Many people rip UMD because of our lack of a “college town,” whatever that means. In my opinion, the critics are off base on this one and don’t truly understand how much we students interact with our beloved stretch of Route 1. The truth is, Terps are blessed with a compact yet pretty awesome hub of food and culture in College Park. In particular, Route 1 offers some of the best drunk food a college student could dream of. It might seem like your late-night drunk cravings are nothing but impulsive decisions, but actually, your choice of drunk food might say more about you than you would think. Let’s take a look at some of College Park’s best drunk food spots and what they might tell you about their loyal customers.
If you find yourself in the white tiled, waiting room-y, mirror-walled (which is super confusing and amusing after double-digit drinks), you most likely love making spontaneous decisions and being completely impulsive. The slices are as long as a human forearm and totally unnecessary for even the hungriest of drunk eaters. You know you won’t finish it, but it looks awesome and you’re always certain one of your drunk companions will help in the challenge. Trust me, that slice will be gone.
I personally feel that the Subway in College Park serves no real purpose other than to serve the drunk kids that are either 1) too lazy, terrified, sleepy or hammered to cross Route 1 once the the night of drinks really sets in, or 2) waiting for friends who decided to screw their “diet” and get Five Guys, Blaze, or Cluck-U instead. Bottom line: If you find yourself in Subway, you might be a person who settles for mediocrity if it is convenient. Just to put it out there, Jimmy John’s is only about 100 yards away. Now you see my point.
The undisputed king of hoagies (I’m from Philly) in College Park, Jimmy John’s has been a hub of late-night drunk eating since its opening. The Jimmy John’s vs. Subway debate is no doubt very intense, and I bet everyone reading this has that one friend who would die for a Jimmy John’s hoagie (or sub or grinder or any other name you want to call a delicious sandwich on a long roll). So if you find yourself in Jimmy John’s after a night at Turf, Bent’s or the frats, you’re definitely loyal and devoted to everyone and everything in your life. I’m pretty sure my roommate would give his left arm for a Beach Club when he’s drunk (and sober). Only half kidding. Keep the Jimmy John’s lovers around, guys.
Because I live on North Campus, it’s a rarity when I somehow wind up at D.P. Dough after a night out, and that, my friends, is unfortunate. To put it simply, D.P. is pretty freaking awesome and definitely near the top of the drunk restaurant totem pole in College Park. It has so many options that staring at the menu board after a half dozen games of pong and many regrettable “bag slappings” seems more like a Sudoku puzzle than a list of calzone choices. Hmmm… a calzone filled with hamburger ingredients or one with exotic fruit and ham? Trust me, I know the dilemma. The one knock on D.P. is that it definitely isn’t super fast, but hey, you wait for the quality, right? So, if you tend to end up in D.P. Dough before heading home to pass out, you’re definitely the kind of person who likes having options in life. Choices don’t scare you, and you’re also willing to wait for gratification and success. I know that wait stinks, but when that first bite hits your taste buds, you’re glad you stuck it out.
A personal favorite of mine, Cluck-U is downright delicious and still, for some reason, one of the best kept secrets in all of College Park. I am always shocked when I walk in at 1 a.m. and there are only like two other adults (not even students!) sitting at a booth. Where are all the other drunk teenage boys craving awesome fried chicken? Anyways, Cluck-U never disappoints. It has several HD TVs that always have SportsCenter on and some pretty amazing chicken wings to go with the entertainment. The only problem with Cluck-U is that you always walk out regretting your decision to eat an unhealthy amount of fried chicken and french fries right before you’re about to go to bed. But you gotta live while you’re young, right? So if you frequently find yourself stumbling into Cluck U at the early hours of the morning, consider yourself a a person who wants to live life to the fullest without worrying about the consequences. A little shortsighted? Probably. Delicious? Of course. Worth it? Absolutely.
Blaze is an absolute staple of late-night drunk food on Route 1, as shown by the line that snakes through the narrow seating area and out the door nearly every night. To me, Blaze is the cooler, much hipper younger brother of Pizza Mart. Blaze is sleek, lets you personalize your pizza and allows you to stare at the flames in the back of the coal oven when everything else starts to spin. Everybody loves to watch their pizza cook. There’s just some weird satisfaction in tracking your pizza in the oven as the guy moves them all around. And drunk you stands there thinking to yourself, “Wow, my pizza is clearly the best in that oven.” Blaze is awesome because of its great atmosphere and its option to create your own masterpiece. So if Blaze is the drunk spot for you, you’re probably the type of person who loves to socialize and make your mark on everything you do. Blaze on.
Last but certainly not least, the establishment whose business model is dependent on drunk college students with a late-night sweet tooth, Insomnia Cookies. Let’s face it: If you go to a school without an Insomnia, do you even go to school? Kidding, but seriously, Insomnia has become a cultural symbol of college life, and it’s a luxury that we should be incredibly thankful for. Stepping into Insomnia is one of the greatest gifts you can ever give your nose. It honestly smells like you’re stepping inside an oven that has millions of warm, gooey cookies in it. Insomnia is remarkably difficult to resist, especially when you’re intoxicated, and it feels like that neon purple sign just begs you to step into the cookie wonderland. For those of you who can’t help but fall to the temptation, don’t be embarrassed. You’re gonna feel pretty awesome when you’re on the Orange bus home and every single person on the bus is staring down that white box, waiting for you to magically turn into a distributor of free cookies. Next time someone asks, “Can I have a piece?” hit them with a hard “No.” That’s what power feels like, guys. So if you find yourself in Insomnia after a night out, you’re a person who knows how to treat yourself to the luxuries in life. And in the process, make everyone envy you. Keep doing you, Insomniacs.