Don’t be fooled by the shiny floors and snazzy menus. We get to the bottom of the summer facelifts and indoor fireplaces (what?).
Commons: Entering the new Commons is certainly overwhelming. The new downstairs is split into a grocery store that replaced the Uncommon Market, a weird McClelland–like prepared food section called Fresh on the Walk, a mediocre pizza spot (like the pizza at Houston) called Pi and a new noodle joint called Global Fusion. The grocery sells completely random items like frat sunglasses and yoga mats but does have a good selection of frozen dinners and vegan/gluten free options. At Global Fusion, choose from three broths (dashi, miso, beef) and the protein you like and you get a big stir–fry for only $4.99 without protein or $5.99 with. Global Fusion also has rotisserie chickens that are perfect for cooking or making quick lunches. The much–touted indoor fireplaces are further downstairs in the upgraded study space. It’s really nice and includes outdoor seating! Be warned: the metal chairs get really cold, so cover up. There’s more Starbucks, more tables, but no increase in outlets. What’s up with that? We have a feeling it’s gonna get real scene-y, real fast.
Allegro: Well, it looks as if everyone’s favorite 2 a.m. hangout spot finally got a facelift. Now featuring some all–too comfortable booths and new tables and chairs among other things, Allegro is trying its best to class itself up. We happen to be pleased with the comfy booth seating which will undoubtedly become the pass–out spot of choice for some too–drunk freshmen. Despite its new décor, there will always be something decidedly and endearingly seedy about Allegro. It’s got the same greasy fare, the same no–nonsense employees and the same inebriated clientele. You can bet that you’ll find us camped out in the corner booth at least once this semester, going to town on BBQ chicken pizza and curly fries.
-Patrick Del Valle
The Bridge Café: After a few (very few) tears were shed once ABP departed, we couldn’t help but wonder: what would replace the undrinkable coffee and soggy salads in the Death Star known as Huntsman? Turns out it’s The Bridge Café, which is basically ABP with a more depressing color scheme and no sweet cheese danishes. Food–wise, The Bridge seems uninspired; call us spoiled, but five sandwich options and two salads don’t seem like enough. We do support its use of fennel, though, and the ingredients do look fresher than they used to. Where this new kid on the (Locust) block does vanquish its predecessor is in the drink department. The coffee is not just drinkable, it’s pretty ok. Plus, The Bridge is killing it with sodas: Fizzy Lizzies and a quirky New Hope Premium soda fountain? We do dig that.