BUDS Presents: Korean BBQ with Mai Pham

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Brown Dining Services has debuted yet another specialty at Andrews Commons: Korean BBQ. Head Chef Mai Pham, who has partnered with Andrews Commons to produce some of our favorites like Pho and Stir-fry, has wowed us again with a new meal. Pham is a James Beard award winning Pan Asian chef who was on site last night to help prepare and serve the delicacies. Her work brought to life flavors of Korea, and it was truly a pham-tastic night (sorry, I couldn’t resist throwing that in there).

In seriousness, though, the night seemed to be a success. I arrived a couple minutes before the event started at 5 so I could exploit my press privileges to get to the front of the line snap a few photos and check out what they had to offer. Even before it started people began gathering and the Commons had some festive decorations around the stir-fry station. The first thing that sparked my interest was the steak they were preparing – it looked perfectly cooked and smelled good. I was excited to start eating.

By the time 5 o’clock rolled around, there was already a line to the door. Thankfully, because of strategic positioning, I was the second person in line and I got my food right away. The meal came with rice, steak, chicken, noodles, sautéed veggies, pickled carrots, kimchi, and a cucumber salad.

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What are the Andrews booths really telling us?

Brown’s interior designers seem to have predilection for strange, colorful, modern furniture.  For example, the “why the heck am I sitting in a giant gumdrop” Candy Land-like chairs in the SciLi or the bright orange chairs that most closely resemble a horse hoof in Metcalf make zero sense. Andrews Commons is no exception. I’m talking about that 50-foot booth that extends across Commons, covered in an aggressively neon green fabric that features the most cryptic text. These couches must be telling us something… but what? Here are a few explanations:

1. National Treasure code

"Autor Sammel"

“Aurtor Sammel”

The couches likely conceal some sort of clue that could lead us on a National Treasure-esque adventure. If you look through a mirror upside down, one part of the couch kind of says “Aurtor Sammel,” maybe most likely a member of the American Freemasons. All we need is unflappable amateur cryptologist Nicholas Cage and a 20-gallon vat of lemon juice to reveal the other messages that the booth may be hiding.

2. A psychological test

These booths may be some sort of strange, literary Rorschach test. The 2013-14 Andrews Hall construction project may have really been secretly sponsored by the CLPS Department, to study subjects’ perceptions of manipulated texts. Hidden microphones record the most common words people say when sitting at these booths, studying how people are unconsciously influenced by their surroundings. Some of the most common words and phrases recorded so far in Andrews include “butterfly,” “carnal desire,” “this cookie cake is banging,” and “yo, I’m not going to throw my trash away because I’m an inconsiderate grapefruit.” Weird.

3. CAPTCHA, Inc’s headquarters had too much extra fabric, and donated it to Brown.

I’m sure the makers of CAPTCHAs, those frustrating tests you’re forced to fill out when signing up for an email or a Club Penguin account, decorate their offices appropriately. For their offices, the entire screenplay for the Bee Movie was probably split up into 2-4 word chunks, impossibly distorted, blown up, and printed on wallpaper and fabrics that cover every available surface in the building, testing whether visitors and workers are humans or computers. Every day, a CAPTCHA employee stares at the wall of their cubicle trying to decipher what the test says. “Maybe, I’m really not a human?” they wonder. Hmm.

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Chow Down Brown: Ch-ch-ch-changes in campus eateries

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Can’t you smell them already…?

Let’s be honest – the thoughts that run through a college student’s mind often fall into a pretty specific set of categories. They may vary in content and percentage depending on the person, of course, but you can almost guarantee that they include the following: homework, romance, various forms of inebriation, and of course, food.

Brown University Dining Services therefore has ambitious tasks to accomplish in feeding Brown’s hungry students. Aaron Fitzsenry, culinary manager of retail dining and one of our favorite food authorities on campus, sat down with me to discuss some of the exciting culinary ch-ch-ch-changes taking place across campus this year.

The Blue Room will soon be introducing a Mediterranean Bar a few nights a week. Fitzsenry dreamed up this idea this summer while he was strolling down Thayer Street looking for inspiration in the existing business models. Featuring fresh and local ingredients such as hummus, tabbouleh, chickpea salad, fresh Narragansett feta, and Sam’s Bakery Syrian wraps, the Mediterranean Bar will be joining the ranks of student favorites Kabob and Curry and the Naked Burrito Bar. As the Herald reported, the Blue Room will also be serving savory pastries of the leek-and-parmesan and cherry-Greek-yogurt varieties. And don’t worry – those muffins and cookies you dream about will continue to be baked fresh daily. Rotating soup and meal specials can be found on the Blue Room’s website, in addition to any and all ingredient information about which you may be curious.

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BlogDailyHerald presents: What Brown eatery are you?

rattyYes. We caved. Blog made a quiz, exactly like those that have become ubiquitous on your newsfeed. But, it’s pretty fitting, considering Blog is just a niche version of Buzzfeed. Without further adieu, we present…

 

 


Blog Odds: What will happen to the Gate’s space?

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While we’ve enjoyed the nice offerings of Andrews Commons the New Gate these last few weeks, we’ve also lamented the loss of the original Gate’s quaintness, its dim lighting, and its Choco Tacos. It seems, however, that it’s time to move on. What better way to grieve than to speculate recklessly on what will happen next to the now empty space in Alumnae Hall? It’s time for Blog Odds.

New eatery- 25:1
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Student therapy room for Intro to MCM-induced angst and realization of arbitrariness of universe- 200:1
Derrida, Derrida. Foucault.

A refuge for sexiles- 300:1
They need to go somewhere.

Gourmet Hell- 4:1

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PollerBears: What to do about Andrews Commons

AC PizzaAfter months of breathless anticipation, Andrews Commons officially opens today. That leaves us, however, with one responsibility. What do we name it? Let us know what you think.

What do we call Andrews Commons?

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Image via Emily Gilbert ’14.