Emory’s dining halls are often hit or miss, but now with fewer opportunities to enjoy the Atlanta food scene, student-run Instagram account, eagle.eatz, satirically reviews the dishes that are found around campus. With over 600 followers, students living on campus this semester have contributed content to the page — sharing, discussing and criticizing their quarantine meals.
Created by three Emory students, the account mainly features student submitted photos from Dobbs Common Table (DCT), Cox Hall and a few off-campus restaurants. The three creators, one of whom is Abhi Agrawal (24C), aim to highlight the culinary experiences of Emory students during the pandemic.
“These are food reviews from the heart, or from the taste buds,” Agrawal said.
One of the other creators, who requested to remain anonymous, cited his love for home-cooked meals as inspiration for launching the account, and noted how much he missed homemade food while living on campus. He began by posting simple, humorous reviews on his Snapchat story of the food available on campus. As his initial reviews gained popularity, he and his two friends decided to launch an Instagram page to expand the concept.
“We like to think of ourselves as food Batman because nobody knows who we are but everybody is talking about us,” Agrawal said.
The page currently features 33 reviews, each with a picture, description and rating out of 10. Some of the reviews, such as the DCT’s chicken and roasted vegetables, are critical: “Today we have one of my favorite flavor combos: bland and dry.” Others are humorously complimentary: “The guy giving me my food told me that they put extra seasoning on the chicken tonight, and it showed.”
Instead of only posting their own reviews, the creators decided to expand the content by accepting student submissions from the wider Emory community. Evan Covey (24C), inspired by the page creators’ mission, anonymously submitted his food review to the account.
“The idea of the page really resonated with me as I have also been disappointed with the food at Emory this year,” Covey said.
Covey reviewed the DCT’s hot dog and hamburger combo. He described the food as “bland and wet,” granting the disappointing dinner a 3.4 rating.
Other students may not personally contribute to the page but nevertheless enjoy the content. Katherine Stevens (24C) praised the account’s humor.
“I thought it was a funny concept, having already had a few less-than-stellar meals from the DCT,” Stevens said. “It’s kind of a fun joke amongst people on campus.”
Ultimately, the creators of this page, as well as many of the contributors, hope to engage in a dialogue about Emory’s food, and they hope the administration and food management staff at Emory take notice of student concerns.
The creators said the Instagram account has become a point of virtual connection for students across Emory’s campus during COVID-19.
“Obviously the dining situation is not like other years. It’s a bit of a downgrade,” one of the creators said. “Everybody else is eating the same food, so it is kind of a common point that people can laugh over.”