Some years ago – when I was a freshman – having little or no money in my wallet, but desperate for food other than Sodexo, I thought I’d walk into Wayne and see what food was available. This is a feeling every Eastern student inevitably feels: whenever you’re staring mournfully at the same spinach wrap you’ve eaten for the last twenty-four days; whenever you enter the dining commons and despair fills your soul; whenever the mystery meat is so dry that it requires three cups of water to consume – then it is high time to dash into Wayne and get into a restaurant as soon as you can.
The closest cluster of restaurants within walking distance is at the intersection of Aberdeen and Lancaster. When I was a freshman there were plenty of options here. However, Covid has brought the harsh reality of our fallen world upon us: Panera? Gone. Five Guys? Closed. Chipotle? Would be better if it was gone. Even the pet store and the oft-visited Starbucks down the street left for greener pastures. For students with cars, these closings might be an inconvenience at worst, but for those of us without, the lack of restaurants dooms us to the monotony of the dining hall. Such students are left with the choice of either eating at the god-awful Chipotle, or being extraverted and making friends with people who have cars; I don’t know which prospect is scarier.
However, amidst these closings, one fast-food franchise has decided to swoop in and save the day: Nick Filet. If you’ve never heard of them, that’s not surprising: their new location on Lancaster is only their second public location in the state and fourth location nation-wide. Their logo is a bearded bitmoji dude (presumably Nick?) in a tuxedo holding a sandwich on a platter. Yes, their official logo is literally a bitmoji dude. After walking by the location several times, the hilariousness of the branding finally convinced me to go there. Inside, I was greeted with a clean, casual interior with posters of various signature sandwiches (each featuring Nick in various bitmoji costumes and poses. Who did the branding for this restaurant??). Nick Filet specializes in “Steak-House quality Filet-Mignon, but affordable!” according to their website. Most things on their menu are sandwiches with ¼ lb. cuts of filet-mignon on a Kaiser roll. I expected absolutely nothing when I walked in, but I have to say: it was really freaking good. I got the “Classic Nick”, a filet-mignon sandwich with a healthy portion of bleu cheese and their signature sauce, but all of their sandwiches looked incredible, and (most importantly) the steak was excellent (Imagine, steak that has moisture in it and is seasoned properly! Is it that hard Sodexo??) The one possible downside is the price: A sandwich alone costs a cool $11.99, and adding a drink and fries will run you closer to $16. While this is a bit steep, what are the other options? A Chipotle burrito that’s half the proper size and tastes like burnt plastic? Didn’t think so.
So next time you’re in Wayne and see the spiffy logo of Nick Filet ready to serve, consider stopping in; you won’t regret it.