By Harrison Grigorian '19
The Close is blessed with a plethora of nearby culinary establishments. Whether you want to pig out on some Popeye’s fried chicken, try some Mediterranean cuisine at Cava, or roll with the classic Chipotle burrito, there is something for everyone. However, not all food is created equal. Enjoy the Exchanged’s official Close to Campus Food Awards.
The Up-and-Comer: Buredo
This new make-your-own sushi roll restaurant is sure to please Japanese food lovers. We currently have no quick sushi place in the area, and this relatively inexpensive shop will quench that thirst. The store is brand-new, so get out and give it a try and snap an artsy Insta flick before it gets packed with AU students.
The Soul Food Award: Popeye’s
Your stomach will never feel good walking out of Popeye’s, but your heart will. Indulge in fried chicken and flavorful biscuits while you eat faster than you thought you ever could. Mashed potatoes and gravy flow like Niagara Falls, while the red beans and mac ‘n’ cheese irresistibly await your fork. No one ever leaves Popeye’s wishing they had eaten more, yet your soul is quenched.
The “Ehhh” Award: Z Burger
The burgers are pretty good, the fries are plentiful but greasy, and the onion rings taste a bit off. For an alternative, you may try their average grilled cheese or the solid steak and cheese. The 85 different shakes are definitely a plus. Overall, I’ll give the burger joint a B+ or a solid mooch plus. It’s good from time to time, but not a Close area staple.
The Late Night Award: Steak and Egg
Steak and Egg might never become a place where people go during the middle of a hectic school day or after a busy day of sports. You have to find parking, the service is slow, and it can be too crowded. But there’s no better place to end up after a long weekend night with your closest friends as you feast upon some breakfast food and killer shakes.
The Overrated Award: Nando’s Peri-Peri
Nando’s is fine, I guess, but everyone seems to absolutely love it. Some argue that it’s great because you get a sit-down meal that’s rather inexpensive, but the chicken isn’t life-changing or anything. The sauce is either too spicy or not spicy enough, and the sides are average. I enjoy it from time to time, but I think some people drum it up like it’s the best thing since sliced bread.
The Chapel Cut Award: Bruegger’s Bagels (Closing Soon!)
Bruegger’s, affectionately shortened to Brueg, is the place to go during a free time. The service is great, they appreciate the roves of STA students that walk through their doors every day, and there’s nothing better to tide you over until lunch. The Western with extra chipotle sauce might be the official food item of the Close, and if you’ve never ordered it, it’s a must-try.
The Second Place Award: Chipotle
It’s great. I love it. There’s nothing like digging into this during a lunch cut. The way the rice and the chicken interact is unparalleled. The guacamole is breathtaking. Everyone loves it so much, it’s been shortened to “Chip”. It used to be the absolute Close favorite, but unfortunately, it wasn’t quite good enough this year.
The Winner: Chick-Fil-A
The staff are impeccable . The fries will rekindle your faith in a higher power. Even the ketchup is so perfect in those packs. The spicy chicken sandwich brings tears to my eyes, and it’s not the spicyness. The nuggets are perfectly breaded. Walking in just brings a smile to my face. Thus, Chick-Fil-A wins the Close to Campus Award for Best Food.