After skipping breakfast as usual, you stride into the Sharpe Refectory for lunch, stand in line with a heavy backpack (because there are inevitably no seats), get ignored by a few passing acquaintances you tried to make eye contact with, retreat to refreshing your Instagram homepage, and finally get your hands on one of those sturdy and warm porcelain plates just to stand in front of some mushy “comfort foods” that seem like anything but. Sound like I’ve put a camera on you? Well, here are eight unusual but accessible Ratty food combinations that might soothe your starving stomach on one of those subpar, but all-too-frequent Ratty days.
1. Animal-style fries
A time-saving guilty pleasure straight out of the burger station. Simply chop up some sausages and sprinkle them on top of fries, then garnish with shredded cheese. For the optimal gourmet experience, throw them into the microwave until the cheese starts to melt. Ding! Oozing animal style fries are served in less than five minutes!
2. Peanut butter (and occasionally pineapple) bacon burger
Try it before you deem it a nasty combination! The creaminess and nuttiness of peanut butter, the tartness of the pineapple, and the crispiness of bacon all culminate to the finest balance and bring your taste buds to a different level of gustatory pleasure. Even though pineapple is a rare show at the Rat Factory, a peanut butter burger with any protein available will still be a combination that you simply cannot miss.
3. Pan-seared chicken breast with butternut squash puree
The goal of this dish is to more or less curate a fine-dining experience at the Ratty. Lay the chicken breast on top of a layer of butternut squash. Maybe have your friend dress up in black-tie attire and serve it from your right-hand side while elegantly introducing this dish in French for an authentic fine-dining experience.
4. Thai-style sauce
Is the chicken dry again? This sauce might change the game. Mix up some soy sauce (might need to get it from the Ivy Room), peanut butter, and sriracha to bring that Thai flavor when the line for Heng Thai is too long.
5. Dessert sandwich
Don’t let the panini machine go to waste! DIY your own dessert sandwich with anything you like. My personal favorite is a nice peanut butter banana panini with a spoonful of soft-serve ice cream on the side. The power of that bite of crispy bread and oozing filling will temporarily drive away any anxiety brought on by pressing deadlines and exams. Be careful not to get addicted!
6. The golden toast
Tired of the same old peanut butter + jelly combo? Try out butter + sugar from the coffee station! With the soft texture of butter peppered with grainy sugar meets the warm, crispy toast, every bite will be a rediscovery of familiar flavors.
7. The double-circle bagel
Another exploration of the collision of textures! Prepare your cream cheese bagel in the usual fashion and then sprinkle some adorable Cheerios on top. The extra satisfying crunch will resolve your “bagel or cereal” breakfast dilemma once and for all.
8. The almighty ice cream — two ways
a. Ice cream float
This dessert is quite self-explanatory. The trick is to make sure that you fill the entire cup with ice before you put in the soda and ice cream. This prevents the ice cream from sinking down to the bottom and gives you the authentic ice cream truck experience.
b. Ice cream crumble with a drizzle of olive oil
That’s the way they do it in niche restaurants furnished in a minimalistic and industrial style. Cover the bowl or plate with a thin layer of the cereal of your choice, then top it with a soft-serve ice cream swirled up in finesse, and finish it with a drizzle of olive oil. The slight hint of olive oil will bring out the unexpected refreshing side of the ice cream and makes you want to scrape up the plate.