The Den’s hidden gems

Josh Kahen/Staff

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Student life can be abysmal at times. The feeling of having no money to spend anywhere, walking too long for a simple snack, lacking time to do anything besides eat, sleep and study definitely has the capability to hamper anyone’s positive vibes. Not all hope is lost, however.

Attached to Crossroads dining hall, The Den is every student’s savior in dire times. First of all, the use of flex dollars instead of actual dollars solves the problem of having no money. Even for flex dollars, most products at The Den are very affordable, and given the large account balance of most students, they can last a while. The Den is also very close to most campus housing, such as Unit 1 and Unit 2. It also is about a five-minute walk from campus, so it does not take too long to walk such a short distance. The cherry on top? The Den has some very good products.

Some of my personal favorite items from The Den are the chocolate-covered goods. The blueberries covered in milk chocolate sold by Peet’s Coffee are sweet with a kick of blueberry at the very end, and they are very dangerous. If you don’t pay attention, an entire bag will be demolished in less than five minutes. Another great item is the chocolate-covered espresso beans. The chocolate-and-coffee hybrid is intense yet sweet and definitely jump-starts the mind. On top of that, the caffeine from the beans provides extra energy for working. One annoyance of these beans is the amount of times you have to go to the bathroom. Since caffeine is an antidiuretic chemical, it makes people have to pee very frequently, and the easy caffeine consumption via the beans is able to make anyone have to go at least four times every hour.

Another product that pleasantly surprised me when I went to The Den was fresh fruit. Typically, I would have to go to Target or Trader Joe’s to get my fix for berries, but after seeing The Den’s stock, it made life a lot easier to just grab a carton of strawberries and blackberries on my way back home from classes. Some people would be concerned about the quality of the fruit, seeing as how it comes from The Den and not a supermarket, but after consuming said berries for the past two weeks with no other implications of any sort, I can confidently say The Den’s fruit may not be of the highest quality but is definitely digestible and tasty.

Finally, there are the instant meals. Instant noodles and instant mac and cheese will always be a college staple, regardless of the college or the time. There is never a bad time to eat that kind of food. The Den has a wide variety of these foods, including different types of instant noodles of various flavors, Kraft Mac & Cheese and soups. In dire times, there will always be these meals in The Den.

Ultimately, The Den is one of the most versatile resources that UC Berkeley students can utilize. Its wide range of products, accessibility and use of flex dollars makes it incredibly useful, especially when there is not a lot of time on hand. Seeing as how this is UC Berkeley, that’s a good thing, since there usually isn’t a lot of time on hand here anyway. So next time you find yourself wondering if it’s worth it to go to The Den or not, just do it. Who knows, you might find a diamond in The Den.

Contact Hamzah Alam at [email protected].