To begin, I’m legally obligated to say that I in no way/shape/form condone underage drinking. I’m also morally obligated to say that every person who just so happens to be drunk should be able grab a bite to eat at 2 a.m. because that food will be glorious and delicious. In college, when you are not studying or preparing for your future (wait, I was supposed to do those things?!), you’ll likely be stumbling around in large groups, loudly debating where to go stuff your greedy little faces. Knowing which city offers the best options is essential.
In Eugene, the de rigueur place to go is Dough Co, Eugene’s sole provider of 3 a.m. calzones. Their combination of being located less than three blocks from campus combined with late-night delivery options gives them a business model that perfectly taps into the “lazy” demographic. Also, you know Dough Co is hip because they sell beer pong kits of cups and balls and aren’t even subtle about it.
Unfortunately, Dough Co’s food is atrocious. During my time as an undergrad, I sampled a good portion of their menu and every calzone tasted the same: uninspired and wooden. Maybe that’s a marketing strategy or something. If it is, it isn’t a good one. For over seven dollars, I better have a unique, semi-memorable culinary experience. Put it this way: if you’re intoxicated enough to have no memory of losing your shoes and your keys but manage to remember your food being bad, you know the food was truly bad.
In Corvallis, you have La Conga. Yes, the sign on the outside says “Riva’s,” and yes there is a very similar “Riva’s” in Eugene, but I don’t care: there is only one La Conga. If you are in need of late-night food in Corvallis, this 24-hour burrito haven (and burrito heaven) is the go-to option (it’s also your only option). Going there is a right of passage for every Corvallis resident. It is located right next to the police station, which is a bit unnerving for the paranoid/very stoned, but think of the restaurant as a sovereign nation with a no-extradition policy. It’s a safe place.
At La Conga, the menu is very literal. A “beef burrito” won’t have pico de gallo or beans. You will receive a tortilla wrapped around shredded beef. This is actually a blessing, for the menu at La Conga is infinitely customizable. Okay, not infinitely, but I’m too lazy to dust off my permutations and combinations skillz. They don’t explicitly say off-menu orders are allowed, but trust me; my friends and I have done some serious anthropological research. For those not brave enough to order their own creations, I recommend the classics: the Oregon burrito, the bacon breakfast burrito, and the carne asada fries that come in a portion large enough to kill a hungry, hungry hippo. While your stomach may not thank you the next day, your wallet certainly will.
Verdict: If you have no horse in the OSU versus U of O race, well, you’d be correct because neither of the schools has a horse mascot and the teams are playing football, not racing. In all seriousness, though, Oregon State takes the cake in the “Late Night Food” category…even though La Conga doesn’t serve cake. Whatever. OSU wins today’s category. OSU 1 : UO 0