Fairfield students love to boast that there's over three hundred restaurants within our little college town. But, with all of these restaurants, there's bound to be some differing opinions. I've noticed that since I've been at Fairfield, I seem to be in the minority opinion on all things food-centric.
Here are some of the biggest points of contention that I've found since I started here at Fairfield. Being different isn't a bad thing as a stag–you can definitely have disagreements and still run with the herd!
1. Brick + Wood has better pizza than Colony Grill
Colony Grill has had a long-standing reputation of being the Fairfield University pizza shop. It's quick, easy, and even takes Stag Card! There's nothing wrong with Colony, but, something about it just doesn't hit the spot for me.
Here's the thing: I love bread. And Colony's crust is just too thin for me to get my fix. When I order pizza, I want pizza, not a cracker with some cheese on top. Brick + Wood's pizza satisfies my every need: thick crust, tons of cheese, and plenty of sauce.
Definitely worth the walk from the Stag Bus drop-off at the bookstore!
2. The Redgate Sandwich has one too many ingredients
I can't be the only person in the world who hates avocado, right? I mean, they taste fine, but the texture is all wrong. Crunch bacon, a crispy hard roll, and...a huge, mushy glob of avocado?
Something about that doesn't sit right with me. And tbh, that's too much fat for my taste in one sitting. But, for every person like me who can't stand this fruit (yeah, it's a fruit) there's a legion of avocado defenders.
Everyone loves a good Redgate, but some people just want a little more control over the ingredients.
3. Flipside should always be your Plan A, not Plan B
The only burger place I've consistently been to in Fairfield is Flipside Burger Bar–and there's a good reason for that. Flipside's menu is uber creative, and I can always find something there that I like.
I usually spring for a veggie burger in a lettuce wrap, but my friends all rave about the mac n' cheese burger...an option that is notably absent from Plan B's menu.
And, not to kick Plan B while they're down, but I'd take shoestring fries over truffle fries any day of the week. But, if you can't bear to break up with Plan B, hit them up for brunch instead and get your burger fix at Flipside!
4. "Circle"s are pointless: go to Chip's instead
In my native Massachusetts, we're not as huge into diners as the rest of the East Coast. We're much more into Mom-and-Pop breakfast restaurants, like this amazing one in the center of my hometown.
That said, it's really no surprise that I prefer Chip's Family Restaurant over the Circle Diner. You just can't beat the variety at Chip's: lemon chips, slivered almonds, Reese's Pieces? The list goes on.
Circle Diner has, like, four different types of pancakes max. And tbh, dealing with that rotary is a hassle and a half.
5. Saugatuck Sweets is the (ice) cream of the crop
I'm not gonna lie, when this ice cream shop slid a coupon under my door freshman year, I was a bit nervous. Handing out coupons seemed like a last ditch effort, in my opinion. But, being wrong never tasted so sweet.
Plus, there's a whole candy section in the back. This is definitely the place to get your sugar high.
6. Old Post Tavern has the best Happy Hour
Now, I can't vouch for this one personally, as I'll still belong to the under-21 crowd for the next two years. That said, I have heard from many upperclassmen at Fairfield that the Old Post Tavern has an amazing Happy Hour selection.
From 3-6 p.m., you can get BOGO drinks (wines, beer, and house liquors) along with $5 flatbread pizzas and $1 sliders. As a college town, Fairfield has plenty of bars, and thus, plenty of happy hours.
But, I've heard people rave consistently about Old Post Tavern. Expect the unexpected from this uber classy restaurant, I guess?
7. The best Asian food in town isn't sushi
That running joke that all college students like to eat is ramen? In Fairfield, that definitely rings true, especially with a restaurant like Mecha Noodle Bar.
There's no denying that sushi is one of the trendiest foods of our day, and we have plenty of places in town to get it: Wild Rice, Fin, etc., etc. But, why would you go for a couple bites of raw fish (yuck), when you get could a much bigger meal for around the same price?
Mecha's ramen and pho are a must-try for Stags new and old. There's tons of variety with protein and veggies, and slurping is definitely encouraged. Who knows? You might even get pics of some hot noodz.
8. Fairfield Runs on a Hole in the Wall
Real question: was Beyoncé talking about "Becky with the good hair" or "BEC-ky with the good hair?" All terrible puns aside, when Fairfield students want a breakfast sandwich, they go in droves to Hole in the Wall.
This breakfast joint only opened this past semester, but has already become a crowd favorite at Fairfield, quickly edging out more popular chains like Dunkin' Donuts and Duchess.
I said it once, I'll say it again, I'm forever a Dunks devotee, but there's no denying the appeal of this new restaurant—especially since they deliver!
9. You don't need to leave 06824 to get an IG-worthy açaí bowl
Since starting at Fairfield, I've seen plenty of Instagram pictures of açaí bowls, most of them from Organika or The Granola Bar. But, what if I told you that there was a closer (and cheaper!) place to get a bowl that tastes just as good?
Located on Black Rock Turnpike, Robek's should be your go-to smoothie and smoothie bowl stop. Even the trendiest food 'grammers can agree that Robek's offers tons of delicious options that you don't need to get out of Fairfield to get.
If you're still not convinced that a national chain can produce great smoothies and smoothie bowls, think about this: we had Robek's strawberry-banana smoothies at our launch party last year and they were one of the fastest items to go!
10. You can skip Chipotle. Seriously.
But, for the most part, we in Fairfield know better than to just settle for the basic b*tch of the burrito world. In my two years on campus, I think I've only been to Chipotle twice. And why would I go any more than that?
There's Bodega, Señor Salsa, Geronimo, hell, even Moe's! And even though every weekend, there's still leftover Chipotle bags in my dorm bathroom trash can, you just know that there's bigger empanadas to fry in town. I mean, Geronimo even makes guac for you tableside!
Meanwhile, if you try to reach over the sneeze guard to make your own guacamole at Chipotle, that's "contamination," and where's the fun in that?
11. You should definitely raid The Pantry
There's a lot of places to get a salad in Fairfield. A lot of people go for Freshii, Panera, or even the Stag Bar. But what about The Pantry? For those uninitiated, it can be a little hard to find. It's practically wedged into a little strip mall by the bookstore.
The salads at The Pantry can be made whatever way you like: the salad bar has over twenty different toppings, six different dressings, and plenty of different greens. And, all of the ingredients are fresh and often made in-house.
When's the last time you got a Panera salad the exact way you wanted it in a cute, built from-the-ground-up type of specialty store? Exactly. And, even if salad's not your thing, The Pantry has you covered.
I would personally recommend their cookies–they were a huge hit at a Spoon meeting last semester–but, everyone has their own favorite item. For example, celebrity chef Nigella Lawson even wrote a cookbook entry about The Pantry's granola!
12. Super Duper Weenie is a lifesaver
Picture this: you're leaving PrezBall, you've had a little too much "fun," and you're starving. You get to the patio at Egan Chapel, see the Super Duper Weenie truck, and swear that you wouldn't eat the mystery meat in that hot dog...but suddenly find yourself waiting in the insane line anyway.
Sound familiar? Hot dogs have a pretty bad rep in modern foodie culture. Is it beef? Is it pork? No one really knows. But, Fairfield students know that Super Duper Weenie comes through in our time of need.
Something about a drunken late night bite covered in onions, ketchup, mustard, or whatever other fixings you can come up with just seems so right. So, even if you vehemently swear against all that processed meat in the daylight, all bets are off once the sun goes down. Besides, being a weenie worked out okay for SpongeBob, right?
Fairfield University has a pretty intense foodie culture. Believe me, I wouldn't have it any other way. I just know that with all of these amazing options, there's bound to be some differing opinions. That said, that's not necessarily a bad thing—college is the best place to start having intellectual debates, so why not have them about food?