Brown, meet the Underground Coffee Shop

The Underground, that space directly under the Blue Room whose name you might have forgotten, has a storied history. Evidence of its past as a key player in Brown social life is on display today. Take the bar on the room’s wall: do you think that was just for show? Nope. Back in the Wild West days of legal drinking for all those 18 years of age and older, there was a genuine bar down there. Indeed, the Underground might be worthy of its own Ra Ra Brunonia post. It has been the host of everything from Funk Nites to IFF screenplay reads, with a few desperate last-minute study breaks in between.

On Monday, however, the Underground will take on a new role. Just in time to revive Brunonia from a crippling post-Spring Weekend group hangover, a group of students will be launching a coffee shop that has been months in the making. Katie Murphy ’16, Yousef Hilmy ’16, and Viktor Gavrielov ’15 have been working with SAO, the Blue Room, and even President Paxson to radically reimagine the space.

The grand opening is on Monday at 9 a.m., and they’ll be serving until 2 p.m. Though Opening Day will only be 5 hours long, Hilmy promises they will eventually be open for “long hours.” If you can’t make it to the Underground before the early closing, don’t fret, because there will be an opening party from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. that night. You can find more information about the Underground Coffee Shop on their (freakishly popular) Facebook page here.

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Much ado about muffins… ALL OF THE MUFFINS

So, Cookie Monster some Slate writer ate every single variety of Pepperidge Farm cookie.  While I was mildly disgusted, the piece inspired me to repeat this experiment at Brown — with Blue Room muffins, a collection as diverse as and somewhat carbier than the student population.

My sister, the ragamuffin Tanya Nguyen ‘13 (whose favorite joke is, incidentally, the one with the talking muffins), had independently developed a desire to test each one, so I enlisted her consumptive (I actually don’t think that’s the right word, but you know what I mean) and photographic ­aid in this totally self-indulgent project of great journalistic importance. Any excuse to nosh on a bunch of baked goods, amirite? Pro tips: Muffins are best warm, so nab them freshly baked or microwave them. Most are pretty sweet, especially as you keep stuffin’ your face with them, so have some water or other beverage (recommended pairings listed below). A gajillion couple thousand calories and 16 x 1.95 points later, here are our highly scientific results (in chronological order of sampling, which, don’t worry, was not in one sitting).

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Chow Down Brown: Scrumptious seasonal specials

Just when you thought he had outdone himself, Brown auxiliary dining guru Aaron Fitzsenry is back with more innovative specials to satisfy our cravings over next few weeks:

Tomorrow night, October 16th, it’s Oktoberfest at the Gate. That means braised pork shanks over apples, beer-braised bratwurst, soft pretzels, and apple strudel…all that can be purchased with meal credits.  (Ed.- Take that study abroad peeps!)

Sunday, the 21st, you’ll be able to head to the Blue Room with your parents to dazzle them grab an Apple Pie Float!

Finally, on Tuesday the 23rd, Aaron himself will be in the Ivy Room in the afternoon promoting the new tossed salad bar. Promised delicacies include: warm pears and figs over spinach with a raspberry vinaigrette, or sautéed mushrooms and crumbled bacon with a warm balsamic dressing.

Is your mouth watering yet? Good.


Shanghai is back in the Blue Room

When the Blue Room unveiled its fresh veggies wrapped in cellophane and its spinach and mixed greens with accompanying dressing on the side (!), we thought it couldn’t possibly outdo itself. Or out-Mom itself. But just when you thought the Blue Room couldn’t possibly get any better, it’s upped its game yet again: Brown’s finest dining establishment has decided to bring back both Veggie and Shrimp Nime Chow and sushi from Shanghai.

While the aesthetic and varieties of the sushi haven’t changed from last year, it looks as if Shanghai’s completely revamped the Nime Chow: there are now three individual rolls instead of two… and while the two Nime Chow rolls were $7.95 last fall, you now can buy three rolls for $8.00 even. So yeah, you basically get a third roll for free. If you didn’t know by now that we love free food, you should really read Blog.

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(Campus)Lifehacker: The Blue Room Salad

As yet another school year slowly winds to a close, you most likely have your daily Blue Room routine down to a science. Look for an empty booth, preferably one with an outlet. Put your bag down. Take a lap to find friends. Check to see if your favorite Shanghai sushi roll is still left. Eye the bakery/coffee line and gauge how much time you’ll have to spend waiting on it. Make a decision about what you’ll eat, pay, and hope that you have enough points left so you don’t hold up the line of impatient and hungry people behind you.

Of course, some inevitable external condition is bound take you out of your usual Blue Room rhythm. The 4 p.m. meal credit rush is definitely a game-changer and a royal pain in the ass. There’s only Sabra Red Pepper Hummus left. There are no more ciabatta rolls. The only fresh veggies on the  bottom refrigerated shelf are those monstrous (and weirdly phallic) whole English cucumbers. And where did all the Nime Chow go?! Equilibrium has been disturbed.

If you’re seeking consistency above all else in your Blue Room dining experience, look no further than the Blue Room Salad. No, I’m not talking about those tiny boxes of spinach or field greens that come with a measly side of balsamic vinaigrette. I’m talking customization and options at your fingertips. Tastes and flavors like you’d never believe. Dreamy greens. The only thing that stands in your way is the pesky glass partition of the sandwich line. No more ciabatta rolls? No problem.

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Did you really read Morning Mail? Korean barbecue edition

If you did last night, then this post is useless. If not, you are in for a serious treat. The venerable, ORIGINAL Thayer Street food truck is coming to the Blue Room. That’s right, the Blue Room will be serving Mama Kim’s starting tomorrow, THURSDAY, at 4:00 p.m., according to Morning Mail. The move to the Blue Room is, according to Hyun Kim ’01, all part of a plan to “bring Korean cuisine one step closer to the Brown community.”

The Hazeltine abides.

Now, the intensity with which one believes in the absolute truth of Morning Mail may vary from student to student, but I suggest you all heed this warning: If you really love Korean barbecue and can’t wait for the truck to get here, RUN — don’t walk, this is supposedly a “trial run” with a “limited amount of food available” — to the Blue Room Thursday afternoon. Adding Mama Kim’s to the 4:00 p.m. Blue Room rush is sure to cause a near riot in Faunce, so if you don’t like crowds or really good-smelling food, you might want to find another place to hang out tomorrow afternoon.

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