This Week’s Kenyon Throwback: The Grab N’ Go, May It Rest in Peace

Hello, whippersnappers and fellow upperclassmen, and welcome to the first ever Kenyon Throwback.  For some of you, this will be like a stroll down memory lane; for others, a dusty piece of Kenyon lore; and for a few (I’m looking at you, young’uns), about as relevant as cassette tapes and floppy discs.  This week’s throwback is for the seniors out there, but rest assured, there will be many a post for students of all years to get the warm and fuzzies about.

Sometimes convenience is better than quality.  This was the unofficial slogan of the now defunct “Grab N’ Go,” a North Campus dweller’s answer to laziness the winter months when Peirce and Middle Ground were just too far to be worth the walk.  Now a lounge and study space, the Grab N’ Go was an underground haven in the depths of Gunderworld.  Now it resides in the seniors’ faint memories of freshman year along with the Milks.  It was great for those days when I felt like holing up in my Lewis dorm room rather than trekking to the socially vibrant Peirce.  For those of you who wanted three PB&Js but were discouraged by the finicky process of spreading six slices of bread with peanut butter and jelly (bread can be such a hassle) and crossing the servery 10 times between the jelly and peanut butter stations, the Grab N’ Go had your back.  Want three turkey wraps?  Go for it.  Hell, take another while you’re at it.  That wrap isn’t going bad anytime soon, may as well stock up.

The Grab N’ Go operated under a simple, somewhat unregulated tally-mark system.  All one needed to do was leave a tally on a sheet of paper by the entrance and the shelf of questionably fresh food and cookie basket was yours for the looting.  Maybe you remembered to tally, maybe not, no worries.

Was the food any good?  Meh.  Remember those packaged sandwiches they had at Sendoff last year?  The Grab N’ Go food was of that caliber.  Satisfying only in the way a Lunchable was satisfying back in Elementary School.  It was convenient and hit all of the flavors our body is wired to seek out in nature: fat, salt and sugar.  I think the GNG had salads, too, but I’ve never been one for packaged greens.

Since Peirce has reopened, the loss of the Grab N’ Go has been a mixed bag.  AVI has been dishing out some great … dishes (ha) lately and even if I didn’t live so conveniently close to Peirce, I would probably make the journey anyway and forgo the option to “grab” mediocre food from the Gund Commons basement. Nevertheless, it was a good-ish thing while it lasted.  Alas, after all these years I still miss that harmonious peanut butter to bread to jelly ratio of Grab N’ Go’s PB&Js (the peanut butter and jelly was also mixed together, artfully, kind of like this), and that nondescript, 1980s-era cappuccino/mocha thingamajig that was probably just a corn-syrup-spouting nightmare disguised as a gourmet coffee machine.  It made delicious espresso-flavored beverages, but I doubt those “cappuccinos” ever saw a single coffee bean.

For funsies, I’ve asked a few fellow seniors how they would describe the Grab N’ Go in a few words:

  • “Hastily put together.”
  • “It felt like my high school cafeteria.”
  • “I only went for the Smartfood.”
  • “It was great for those days when you woke up at one in the afternoon. But yeah, the food was actually pretty shitty.”
  • “Coke and cookies.”

7 responses

  1. dont forget that grab n’ go also existed in olin auditorium during the peirce-renovation years (back when gund was still a dining hall, earnst still existed, milks were at large, and swipe cards hadnt even made their evening debut..)

  2. don’t forget – grab n’ go was also running in olin library during the days of the peirce-renovation (back when gund was still a dining hall, earnst still existed, milks were at large, and swipe cards hadnt even made their night-time debut).

  3. The Grab and Go was one of the main reasons I applied to Kenyon (I even requested McBride specifically because of its proximity to Gund Commons). Sadly, I was never able to revel in those succulent sandwiches I heard so much about. I consider it nothing less than a blessing that we still have Sushi with Gusto.

  4. Pingback: Living in Post-Democratic America: Tip 1 « A Little Tour in Yellow

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