Dinner Impossible, Dragon*Con Style: Con Suite!

So you’re enjoying Dragon*Con, but you’ve overspent your budget on the room, and you’re starving, and you’ve picked all the pocket fluff off every snack you brought with you, so what should you do now?

I have the answer, my friend. Find your way to the Con Suite, Hyatt room 226, and your stomach will thank you. (So will the woman on the escalator who really doesn’t want you to pass out, land on her, and wrinkle her costume.)

If you’re new to conventions, the Con Suite is a room where you can grab some free chow. Yes, you read it correctly, FREE. And believe me, it’s no small undertaking to feed reasonably nutritious meals, not only three times a day, but 24 hours a day, to thousands of people, quickly and efficiently. I had the pleasure of watching a rental van with 45 boxes of nacho chips unloading a mere fraction of the food for the weekend.

Joseph Campbell has been the director of the Con Suite since at least 1990. “We do what we do for the fans,” he said. “We aren’t just soda and chips. We try to provide decent meals and have fun doing it.”

An undertaking of such magnitude cannot possibly please everyone, nor can they feed everyone at the convention. But they do their best to have fun, with extras like crazy shows and movies on the two televisions, and “The Wall,” a place to write unusual phrases overheard at the convention.

At breakfast, they provide scrambled eggs, donuts, and cereal. At lunch, you’ll find items like hot dogs, sandwiches, and subs. At dinner try their “commando” cooking: whatever elaborate dishes can be cooked using a rice cooker, a few hotplates and slow cookers, and a prep area the size of the average dinner table. The quintessential nacho chips, PB+J sandwiches, and soda are always available.

If you drop by and they’re closed, they’re probably down for a 15-minute clean-up, so try back soon. And thank them, because if you should thank your mom for making you a sandwich for your lunch at school, you should thank them, too!

Author of the article

When Suzanne Church isn't chasing characters through other realms, she's hanging with her two children. Her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, On Spec, and Cicada and in several anthologies including Urban Green Man and When the Hero Comes Home 2. Her collection Elements: A Collection of Speculative Fiction is due out in spring 2014 from EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing. She is a three time finalist and 2012 winner of the Prix Aurora Award in the Short Fiction category.