RIP Crappy School Lunches, or: Six Legendary Cafeteria Menu Items

Categories: Five Great...
Flickr user john.murden
A farewell to childhood.

It's the end of an era. 

The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Trustees has banned flavored milk in school cafeterias, and corn dogs and chicken nuggets are also off the menus. Who knows what's next? No word on whether OC schools are next to dump these kiddie lunch standards, but you can only bet a similar move is on its way.    
It's a positive decision--the stuff plopped onto those Styrofoam trays (which may also be dunzo) is stomach-churning, but we ate all that crap as kids and I, for one, have fond memories of at least some of it. 

For the sake of nostalgia, here are some foods that made up my childhood lunch hour, ranked from grossest to least gross totally awesome. Join in the mourning by adding your own school cafeteria memories in the comments. 

1. Chalupa 
I Miss Chalupa Day in the School Cafeteria

Oh, the chalupa. The only redeeming thing about Chalupa Day was saying the word "chalupa." The one I remember looks a lot like the photo--a scary slab of dry-as-dirt refried beans, crumbly mystery meat, some rubbery cheese, all plastered on a massive amorphous tortilla chip. At least 20 people disagree with me on this one, according to the I Miss Chalupa Day In The School Cafeteria Facebook Page, but I still believe that the thing had more value as a Frisbee.  

2. Chicken Patty
Team Taco Boat or Team Chicken Patty Facebook Page
Chicken Patty Day was always met with an in-unison groan. There was nothing exciting about a dry patty atop an even drier bun. However, this dish helped me learn the value of the ketchup packet. 

3. Rectangular Pizza
Right-angled pizza and cafeteria trays just make good geometric sense. As for the pizza itself--well, you know what they say about pizza. When it's good, it's really good. And when it's bad? Hey, it's still pretty good! 

4. Spaghetti
Foul, Nasty School Lunch
School cafeteria spaghetti is not the spaghetti we know, the kind made with al dente pasta and meat sauce. At my school, spaghetti meant getting a dollop of mushy worms, topped with a slice of American cheese, if we were lucky. I rather liked it.   ​

5. Taco Boat 
Team Taco Boat or Team Chicken Patty Facebook Page

I loved taco boats. It was pretty much a tostada with meat, cheese, lettuce and taco sauce, but it was called a boat. Boats are cool. 

6. Frito Chili Pie
Flickr user tofutti break

A rare occurrence on the cafeteria menu, any day when the Frito chili pie was served was pretty much the best day ever. Chili over Fritos topped with a Cheez Whiz-like substance (not the pretty stuff like in this photo). Yum. In fact, I sort of wanna make myself one right now. 

Ah, so this is why we're fat.

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