College really makes you appreciate a midnight snack, which in many cases is really more of a full, post-midnight meal. With the dining halls closed and the snacks in your room rarely satisfying when you’re really hungry, there aren’t too many options to turn to at 1 or 2 in the morning. One eatery, however, has profited tremendously by filling that void for a huge percentage of Tufts students – and they only needed one type of food to do it.
The “Blue Zone,” made at the local Helen’s Roast Beef and Pizzeria, is a staple of the Tufts diet. It’s name insidiously finds its way into your lexicon after only a few weeks on campus, and soon you’re caught by surprise when your friends from home don’t know what you’re referring to when you say you’re craving one. It doesn’t sound like a really revolutionary dish – just a Buffalo chicken calzone with blue cheese dressing. And at most times of the day, it isn’t anything particularly special. It’s pretty remarkable, then, that it develops a devoted cult following between 11 PM and 3 AM.
People freak out over Blue Zones. Helen’s fleet of delivery cars can be seen making the rounds on campus constantly on any given weekend night. When a delivery takes longer than expected (sometimes by an hour or more), you’d think the prospective eater had been deprived of food for a week based on the way they react.
Last weekend, someone ordered a Blue Zone in our dorm and decided they were full after a few slices. This left the rest of the meal up for grabs. When word spread of some free leftover Blue Zone, people dropped everything and actually began running down the halls, mouths watering and arms flailing.
Helen’s isn’t the only place that fills the emotionally charged midnight food vacuum for Tufts kids. There’s Pizza Days, another pizzeria offering late-night delivery, and Moe, the genius entrepreneur who parks in the middle of campus every night of most weekends and sells freshly cooked burgers and sausages right out of his custom truck. But from my experience, neither of these options come close to rivaling the popularity of the Blue Zone.