After a week of dining hall duds, it’s time to face the facts — spring break is over, and home-cooked food is but a distant memory. But with more then a month to go until break, it takes more then the occasional Atticus bread run to satiate a epicure’s palate while maintaining a student’s wallet. Have no fear, I bring you all the expertise of someone who has spent more time avoiding the dining hall than doing English homework (and I’m an English major).
1. Wherefore art thou Lizzie?
Choose your extracurriculars carefully. While the Yale Economic Review might feed your resume, the Elizabethan Society will feed your belly. With an acceptance letter to “the Lizzie” comes invitations to their twice yearly founders’ dinners and free daily tea receptions for the rest of your life. If acceptance proves futile, the Yale Children’s Theater provides snacks for every rehearsal, while volunteer Friday at the Yale Farm is followed by homemade pizza.
2. Get in the Directed Studies loop.
Contrary to popular belief, the Whitney Humanities Center isn’t just for DS losers. Monday to Thursday from 3:00-5:00 p.m., those in the know venture out for tea sandwiches and cookies. Keep an eye out for their regular Symposiums, which are well catered.
3. Got music?
Sure, a three-hour symphony might seem a lot to sit through, but any musician can point you straight to the real finale — the reception. YSO concerts are usually followed by a Bangkok Gardens buffet, while the Yale Band features cheese, hors d’oeuvres and Claire’s cake. Keep an eye out for the JE Chamber Players, who follow their concerts with spreads from the likes of Scoozi.
4. Think outside your major.
I’m no Francophile, but even I feel that certain je ne sais quoi at the French Department’s monthly Chocolate Lectures, which feature wine and suitably sweet treats. Film Studies screenings often feature catering by Cosi and Judie’s Bakery, while anyone who’s taken a Kundera class can attest to the free-flowing food and wine at the regular Czech parties.
5. Pimp yo’ college.
There’s no reason to go hungry when Mondays and Tuesdays offer a College Council Meeting with free pizza. Milk your connections: Morsels will tip you off to the extreme sweetness of their annual Valentine’s Day Chocolate Party, while Silliman Music Brunches and Branford Bagel Brunches take care of Sunday mornings. Just say you’re a freshman, and keep your head down.
6. Venture out of the undergraduate bubble.
HGS’s monthly happy hour falls on the first Friday of every month, featuring a dizzying array of free beer, wine and themed food. During the off weeks, check out the Law School Happy Hour every Friday evening, where you can score wine and hors d’oeuvres. Avoid questions — wear your UC Berkeley sweatshirt and keep your Intro Psych book in your bag. Stalking your TA never looked so good.
7. Will travel for food.
Travel the world for free at the annual World Fellows Night, featuring food and drink from each Fellow’s country. If you missed the World Fellows event, you can drink your sorrows away just a few steps off campus at the Wine Thief’s free Friday and Saturday Wine Tastings.
8. Prioritize your master’s teas.
So maybe Sofia Coppola is too good to miss, but there’s no reason to pass up free food. With sandwiches and assorted cakes, JE Master’s Teas are the best, while Morse Master’s Desserts follow a close second. Avoid Stiles, no matter who’s coming.
9. Pulling out the big guns: The Beinecke Reception.
After my first Beinecke Reception, I called in a rescue mission to Commons Plaza, where I had taken refuge with a six-pack of Sam Adams and a leftover hunk of brie. Simply put, the Beinecke is the granddaddy of all receptions. We’re talking spreads and pesto, fruit kebabs, circling hors d’oeuvres and wheel upon magical wheel of cheese. After the food, the open bar is just icing on the cake. Tip: Wait until the end and be nice; they will sometimes let you take things home.
So if, like me, you don’t like your Apple Crisp a la Tofu, all you need is a little strategy and a lot of chutzpah. Yale’s resources are not limited to Richter funds and Gutenberg Bibles; be a true Yalie, and get your mooching priorities straight.