Remember when it was awesome at 2 a.m. to be hungry and to be in Isla Vista as a freshman? Yeah, me neither. OK, that’s a lie. I do remember when it seemed like such a daunting task choosing between Freebirds and Super Cuca’s. As freshmen, we had a seemingly diverse spectrum of cafeteria choices, even if we were doomed to live in FT. Carrillo and DLG seemed like 5-star restaurants.
When we ventured into I.V. for food, it was fun to decide where to eat. We could go healthy at Silvergreens or Pita Pit (or so we thought). Silvergreens had so many salads to choose from and Pita Pit was delicious. We could capitalize on the once-in-a-lifetime deal of the century: the 5-5-5 deal from Dominos (and those were medium pizzas). Better yet, we could go to the traditional I.V. pizza restaurant with the amazing crust: Woodstock’s.
If we decided to go with Mexican fare, it seemed like the options were endless. Freebirds was a regular stop for my friends and I, sometimes for dinner and then again at 2 a.m. If we wanted an alternative, we had Super Cuca’s, Rosarito or The Cantina. I.V. had Subway, Sam’s To Go and sushi. There was breakfast at Bagel Café and dessert at I.V. Drip. We had it good, or so we thought.
Fast-forward two years. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Everybody goes through the traditional “I’m over I.V.” phase, but rarely do people realize how big a role food plays in that. We live in a phenomenally isolated and dense college town. While that has more positives than I care to list, it also has its negatives. Eating at the same set of restaurants over and over gets tiring faster than I ever thought it would. Senior citizens are supposed to go to the same diner every night, not college students.
Freebirds has lost the glorious place it held in most of our hearts. Super Cuca’s isn’t a cool alternative anymore. It’s just the other Mexican place. Dominos scrapped the 5-5-5 deal and lost tons of loyal customers along the way. Woodstock’s hasn’t changed. Subway is still there, and the sushi makes most of our stomachs turn. The one place that still gets me going is Bagel Café, probably because the line is always so long that I haven’t gone as often as I wanted.
The lack of selection obviously gets to me and many other upperclassmen. What really gets to me, however, is the pitiful lack of healthy choices. I know I wrote a column saying that it is feasible to eat healthy in I.V., and it absolutely is. But it’s hard, and it’s not fun. For those of you who live in Los Angeles or Berkeley/San Francisco, you know that it can be fun to eat healthy. There are options aplenty and they are delicious.
The saddest and most inexplicable part of the I.V. food scene is the scarcity of a unique salad outside of Silvergreens. You can fashion a salad at Freebirds or Super Cuca’s, but it is not overly original. Most other restaurants are forced to carry the standard green salad or Caesar salad. But in reality, Silvergreens is the only restaurant in I.V. that prides itself on offering healthy food. How the hell is that possible at a beachside school with a gym more crowded than the local bar?
How often do you find yourself scorning the fact that you want something healthy, but you are sick of Silvergreens? It sucks that we have to venture outside of I.V. to fulfill that desire. I think anybody with the slightest business acumen would realize this need and fill it ASAP.
This is most assuredly a rant by an upperclassman evidently growing tired of the I.V. food scene. It’s also a call for someone to open another damn healthy restaurant. Seniors have nothing to worry or complain about anymore, but juniors who are already fed up could use some fresh options for next year. Sophomores and freshmen, be forewarned.
Daily Nexus columnist David Rabie always chooses the fruit cup over the chocolate chip cookie.