King Hall is the dining facility for the Brigade of Midshipmen. It is named in honor of Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King, Naval Academy Class of 1901, Chief of Naval Operations during WWII and one of only four men to hold the rank of Fleet Admiral.
Optimum efficiency is the only thing that can prevent utter chaos when more than 4,400 people sit down at one time for dinner at 392 tables spread over a 55,000- square-foot area. Hot meals are served to all within five minutes, reflecting the efficiency that exists in King Hall. The staff in the academy's Midshipmen Food Service Division plan, prepare and serve more than 13,500 meals per day. Statistics of the operation are impressive, from the capacity of the automated food preparation equipment in the galley to the scullery which handles more than 40,000 pieces of silver, dishes and glassware for an average meal.
Food preparation equipment includes seventeen conduction/convection ovens that, together, can cook over 2,000 pounds of shrimp, 3,000 hamburgers, or 2,500 pounds of chicken; each in one hour. The galley also operates nine steam-jacketed kettles that can heat 1,000 gallons of soup or cook two tons of pasta.
Thirty mobile serving carts, one for up to 20 tables, maintain the trays of prepared food above 140 degrees until serving time.
King Hall offers at least two entrees at each meal. This nutritionally balanced, daily diet of 3,500 - 4,000 calories per midshipman is prepared at a government-authorized individual ration allowance of $12.30 a day. All meat is U.S. Choice, vegetables are Grade A Fancy, and freshly baked breads and pastries arrive each day.
In a typical day, the Brigade consumes more than 1,000 gallons of milk, two tons of meat, a ton of green vegetables, two tons of potatoes, 1,200 loaves of bread, 720 pies, and about 300 gallons of soft serve ice cream and fruit smoothies.
The academy's food service program is operated on a large scale, and it does so with remarkable efficiency and high standards. There is a concerted effort to keep the food from becoming "institutional." Nutrition, the attractiveness of presentation, the variety of menu items and the quality of food preparation and service are paramount concerns.
Typical Daily Menu
Breakfast - The morning meal features eggs-to-order, a grain such as pancakes, waffles, or french toast, broiled bacon, broiled hash-brown potatoes, fresh fruit, more than eight varieties of ready-to-eat cereal, and freshly baked donuts, pastries or bagels. Steaming coffee and hot chocolate are also available. Each table is preset with orange juice and all the necessary condiments.
Lunch - Lunch usually consists of a variety of sandwich-type entrees and a daily vegetable. The freshly made dessert is preset on center tables in conjunction with salad bars, protein bars (typically consisting of tuna, chicken, and quinoa), and bread bars. Condiments and dressings are set on each table. Hot soup is also available from fall to early spring.
Buffet Dinner - The evening meal is similar to lunch, but the main entree of chicken, beef or fish will be accompanied by a vegetable and potato or rice dish.
The midshipmen's favorite menu items include buffalo chicken sandwiches, hamburgers, mac n cheese, tacos and burritos, as well as catered events from several local vendors. Additionally, the midshipmen’s favorite staple is peanut butter, which is consumed at a rate of about 100 pounds each day.