Food for Thought

What are some of my favorite "foodie memories" from UNT? Walking down the hill from Bruce Hall to go have some chocolate orange chip ice cream at Swenson's! Big bowls of Fruit Loops cereal at a Bruce Hall dorm party. Pizza at Bullwinkle's. A Denton County hamburger and french fries on the square in downtown Denton. Bruce Hall had the best dining hall when I was at UNT.

Anne Strybos Vrolyk ('85), Bruce Hall wing rep and food rep
League City


We were eating unhealthy back in the early '70s, but we didn't yet know it. Besides my fast food fave, 25-cent Jack tacos, the smells from the Charco Broiler lured me in when I could afford it. For late night insanity, we ventured forth after midnight to Harry Hines in Dallas to Mama Coquita's for a $2 huge plate of enchiladas.

The best indulgence was heading to Ranchman's in Ponder for a slice of the absolute best apple pie. We couldn't afford a steak. On the way home, we would stop on the farm to market road to watch tarantulas cross the road. No kidding! We even caught one in a Mason jar. NTSU ~ NUTS!

Margie Mashek Davis ('75), retired educator of 38 years


The Flying TomatoI entered North Texas in June 1986. One of the big hang-outs was the Flying Tomato Pizza Restaurant. On one particular night, the Flying Tomato was hosting a contest of physical agility and balance (one-legged squats). I managed to do more than any of the other entries.

One of the prizes was a gift certificate for any pizza I wanted. Being a poor college student, I went for the most expensive pie. It was a Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. I had never had deep-dish before.

I ordered the pie to go, took it back to the dorm, and my friends and I pigged out. I thought it was the best pizza I had ever had.

Not long ago I was in the Windy City and ordered a deep-dish. The memory from the one at Flying Tomato still stands as the best I ever had.

Derrall Ahart ('92)


When I read your invitation to share memories of food on campus, I immediately thought of the cinnamon coffeecake served in the old UB (Union Building).

If you were lucky and got there early enough, you might get a piece that was just from the oven. There also were times you were told there was no more. What a disappointment!

I entered North Texas in fall 1962 and pledged a sorority in spring 1963. This was the hub of the activity on campus while I was there. We "hung out" in a room in the back of the UB, ordered coffeecake, drank coffee and cokes, visited and danced the North Texas "Push" to the music on the jukebox. It was a magical time and full of great memories.

When I visit the campus today, I always remember the great times in the UB and am sad that it is gone. However, I still say, "Thanks for the memories, North Texas."

Janie Lindsey Grimes ('70, '93 M.Ed.)


The Rock Bottom LoungeI came to North Texas the year the beautiful new Student Union Building opened, about 1976. I was lucky to be hired on as a banquet waiter for events held primarily in the evenings at the SUB, along with quite a few other students. I got to meet Miss America Phyllis George of Denton at one banquet, a wonderful lady. I knew her mother as a secretary in the new Art Building, where I had most of my classes. Additionally, Miss Judy Mabry, assistant food and beverage director, hired me along with 10 or 12 others, I think, to work as a lunch waiter in the new and exciting Rock Bottom Lounge on the lower level in a corner of the SUB.

The Rock Bottom Lounge was built to be a fun, contemporary eatery during the day and possibly a music venue at night. We thought it was beautiful; it was a tiered space in red and black with an open ceiling, track lighting and exposed black ductwork and small tables placed around a central open area. A jukebox played 1970s music. I don't think I will get "Paloma Blanca" or "Afternoon Delight" out of my head ever.

We lunch waiters wore white shirts, black pants (or skirts if female), a red vest and a red bowtie. We looked quite sharp. The menu consisted of sandwiches, pizza slices, soup, bags of chips and various beverages. We were paid the bare minimum and patrons were expected to tip, which generally ranged from 10 to 50 cents, if anything. Only two "cooks" prepared the food, and service was unconscionably slow. Also, the lunch shift was only about an hour so, sadly, most of us found the evening banquets preferable as a source of income and I think the lunch food service was discontinued after a time. It was not a very workable concept.

However, I will always remember that time with the greatest fondness and still think of friends made then.

James Gatewood
Corpus Christi

Continue Reading