By Chelsea Kuykendall
A major part of your first year of college, aside from studying, is eating, and maybe drinking but that’s another story. And while you may have a perfectly acceptable meal plan that will give you three squares a day, whatever that may entail, sometimes you want to eat out. Unfortunately being new to college also means you are probably new to the town and don’t have any idea where to find the best meal. So aside from the usual standby chain restaurants, here are three places to try within five miles of the campus next time you are out and about.
Thai Winchester is located on the downtown walking mall on South Loudon, (there is a second location closer to campus) with traditional décor and pleasant and attentive staff. I went about lunch time and was seated right away. I got my food quickly, with a small salad to start that was simple but just the way to begin the meal. I would recommend the Pad Thai, the standard dish of most Thai places. It’s hot, fresh and the right amount of sweetness complemented with crushed peanuts and more than enough to eat and take some home. First time taster Kedra Haynes, junior biology and public health major, had the Chicken Satay: “It was well seasoned, the flavor was there, tender and juicy. I liked the vegetable sauce that it came with, but I didn’t try the peanut sauce though.” It does have free delivery which is a big plus in my book, and I had lunch for less than ten dollars which is a win for me also. Check out their website at Thai Winchester.
The Union Jack Pub and Restaurant is also down on the walking mall, opposite side of the street on North Loudon, amidst all the other shops and bars. Its menu is the typical pub food fare, but it’s a well prepared pub food. I’ve had the fish and chips, a favorite classic; the fish was crispy and flaky with equally crispy chips, but you should try the mushed peas, if only to say you did. Silvino Resendiz, junior biology and nursing major, remarked, “Union Jack is a great place to visit at any time of the day. Whether I am in the mood for a light snack or I am looking to eat without regrets, Union Jack offers plenty of food and drink options to fit my mood. The atmosphere is ever-changing and makes for a fun experience every single visit and the decorative style of the place is a nice change from other local restaurants.” So since it’s a pub, there is a bar with a wide variety of beers on tap and along with a selection of wine and other drinks. Check out their website at Union Jack and follow or connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
Bonnie Blue is a little further away on Boscawen Street, so you are probably going to want to drive or at least bike. I would describe it as southern traditional food in an eclectic atmosphere, complete with a welcoming staff and hand painted signage. While it is best known for its BBQ, I had the Cuban sandwich, loved them ever since I had them in Key West, but with a twist. This was made with their signature pulled pork and country ham; an interesting mix with the usual mustard, cheese and pickles condiments, and a generous helping of fries. I have also had their baked goods before, their chocolate croissants and brownies are superb. However I’m definitely going back again, at some point, just to try their shrimp and grits. Check out their website at Bonnie Blue and follow or connect with them on Facebook.