Central Corridor Tour- The Big Ten
Since the Central Corridor light rail construction has made travel on Washington and University Avenues frustrating if not impossible, I’ve been trying to patronize University Avenue restaurants when I can. A few weeks ago I met a friend at the Big Ten in Stadium Village on Washington by the U of M.
The entire block on Washington was cordoned off by 10 ft high schoolyard fencing and after a few minutes of unsuccessfully negotiating how to lock my bike on said fence, I found an old drainage pipe on the front of a nearby building and snagged the only place for a bike with a u-lock on the block. Once inside, there were several tables of students – enough people to make the place seem alive but not so many that my hearing problem became an issue (as often happens in loud bars.)
The beer selection at the Big Ten is great- many local brews in addition to the obligatory swill necessary on college campuses where some are enjoying beer (or not) for the first time. My friend ordered a sub sandwich, their trademark. Most of the sandwich was lettuce- which makes total sense for college kids because if you order a sandwich with an entire green salad on top of the coldcuts, your mom will be happy and you’ll maybe still fit into those jeans next semester.
I ordered what could be the worst nachos I’ve ever had. I really wish they would have said “cheese sauce” instead of “cheese” in the menu description. Cheese sauce from a pump gives me the runs- always has. Flavorless salsa came in a little tiny cup that would realistically service 5 chips. On top of the pile of day away from stale chips was a dusting of finely grated Mexican cheese blend and a teaspoon of mealy diced tomato (in prime tomato season- that’s a feat.) Luckily my friends were more hungry than ‘foodie’ and there was little waste.
With a devoted clientele of alumni and students who live within walking distance, the Big Ten may fare better than some other places during construction. It is a place with which I would be frustrated when it’s full with college students- probably because I made every bad decision a young women could make in a college bar - mistakes so easily identifyable with age. So, if you’re a U of M alumni and have nostalgic feelings for the place, it’s a great time to make the trip with the family and savor some old memories (the bathroom is still that bad) without all the noise and drama from 20 years ago.