I think, deep down in places these don't like to talk about, a lot of college students enjoy drinking because it gives them permission to eat whatever the f*** they want at 2 a.m. and not feel bad about it until the next day. Especially since the next day might as well be the year 2026 when it's 2 a.m. and you're drunk and starving.
Of course, maybe that just me. Because I can still remember that realization when the night was winding down on Marshall Street and our crew started making its way back to Euclid or South Campus and the first person asked the question we'd been waiting all evening to be asked.
"What are we eating?"
We had a lot of decent options back in my day. Some might still exist, others may have been replaced. Chances are we wouldn't make it back in time for my Artemis sandwich to be delivered from Dorian's. There was always the food truck on University Ave. with the lukewarm pizza slices and a side of blue cheese, but that was like, four blocks away. Pita Pit? I don't feel like pretending to be healthy tonight.
Finally, somebody would ask the second magical question. "Kimmel?"
These days, I'm not the kind of person to recommend a Taco Bell gorging to anyone, but God damn if that wasn't the greatest meal in the history of meals every time I ate it at Kimmel in the pre-dawn hours. I was a gordita man myself. Steak gordita if we're being specific. Most of the time we'd get there and they wouldn't have any ready to go so we'd have to wait them and those damn late-night Taco Bell people loved to take their sweet time. It always made me wonder what they were doing with their free time between the hours of 10 p.m. and 12 a.m. Surely, they knew we were coming.
When those gorditas were finally ready and that hot mystery meat pretending to call itself steak was wrapped in that warm blanket of processed, fluffy tortilla and smothered in who-the-hell-knows sauce...it was perfect.
Nevermore will a drunk SU student wait impatiently at 2 a.m. for their steak gordita because Taco Bell (and Burger King) are gone from Kimmel, replaced by Queso’s and Trios.
Whatnow and Whatnow?
Queso’s is a southwest-style restaurant that serves nachos, burritos, quesadillas and rice bowls with several toppings available, such as salsa, pinto beans, sirloin steak, chicken breast and carnita pork. Trios is a sliders restaurant that offers mini Angus beef hamburgers, chicken breasts, pulled pork and vegetarian burgers.
The replacement spots are supposed to be " healthier meal options" for SU students. The 34-year-old Pacific Northwesterner in me can certainly appreciate that. However, the 20-year-old Syracuse student in me is more than a little miffed.
Early reviews are, um, mixed. And then there's this...
Though the sliders "weren’t bad," she said, the prices were noticeably more expensive, which was "definitely a turnoff."
Ah, the old "we're saying we wanted to provide healthier choices but really we just wanted to charge more" switcheroo. Well played, SU. Well-predictably-played.
All of that is meaningless, of course. At 2 a.m., you don't care about the price or where the food came from or whether or not the logo looks like the burgers in Burgertime. You just want to satisfy that insatiable urge that's welled up inside you. Taco Bell did that job. I wanted Taco Bell on that wall. I needed Taco Bell on that wall.
Will you stand on that wall, Queso's? I just don't know about that...
R.I.P. Kimmel Taco Bell steak gorditas. When I arrived back home on Euclid and looked back to see only one set of footprints, that was when you carried me...
H/T: Daily Orange