My Two Dietary Staples

Of all the food and dining options on campus, there are only two things that truly have my heart. Grilled cheese from the Alaska Grill and sludge cups from Arctic Java. When I forget my wallet, I know that all I need is 19 quarters from my laundry fund and I'll have the $2.50 for the coffee and $2.25 for the "g. chz" (as they write on the order slip). I've found these to be the cheapest/tastiest option available on campus, allowing me the needed energy for my day without requiring a trip off campus. You could say I'm a regular.

This morning started no different than any other day; I'm greeted by name by the friendly barista and I tell her I'll have my usual 12-ounce sludge. What totally caught me off guard is that for the first time ever, she asks if I'd like to put coffee in the cup before she adds the shots. My eyes widen with excitement as I realize they not only recognize me, but also know that I'm particular about my coffee! They know that espresso  begins oxidizing once exposed to air and it only takes a number of seconds before the crema dissipates and the shots turn bitter. By pouring the shots over coffee, it's mixed in and the shots are saved! I always do this when making espresso at my coffee shop job, but don't always find it when ordering.

The other moment of serendipity today occurred as I was getting my grilled and cheesy lunch. I ordered as normal and while I typically wait patiently within earshot, I noticed a woman standing next to a sign that read "What would you like to see at the Alaska Grill?" I proceeded to talk with her about my grilled cheese experience and I pointed out a small glitch on their app's ordering process. I talked up my love for pepper jack cheese and bemoaned its absence. Last year you could choose the type of cheese used, and I found pepper jack to be my favorite. I also pitched the idea of adding tomato soup as an optional side so you can dip your cheesy triangles right into that rich, red goodness. 

There are definitely other factors included, but frequently the quality of my coffee sets the mood for the start of the day and I have to admit, today was pretty great. I potentially improved one of the cheapest quick-snack options on campus and also reached a new level of loyalty with the lovely baristas of Arctic Java. Not all battles are big, but the small victories are just as important to celebrate. 

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