Berkshire wins in a beatdown

By Thomas Moore

It’s been a few weeks in the making but your patience will be rewarded. The final showdown takes center stage with this heavyweight rumble in the UMass jungle over which dining commons reigns supreme. To all of our beloved Celtics, Patriots, Red Sox and Bruins fans, this is the true competition you’ve all been waiting for.

 In one corner we have Franklin dining commons who squeaked by in the first round with a giant upset win over Worcester. In the other corner we have Berkshire, a multi-award winning dining hall that even my opponent described in his argument for Franklin as, “legendary.”

Underdog stories are cute and sometimes inspire faint glimmers of hope to a small population of supporters. But that’s not how this match between the DC’s will end.

Berkshire must win its deserved title as the best DC at the University of Massachusetts and be recognized for its never-ending innovation, consistent hard work and superior delicious food. Ding, ding. The bell rings, and here we go.

Round one: architectural layout. Berkshire wins this round by a landslide because entering the beautiful DC doesn’t make you feel like you’re navigating through a sketchy back ally way to get in line for a tattoo with a recycled needle by a guy named “Grizzly.” Seriously though, the hidden ramp walkway that patrons usually stand and wait on induces feelings of being a rat in an oversized maze. Waiting in line to get into Berkshire, on the other hand, is like waiting with the anticipation of getting into an awesome night club. The ones that aren’t really at capacity but they say it is just to give the appearance that they’re more popular than they are. But the difference is that Berkshire really is popular.

Round two: lighting. Franklin comes out of the corner thinking that they have this round in the bag with their big windows that allow for natural sunlight. It’s too bad that Berkshire has larger floor to ceiling windows, and more of them too, as they line every wall to the outside world. Now, this round is close. But remember that Berkshire has adjustable lighting levels that create mood and ambiance for the optimal eating experience. Berkshire walks back to its corner winning this round as well.

Round three: guest chefs. There’s no competition in this round, since Franklin does not host guest chefs. Berkshire, on the other hand, has had world-renowned chefs take full control of the kitchen to unleash delicious mayhem. They’ve brought in Chef Joanne Weir, Chef Iliana de la Vega from Mexico and Chef Bruno Wehren from Las Vegas to prevent the boredom that comes with predictable food menus.

Round four: popularity. The crowd at both Franklin and Berkshire can be frustrating at times because of their popularity. This round is very close and just when it seems like it could be a tie, Berkshire takes it. While both DC’s fill up during peak times throughout the day, it’s Berkshire who has the multi-tiered plate return that makes leaving the crowded DC a breeze compared to Franklin. You may have a hard time finding a seat, but unlike at Franklin, the Berkshire DC fan will never have a problem being late to class because they had to wait in line to return their plates.

Round five: special events. Although there are certain events that both DC’s will take part in, such as the Halloween lobster and steak dinner, Berkshire will ultimately win this event with their annual spring Southwest Barbeque. Every year, Berkshire will roll out and fire up their grills to supply the thousands of hungry students with delicious burgers, hotdogs and chicken breasts. This allows students to get outside and enjoy an appetizing meal in the beautiful weather. Franklin’s boiled beef patties will have to be enjoyed indoors this spring.

At this point we’re all in the audience pleading with the referee to just stop the match – it’s not even a fight anymore. It’s a slaughter. But the fight continues into round six where it will end in decisive fashion. Berkshire comes swinging at Franklin with their most powerful punch that can’t be defended: late night. Fighting a battle that they were losing before they even got into the ring, Franklin has nothing to stand on against chicken tenders, strawberry shortcake, Philly cheese steak grinders and Buffalo wings at 9:30 p.m. to midnight. They’re down for the count.

I’ll give Franklin credit for making it this far in the competition. I don’t think anyone expected them to beat out the powerhouse that is Worcester. But come on, anyone who has had an experience in both DC’s knew the outcome when the competition was first announced. Make it official by logging onto and voting for the rightful winner. Go Berkshire!

Thomas Moore is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at [email protected]