New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

I Only Ate at Upstein’s Daily Press for Two Days

Imagine eating at Subway five meals in a row … but with fewer options.
Talia Barton
The Little Havana sandwich, sold in Upstein dining hall. Ria Mittal tried to eat only sandwiches from Upstein’s Daily Press for two days. (Photo by Talia Barton)

Sandwiches. So simple, yet so versatile. BLT, peanut butter and jelly or fried chicken — the combinations are endless, and most, if not all, are scrumptious. But last week, I began to wonder: could I eat them for every meal? I decided to find out the answer to this burning question by eating all of my meals at Upstein’s Daily Press for two whole days.

At the Daily Press, you can either choose from their menu or build your own sandwich — an option that I, unfortunately, wasn’t aware of at first. My two designated days of the week also happened to both be days I had midterms, so I was stressed, cranky and caffeinated. When I saw that there were only two vegetarian options on the menu, I almost gave up right then and there.

That first day, I had a midterm at 11 a.m., so breakfast was not an option for me. My first meal ended up being at 2 p.m., and it was the Al Caprese sandwich. I was pleasantly surprised. There were some tasty, classic Italian flavors with smoked gouda, pesto and mozzarella. Overall, it was much better than expected. It managed to get me past my Red Bull-induced manic state and left me feeling genuinely satisfied. 

For dinner, I tried the Veggie Bomb, the other vegetarian option on the menu. Unlike the other sandwich, this one turned out to be utterly unappetizing. It was heavy, bland and somehow tasted like absolutely nothing. I had expected it to be bomb — instead, it simply bombed.

I had to drastically lower my expectations for day two after realizing only one of my two options was actually edible. I was also determined to eat all three meals that day — no skipping, and absolutely no snacking. Upstein opens at 10:30 a.m., so by 10:45, I was there and ready to eat yet another sandwich. Desperate for options, I decided to ask the dining hall employee at the Daily Press if there were any other vegetarian options. He told me I could choose between the Al Caprese or the Veggie Bomb, or I could just make my own. This, ladies and gentlemen, was the best news I could have received. 

On that glorious morning, I built my own veggie sandwich. I was happy with the number of options available — multiple types of hummus and even a vegan chipotle aioli. However, my sandwich crafting ended there. I proceeded to eat the Al Caprese for my next two meals (don’t judge me), and it got a little less yummy each time. 

Only consuming food from the Daily Press for two days straight had its pros and cons — I saved money since my lovely friends with meal plans were kind enough to swipe me in, but I also had to stay on campus all day or commute back and forth from my apartment in the Financial District. I discovered a genuinely good sandwich but eating it three times in two days ruined it. Though I definitely wouldn’t do it again, this experience goes to show that moderation is the key to enjoying anything in life — even sandwiches.

A version of this article appears in the Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019 print edition. Email Ria Mittal at [email protected].

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