Come to New Haven! Set us free from the repression of the overpriced and underwhelming! Let my people go … order burritos!
We’ve been in New Haven for almost six months now, and while we are just as in love with Yale as ever, we are generally dissatisfied with the food options New Haven has to offer beyond the dining halls. Sure, New Haven is a great place for your caffeine fix or fro-yo or cheap Asian food, but in terms of classic down to earth American nourishment — and what’s more American than 900 calories wrapped in a tortilla with a large drink? — it doesn’t quite deliver.
Neopolitan pizza, Wenzels and Insomnia cookies make for nice midnight snacks, but they don’t leave you with the same sense of gastric satisfaction as a full meal. And we gather we’re not alone in our belief and longing; last Monday night we joined a mob in the Branford courtyard waiting not for a Master’s Tea or an a cappella concert but for 80 Chipotle burritos waiting for us inside Master Elizabeth Bradley’s house — all of which were claimed and devoured in under five minutes.
Now, not to be whiners (we do love Yale, after all), but some of our other Ivy League brethren have it much better in terms of under-$10, high quality fast food sustenance. Penn, Columbia, Brown, Cornell and Harvard all have Chipotles — in addition to other delectable choices such as Five Guys and Qdoba. Even tiny little Princeton, N.J. has a Panera on Nassau Street.
Sadly, the only school we feel confident saying our options are better than is Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H., putting us at dismal seventh in the Ivy League fast food rankings. If Yale is vastly superior to all of these schools — as is obvious to all of us — then why shouldn’t our food options be superior as well? Perhaps good nourishment will give us the brains and the brawn to stay on top of our schoolwork and other schools.
Yes, we are aware that there is a Chipotle in Milford, but as far as the Yale bubble and our walking legs are concerned, that might as well be on the other side of the world. While the burrito carts on York Street and outside the Medical School can satisfy a Mexican food craving, they’re not always present — and maybe not always trustworthy. On the other hand, a brick and mortar establishment with an awning bearing the name of a reputable restaurant chain would always be there to give us the product we love and expect.
And if the grime of Yorkside and seediness of G-Heav make you feel like you are fighting the American corporate restaurant machine — and if Willie Nelson singing The Scientist to a group of happy farmers and pigs on the newest commercial doesn’t make your heart swoon for Chipotle — well, then, good for you. In our opinion, there is a reason chains like Chipotle are successful: The food and atmosphere are simply excellent.
We are a few weeks past the one-year anniversary of a News article (“A Chipotle for New Haven?” Jan. 31, 2011) detailing rumors of a potential New Haven Chipotle to open in 2012. Alas, we have heard and seen nothing since then. So, to Steve Ells and the other gods of the Chipotle boardroom, masterminds of all things delicious, allow us to reassure you. Take a chance on us. We know that the all-inclusive Yale meal plan and surrounding neighborhoods may not make us look like a prime destination, but allow us to prove you wrong.
Come to Yale and spice up our dining experience; we will personally be first in line to worship you with our orders. We’ll have a Barbacoa burrito with white rice, black beans, hot salsa, pico de gallo, sour cream and cheese, please.
Gordon McCambridge and Michael Wu are freshmen in Branford College.