Lunch at the Union may cost time

By Mark Vitale

Arizona Daily Wildcat

At the dictations of UA scheduling, I am forced to eat lunch at the Student Union at 12:00 noon. The other 35,999 students on campus must also have that same idea, considering how crowded the Union is at noon.

Actually being served quickly at the ground level restaurants of the Union (Fiddlee Fig, Cafe Sonora, Eegees, the "A" Place, and the Sidewalk Deli) is hopeless. If you're lucky, the end of the line may be inside the building.

Louie's Lower Level (located, of course, on the lower level) isn't much better in terms of lines, but at least there is a chance of finding a table to sit at ─assuming that once you've gotten your food there is enough time to eat it before the next class or that your stomach can take the dripping grease.

So there I was. One hour to eat lunch, and about a billion people in the restaurant. I was going to order a Western Bacon Cheeseburger when I overheard this girl complaining about how long it was taking for her hamburger:

"Oh my God! I have been, like, waiting for this burger for, like, ever."

That, combined with the fact that the line for the Grill reached outside of the restaurant, aided my decision to get something self-serve. As far as choices went, that left me with either the grazing bar, fabulous fried finger foods, or the salad bar. I was hungry so I opted for the grazing bar.

The sign behind the bar lists some things like chicken wings, steak fingers, fried cauliflower, "and many other choices for only 32 cents an ounce." Looking down I discovered that these "many other choices" consisted of fried zucchini. In fact that's all that was left at the bar ─ fried zucchini. I am not a fan of zucchini. In fact, you couldn't pay me to eat it, so I headed towards the salad bar.

Let me correct that. I headed towards the salad bar line.

A salad bar with a line? Oh wait, I forgot. This is the UA Student Union at noon (actually it was closer to 12:30 by now) where the only thing without a line is the stamp machine.

So I waited in the line. This was going to be a "light lunch" type of day. After about five minutes (and picking through the entire salad bar) I headed towards the cash register.

The only problem was that the end of the cash register line was at the entrance to the restaurant. Sweaty, surley, and needing to go to my next class, I chucked my whole tray and left. On my way out, I noticed that the dining area was almost completely empty.

Everybody was obviously waiting in line to pay for their fried zucchini.

Mark Vitale is a junior majoring in biochemistry. He is thinking about packing his own lunch from now on.

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