The Meliora Restaurant had a power outage in their refrigeration chamber and the current stock of Meliora sauces, better known as Mel Sauce, spoiled within hours, on Monday Nov. 12. It will take up to two weeks to get the sauce count back up to a level at which the kitchen can resume serving their famous Mel burgers.
Due to this calamity, there are only 34 containers of extra Mel Sauce left on campus. That number is shrinking by the second and has many worried about the future of campus life as we know it.
With few meal options, students have taken drastic measures to ensure they get to enjoy the last drop of this scrumptious sauce, and with less interest in Danforth and Douglass dining halls, the pressure is on for the Mel.
Freshman Larry Unger has 21 of the remaining containers in a storage unit at an undisclosed location off campus. Since coming to UR in August, he has had a Mel lunch every single weekday, taking home extra containers after each meal. He is left with his current total due to constant snacking.
The shortage has caused Unger to reflect on his first experience with Mel Sauce and the Mel itself.
“A couple of particularly disappointing dining hall trips led me to seek other means of sustenance,” Unger remembers. “I overheard the word Meliora and naturally thought it was just someone using our motto. When I heard the word restaurant after it, though, my interest piqued.”
Unger immediately checked the place out.
“When the Mel Sauce hit my taste buds, I was overwhelmed,” Unger said. “This stuff is better than Thanksgiving!”
Unger’s taste for Mel Sauce is shared by many students around campus and as word spread through the Class of 2016 earlier this year, the line to get a table increased rapidly. Hundreds of students were turned away daily because the restaurant ran out of food.
The obsession with Mel Sauce has prompted students to abandon all other forms of dining and now, with the shortage, students are deciding to starve instead of going elsewhere. The task force formed by UR Dining to examine this issue is at a loss for words, as they figured that hunger would surely overcome the Mel Sauce shortage.
“I have seen lines like this for the new iPhone or football game tickets, but never for a secret sauce,” senior Rashad Salami said. “I am tempted to join in getting a taste before it is all gone.”
Meanwhile, students have aggressively sought out Unger and others for their prized possession. Unger claims he was offered a forgivable write-up from his Resident Adviser, while a classmate offered to write his term paper just for one scoop with a french fry. Numerous love letters and date offers have come his way, but he is still undecided on exactly what he will do.
All over campus, makeshift kitchens have been springing up, filled with students attempting to recreate the mysterious sauce. No one has yet to capitalize on this opportunity, though, so the recipe remains elusive. Any day now, the Mel should release it to the public.
As freshman Toby Mayo put it, “Stop the secrets, stop the starving.”
Brady is a member of
the class of 2015.