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MIT student blogger Jess K. '10

All-You-Can-Eat Summer by Jess K. '10

I hit food coma at the first paragraph.

The thing about summer is the weeks kind of all run together, so all the days just sort of bleed into each other and everything starts to feel like one giant meatloaf of beaching and eating and working and shopping and eating and sleeping and eating. (Did I mention eating? Eating food? Lots of food?) Held together by the ketchup that is lab or class or whatever it is that you’re officially “doing” this summer, summer days pile up on top of each other like the laundry I forgot to fold on Sunday. And today’s Thursday. When did THAT happen? Monday through Wednesday are just kind of sitting in the bottom of the pile, unfolded and unblogged.

In a nutshell, summer is a diced onion, once carefully layered and structured but now that you’re in the middle of it, quartered and chopped so that the outer layer is mingling amongst the inner core. Summer is a recycling bin of everything you wanted to do in Boston during the school year but couldn’t, and are now picking out to divide into papers, plastics, Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Summer is turning 20 and going out to dinner with twenty of your close friends when you actually told the restaurant you were expecting eleven and having them spit in your sushi.

I’m probably going to hurt myself if I continue getting carried away with these metaphors (did you notice half of them were about food?), so suffice it to say that I think summer is the best invention of all time, short of those razors with soap in them already. I’m living in a fraternity in Boston (which is half as cheap as living in the dorms during the summer, and comes with food) with four hilarious and amazing girls, of which I am always the last to get up. After I get up I go to my job in Building 46, where I’m learning to scan people’s brains using fMRI and code experiments and analyze data and eat free ice cream sundaes courtesy of Course 9 on Monday afternoons. After work we go places, or sometimes we don’t, and sometimes we stay up until 4 in the morning trying to beat the Ultimate Set List on Rock Band. And then sometimes we feel like snoring loudly through lab meetings the next morning.

And then we eat. Excessively. Exorbitantly. Discovering little breakfast places are my personal favorite, but as a group it seems we’ve come to the consensus that all-you-can-eat events are the bomb diggity. Boston has this place called Fire and Ice where you can not only create your own dishes, but they also have half-price college night, and we took their website’s claim of “All you have to do is take a bowl and pile it high with whatever you want,” as a challenge. What would’ve been an otherwise normal and pleasant evening out in Boston turned into a boys vs. girls eating competition, and although the numbers worked out unevenly – 5 girls to 4 boys – their team had Garrett, who once ate 13 pancakes at all-you-can-eat IHOP. (I had four.)

The girls emerged victorious, 23-19 bowls, for a total of 42 (and since this was half-off night, we all paid $10, which averages out to about $4 per bowl). I ate 8. The trick is to keep eating at all times, so you don’t recognize you’re full. (If you came here for tips on how to get into college, I’m sorry to say all you’re going to get are tips on how to eat like a West African lion.)

After the girls completely dominated, the losers had to buy the winners ice cream at J.P. Licks, which has some of the best ice cream in Boston and was totally unwelcome after eating 8 bowls of stir fry. (We limped home and went back another night. It tasted like glory, in case you were wondering.)

While we’re on the subject of ice cream, not long after was the 26th annual Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl, or the nation’s largest all-you-can-eat ice cream festival. The event is held by Government Center and features ice cream from 11 difference ice cream companies, including Edy’s, Coldstone, and Ben and Jerry’s while raising money for cancer research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. And so, we employed our favorite technique again of stuffing our face until food coma – but this time, for a good cause.

Eventually we made it to our limit – around 9-12 scoops between the five of us, for a grand total of:

This year turned out to be a record for the foundation, as they raised over $345,000 in just three days. It also turned out to be a record for me, as I ate 11 scoops of ice cream in under an hour.

So writing this entry has pretty much put me back in food coma, but my point is that the food can actually be pretty great at MIT – you just have to be willing to go and look for it. Which can be difficult to find the time for during a harried semester schedule, but in the summer, there are no excuses. Except for when you’re full. Give it a little time to digest, because you’ve got to make room for Chowderfest.

16 responses to “All-You-Can-Eat Summer”

  1. omar says:


    I wanna see you!


  2. omar says:

    btw, JP licks is definitely good stuff. i love their ice cream so much!

    except paying for it is usually painful.


  3. All these food metaphors and eating competitions are making me hungry. I wish I were in Boston right now to own Fire and Ice *sad face explosion*

  4. Paul says:

    You still owe me a coffee run. Let’s go gorge ourselves with caffè macchiatos or something. smile

  5. Fire and Ice! I love that place!

  6. milena '11 says:

    i am missing JP Licks Oreo Cake Batter ice cream soooo much!!!!!! I had it every day for two weeks before leaving, to see if I’d get sick of it. No such luck :-(

  7. Julie P. says:

    This was THE coolest entry EVER.
    (Who cares if it hasn’t got anything to do with college acceptance?!)

  8. Judy '12 says:

    OMG that’s SO MUCH FOOOOOOOD!!!!

    I once had one little cartoon of Haagen Dazs mango ice cream and I was about to puke on the floor when I finished. My stomach is such a noob…

  9. Scott '10 says:

    I ate 31 scoops this year. Beat my record from last year by seven.

  10. V says:

    totally had my birthday party at fire and ice in harvard square. so good. soo good.

    I WISH I KNEW ABOUT THAT ICE CREAM CHARITY DRIVE! Next year, ohhh I will be there. Thanks for bringing it into my line of sight!

  11. Lian says:

    I loved Boston’s Fire and Ice…I remember visiting and watching a novak djokovic match there with random waiters…it was great…one of the high points of the whole visiting colleges roadtrip.

    Oh and all of the food metaphors are great…and very filling. Almost too much…I feel stuffed just reading this.

  12. wisdom says:

    Wow that is a lot of food, awesome.

  13. Anonymous says:

    First of all, nice blog! Mmm, food…
    Secondly… I’m writing this because the site tells us that if we have questions, just ask — but I’m not sure where to ask. I’m sure [email protected] gets a ton of e-mails.
    I couldn’t find a particularly relevant blog (one still open to comments, that is) to post this on, so I’m taking a shot in the dark and asking you.

    I recently read Matt’s blog for people who like to build things – about how to show what they can do. Those of us interested in earth science have a similar problem. There are hardly any competitions and summer programs out there that really challenge geology/meteorology students. And, it’s hard to do original research in those subjects at this age because of the equipment (or ridiculous computer programming skill) that such research would require.

    I’ve been studying geology and meteorology since I learned to read, and am interested in Course 12 at MIT. Applications are coming up and I’m faced with the problem of having no way to show my skills. What can I do??

    Thanks, and keep enjoying the foodful summer! smile

  14. Anonymous says:

    Hahaha, and then I realize that you have another entry titled Questions Omnibus.
    A bit late.