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Major Flex: Student Orders 3-Course Meal Off the Regular Menu During Restaurant Week


Photo by Arabella Uhry / The Daily Pennsylvanian

Restaurant Week is a celebrated pastime for many Penn students; a time where broke college kids can have a three-course meal that doesn’t involve leftover trays of Hummus Grill in the Huntsman forum. College senior Brandon Shao, however, sees things differently.

Last Tuesday, Shao and three of his friends made reservations at Alma de Cuba, a popular Restaurant Week destination. Unlike his friends, Shao shied away from the $35 dinner deal, instead ordering an appetizer, entree, and dessert off of the regular menu.

Shao noted that his decision was not intended to show off his wealth (though Shao clarified that he is, in fact, very wealthy). “I’m just doing my part to support our fragile economy,” explained Shao. “I think it’s disgusting that so many people prey on local businesses like this.”

“I’m fully aware that the Bronzino I ordered was also on the Restaurant Week menu, but it just tastes so much better knowing I am not abusing my power as a consumer,” said Shao. “It’s the same as my stance on financial aid—how could you take money away from the sacred educational institution that is Penn? A temple of learning? It’s sickening.”

Shao was adamant that his beliefs have nothing to do with his abundant wealth. “I opened a tab at Smoke's during freshman year and it’s been running ever since. I always tip the man who carries my backpack while I ride the elevator up to my apartment in Domus. The economy starts with you.” said Shao.

Shao remained humble when questioned about his generosity. ”What can I say? I’m a giver. And better yet? I’m rich.”