Home Columns OPINION: Grab N Go should never have been replaced with Fuego’s alleged cuisine

OPINION: Grab N Go should never have been replaced with Fuego’s alleged cuisine

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And that's the tea

Fuego? More like it has to go. Food columnist Kat Tenbarge thinks Shively’s new replacement for the beloved Grab N Go sandwich shop is a travesty of the highest order.

When I wasn’t falling into a depressive spiral my freshman year and trying out new, risky behaviors, I was standing in line at Grab N Go. The scent of freshly toasted bread, the promise of a bag of chips, a cookie, a drink, and the bops emanating from a Shively playlist were a comforting constant.

The fast-casual sandwich shop is a modern miracle. Subway, Jimmy John’s, Quiznos, Potbelly – sub sandwiches are easily portable, endlessly customizable, and pretty hard to mess up. That includes Ohio University, an institution with dining hall fare that could be considered by some as mediocre on its best days.

Now, take Fuego. The Mexicana option in Shively is supposed to be Latin-inspired, but the addition of beans and rice to the menu is about as close as the food dares to get to its south-of-the-border counterpart.

My experience at Fuego has always dripped in despair. I’ve waited 15 minutes for a quesadilla that isn’t melted all the way through. I’ve bitten down on rice so crunchy it hurts my teeth. I’ve attempted to imbibe the “Taco Salad Meat,” as it’s listed on Culinary Services’ website, with devastating consequences. I’ve even watched the line attendant squeeze guacamole out of a plastic tube.

So imagine my distress when I heard that the hallowed hall of Grab N Go had been swapped with Fuego. There are no longer any sandwich options at the renovated Shively dining hall location. My sophomore self would have thrown a fit. My senior self simply wept on behalf of the newest generation of Ohio U undergraduates who have only soggy tacos and pathetic excuses for burrito bowls as their late-night to-go option.

Meal plans are expensive at this university, and the least it can do is provide subs. Besides the lack of tasty options, the mere fact that Culinary Services is now offering fewer options in Shively is disappointing and unfair. If the meal plan costs the same, the number of food options should stay the same.

Sandwiches are easy. You can unwrap one and shove it down your gullet within the time it takes to walk up Jeff Hill (note: the author does not recommend this practice, as it is a choking hazard). Sandwiches are delicious! You can’t get much better than some sliced veggies, cheeses, meats, and condiments on a toasted bun. Even if those ingredients stem from somewhere in the Central Food Facility.

But Fuego is messy. You can’t balance a box of chips and salsa in one hand while scrolling through notes on your phone with the other and still manage to stuff your mouth with a generic three-cheese blend.

To further vent my frustrations about this impromptu dining decision, I have written the following poem.

 

Do not go gentle into Fuego,

Sandwiches should toast and wither at the close of Shively;

Rage, rage against the dying of the Grab N Go.

 

Though wise dining hall attendees at their wit’s end know bread is right,

Because their appetites had forked no cilantro basmati rice they

Do not go gentle into Fuego.

 

Good students, the last 9:59 p.m. wave by, crying how cold

Their frail refried beans might have danced in a jalapeno cheese sauce,

Rage, rage against the dying of the Grab N Go.

 

Wild undergraduates who bit and munched their subs on the go,

And learn, too late, they grieved it within its circular vestibule,

Do not go gentle into Fuego.

 

Grave students, near starvation, who see with hangry eyes,

Hangry eyes could blaze like the summer humidity in Athens,

Rage, rage against the dying of the Grab N Go.

 

And you, my renovated Shively, there at the bottom of Morton,

Curse, bless, me now with your frenzied freshmen customers, I implore.

Do not go gentle into Fuego.

 

Inspired by Dylan Thomas’ “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”

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