Pardon me, but let me rant about
why I hate the Hub
By G. Christopher Terry
April 6, 2006 | Take a poll of any 10 students leaving
the eatery on the ground floor of the TSC after any
given lunch hour and ask them why they dined there,
and I'll bet not one of them will answer "taste."
You're far more likely to hear convenience or ease
cited for dipping their snouts into the communal trough
we call The Hub.
As a longtime unwilling patron of The Hub, I can sympathize.
Fitting a quick bite between classes leaves no time
for anything but the offerings from the Quickstop, candy
machine or Hub. Which is why it makes me want to climb
a water tower with a rifle when I am standing in the
back of a long line, looking up at a group of four or
five blue-shirted cashiers milling about the two out
of five registers that are open, staring vacuously off
One of them might be new and doesn't know how to use
the touch-screen interface yet. Either that or someone
made the -- gasp -- inexcusable mistake of trying to
pay for their meal with a credit card. They've got brand
new Dell workstations set up but after they scan your
Visa we all have to wait while somewhere, someone is
banging out the number and expiration date with two
rocks; then waiting for a lantern to flash back the
sign for "Approved."
At least while I wait in line, the clerks keep me entertained
by either A) reciting a blow-by-blow account of What
They Did Last Night or B) proffering a detailed report
on Their Most Recent Phone Conversation With Their Crush.
It is a good thing they usually list off every common
acquaintance they have who was present at Last Night's
Institute Activity because if they stopped chattering
the people standing next to me would be able to hear
my teeth grinding inside my skull.
After achieving the feat of giving someone my money,
I am free to go eat my food, if you can call it that.
Let's see, what did the chefs at chez Teriyaki Stix
prepare for me this time? How about a plastic bowl of
rice topped off with random chicken sauce? Or perhaps
I'm eating a "Big Juan Burrito" from Taco Bell. I recommend
you spice up your extruded meat paste with plenty of
green sauce. Ole.
I never eat at Pizza Hut, because first of all, I'd
rather cut out the middleman and just inject a liter
of amber-colored grease directly into my arm. Secondly,
the word "Hut" has the following connotations for me:
Malaria, Raw Sewage, Typhoid, Squalid and Jabba The.
Seriously, if you can market a Pizza Hut, why not Pizza
Shed or Pizza Shack?
There's also Hogi Yogi, but I always get fed up with
the sandwich assembly line worker's inability to remember
more than one of my instructions at a time.
Me: "I'll have a 6-inch turkey and swiss on the cheesy
"Helper" In Visor With Bread In Hands: "What
kind of meat would you like on that?"
That adds up to a lot of conversing with someone I'm
usually unconvinced deserves their thumbs when you consider
I like my Hogi Yogi sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes,
red onions, extra pickles, olives, cucumbers, mustard
and mayonnaise. It's just not worth it, which is why
I'm far more likely to purchase a white Styrofoam container
full of items that have been coated with bread crumbs
and then deep fat fried by "Chikkin Stix," or whatever
that place next to the Grill is called. I am also able
to tolerate the reconstituted potato powder with reconstituted
gravy powder they serve at Chikkin Stix.
A quick word about the Grill: the food sucks, but
there's something worse than seeing the little grey
chit of meat (I use the term loosely) you are about
to eat being fished out of the holding tub of brown
fluid with a pair of tongs, and that is listening to
the employees reinforce the strict social hierarchy
of Hub workers while you are waiting. Last time I ate
at the grill I received mushrooms in my Philly cheese
steak sandwich after specifically asking for no mushrooms,
in part because the grill-man was busy lecturing some
young sprout he kept calling "rookie." (The grill-man
had apparently attained the rank of "colonel" in the
Hub pecking order. If you learn how to pay attention
to customer's requests at The Hub you can rise as high
as Supreme Commander.)
I understand the pay is a humiliatingly low wage,
and that affects the quality of applicants. The part
that upsets me is that the university administration
filled these food-station openings with franchises of
chain establishments when there are tons of local businesses
that might appreciate the opportunity to sling hash
for a captive clientele of students every day.
USU grad Justin Hamilton's Café Sabor would be a marked
improvement over Taco Bell, as would Logan's Hero's
over Hogi Yogi.
The Factory, Firehouse and Callaway's are all better
than Pizza Hovel (excuse me, Hut,) any day of the week.
Likewise Crumb Brother's Bakery has a better product
than Hazel's. I would rather eat La Tormenta's authentic
one-dollar tacos than the breaded offerings at Chikkin
Stripz and I would prefer almost anything to the mélange
at the frighteningly ambiguously-named "The Grill."
Lastly, the Korean Barbeque between Logan's Hero's
and The Factory on South Main Street makes delicious
sushi rolls that are miles ahead of the Chicken Gizzards
& Necks Bowl at Teriyaki Stix. I could go on listing
great local eateries with better food than anything
you can get at The Hub but this is already turning into
a long column.
Sure, my dream of a perfect Hub populated by local
businesses is farfetched and idealistic. Apparently,
these people think students are best served by making
finding the plastic forks into a frustrating game or
by having "Funny Hat Day." (And, to quote Dave Barry,
no, I am not making that last item up.)