Well, this is not your father's mess hall.
For one thing, it is now referred to as the DFAC (that's the acronym for Dining Facility).
For another thing, the food is fabulous. Not just "at least I didn't have to cook anything" fabulous, but "why don't we eat here all the time" fabulous.
They provided so many more choices than I could have cooked at home. There were king crab legs, shrimp, prime rib, ham, turkey, ribeye steaks, and fish. There was a long line of hot vegetables where I asked for a giant helping of collards because I don't make them at home since I am the only one who will eat them. There was a potato bar with all the fiixns' and a salad bar. There was probably a desert bar but we were all too full to look around for it.
Plus, we had to leave and run to another Thanksgiving meal with our church family.
So, I did cook after all. I took ham, green bean casserole, deviled eggs, dressing, and I signed up to bring a desert, but had a disaster in the kitchen with the brownies and decided they were too ugly to serve on Thanksgiving (although we are still eating them at home).
My green bean casserole is always a huge hit. It has mushrooms, water chestnuts, bacon and cheese in with the usual ingredients and the fried onions on top.
Ben took one look at it and declared, "This looks like it will be delicious once I pick the green beans out of it!"