Everybody poops. Everybody eats. Where you poop is a given. Where you eat when you’re sick of the Coffee House Paradox is a whole different story. If I had a dollar for every time my friends and I spent an hour deciding where to eat, I’d have a lot of dollars. The process is a hard one and it has nothing to do with not being able to pick a place. It has to do with picking from too many places. The indecisiveness of our particular group, and likely yours too, goes beyond the food. It includes what show to watch, what shirt to wear to a place no one will even see you, who showers first and how to punctuate a text to a girl who certainly won’t even notice.
But the worst problem of all is the food. Each person has different cravings at different times. Each person has different levels of laziness at different times, making a block-long walk out of the question (we have a strong history of paying each other to pick up our food). I should speak for myself but it seems like a universal problem that a food consensus has never been reached immediately. Debates of these nature can get heated, turning the best of friends into the worst of Mexican vs. Burgers rivals. To counter this, a solution was formed by a good friend of mine. I certainly can’t promise it will fully ameliorate the situation, but it should be implemented into your life because it will at least cut the time down from the usual hour to about 51 minutes.
Step 1: Make a “food list” in notes on your phone. The issue with our food list is that it is too long. Try to keep yours short when you make it, and try to keep a balance between being hungry enough to think of places, but not so hungry that you include Subway. Don’t do it.
Step 2: Read the food list out loud when the meal is approaching. Make sure to start early because like mentioned above, this wont be an open and shut case. You and your friends will be able to cross some things off on the first run through and notice some things you are very into at the moment.
Step 3: Go around the room and let everyone state their top choice (or two or three). For your personal top choices make sure to account for distance, transportation method, price, portion size and drink options (if you haven’t used the Freestyle drink machine at Wing Stop and gotten a strawberry vanilla cherry Dr. Pepper, you haven’t lived).
Step 4: Vote. Everyone gets a say in this, and people should be allowed vetoes. The friend that is notorious for craving the same restaurant night after night should get a less weighted vote, because the Burgers and Brew diet isn’t a diet.
Step 5: Look at the menu. This process will also take a substantial amount of time, it may help to stream the menu on a TV or choose a respected delegate to read it out loud.
Step 6: Call in your order. No one likes to stand around at 3rd and U while they do God knows what instead of serving you. Come to the place a few minutes after they say to come because they are usually lying.
Step 7: Enjoy.
If you are still stuck on Step 1, here is a list of the less obvious, equally amazing gems to get you going.
- Zia’s Deli (3rd Street): To explain how good this place is, I will just say that I, a self-proclaimed food connoisseur, have eaten there so much they know my order. Make sure to get a cream soda and a bag of Sriracha chips.
- The White Food Truck aka Shah’s Halal (The Silo or Mondavi): Get mix over rice with extra sauces. Be careful registering for classes around the silo though, this place is so good it will drain your bank account. I am living proof.
- El burrito (E street): Make sure to go super late at night (sober or not). Get some fries with some meat from some pig. Get a water cup and fill it with the white salsa because you will use it all or you can pay your friend to drink it.
- Burgers and Brew (3rd Street): Get anything you want but make the power move of getting specialty fries instead of regular fries. You’re going to need to eat this in two waves but it’s completely worth it.
- Thai Canteen (E Street): Ask for the number 12; it’s green curry but instead of being poured over the rice, it’s cooked with it. There’s a ten-dollar card minimum so get some calamari or some beers or tip the nice lady you are annoying at 2 a.m.
- Froggy’s (2nd Street): All of the burgers are incredible and I would go so far as to say it’s better than Burgers and Brew. I recommend the cajun and that you cover the fries with their special seasoning. Word of warning though, do not drink their water because it’s notoriously bad.
- Taqueria Guadalajara (Anderson and Covell): Probably the closest thing to authentic Mexican food in Davis, Horchata and all.
- Wingstop (G Street): Most underrated fries on the planet. Make one of your sauces Mango Habanero and all of your drinks crazy.
- 3rd and U Cafe (see creative name): If they answer their phone – I personally recommend the buffalo chicken sandwich but you can do whatever you want. Keep in mind, however, this place is the classic example of the food not being ready when they say it is.
- Fish’s Wild (2nd Street): If you’re as poor as I am, this is the place to go. Almost every day is a new five-dollar special and they put their water glasses in the fridge first.
The UCD Files is your weekly in depth look at our campus and the lifestyle that comes with it, featuring an occasional dropping of knowledge from a senior who has experienced it all.
Feel free to send questions, comments, hate mail, or anything you would like to see in future articles to Adam Marx at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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