A confession: Between 1996 and 2000, one of us (this is not a full confession!) ate a fried chicken sandwich in the Southern Miss student union three times a week without fail.
It was a good sandwich, to be sure. Utilitarian. A bun, a huge piece of boneless fried chicken, a couple of pickles. It got the job done. A nice full belly to sustain us through a heavy class load and the daily hunt for parking.
Campus dining is all about meeting needs. Students, faculty and staff have limited time between classes. You need something quick and easy to get you from “I’m hangry and can’t concentrate” to “I’m satisfied and ready to conquer the afternoon.”
Growth and CHANGE
Growth and Change
Southern Miss has continued to grow since our time there in the late 90s, and now has a refreshingly diverse collection of dining options.
Of course in these modern times there are the ubiquitous chains – Starbucks, Subway, Chick-fil-a.
But maybe you find yourself on campus in desperate need of a Nutella Crepe? Head to Freshens in Asbury Hall. Burrito bowl? Try the International Center, where you will find The Agora.
Eagle Dining aims for variety, convenience and quality for folks with busy schedules. There are dining options tucked into every corner of campus, so you are never far from a snack or meal.
And readers, the future is now. Download the Tapingo app on your smartphone, and order from any eatery on campus at your convenience.
A lot can change in 20 years!
So, let’s say you find yourself on campus, post-game and not in a hurry to fight traffic. Your tailgating snacks have worn off, you’re done with crowds, and just want to sit somewhere cozy and eat some curly fries.
Take a stroll to the heart of campus and make your way to the Power House. You’ll know it by the smokestack.
The powerhouse renovation maintained the vintage, industrial feel of the 1934 structure, but brought it into modern times with oversized prints featuring Southern Miss faces and places, plenty of TVs for catching games and plush, comfortable seating. It’s a beautiful, inviting space.
Order at the counter, and find a seat. There’s conversational seating with sofas and overstuffed arm chairs on the upper floor, and tables to fit any size group. Horseshoe-shaped booths on the main level offer comfort and privacy. A spacious courtyard lets you catch the breeze and beautiful sunset views.
The menu offers casual cuisine, including burgers, sandwiches, Dreamland Bar-B-Que and made-to-order pizzas.
Tuck into an All American Angus Beef Burger featuring double patties, gooey American cheese, the requisite lettuce-tomato-pickle-onion dressing, and their own “special sauce.” This tangy aioli adds a flavorful kick to their classic burger.
If you are on the hunt for a tasty chicken sandwich, go for the Buffalo Chicken with Blue Cheese. We’re suckers for this kind of sandwich. A lightly breaded chicken breast doused in a tangy buffalo sauce topped with a shower of blue cheese crumbles on a squishy bun. Lip-smacking!
Another highlight is the Dreamland Sausage with Grilled Peppers and Onions. The Power House splits a link of Dreamland’s Hickory Smoked Sausage, and griddles it along with thickly-cut strips of red bell pepper and sweet onion. Served with Dreamland’s tangy, Alabama-style sauce, it’s flavorful and satisfying.
And their curly fries? Five stars. Do not miss. Perfectly crisp, everything you want in a curly fry.
The Power House is close to plenty of convenient parking and open until midnight seven days a week.
Southern Miss Catering
While Eagle Dining handles day-to-day dining needs on campus, Southern Miss Catering offers a lot more than student-focused dining.
From coffee service for a small group to a wedding reception for 300, Southern Miss Catering provides on and off campus catering sure to meet any need.
The Southern Miss campus offers a tremendous variety of event venues – from the luxe ballrooms of the Thad Cochran Center to the stained-glass beauty of Danforth Chapel, to the well-manicured rose garden.
If you have a vision, Southern Miss has a space, and Southern Miss Catering has a menu.
Events large and small
Dreaming of an al fresco rehearsal dinner for your wedding? Reserve the courtyard at the Power House and plan on a crowd-pleasing Noodle Bar.
Casual, filling and fun, this option offers freshly-cooked pasta with a variety of toppings, including savory marinara or vibrant pesto with fresh veggies, chicken, sausage, shrimp – your choice... all rounded out with Mesclun salad, garlic bread and a selection of sweet treats.
Organizing an off-campus lunch meeting? We recommend you take advantage of Southern Miss Catering’s creative mid-day options.
Their Turkey Cobb Wraps are stuffed generously with thinly-sliced turkey, crisp bacon, blue cheese crumbles and avocado.
The Ham and Brie sandwich starts with a hearty wheatberry bread, filled with ham, creamy, fat slices of brie, fresh baby spinach, slices of juicy pear and caramelized onions.
Take care of your group’s vegetarians with a Garden Vegetable sandwich that sports Boursin, provolone and roasted garlic aioli on chewy ciabatta.
Be sure to round out this menu with side salads. The vibrant Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese salad will wow you with its gorgeous color and balanced flavors. Toasted Cranberry Apple Couscous is cram-packed with tasty bits of fresh and dried fruit for a sweet-meets-savory treat.
Planning a posh anniversary party? Book a ballroom in the Thad Cochran Center and work with the catering team to put together a stellar reception menu.
In our opinion, hors d’oeuvres are where Southern Miss Catering really shows off its capacity.
Your guests will enjoy beautifully-appointed tables and a spread of hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, finger sandwiches, crudité, cheese platters – whatever your heart desires – orchestrated beautifully by their well-trained, professional staff.
The sky is really the limit here. Beggars Purses of golden filo filled with brie and almonds. Petite cheesecake rounds. Coconut shrimp. Pecan chicken tenders. Fancy little skewers sporting anything from chili-lime chicken to artichoke hearts and mozzarella to tortellini and roasted red peppers.
You’ll forgive us for gushing a little. Reception-style foods are our favorite way to eat, and Southern Miss Catering does it so well.
We hope we’ve gained your trust during the last year of stories, so please, PLEASE trust us when we tell you not to skip out on Southern Miss Catering’s Bacon Wrapped Dates.
These tasty little numbers are tres chic, but also bacon-wrapped, so everyone will love them. The sweet-meets-salty perfection of a chewy bite of date baked together with a crisp wrapping of bacon will have you wondering how many you can discreetly sneak onto your plate before anyone notices.
Something for everyone
Whether you are looking for a quick bite on campus or planning a special event, Eagle Dining and Southern Miss Catering have an option for you. Their team works together to offer a terrific variety of foods. It’s a big operation.
Events large and small, fast casual or highly orchestrated, they pull it off with a heavy helping of Southern Miss hospitality and charm.
Long-time Hattiesburg residents Jason and Autumn Perry have done their time in local kitchens. Jason started the menu at T-Bones and is currently in the kitchen at the Keg and Barrel. Autumn and Jason created the menu at the Thirsty Hippo and are excited to work together again on Signature restaurant features.