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Big 10 nostalgia foods -- alum cravings? [Moved from Midwest]

Is there still a special dish from a certain restaurant you fondly recall from your Big Ten college days? Particular craving you still get for that ice cream or beer or plate of pancakes? I'm trying to put together a guide and appreciate any two cents you can offer! Thank you!

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  1. I remember Saa's sandwich shop in Ithaca, New York, the town where my college boyfriend went to school in the mid 1990s. An Asian couple owned it, and they had a sub called the "special." I know it had marinara sauce and pepperoni on it - beyond that I don't recall the ingredients. What I do recall is that I absolutely loved it and was soooo disappointed when we returned for a homecoming a couple of years after his graduation and Saa's had closed.

    1. Whoops. I guess that's not Big Ten. Nevertheless . . . it was fun to reminisce.

      1. I guess it'd have to be Garcia's pizza just off the quad across from Altgeld Hall on the U of I campus in Champaign.

        Sadly, that's about it, although Steak 'n' Shake at 3 AM was always pretty sweet.

        1. "In Sight, It Must Be Right"

          Oh, yeah, especially the St. Louis Steak 'n' Shake on South Gravois Road.

          1. Mr. Spot's in Ann Arbor. Hot wings. I used to live just a few blocks from there in school and just loved it to death. I have never been to another place quite like it, even when I moved to East Lansing (boo.)

            1. Crazy Jims Blimpie Burgers in Ann Arbor. Still there, and we stop in on the day after Thanksgiving every year, as the start of our 3 day drive home.

              Also miss the fragels (fried bagels) that used to be done on East U at the bagel place...its gone now...

              Calzones and grinders from Sister Anns

              Pizza at Brown Jug

              Olgas Kitchen

              2 Replies
              1. re: Cathy

                You can still get Fragels at Natasha's Bagel Fragel, up by North Campus, in Ann Arbor!

                1. re: Prav

                  Cool. We will be driving by there on the day after Thanksgiving, on the way back to San Diego. Thanks!

              2. Definitely NOT big 10, but when a college kid at Syracuse our fave were Hungry Charlie's (locally) famous Hungry sandwiches. Huge sandwiches served open-faced and hot with tomato and melted cheese on top on locally baked rye bread with some special mayo dressing. Mmmmmm. I can roughly approximate that today by ordering special from Potbelly, but it's SO not the same.

                1. I gained 10 lbs my soph year at UMich eating brats and Chicago dogs at Red Hot Lovers in Ann Arbor, MI, after my Econ 401 lectures. Ouch.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Prav

                    Love the Lover... My standard order is/was - Slam burger, onion roll, american cheese, hot pepper mix, spicy mustard and russian dressing, with fries and a lemonade. I still stop by there every time I get to campus, even when I've flown to AA for only 2 hours to interview students for jobs.

                    Also can't dismiss getting slices of Backroom at 2am after some heavy drinking at Ricks.

                  2. I kinda miss the onion rings from Red Hawk in Ann Arbor. And, while I can't really say that I miss the food from Zingerman's (I live in NY, after all), I do miss the experience of walking over there for a meal.

                    And what the hell. As much of a non-event as those stupid chipati salad things were, I wouldn't mind having another one some time.

                    Oh, oh, oh. There was a grocery store on East William, right by Tower Plaza, that made the shittiest chicken salad ever. They would slop it onto a pre-fab croissant, wrap it up in plastic, and put it on display. I'd love one of those right now.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: big o

                      Indiana University Alum...
                      I gotta say the pepperoni breadsticks and chicken wings at Kilroy's on Kirkwood. During happy hour (5-7pm) the wings were 10 cents and the breadsticks were 50.
                      Also gotta say Dagwood's subs, the Pizza Express "Big 10" special, and Black and Tans at the Irish Lion.

                      1. re: hufferc

                        Dagwood's--definitely! And the fried pickles and Blarney puffballs at the Irish Lion. Also, I still crave Mother Bear's pizza like mad more than a decade later...

                    2. Angelo's deep fried french toast for breakfast/brunch... it would make me just want to go home and go back to sleep... ahh Ann Arbor days