DAKA (pronounced Day-ka), was the dining hall before Chartwells took over and instituted the Pulse On Dining Marketplace or POD for short. DAKA received its name from when it was run by the now defunct company, DAKA International Inc. Although students refer to the dining hall as "DAKA", DAKA no longer exists at WPI, with the POD in its place. The POD is WPI's only dining hall since the closure and conversion of the Founders Dining hall into the on-campus resturant, The Goat's Head. By renaming the cafeteria, Dining Services hoped to remove the stigma and issues that came with the DAKA name. Info about Dining Services can be found at http://dineoncampus.com/wpi
Hours of Operation
Hot Breakfast: 7AM – 10:30 AM
Continental Breakfast: 10:30 AM – 11AM
Lunch:11AM - 1:15 PM
Café Zone: 1:15 PM – 5PM
Dinner: 5PM – 8PM (Excluding Semester Breaks)
Sat – Sun
Cold Continental: 9AM - 10:30 PM
Brunch: 10:30 AM - 1:15 PM
Dinner: 5PM - 8PM
The History of DAKA at WPI:
DAKA in WPI Culture
DAKA is used to refer to the food, locations, quality, and company. For example:
- "We're going to DAKA for lunch."
- "I had some bad DAKA last night."
- "That dinner was DAKA-A."
- "I asked a DAKA employee to get me some more Lucky Charms."
There are two recognized ways to 'win DAKA', and both are considered to be two separate things. These are not to be confused with winning the Ultimate DAKA challenge.
- If your group is the last to leave DAKA for the night, then you win DAKA.
- Started by a group of students in 2004, the second, obviously unofficial way to 'win DAKA' is to leave with the most amount of Dakaware each night.
Ultimate DAKA Challenge
In order to win the Ultimate DAKA Challenge, your group must be the first ones in the dining hall in the morning and the last ones to leave at night. You may only leave for bathroom breaks, and must use the Morgan hall "ninja bathrooms" just outside the doors of DAKA. Some more reasonable individuals claim that it is acceptable to leave for exams as well, but as part of the point of the Ultimate DAKA Challenge is to have your card swiped only once, this probably doesn't count.
More of a challenge than a contest, swiping involves having another student (usually an underclassmen) swipe you into DAKA. This is the equivalent of a free meal. Many upperclassmen may ask someone to swipe me or just ask for a swipe.
The Book of DAKA
Please see The Book of DAKA.
For some unknown reason, spoons are the sharpest piece of silverware in DAKA. While a DAKA butter knife is generally incapable of even slicing a bagel without seriously deforming it, the DAKA spoon is among the sharpest implements available on campus. The DAKA spoon has featured in student orientation (official or otherwise), most notably when it was used to cut an apple in two perfect halves with a single stab (this feat has been routinely reproduced since -- try it sometime). DAKA spoons also played a role in the Great Battle of DAKA, a fictional episode in the epic Wedgefic, Undocumented Features.
The game starts when the first person's drink level drops below the cup stacking line, which is defined as the raised pieces on the inside of the cup, designed to prevent the cups from getting stuck inside each other (which happens often regardless). Their cup is then open for stacking, where you drop your cup in theirs, but only if your cup is also below the stacking line. Liquid may not be redistributed to accomplish this. Stacks can grow to arbitrary height, and the person who got stacked can drop the entire stack in someone else's cup if their drink level is below the line. The person whose cup ends up on the bottom has to take the entire stack to the dish drop off. Unstacking is illegal unless unanimously agreed upon by all participants in the stack. Additional rules: ice doesn't count, the stack can move from table to table, and silverware can be placed in cups as a guard, but others are allowed to remove it. You may also defend using your hand or by picking it up and moving it out of reach. DAKA Stacking may only be conducted with cups. Anything not expressly forbidden by these rules is permitted, as to encourage a creative, yet fair approach to the game.
The Apple-Fork Game
Also commonly known as Apple Katamari or DAKA ball, this game involves at least 3 players, several utensils, and an apple. Each player gets a utensil, most commonly a fork. The starting player impales the apple on a fork, then tosses the apple to another player. The receiving player must attempt to catch the apple by impaling it on their own fork. Play continues until there are no more forks, or until the apple has become a sufficient enough eldritch fork monstrosity. If the game has been completed and a player has a friend sitting at a different table, the apple will be deposited at said table with no explanation, and all players must depart from DAKA as quickly as possible.
However, for reasons unknown, trays are no longer used at Daka. Fortunately, many former Daka trays are still in service at the Goats Head Restaurant, so one does not need to worry that their winter fun has been eliminated.
DAKA-Boggining was invented on February 27th, 2010 by Dan Herzberg, '10. By stringing 6 consecutive DAKA trays (actually CC trays) together with 8-gauge aircraft cable, the DAKA-boggin was able to carry 2 to 3 inebriated thrillseekers down Boynton Hill on each trip. By the end of the night, every last DAKA tray was completely destroyed, leading one to conclude that a ridiculous time was had by all.
Modifications required for DAKA-boggin 2.0: Stronger trays or double-stacked trays for each seat.
This filling up your glass with the remaining liquid of every drink on the table, sometimes a little food as well, and flipping it upside down on the table with the use of a credit card, paper, or basket liner. DAKA Flips are commonly done using the flyers laid out on the tables.
Taking From The Top
When you open up the top of the cereal dispensers and dip your bowl into it to collect cereal is taking from the top. This is as opposed to using the spoon in the trap door at the bottom.
Similarly, when you open up the napkin dispensers to take multiple napkins at once, it is also taking from the top. This is as opposed to taking them one at a time from the bottom.
Around the last weekend of January 2006, DAKA cereal containers were replaced with specially-crafted anti-take-from-the-top boxes, whose obvious downside is offset by the fact that instead of four dispensers for a maximum of four different types of cereal a day, the cereal counter can now fit eight of these dispensers for twice the variety.
The peppermint and spearmint candies are located in baskets usually by the cash register.
Fancy DAKA is a Sunday Dinner with all your closest friends, where everyone wears their fanciest clothes. Before Fancy DAKA begins, all attendees must pre-game, and arrive at the event absolutely trashed. If DAKA still tastes like DAKA, you need another drink.
Earl is a senior DAKA staff member, who bears a striking resemblance to Ron Jeremy. You may place your trust in Earl to create the best steak and cheese, grilled chese, egg and cheese, french fries, hot dog, hamburger, and specialty sandwiches in the land. Whether you are a seasoned DAKA veteran or a newbie to DAKA, take caution when asking Earl for your sandwich; an incorrect order could result in food that is less desirable than originally intended. He is also know as the legendary one-hand wonder and the Cheese Nazi.
Anne is cougar. While technically too young for such a title, her appetite for freshman and sophomore boys often results in comments unbefitting of someone preparing food. Anne usually works the lunch and dinner shift, but has a tendency to show up late. (Evidently showing up at all is better than most employees can manage.) Anne does everything from scan cards to make sure the serving dishes are full. Before winter break, Anne distributes Christmas cards to boys she takes a particular interest in. Anne also refuses to eat DAKA roast turkey, claiming it makes her too tired. Although there is not enough Tryptophan in turkey to actually make you tired, and this has been explained to Anne, she sticks to her original claim. When Anne makes the cookies... they are usually not edible. she's also hot.
Nicole mostly works at the grill. She has a daughter and is currently going to school while she works for Chartwells. Nicole is by far the best employee at daka. She makes the most amazing steak and cheese subs in the world.
Jimbo is one of the few people at DAKA who actually appear to be performing physical labor. Jimbo is in charge of keeping beverage machines running, clean, and full, and usually has to clean up when someone drops a plate.
Vasilos has really small arms.
The Cookie Lady is whichever person happens to be baking and serving the cookies that day. Other responsibilities of this position include operating the dessert station.
The most common cookie lady is a very sketchy stalkeresque person. If she knows you on a first name basis and delivers special cookies to you, BE AFRAID!
The Omelette Staff
On any weekday, there's an old woman who is able to make three omelettes in ~4 minutes. On the weekend, there are two men who take ~7 minutes to make one omelette each.
Affectionately refered to as "The Sandwich Lady." Often heard saying "Mayo, mustaaard?" or "Chips, pickle, pretzels?"
She makes sandwiches very well. The trainees usually don't have her deli meat stacking prowess. For example, when you want a pita with three or four kinds of meat, she's able to fit it with all the other items you want.
A kind, little old lady usually seen at the swipe machine, Fran is one of the more outgoing DAKA employees in that she actually takes the time to read your ID card and learn your name. She'll even have a conversation with you. You should try introducing yourself sometime.
Otis (My Man) gives fist pounds as you leave post Y2K
Dee, a comparatively new addition to the staff, can usually be found wiping down tables or working in the dessert area. She is also very outgoing, and often enjoys giving riddles to those which she passes by.
DAKA's new production manager as of 2008. He can be seen in the eaves of DAKA asking students about the food and conversing naturally with them. Sometimes he even swipes. Rob is responsible for the DAKA Renaissance of C Term 2008.
High Points of DAKA
File:Cookies.jpgMmm.DAKA Cookies are certifiably the most awesome chocolate chip cookies ever, except when the person cooking them is a flaming failure at life. The cookies are always hot out of the oven because of their high demand, making the cookies perfectly hot, melty and gooey. However, due to a new practice by the cookie ladies, they bake cookies in advance of when they would be put on the plate, mkaing it mroe difficult to obtain acookie that is of the melty quality that WPI knows and loves. The perfect DAKA cookie has a slightly crispy outer rim for support of the soft chocolatey center. Always take care in transporting the cookie from plate to mouth, as the high melted chip count can compromise the structural integrity of the cookie. Just as there is nothing better than a warm DAKA chocolate-chip cookie in mouth, there is nothing worse than half of a warm DAKA chocolate-chip cookie on the floor.
In C Term of 2003, after being requested by many students, the dining hall added a vegan section to the backroom bistro. It has one vegetarian option and one vegan option every weekday. Sucks to be a vegan on the weekends. In the past it has featured vegetarian turkey croques, lentil stew, vegetarian chili and many ethnic dishes. Often healthier than what's in the main hall.
The Coke Slushy Machine
Another of the all time great contributions Chartwells has bestowed unto the WPI community is the Coke slushy machine. As the name would suggest, this device dispenses both a delicious frozen Coke drink as well as another flavor of slushy that changes every so often.
However, the machine no longer exists in Daka, making this point more of a low point than a high point
The Coffee/Hot Cocoa Machine
Without a daily fix of caffeine, the mostly nocturnal WPI community would hardly be able to survive. The much needed burst of energy comes in several tasty variants. Alongside the various types of coffee is a hot cocoa dispenser for those that don't enjoy or are tired of coffee, or possibly just want to vary their beverage consumption.
Thursday in Morgan Commons. Also refered to as "C-Nug Thursdays."
The cyber cafe consists of three computers that are hardly, if ever, used. They sit there, neglected, cold and alone, hoping someday that a geek will play around on it, and maybe check email, or a buddy list or two. But alas, cruel fate has resigned them to be the computers that nobody uses because DAKA is no place to properly use high connection speeds.
Discount DAKA Day
On September 12, 2016 when construction of the Foisie Innovation Studio ended up breaking a water main and the CC lost all water functions, WPI compensated students the loss of cheaper food options with discount DAKA day, where anyone could have an all-you-can-eat at DAKA for only half the exorbitant normal cost. Students flocked to make the most of the opportunity to eat a buffet for an honestly modest price. The accident also spawned an article detailing the unveiling of WPI's newest entertainment: a water park complete with a new slide dubbed Goat Mountain!
Low Points of DAKA
DAKArrhea is diarrhea that is caused by DAKA. This can be brought on by:
- Eating an excessive amount of DAKA at once.
- At the beginning of the term after returning to WPI from 1-3 weeks of home cooked meals. This DAKArrhea may be referred to as The Transition.
- In a rare occurence, DAKArrhea may be onset while actually in DAKA, resulting in an embarrasing, but necessary hurried trip to the Morgan Conference bathrooms.
A more general feeling of nausea and malaise can also be brought on by excess DAKA consumption; this malady is referred to as Damn You DAKA (DYD).
The Great Soda Outage of 2005
On or around November 27, 2005 virtually all of the beverage dispensing machines at DAKA were labeled out of order. This outage is ongoing as of lunch on November 28, 2005. Although the event indicates soda only, many of the juice machines were also out of order. The frozen Coke machine was blinking red and beeping; it would occasionally dispense Coke that was indeed frozen.
The Great Soda Outage of 2005 (GSO2k5) caused a ripple effect including:
- Longer lines at the water, milk, and operating juice machines
- Traditional soda drinkers now drinking soda, milk, and/or juice
- People actually using the Cyber Cafe
Some speculate that the GSO2k5 is a staged event by DAKA management to examine the effects on patrons when deprived of the ability to drink soda (and other carbonated beverages). This claim has yet to be validated. According to DAKA management, the problem came about because their regular shipment of CO2 was delayed due to the holiday (Thanksgiving) the previous week.
The Great Soda Outage of 2012
On November 12, 2012, all of the beverage machines in DAKA became out of order except for the milk dispensers. Similarly to the outage of 2005, juice dispensers as well as soda dispensers were out of order, and also the coffee and cappuccino machines. This outage lasted three days and the machines began working on November 15. This event was due to a water main break.
The Cookie Outage of 2017
On August 28, 2017, DAKA ran out of cookies. However, there was something else that they ran out of: cookie ladies. The most popular theory is that they were on break, but a fringe group believes to this day that they were killed in a blood sacrifice to the DAKA beast after serving Chicken Parmesan twice in a period of seven days. Since the section of the DAKA beast which the "chicken" originates from had been prematurely cut off, a sacrifice of the highest order was required to calm it down.
The Great Ice Cream Outage of 2017
Some time in mid September, the ice cream machine which contains Vanilla and Chocolate ice cream disappeared, being replaced with plates of baked goods. This disappearance has primarily caused a large decrease in ice cream popularity due to the fact that there are only tropical fruit flavors such as banana instead of ice cream flavors which virtually everyone knows and loves. As of September 29, 2017, the problem was still ongoing.
How to get by living on campus and eating DAKA without getting bored of the food:
- Italian Soda
- There is a great variety available for this recipe, but the basic principle is always the same::*Start with a tall DAKA glass, filled to the top with ice.
- Fill halfway with your favourite juice; make sure it gets to the bottom of the glass pouring down the side helps.
- Fill the rest of the way with your favourite soda from the fountains. Make sure to get it straight over the ice so the fizz keeps it afloat.
- Now you've got a beautiful italian soda. Drop in a straw and drink it any way you like.
- Suggestions::*Cranberry juice and ginger ale for a classy soda that doubles as an antidote to the DAKA plague
- Ice-berry blue and orange slice for a colourful drink that tastes strangely like green apple hard candies
- Iced tea and orange slice for a smooth drink that goes well with autumn colors
- Milk Shakes
This one is pretty simple. It involves filling a DAKA cup with soft-serve ice cream and then adding a small amount of milk. Then you can add chocolate or caramel sauce and stir with a fork or spoon. Another option is to add some delicious crumbled DAKA cookies or replace the milk with root beer. You can't go wrong with this beverage.
- Caf -style cappuccino
- Tired of the harsh taste of black coffee, but the rich hot-chocolatey taste of the cappuccino machine is an insult to your manhood (or womanhood we're equal-opportunity coffee drinkers, after all)? Grab yourself a tall DAKA glass and fill it half- to three-quarters-way with your favorite coffee.
- Step right up to the dessert machine and top it off with soft-serve iced cream
- Vanilla is a triple-kill for cream, sugar, and keeping your tongue from burning off.
- Chocolate is for the daredevils, as you're bound to clog an artery with a double-black mochaccino.
- WARNING: this recipe currently only works after 10 a.m. when the dessert machine is turned on, but I'm sure if enough people complained, we could get that time-frame adjusted.
Getting More From the Grill
- Take other ingredients from around DAKA to the grill and they'll usually prepare it for you. An example of this would be a bacon & egg sandwich on a bagel or english muffin from the toaster area.
- Ice Cream Sandwich
- Take two cookies from the Cookie Lady and fill the center of the sandwich for between 1 and 1.5 seconds with ice cream. Consume.
- Cinnamon Waffle Sundae
- Make a Belgian waffle
- Sprinkle the waffle with cinnamon sugar.
- Cover the surface of the waffle with a thick layer of vanilla soft serve ice cream.
- Cover the ice cream layer with slightly crushed Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal.
- Find out that Daka is out of spoons. NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!
(this dessert is huge, you will probably want to share with a hungry friend, or cut the recipe in half. Don't start this recipe unless you are sure Daka has Cinnamon Toast Crunch that day or you may be sorely disappointed.)
- Strawberry Sundae Supreme
- Take one beverage cup
- Fill with soft serve / frozen yogurt, making sure it curls in a nice spiral coil all the way up the cup, leaving a hole down the center (crucial for strawberry distribution)
- Pour strawberries and their sweet drug-like strawberry sauce into the cup
- Notice that the star shape of the soft serve, along with the coiling design gives the strawberry sauce 'channels' to completely disperse throughout the dessert
- Top with whipped cream, any available nuts, or for the kinky, hot fudge or cocoa puffs
- Consume it all.