Baja’s vs. Baja’s

At Brown, not liking Baja’s is unheard of. The menu covers everything from TexMex (obviously) to hotdogs (um, not so obvious). Although I stick to quesadillas, many of my friends have daringly- and often drunkenly- tested their fries, hotdogs, burgers, and Philly cheesesteaks. All of their responses have been a similarly appreciative “Mmmm” while they stuff their faces.

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Look Back @ It: Thayer Street edition

As we transition from #fallfoliage to the cruel reality of a real New England winter, it’s easy to forget that College Hill sheds more than just its leaves every season. Shops and restaurants are constantly opening their doors, followed by a review by yours truly, and continue to exist for a period that ranges anywhere from 1 year to a century. The initial shock that inevitably hits Brunonia when a store is closed, followed by the sweet anticipation of a new franchise, is all part of the emotional rollercoaster that students experience during their time at Brown. Maybe I’m drawing too much from my own personal meltdown when Shades Plus went “out of business,” which for me really reaffirmed that nothing lasts forever.

Thayer Street in particular has witnessed a hefty amount of storefront makeovers, recently bringing a new Sushi Cafe (review to come!) into the old location of the beloved Spats, and spontaneously kicking out City Sports in an eight-day period of “EVERYDAY WE SELL IS BASICALLY FREE.”

After all of its ups and downs, Thayer deserves a post dedicated to its transformation through the years. Thayer Street, you may not realize it because you’re just asphalt, but we’ve known you since you were a baby.

Let’s look back at @ it

249 Thayer

Store 24 to Tedeschi to ???

The only online review of Store 24 is scathing, a direct quote being “You get a dirty feeling just walking into this place.” Tedeschi Food Shops eventually took its place and quickly gained a cult following with its bizarre yet price-friendly selection of goods. Tears were shed when it closed, and its disappearance even inspired a “ghost of Tedeschi” Halloween costume in Fall 2012. Now the storefront next to Chipotle is completely vacant.

257 Thayer

Esta’s to Toledo: Pizza in a Cone to 257 Thayer

The funky atmosphere at Esta’s included a gift shop, video rental business, and bike shop … but unfortunately the demise of video renting in general ended its reign in 2004.

However, Esta’s was soon replaced with Toledo: Pizza in a Cone. Reviews of this place ranged from “Hidden gem!” to “I had the misfortune of downing one of these pizza in a cone’s in January 2011.” Now the area is dominated by the 257 Thayer apartment complex … an arguable downgrade from pizza cones.

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What to do this week: September 14 – 20

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Monday, September 14

Event: The Underground’s Opening Day
Time: 11 a.m.
Location: The Underground (beneath the Blue Room in Faunce)

The Underground is a student run coffee shop that began last semester with fantastic reception. Destress from shopping with some gourmet tea or get amped for shopping with some gourmet coffee.

Event: Surviving Mental Health at Brown
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Location: Salomon 003

Join Project LETS for a student led panel on all the resources, organizations, and events at Brown that serve mental health. They will also be hosting talks on eating at Brown, anxiety, and mood disorders throughout the week. See their Facebook for more information.

Tuesday, September 15

Event: BlogDailyHerald Information Session
Time: 6:00 p.m. (Also Wednesday, Thursday, at the same time)
Location: 195 Angell St. (The Brown Daily Herald offices)

Come learn about BlogDailyHerald from its writers, editors, and contributors. There will be additional info sessions on Wednesday and Thursday night, both at 6:00 p.m. The application for new writers is live here!

Event: WBRU’s Fall Ball
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Location: Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel

Head down the hill, and back to junior high, for a Panic! At The Disco concert. The show also features Robert Delong and Joywave.

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BREAKING: Gourmet Heaven to close its doors forever tonight

Protests at Yale that led to GHeav closing

Protests at Yale that led to GHeav closing

It’s official: one blogger has just confirmed with the staff of Gourmet Heaven that tonight is our last night with Gourmet Heaven. It’s not that surprising the establishment would have to close down, given the controversies that have surrounded the food store franchise: Chung Cho, the owner of the two Providence and New Haven branches, faced wage-theft charges earlier this year.

Following protests on Yale’s campus, the university announced that the New Haven branches would be closing in 2015, as both are housed in Yale-owned property. Now, the Providence branch is following suit. We’ll stay away from depressing conclusions that could be made here, about how even Heavens are corrupt these days, and how naive we were. Basically, you have just a few more hours to get ripped off spend your money at GHeav. But beware, or just think twice, about where that money is going, although it won’t be going there much longer…

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Why Au Bon Pain is the best place ever

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Imagine a paradise where the sun streams in on all sides, the greatest hits of the late 90’s plays softly in the background, and it always smell likes toast. Where could you possibly find such a magical place? The answer lies on the corner of Thayer Street and Fones Alley. Yes Brunonians, this paradise is Au Bon Pain.

I know what you’re thinking: Au Bon Pain? That grimy yellow awning across from Starbucks that’s pretending to be fancy and French? When I saw it, I was scared too. Then one fateful day, I decided to give it the good-old-fashioned college try. Here’s why ABP is the best place on college hill:

1. The Soundtrack

The first thing I love about ABP is the soundtrack. The greatest hits of the late 90’s/early 2000’s will leave you feeling mellow as can be. Sugar Ray, No Doubt, Sheryl Crow, Feist, the song Gotta Keep Your Head Up (on constant loop). None of this hipster esotericism: you will recognize every song. And ABP doesn’t play from a radio station; they have their own CD. It’s given to them by the company. CHRISTMAS WISH LIST!

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New food trucks part one trillion: Buddha Belly

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It’s tough being the new kid on the block, especially when the block is already full of big kids who serve delicious food. But Buddha Belly, a food truck that serves authentic Chinese food, is ready to brave the aroma jam that is Thayer St. between Waterman and Charlesfield.

Buddha Belly popped up on the Providence food truck scene in September. The truck is on College Hill most Saturdays and Sundays for lunch and dinner. It cooks up Chinese “street food,” and though its menu currently consists of only a few items, the truck plans to expand it in the future. The man behind Buddha Belly also has a great sense of humor: he was wearing a shirt that said, “I HAVE THE BODY OF A GOD. Unfortunately, it’s Buddha.”

Buddha Belly’s menu items are more affordable than most of the other food trucks on College Hill, at $5-$6 each, and a friend and I were able to sample most of the items served.

crepe

The Chinese crepe was the star of the menu. I’m not sure what the official definition of a crepe is, but this certainly wasn’t anything like a crepe you’d get at the Creperie. It was a fried masterpiece, consisting of layers of chewy dough and crispy flakes, interspersed with fried egg and sprinkled with fresh herbs. It also comes slathered with a spicy sauce, which the owner kindly watered down for me because my taste buds are wusses. The crepe is definitely worth walking all the way up from the SciLi basement for. Continue Reading