Late Night Food Fight: CVS

It's 1:30 in the morning, and you're hungry. But where do you go? It is a divisive debate among the Harvard student body, and loyalties to the Square's late-night stops run deep. Over an 11 day period, The Crimson will debate 11 popular choices around campus. Now up: CVS.

You’re finally finished with that problem set (or essay, or Call of Duty marathon). The crippling hunger you’ve been ignoring all night has finally caught up to you—you must feed the beast. Only one question remains:

Where do you go?

The unadventurous will slink to their House grille. The hipsters will flock to Starbucks or Pinkberry, while the unoriginal will congregate at Pinocchio’s and the Kong. The less educated can be found at Falafel Corner or Boloco. Only those with the most discerning appetites and most sophisticated taste for excellence will choose the ultimate late night eatery: Consumer Value Store (known to laypeople as CVS).

By every measure, CVS is the dominant eating establishment in Harvard Square. Quality? Unquestionable. Possible combinations? Incalculable. Price Point? Unbeatable. While the rest of you peasants are paying $2.50 for a handful of chips and shot of salsa at Felipe’s, I’m spending a pittance on an entire bag of Tostitos and 15.5 ounces of salsa, eating like a king at 1426 Mass Ave. If I feel like spending that $2.50, I could have bought 2 liters of Pepsi, tax-free. Dollar for dollar, nobody protects you from hunger like CVS.

Omit the fact that CVS is the only place in the Square to fill your stomach without emptying your wallet, and it still wins on pure variety. While you’re locked into whatever faux-ethnicity your restaurant purports to serve, I am traveling the culinary world, master of my own destiny. I’m eating Bumble Bee Chunk Light Tuna as an appetizer, sampling Jack Link’s Beef Jerky as antipasti, moving on to the main course of 12 White Castle Burgers, and concluding my meal with a box of Ferraro Rocher Fine Hazelnut Chocolates, which I will wash down with a glass of Listerine. I’ll then get my commemorative photos printed upstairs at competitive rates. Anthony Bourdain can only dream of such an experience.

I have heard the criticisms of the CVS haters, those who claim that CVS is not a “real” dining option as it lacks “tables” or “a kitchen.” I only pity them for the close-mindedness that prevents them from appreciating the finer things in life. Peel away the manufactured labels such as “convenience store” and “pharmacy” imposed by society, the ignorant, and CVS itself, and you realize that it is no different from one of those ultra-chic restaurants where you take your food from a conveyor belt. CVS is the go-to place for people who take what they want, when they want, without the contrived atmosphere of slower, lesser eateries. ­

And at 5:47 a.m., there’s no place I’d rather be. There is also no other place open.

Harvard Square

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