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Origins: The only good thing about Darwin

Na-cho average nachos. Great, now that the pun’s out the way, let’s get started.

Darwin is, without a doubt, the worst building on campus. Yes, I’m including Rutherford. It is an awful array of cramped, temperature-temperamental rooms, awful-excuse-for study spaces, and home to, well, the worst homes here at Kent (you have to go outside to get to the kitchen, what’s that about?). But where darkness lies, light luminates with presence. Origins is that light.

I go here more often than any of the other places on campus, spending way over half my food budget (if I actually budgeted). It’s got every vibe: study on the high tables with readily-available power sockets, have a flat/house dinner in the tabled corner area, or grab a few afternoon drinks with course-mates over some pool. They serve tea and coffee, reasonably priced food, and expensive-for-England-but-cheap-for-Kent alcohol. If you’re the kind of person that comes to the library just to talk for hours upon hours in the social area, come here instead. You’ll make some desperate-for-seats students very happy. And you’ll have nachos. Win-win.

Considering it’s my final year, and Ruby’s isn’t on in the summer term, I recently went to my last ever Ruby Tuesday’s. If you haven’t been to Ruby Tuesday’s yet, what’s wrong with you? A mixture of music from the turn of the century, and a (usually) packed dance floor with free entry makes this one of the most popular alternative nights at Kent. The walk from Origins to the hatch afterwards is a riotous rite of passage: a quest taken on by many, with countless piggy-back rides resulting in tumbles into the bushes lining the pavement. It’s a chill night, you don’t even have to dance. Did I mention pool?

Origins was quite recently subject to extensive controversy across campus, as students and alumni condemned the outlet for ridding itself of a much-loved dish: curly fries. A staple of their Tex-Mex menu, before its re-brand to a seemingly budget American smokehouse, curly fries accompanied many of their dishes. I was never a fan, but there were enough to start a campaign.

The best thing about this entire debacle? Origins actually brought back curly fries! They listened to their customers and, quite quickly, responded.

Considering I’ve never been more indifferent to an issue in my life, let’s get to the pièce de résistance of this review: The Nachos. Deliciously homemade, served with salsa, sour cream, and guac, these are one of the best nachos I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating. I got mine topped with pulled pork, but you can also opt for beef or, wait for it, pulled mushroom. I love mushrooms, but the thought of it on giant plate of nachos doesn’t sound too appealing to me. Alas, I won’t come to judgement yet. It shall be tried soon.

Considering I’m a professional, I went out the night before and drank a liver-bursting amount before reviewing these to truly judge their merit as a hangover meal. I was not disappointed. As each nacho chip entered my stomach I could feel it absorb every ounce of whisky in me, the sour cream and guac coating the lining of my stomach to give me a level of satisfaction I had only previously had in a context I don’t feel comfortable talking about. I could marry these nachos. After writing this, I’m going to skip my seminar and probably go get them again. The tortilla chips have a delicate crunch, softer than store-bought tortilla chips, but still providing the satisfying sound and feel we all know and love whilst being seasoned with a delicious smoky seasoning. The cheese is cheese. It is divine, like all cheeses. I do not count vegan cheese, for it is not cheese. Sorry.

I love origins to death, but I feel I’m outgrowing it. You’ll find more first year’s here than any of the other outlets on campus. That speaks for its appeal, yes, but it has the overwhelming aura of ‘you’re too old to be here’ whispering in my ear. Am I ignoring it on a daily basis? Yes. Will I be ignoring it when I return at 40? Yes. Should you ignore it? Absolutely. Origins is a gem.

Though, as timeless as this place is, maybe I belong in Dolce Vita?

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