No explanation needed. Number one in my favorites on my phone, and that will not change anytime soon. It all started at my days at AEPi and the 15 second walk to pick up food. We’ve come a long way since then. I’m gonna miss saying “Can I place an order for pickup?” I’m gonna miss double-bagging the free pickles. I’m gonna miss my popcorn buffalo chicken crisps on wheat with no tomatoes. I’m gonna miss questioning why anyone would ever want tomatoes in any crisp and why tomatoes is even the standard. It will never make sense to me, but that’s part of life. Not knowing the answers to questions, but still accepting it. I’m gonna miss choosing sour cream over salsa. I’m gonna miss cheesy tots. I’m gonna miss seeing them in “10-15 minutes”. Sometimes I would just order Hansel so I could talk to them on the phone because I missed them; I wasn’t even hungry, but it just felt right. I’m gonna miss the gamechanger that is adding wedges to my chicken crisp and tots to my breakfast crisp. I’m gonna miss banana flips with oreo. I’m gonna miss splitting up the bill every single time. I’m gonna miss trekking through snow, rain, wind, fire, whatever to get to my Hansel. I’m gonna even miss getting angry when they messed up my order and gave me tomatoes by mistake and then forgiving them because of our history together. I’m gonna miss wearing my Hansel tshirts around campus and being asked if I work there only to disappoint them when I told them I was just a dedicated customer.
Hansel and Griddle has brought the New Brunswick community together better than anyone or anything else. We all have our favorite menu items, we all have our different styles of eating, and that’s okay. Some people dip their crisps into the sour cream/blue cheese, I like to call those people rookies. Using the knife to spread onto the crisp is a veteran move. But we’re all playing the same game, the game that we love and know as Hansel and Griddle. On average I spend like $8 per trip to Hansel, and I average about 2 trips to Hansel per week. So that’s a rough estimate of almost $2,000 well spent in my career at Rutgers. This is one of the hardest goodbyes I will ever have to say in my life. We’ve been through so much, late night meals after a 12-hour study binge, random breakfasts when I needed something to get my day off on the right foot, countless meals after tailgates and football games, wings on NFL Sunday (arguably the best wings in NB), the list goes on. I remember all the times their fryer was broken and all the times they ran out of bananas.
One of my fondest memories of Hansel and Griddle is post Hurricane Sandy. New Brunswick was shut down, there was no power anywhere. Word got out that Hansel was open and word spread fast. I remember waiting on the longest line I’ve ever seen at Hansel, lights off except for one emergency flood light. The situation was not ideal, but my spirits were high because I was at the place that I love. You could say that time heals all, I say that Hansel heals all. A Hansel a day keeps the doctor away. All I need in this life of sin, is me and my Hansel.
Another great memory I have was being the first customer at Hansel and Griddle Easton. Woke up in Belmar after a night at BarA at 7am to get back for the 8am grand opening. Did it matter that I basically didn’t sleep? Not at all. Did it matter that I had to wait 20 minutes for a bacon egg and cheese wrap because they weren’t expecting customers at 8am? Not even a little bit. I had an obligation to fulfill. But more importantly I wanted to be there. First customer ever at Hansel and Griddle Easton, and no one can take that title away from me.
As much as I fear for the future of our relationship, I think it’s time to launch Hansel and Griddle Manalapan. I will take the reigns. I’m pretty sure half of the 18-24 population is already familiar with it, now it’s time to take this thing to the next level. This is me proposing to you, Hansel, on a public forum. Marry me. Let’s be together forever. Nothing can stop us!
Thank you, Hansel and Griddle. I will always love you. Cue the waterworks.