With the start of school only a couple short weeks away, I’ve been thinking a lot about which aspects of Oberlin life I’m most excited to revisit in my second year. Tonight, the topic penetrating my mind happens to be chicken tenders.
What do chicken tenders have to do with Oberlin? Well, the popular fried delicacies happen to be served (almost*) every Wednesday night for Fourth Meal. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, Fourth Meal is a late-night dining option in the Rathskeller on weeknights from 10pm-12am (and yes, it accepts meal swipes!).
In the opinion of myself and many others, chicken tenders night (known colloquially as “Tendies Night”) is the best Fourth Meal of the week. This isn’t necessarily because of the tendies themselves; it’s definitely not the place to go if you’re looking for the best chicken you’ve ever eaten. However, if your motives lie more along the lines of a fun study break with friends and food, then Tendies Night is where you want to be. Plus, if chicken isn’t your speed, they have vegan boca nuggets too!
One of the things that I love the most about Tendies Night is the atmosphere. No other fourth meal that I remember attending has consistently filled the entirety of the Rathskeller**, and because of this loaded capacity on Wednesdays, the room is very much alive and buzzing. Even if you come with one group of friends, it’s likely you’ll walk past tables filled with other Obies you know and want to chat with.
I’ve definitely had times where I bounced between tables on my way to refill my drink (or grab a second tray of tendies!). Especially as someone who is in a co-op and eats with the same people every day, Tendies Night is a refreshing opportunity to eat with some new faces once a week. Speaking of co-ops, it’s important to remember that members only get one meal swipe a week, and that tendies can count for that swipe. Luckily, people who aren’t in co-ops are usually happy to help out and lend a swipe if they have an extra for the day. They’ve saved me many times!
Another great thing about Tendies Night is that it falls right in the middle of the week, serving as a delicious (and much needed) reminder that you’ve made it halfway through. The timing also lines up perfectly with Splitchers, the Wednesday night attraction of the ‘Sco, which is conveniently located just down the hall in the basement of Wilder. Because of this convenience, many people attend both Tendies and Splitchers, making for a two-for-one midweek study break hangout fun.
In case my words weren’t enough to convince you to attend Tendies Night, to close off my tender-loving blog, I’ve compiled a short list of reviews straight from my Oberlin friends:
“Mmm so good, I almost forgot I live in the patriarchy.” -Cait (she/her)
“Honestly I prefer nacho night, but I go for the camaraderie.” -Pip (she/they)
“You’re excited all day for you and your friends to go to a party you’ll go to for 30 minutes. You’ll look back and not understand why you were so excited to eat chewy tendies, but you keep doing it because this is who you are now. Experience > Quality.” -Imani (they/them)
*I say “almost” because some weeks, instead of chicken tenders, Wednesday fourth meal is chicken wings. As a Buffalonian, I’m extremely picky about my wings, so I’m not a fan of those weeks and prefer to focus on tendies. I have plenty of non-Buffalo friends who love wings night, though!
**I wanted to point out that when the Rathskeller is full, people usually go upstairs to the first or second floors of Wilder to eat their chicken. No space doesn’t equal no tendies! Going upstairs to eat is also a great option when you’re in the mood to be in a quieter or more spacious environment. Yay accessibility!