Class of 2021, confused about lunch options? Here’s some food for thought

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If you are a senior, the moment you have dreamed about since setting foot on campus three years ago has finally arrived…you can leave school for lunchAlthough SAGE Dining has treated us well, students are “more than excited to hit the road for lunch, as Elanah Arnold ’21 put it.

However, students were surprised to learn in a recent email that there would be a reduction in senior privileges to make sure students remain safe“You got to be kidding me!” were the very words Mia Balestra ’21 said to herself as she read the email. But Balestra and other seniors should not fret because though we cannot drive off campus for lunch, we can walk. So, what options does the Class of 2021 have for lunch? Many.  

While restaurants at Cocowalk will not be an option, as the renovations face a massive delay, Gretchen Schmidt, an editor of Edible South Florida, recommended some of her favorite picks outside of Cocowalk including Chug’s Diner, Atchana’s Thai, and the Last Carrot. While Chug’s Diner and the Last Carrot are closed for dine-in like many other restaurants, Ms. Schmidt pointed out that Fuller Street, right by Baracuda, is closed and filled with picnic tables to eat at. It would be super easy to order takeout at any restaurant nearby, walk over to Fuller, and eat with your friends. 

Some of you might be frustrated with the confinements of restaurants only within “walking distance. Well, Freebee Miami is here to save the day! Freebee is a free, eco-friendly service that you can order in Coconut Grove – and other neighborhoods – to transport you to nearby locations. All of the cars are 100% electric, you are reducing carbon emissions and saving the planet! John Janusz, the Director of Community Development at Freebee, provided me with an estimate of about 6 weeks before the cars would be back up and running in the Grove. There are a total of 4 cars allocated for the Grove as of now, and they can respectively seat 4 passengers. The cars take a maximum of 10 minutes to arrive and can take you anywhere within the Geofence that they have created for Coconut Grove. Janusz revealed that  the highest demand for the cars at around 7 pm, so ordering one around lunchtime should not be a challenge. You can hit all your favorite spots like Fresh Market and Sushi Maki without having to go on the long walk! Not to mention, Janusz said that if you download the Freebee app there is a feature that gives you deals for nearby restaurants. For example, you can get a ride to Harry’s Pizzeria and 10% off all for free! It really does not get better.  

Going out to eat every day adds up so if you are looking to save some moneysome fun alternatives include packing a lunch and going to one of Coconut Grove’s scenic spots. You and your friends can travel via one of the many electric scooters in the area to Peacock Park, and eat lunch socially distanced enjoying a view of the water. You can ride over to Kennedy Park, get some AC’s Icees, and do the same thing!  

If you are unsure what you want to do for lunch, that is a-ok because there are great options on campus as well! Your very own student government representative, Isabel Almada-Sabate ‘21, broke down for us how eating lunch at RE will work. Isa says that “you’ll walk into the cafeteria with your advisory and at the pasta, sandwich, and salad bars, you will be able to take prepackaged lunches from the cubbies. She also urges students to remember that they cannot go back for more food, so you should make sure you get a lot if you are hungry. Once you pick up your lunch, you will then go, sit with your advisory, and eat lunch. When it comes to hot lunches, Isa mentioned that we will be picking what we want to eat at the beginning of each week. SGA has been taking polls through social media to determine which are the most popular hot lunches, so they could make suggestions to SAGE Dining. She revealed that there has been an overwhelming demand for chicken patties and orange chicken, so get excited because those are on the way! If you have any suggestions for hot lunches, feel free to contact your grade’s SGA representative and they will make sure to pass the message to SAGE Dining.  

My fellow seniors: whether it is taking a Freebee to pick up sushi, walking to Peacock park, eating at a picnic table on Fuller, or even picking up a boxed lunch the options are endless. We will get through these tough times and make this a very memorable year.