Alright, you guys, the jig is up. A few slices of bread, tiny blocks of cheese, and odd tasting fruit are not a meal. It speaks to the scarcity of quality Outtakes that you cannot obtain a collection of bread, cheese, and fruit after 2pm every other Monday. At what point are we going stop being complicit in the face of barbarianism as we clamor to gain a prime spot in the Outtakes line on baguette and cheese day?
The concept of outtakes is pretty fantastic. Like, of course I want to take a delicious and healthy meal on the go. With the added plus of not having to enter the awkward hell dome known as the Grinnell College Dining Hall, Outtakes are difficult to resist. Aside from the health aspect of Outtakes, the service is quite similar to that of fast food drive thrus. Any way we can consume vital nutrients and not interact with other people is a plus. There’s actually another key difference between Outtakes and fast food drive thrus—the food available from Outtakes is pretty miserable most of the time.
So let’s delve into greater detail on what exactly the Outtakes system could improve on. First of all, what in the world is the “Double Dipper?” That could literally be anything. An unscientific survey of the people in my immediate vicinity reveals that no one actually knows what that is. The Double Dipper isn’t the only culprit—there are a number of other Outtakes with inscrutable names. Take, for example, Mom’s Sunday Dinner. The Double Dipper might be a sandwich, but really, is ordering the Double Dipper and having it not be a sandwich a risk you’re willing to take?
So, let’s say hypothetically that the Double Dipper is a sandwich. I’ve never gotten the Double Dipper, but I’m willing to bet that that sandwich isn’t very good. No matter how many times I can dip the Double Dipper the quality of it will not improve. The same goes for the rest of the Outtakes, of which I have at least a vague idea of the ingredients. A more regular Outtake, the plain bagel with hummus, has a lot going for it – you actually know what it is. Its value is lost, however, once you get to the eating stage of “Getting an Outtake.” The bagels served in the Grill are widely known to be far too chewy and probably a few days old.
Despite the serious questions raised hitherto in this very column, Outtakes is salvageable. With a few minor tweaks, Outtakes can be reinvented and rise to new heights no Grinnell to-go food service has known before. A survey of the best Outtakes could be taken to see which meals are the most popular and which meals students think should be adapted into Outtakes. The Baked Ziti and Italian Grinder meals are incredibly popular—why aren’t they offered more often? If Outtakes took on a more populist, grassroots philosophy, it could serve its customers more effectively and respond to criticism quicker.
-Alex Claxton ’16 & Isabel Monaghan ’16