Today I had the privilege of dining at the Falcon’s Nest, a student-run cafe in the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS), and it was one of the most delicious meals I’ve had here to date!
CRLS is a public high school just a stone’s throw away from Harvard Yard where I was substitute teaching for the date. (Tip: For anyone interested in working in K-12 schools, get familiar with the local school system by applying to be a substitute teacher!)
It was my first day visiting CRLS, though I have had numerous positive interactions with the students through a few of my classes at HGSE where they have served as class participants and guest speakers.
Anyways, back to the food. During my lunch break today, one of the other substitutes in the building suggested that I try the Falcon’s Nest for lunch. He said the food was very good and it was cheap. I was hesitant to even step foot into any type of school food establishment but when you’re a grad student on a budget, anything with the words “cheap” and “good” is worth a try.
Now, let me be clear that Falcon’s Nest is NOT the school’s cafeteria. It is a small cafe run separately by the high school’s culinary arts students. Upon walking into the cafe I was immediately greeted by smiling teenagers dressed in their chef’s uniforms. Behind each serving station was a student eager to serve and proud of the food.
There were sandwiches, salads, soups, grilled meats, veggies, chicken saute, and even a dessert bar with cakes and other sweet treats! I settled on a warm kielbasa soup with kale and potatoes–and it was AMAZING.
The best part of the whole experience was the cheerful students. I’ve always loved the idea of student workers in high schools. Giving students the ownership of such an important school facility is invaluable experience which provides life-shaping leadership and growth. These students were respectful, professional, cheerful, and so proud of their work and food service to the CRLS community. It was truly a 5-star dining experience.
I can’t wait for my next meal at the Falcon’s Nest!
Pam Liu is a beer-loving yogi who works as a high school math teacher and travels the world on the side. She’s currently a Master’s candidate in the Special Studies program.