From the Author: The only thing better than food is drunk food. And the best kind of drunk food is the kind you earn by waiting in a crowd of inebriated Halloween-celebrating students.
At a certain point in the evening, particularly a drink-filled evening, food becomes one’s sole and primary goal in life. Halloween was no exception. The costumes went on, the shots went down, and after a few hours of stumbling from party to party, the desire for a chicken mayo sandwich overwhelmed me. The only dilemma was this: Mr. Milano’s was a whole two streets away, and the Shell petrol station only had chicken and stuffing sandwiches on the shelves. What’s a girl to do?
Wait in a massive line, be the annoying customer who asks for a ton of modifications, and find bliss, that’s what. Now Mr. Milano’s does a mean chicken mayo baguette, but the closest my tequila-addled brain could find on the Courtyard menu was a chicken mayo and cheese panini. Thus, my friend and I began the noble feat of figuring out how to get what I so desperately wanted. First, order the chicken mayo and cheese panini, but ask for no cheese. Then ask them not to toast it, and to put extra chicken mayo. And to make sure it was on a baguette bread, because a simple sandwich was not going to cut it. It was 2am, I was hammered, and I needed this damn baguette.
Luckily, despite the state we were in, we had plenty of time waiting in line to devise this baguette hacking plan. It seemed that the entire town of St Andrews – and a few stray Dundonians – had wandered into Courtyard, and we were stuck behind them all. A few girls dressed like ninja turtles who had already ordered had decided that every 30 seconds they needed to buy another Mars bar from the bucket on the countertop, and would interrupt the order-taking to do this. Soon enough, the room full of ravenous drunkards put an end to this, casually forming a human barrier between them and the candy bars they were stockpiling. We waited, witnessing the creepy guy behind us tell someone he would literally carry her back to DRA because ‘he liked her personality’. We waited, watching one of the guys in the street outside decide that the pavement in front of Tesco looked like a delightful place to take a nap. We waited, as a a pack of girls dressed like sexy M&Ms walked past scream-singing Fancy by Iggy Azalea. We were not short on entertainment, just our now critically necessary food.
We ordered. It was glorious. I endured the eye roll from the creepy DRA-carrying guy behind me as he realized my order was going to take more than the socially acceptable ten seconds. I didn’t care. I was minutes away from my baguette and I had never wanted anything more in my short life.
When I finally got my sandwich, angels sang. For those who have experienced the singular joy of receiving long-awaited food, while drunk, cold, and crowded, you know what I mean. For those who don’t, it is an unmissable life event. I recommend Courtyard Cafe for complicated orders and entertainment value. The Dervish-Courtyard-Empire pizza debate may rage on, but I can tell you this: nowhere does a last minute jury-rigged chicken mayo baguette quite like the lifesavers at Courtyard.