Op-ed submission: Why we don’t like Holmes Lounge

Gabe Hoffman and Daniel Cohen | Class of 2017

Every Tuesday of the fall 2013 semester, we went to Holmes Lounge after Introduction to Microeconomics for a carvery wrap. At first, we were on board with everyone else’s opinion about how “wonderful” the wraps were. However, we couldn’t shake the uncomfortable feeling that we’d get every Tuesday afternoon, a couple hours after eating, of the dense rock in our digestive tracts.

Eventually, we stopped going to Holmes Lounge, not just because of the nausea that accompanied every visit, but because we had some qualms with the meal as a whole. First of all, half the time the cheese doesn’t melt at all, and when it does, it quickly re-hardens, which is not pleasant to eat. Furthermore, if you order any sauce at all, your wrap will be drowning in sauce. On that same note, you’d be wise to never ask them to make you whatever they want—to freestyle it, if you will. They will put a full three servings of different sauces into that tortilla, and it will literally be oozing out the sides, and you’ll have Sauce Lake in the middle. The worst part is when you’re almost done with one half of the wrap; the bottom is just balled up tortilla and sauce, with nothing else there! It’s just this dense, bad-tasting mess that makes finishing the thing extremely difficult.

Fall 2013 was a long time ago, and we thought it was only fair to try a carvery wrap every semester until we graduated, to make sure we still didn’t like it. Here we are, mere weeks from graduating, and we still hate them.

Each semester, when we returned to Holmes, we saw reminders of the post-wrap nausea from all those weeks first semester freshman year. The biggest of which was the brown lines. These brown lines were terrifying. Yes, the brown lines from the Panini press that let you know the wrap is all sealed shut, all crispy. I get it, people will say, “That’s how you know it’s done!” These evil brown lines that we saw every Tuesday were a strong symbol of what had become the dreaded Carvery wrap; each crunchy bite we’d take brought us a step closer to post-wrap misery. Another thing we’d see is when the wraps were freshly cut, you get one side of each half that’s entirely meat, and the other side that’s just sauce and veggies. So maybe we’d be “happy” (or as close as we could get to it, but actually not even because the meat was really dry most of the time) half the time while eating the good side, but the other half the time was just as horrible as dense-rock-in-our-digestive-tracts time. Why couldn’t they at least mix up the meat, sauce and veggies a little? Just kind of mess it all around with your hands, or that big knife, anything. Because no one wants to be eating one side and just getting meat, and no one wants to just get vegetables either. It’s like they were taking a potentially good experience and intentionally separating the ingredients, creating a doubly bad experience.

The Pickle

At this point, we’d like to mention the consistent bright spot of our Holmes excursions: the pickle. Typically, we’d get two pickles with each wrap: one inside the wrap and another on the side. The pickles were the only things that got us through the entirety of a wrap: a juicy, refreshing bite of pickle every few heavy mouthfuls of wrap made all the difference. We’d ration our side pickle to last the full duration of the wrap-eating experience … Who knows what would’ve happened if we didn’t have the pickle?

Look, we know this opinion is pretty harsh. We’ve been sitting on it for almost four years, and we finally decided it was time to make our voices heard and see if there was anyone else out there who agreed with us. It’s easy to be silenced in a community with overwhelming support for Holmes Lounge.

We also want to make clear that our only issues with Holmes are food-related. The staff there is lovely, helpful and kind. The soup samples are wonderful, the cold water tank is refreshing and the building is beautiful, especially when light streams in on an autumn day.

We just don’t like the food at Holmes Lounge, and we’re ready to share.


Two graduating seniors