, Nurs ’88)

“The chicken roll and drink and Monday pizza special at Frank’s Pizza on 14th Street. Frank’s had the best New York-style pie and Italian food.”
—Edward Lee (Col ’05, Grad ’11)

The University Diner
“In 1954, it was the bacon and eggs, served all day at the University Diner and cost about 50 cents.”
—James Michael Daniel (Com ’58) Ed Roseberry

Whirlybirds from the Castle. Or ramen soup made using my hot pot in my Kent dorm room, when hot pots were still allowed!”
—Sarah Cook (Col ’92)

15-cent bologna sandwich at the Medical Center Clinic Canteen. On white bread. So unhealthy, but welcome after a morning doing clinical work at the hospital as a student.”
—Mary Bowers Novean (Nurs ’72)

The College Inn, and (inset) a gyro
The College Inn in 1956—75 cents for dinner (meat, 2 veggies, iced tea, bread & dessert), and you could run a tab.”
—Paul Barkley (Arch ’60)

Gyros at the College Inn on The Corner.”
—Himadri Das (Engr ’87, Engr ’90) Ed Roseberry

The most frequently mentioned spots from the 1950s through the ’80s and ’90s were The White Spot, famous for the Gus Burger, often with beans on the side, and the University Diner, which offered up the similar one-eyed bacon cheeseburger or “One Eye,” and the Grillswith. (See our story on the fried donuts and ice cream concoction at Roger Adams (Col ’64, Law ’71) wrote, “Meatloaf and three veg at U Diner, about a dollar.” University Cafeteria, or “UniCaf,” was also a favorite of that time period, with David Shimp (Engr ’77) writing, “Whatever the University Cafeteria was serving on Sunday.”

Morton Ham Dinner
Frozen potpies and TV dinners purchased cheap as ‘factory seconds/scratch and dent’ from the Morton plant in Crozet.”
—Wayne Riddle (Col ’71) Morton
A can of Tab soda and a Snickers bar
“A Tab and a Snickers bar from the Dunnington vending machines.”
—Candace Worley Spence (Col ’84)

“A PB&J in the basement of Old Cabell Hall for 25 cents.”
—Susan Johnson (Educ ’76)

“You could get four Safeway chicken potpies for a dollar—this was one of my staples.”
—Meg Melusen (Col ’85)

Spaghetti with pasta sauce and sriracha sauce!”
—Akhil Shekar (Engr ’25)

“Third-floor suite in Fitzhugh in the early ’70s: A trio of friends created ‘fine dining’ using a hot plate and electric skillet, and access to several 1-foot-cube fridges. The favorite cheap meal was a beef stroganoff kit combined with a pound of browned hamburger with boiled frozen broccoli smothered with a package of Hollandaise sauce! We ate pretty well that year!”
—Dwayne Tooley (Col ’75)

For our next issue:

Tell us about your most memorable job when you were at UVA at, and we’ll select some to run in the Summer issue.