When I was a young warthog, I heard tell of a Philadelphia Restaurant Week. It was only a few weeks after school started, so we hastily pulled together a group of about 15 first-years and took the SEPTA Regional Rail to Jefferson Station. It took about thirty minutes. Then, after a short walk, we arrived at the restaurant.
We had reserved two tables at Cibo Ristorante Italiano, an Italian restaurant with a piano and small stage for the servers to perform Broadway and musical theatre songs throughout the night. I even requested a song from Urinetown, a musical I had been in back in high school. We all were able to select three courses from several choices the restaurant gave us as part of the Restaurant Week special. The food was delicious, the music was delightful, and the night was glamorous.
The highlight (or maybe lowlight) of the night, however, was when I was gesturing animatedly with my glass. I accidentally slammed it down on the table and shattered it. We gave a massive tip and I apologized profusely, but I’m too afraid to ever go back again. Still, I will be going to other restaurants for Restaurant Week again — these deals are just too good to pass up, and it’s probably the only occasion I will ever have to go to a five-star restaurant.
I thoroughly enjoyed Orientation as a first year, and I was lucky to be able to come back and help out as a sophomore as part of Orientation Committee. Planning and helping to organize Orientation for the incoming first years was not only an amazing opportunity to tighten up my organizational and logistical skills, but also excellent bonding with a group that I was largely unfamiliar with. Sure there were a few other sophomores that I knew from classes I had taken, and a few juniors and seniors that were always super nice to me, but for the large part, I didn’t know the rest of the committee extremely well. But after struggling through an onslaught of bright-eyed, eager, first years peppering us with questions and high energy, we were all bonded together by caffeine and unforgettable memories.
So after that week of madness settled down, the Orientation Committee decided to go to Xochitl on 2nd street in Philly. But this was no ordinary week. The date was September 19th, 2014. A date that stands in perfect memory because it was Restaurant Week. In other words, deaaaals on some sweet food.
Surrounded by my new friends, we settled into the night ready to let ecstasy overcome out tastebuds. After the first ten ambrosial rounds of house made tortilla chips with fresh guac, our real food finally came. The carnitas tacos disappeared from my plate within minutes. Then for me, it was back to the carbs i.e. the chips crafted from heaven.
To be totally honest, I don’t remember the food that much (at least besides those chips). But I do remember how unbelievably fun that night was. The Orientation Committee still blew up our groupme every now and then, scheduling fun events and trying to get together over the course of the year. I’m glad to say we didn’t totally fade away into random strangers. A lot of great things came out of those few weeks at the beginning of the year. Certainly one of them was that great night embarrassingly stuffing chips down my throat.