By Nolan Young, Staff Writer
Located along the bustling streets of Allston, @Union is a restaurant as tasty as it is unique.
With its murals, stainless-steel appliances, fresh coffee and delicious food, @Union’s environment is as aesthetically pleasing as the food is appetizing. The menu is diverse, offering a wide array of options for breakfast and lunch that range from creamy scrambled eggs to succulent burgers. The atmosphere is youthful and lively. Music plays overhead, usually to the tune of Mumford and Sons on Pandora. Most notably, the vibrant interior mirrors the eclectic Allston community it serves.
Let’s get back to food though. Two words: eggs benedict. Always perfectly poached, the eggs mix delightfully with the delicious Canadian bacon, hollandaise sauce, and English muffin. The side of home fries is a worthy compliment, the onions and garlic abundant. All for around $10, the dish is easy on the wallet as well. A bit more pricy ($12), the lobster benedict is a great choice for the seafood fan looking for a treat. The lusciousness of the lobster is a sure-fire way to relieve any Sunday morning funk.
In a world filled with Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, it’s always a treat to find a more personalized cup of joe – and as you walk into @Union, the sweet, intoxicating aroma of home-brewed coffee immediately greets you. @Union takes pride in its coffee, brewing their very own dark and medium roast blends in addition to a home brew that is always fresh and adds to the restaurant’s humble, neighborhood character.
It doesn’t stop at coffee though; the restaurant also serves up a large selection of different lattes, cappuccinos, and other caffeine packed drinks that are perfect for jump-starting your day.
And if you’re not a coffee person? The drink menu includes fresh fruit smoothies, juices, Italian sodas, teas and a particularly good hot chocolate.
Although the food is sensational, what makes @Union special is the ambiance. The restaurant is routinely filled with students, Allston residents and a young, enthusiastic wait staff (although service can be a little slow when the restaurant is busy).
What’s more, the crowds mix about in front of a distinctive backdrop: beautiful murals by local artist Taylor M’Leigh that catch your eye as soon as you enter. The artwork’s strong character makes @Union’s atmosphere extremely unique; the murals are as essential to the restaurant as the food and coffee.
@Union does a tremendous job of being an active part of the Allston community. Dozens of local businesses advertise in the restaurant, leaving their business cards and flyers by the exit. Local bands, event holders and venues post there as well. In an attempt to broaden its horizons, @Union has also begun to host live musicians and cater to events and parties. And by offering free Wi-Fi, breakfast all day and Facebook raffles to win free food, the restaurant is clearly in touch with the young, student-oriented neighborhood around it.
It would be hard to find an establishment that embodies its community more than @Union. With its great food, attentive wait staff, and keen ability to produce a vivacious, dynamic atmosphere, @Union is definitely a ‘must visit’ when in Allston.
By Brandon Lewis, Staff Writer
Imagine Allston without rowdy college students and loud, lively parties on the weekends. You probably can’t because Allston is a neighborhood defined by its collegiate party scene. If students want to enjoy themselves on the weekend, Allston is the place to be.
However, regular residents don’t seem to agree. Many non-college residents of Allston-Brighton have been known to contact the the police to voice their annoyance with the excessive noise of the neighborhood. And now, attempts to control noise have been taken a step further. The Daily Free Press reported on a new ordinance Tuesday that has proposed more police patrols of the area along with hefty fines for party hosts and attendees whose noisiness disturbs neighbors.
One resident interviewed even suggested that noise-makers should receive a fine of $500 for a first-time offense and $1,000 for a second-time offense. Don’t you think fining students is a little extreme? Besides, it would be pretty difficult to implement. At a noisy, crowded party, who would be fined? Random guests or the hosts of the party or …?
Let’s face it, we are in Boston, where thousands of students roam the metropolitan area. The Allston-Brighton neighborhood is known for housing many college students, who host many college parties. Residents should anticipate higher noise when choosing to live here. Allston is not the ideal place to raise a family or to live peacefully. Sorry, but that’s a fact. Residents need to know what they’re getting themselves into when moving to Allston. It may be an affordable place to live, but if you don’t like noise, don’t move here. If you have outgrown the party scene, then Allston-Brighton should not be on your prospective neighborhood list.
The residents of Allston-Brighton have to accept the reality that they are living in a neighborhood that will always be plagued by noise and parties as long as Boston remains a college town. If they can’t accept this, then I’m afraid it’s time to find new homes.
By Marie Goldstein, Staff Writer
This weekend, the streets of Allston swarmed with college students dressed in their Halloweekend best. I believe the best costumes are ones that are hilariously clever and have minimal money is spent on them. This weekend they were hard to find, but there were few that stood out. From the classic kitty cat to Mitt Romney, I am constantly amazed by the creativity of students, if only we could channel this in the classroom…
1. Binders full of women
I saw my fair share of Mitt Romney costumes, but this one was unlike any of the others. Others may have been holding a binder full of women, but this guy was physically a binder full of women. He folded a cardboard box around himself that said Romney and Ryan and taped pictures of women on the inside so when you open it, he was binders full of women. I love it because it’s clever, current and hilarious.
2. The NHL lockout
This was definitely one of the easiest and most clever costumes for a guy. All it takes is an NHL jersey and chains to throw around your neck. Although this was a common costume on the street, I still thought it was a great idea. I love costumes based on current events, and like the binders full of women, the NHL lockout is something that years from now we will remember what a joke our society is. Again, this costume passes my standards: clever, current, hilarious and for a guy, effortless!
3. The king of the jungle
Who doesn’t own anything cheetah print? And if you don’t, you are crazy and you should! This was done wearing a cheetah print robe, a cheetah tie, cheetah shorts and a crown. Does it get any easier? It was clever and comfortable to go out. You can likely create this costume without spending a dime.
By Amira Francis, Staff Writer
You and your friends have a sweet tooth. It’s been a long night of studying, and you need something to reward your attempt to be a good student. Delicious and relatively low-calorie, what’s a better answer to your problem than frozen yogurt? When evaluating frozen yogurt, more commonly known as froyo, one might ask, “What exactly makes a high quality froyo shop?” I traveled around Boston University’s campus and beyond to examine and compare three of the major froyo places in the area: Pinkberry, Mixx and Zinga.
I’ll start by talking about my first stop: Pinkberry. When I first heard about the new Pinkberry opening in the George Sherman Union, my immediate feelings were of joy and excitement. When I decided to visit and take a closer look, however, I was surprised. Pinkberry is expensive. It’s $4.15 for a small, $5.40 for a medium and $7.40 for a large (including toppings). And you don’t even put your own yogurt and toppings in the cup! Is it worth it? The short answer is: Yes. Yes, it is.
Although the cup may be small, the staff at Pinkberry manages to fit just the right amount of toppings in with the yogurt. In fact, it might even be better to have them do it for you. I know that when I build my own Frozen Yogurt creation, I always end up getting way too much froyo and then smothering it in way too many toppings. At Pinkberry, you don’t run into that problem.
There is a wide variety of toppings, from kiwi to hazelnut wafers, and the staff is usually pretty generous about actually filling the cup up to the top. Everything is kept fresh. When it comes down to the actual yogurt, you have a very small selection of options.
You could say that Pinkberry values quality over quantity. The consistency of the yogurt is perfect—thick enough that it doesn’t melt right away, yet soft enough that it isn’t difficult to eat—and the taste has a perfect combination of sweet and tangy. All in all, at Pinkberry, you get what you pay for.
Mixx, located in Allston next to Nile Hookah Lounge, is a completely different type of froyo place than Pinkberry. One of the benefits of making the trek to Mixx is that once you enter, you have the opportunity to nestle down and spend an evening chatting with friends in this cozy, window-filled niche. They focus on making the atmosphere welcoming. The decorations are very suave and inviting, and the music is hip and upbeat. At Mixx, they have a different take on froyo. Unlike Pinkberry, they focus on offering a variety of different flavors and toppings, and it’s all self-served. They offer ten flavors of frozen yogurt at one time and have a wall devoted to depicting all 47 different flavors they offer. Lychee, lychee popping boba and mango popping boba are just some of the many toppings that they offer.
Zinga, like both of the previous two froyo places, has its completely own style. Situated in Kenmore Square, this little froyo shop has a more cheerful and lively atmosphere than Mixx. The walls are colored with appealing shades of green and pink. On one wall there are portraits of topping choices, and on another wall there is a collage of different description words in various fonts, including “Fruity,” “Scrumptious” and “Sweet.” The shop offers a variety of different froyo flavors and toppings. They’ve got more than Pinkberry has, but with less variety than Mixx. The flavor is strong and delicious, but the consistency can sometimes be a little questionable, as the frozen yogurt begins to melt as soon as you put it in your cup. Like Mixx, you can decide how much yogurt you want yourself and consequently decide how much you want to pay.
The only way you can really decide which froyo shop is the best, however, is if you try it out yourself. Take a taste of what Boston offers, and have a happy time froyo-ing! (Just please, make nothing that even comes close to this video. Ever. No matter how much you love dat froyo.)
By Sydney Moyer, Music Editor
Artist: Dark Dark Dark
Album: Who Needs Who
Label: Supply & Demand
Release: Oct. 2
The charm of Minneapolis-based quintet Dark Dark Dark lies in their subtle ability to slip several genres of music seamlessly into their haunting ballads and echoing choruses. Folk, jazz, Euro-folk and Americana all weave themselves throughout the band’s latest release, Who Needs Who, and allow the songs to transcend the slow pace and simple melodies and transform into magnificent tapestries of sound.
Instruments featured on Who Needs Who vary from banjo to accordion to clarinet, all grounded in heartbreaking piano and guitar riffs. Lead singer Nona Marie Invie has a wistfully soulful voice balefully belting out standout tracks like the gorgeous “Patsy Cline.”
If there’s one show to skip your night class for this week, it’s the Dark Dark Dark show with Emily Wells at Great Scott on Tuesday. The band’s vocal strength and vast instrumental lineup along with Emily Wells’ propensity to cover Notorious B.I.G. songs with a violin are sure to guarantee a good time.
Standout Tracks on Who Needs Who:
“How It Went Down”
“Meet In The Dark”
“The Great Mistake”
By Ross Owen, Muse Staff Writer
On Feb. 15, I had the pleasure of seeing Yellowbirds perform at the Great Scott in Allston. The show was opened by two local bands, Da Birdz and Quilt. Featuring a guitarist with insanely fast hands, Da Birdz played a mix of psychedelic and hard rock. When he wasn’t overdoing the effects, the lead for Da Birdz displayed high energy and a great ability to rock out. Quilt provided a nice change from Da Birdz, and played more indie rock.