The famed Viennese Ball here at UW-Eau Claire happened this past weekend in Davies Student Center.
The lights were dimmed, the windows were draped with fabric and the building was filled with music and the scent of delicious food. It definitely was not the same student center I eat lunch in every day.
Some attendees were dancing around in their floor-length sparkly gowns and tuxedos to local music groups playing fast-paced songs on brass instruments. Others were seated at tables with plates full of food, watching the dancers fly by.
I tried (and failed) to waltz with my boyfriend, but after being run into many times, we decided to call it quits and, of course, eat some food. The Davies cafeteria was completely transformed with fresh flowers, fancy desserts and a New York strip steak dinner. A section of the room was decorated with a bench under an arch covered in lights and surrounded by fresh tulips. A green grass-like carpet completed the “Sound of Music” scene.
The food options varied from a simple salmon and veggie dish to a falafel and shawarma station. The gem of all dishes was the New York strip steak topped with a rosemary butter and served with cheesy scalloped potatoes and steamed cauliflower.
The steak was cooked to perfection and was definitely the most delicious meal I have ever had that was made in a university cafeteria. I am not a big fan of steak, but this one was too good. If I had not forced everyone at my table to try it, I could have easily eaten the whole steak (and maybe even a second one.)
As soon as I was done with dinner, even though I was too full to move, all I could think about were all the layered chocolate desserts waiting for me to devour them. So, my group made the trek back to the cafeteria to scope out the perfect desserts.
With a plethora of options — like carrot cake, a variety of cheesecakes, truffles and fancy pudding parfaits — I was unable to make a decision. So, I went with two: The peanut butter cup mousse pie and a chocolate pudding parfait with strawberries and oreos. Needless to say, I did not finish both, but it was a nice attempt.
After dinner, we moved to the piano bar where the crowd had lyric books to sing along with. After hours of singing and a lot of laughter, we ventured to the German food room where they were serving brats with sauerkraut and mustard, soft pretzels and cheese and much more.
Most people chose the classic brat to fit with the Viennese theme, but I went with the soft pretzel because, let’s be honest, I cannot pass up any salty food that comes with a side of gooey cheese
The night was of a fairytale nature. I was dancing in a ballgown in the exact spots where just days before I had been studying. Nothing is better than eating great food surrounded by family and friends.