I feel so weak. You see, last night I gave in – I succumbed to my very own personal boycott. I had successfully boycotted Freebirds for over eight months. I had decided to boycott them because, quite simply, they suck.
That’s right, I said it. Everyone loves Freebirds so very much and I could never really fathom why. Sure, they’re close to campus. Sure, nachos and burritos make great drunk munchies. I know all of this. Let me just make one thing clear: I’m not saying that their food is disgusting and that you shouldn’t eat it. I just can’t understand why anyone in their right mind would choose Freebirds when there are several other perfectly viable alternatives within a five-minute walk.
There’s just no love in an assembly line service-style restaurant like Freebirds. When you go to Freebirds, you are immediately bombarded with ever increasing prices. If you want guacamole on those nachos, you better be ready to dish out about $10. Not only do you have to dish out wads of cash to get your hastily compiled heap of beans and rice, but you also have to beg them for just a little bit more cheese. Even when you get down on your knees and plead, they laugh at you and sprinkle a little extra dab on the top. So, you get my point, right? I hate Freebirds.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Mexican food, it’s the ultimate splurge. Where else can you get 200% of your daily caloric needs on just one plate? My alternative to Freebirds has always been Rosarito. I love them because they’re in the heart of I.V., you can feel the love when they make your food, they’re better and they’re cheaper. They’ve really got it down to an art. At most, I don’t see more than four people working there at a time. Freebirds gouges their customers probably because they have thirty employees on the clock at any given time. At Rosarito, their lines are short and they move fast.
Last night, Rosarito really let me down. I’d been stubborn with my boycott. I’d go to such lengths as to abandon my friends while they ate at Freebirds. Meanwhile, I’d be at Rosarito all by myself. That was about to be the case this time because they’ve always been open 24 hours a day, just like the big-shot Freebirds, but they were closed the other night at 3 a.m., and I desperately wanted a burrito. I didn’t know what to do. I almost had a panic attack when I dropped to my knees and started breathing heavily and out of control. It was almost too much for me to take. I had to pull myself together. The only Mexican restaurant in I.V. that was still open was Freebirds. I caved in and took the walk of shame over to the infamous corner on Pardall Road and Embarcadero del Norte.
It’s not my fault. I’m just a consumer, trying to buy a burrito from my establishment of choice because hopefully there isn’t a monopoly on 24-hour taco joints. It appears that now there is. I really tried to support my personal boycott, but Rosarito let me down. I would have been there with a smile and a lump of cash in my pocket, eagerly awaiting the consumption of a beautiful tortilla tube of food. It’s just no fun being a consumer with only one viable choice.
In so many instances, assuming it’s just as good, reliable and reasonably priced, you’d like to support the under-dog, right? I guess it’s just up to under-dog to be there for me when I need them the most. Companies need to give the consumers what they want, but it’ll be troublesome for them to know what that is if nobody ever tells them.
You may be wondering now if I’ll ever go back to Rosarito. I can’t just pretend like this never happened. My boycott ended and I betrayed the restaurant that I love. I can only hope that they hear my message and open their doors to everyone, at any time, once again. I’ll go back to Rosarito, even after that sad night. As for everyone else, you can keep going to Freebirds, but you won’t see me there. I’m fine with that though, it keeps the lines shorter for me anyway.
Ben Coffee is a senior psychology major.