Meet the Intern: Victoria

This week on “Meet the Intern”, we sat down with one of our fall Communications/Marketing Interns, Victoria Fuentes. Read below to learn about her hypothetical experience with “America’s Got Talent”, how she turns down Zac Efron, and her absolute favorite thing about Bryan College Station.

victoria-fuentes

-Where are you from?

I’m from Kingsville, Texas. It’s about an hour south of Corpus Christi and it’s home of The King Ranch. I went to school on The King Ranch all of my life.

-If you were a contestant on “America’s Got Talent”, what would your performance be?

I would probably attempt to sing (heavy emphasis on attempt) and I would just really go for it. I would probably wind up singing something super hard and totally out of my range like Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston. 

-What are you studying?

I am currently a communication major with a business minor.

-What is your favorite song at the moment, and what type of pizza would you eat with the artist?

My favorite song right now is constantly changing, but my favorite song of all time is “Juicy” by Notorious BIG and I would have to eat New York-style pizza with him, of course.

-What do you do at the CVB?

I am one of the the Marketing and Communications Interns for the CVB, so that means that I help with posting on our social media, writing blogs, handing out fliers for games, etc. Basically anything in the marketing sphere, I help out with.

victoria-little
One of Victoria’s best memories: Getting her “PERFECT LITTLE”!

-If you could have a picnic with any person living or dead, who would you pick and where would you go?

I would have a picnic with Selena Quintanilla in a heartbeat. We would eat barbacoa tacos from El Chato’s in Kingsville and picnic on the beach in Corpus Christi. I would make her teach me how to do “the washing machine” and at some point we would break out singing “Amor Probido”.

-What’s your favorite thing about BCS?

My favorite thing about BCS is the small town feel with all the big town amenities. I grew up in a really tiny town where we had to travel an hour to get to a mall or eat something other than Whataburger, so I love having everything right at my fingertips.

-If you could snap your fingers and travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

Traveling to Paris during Paris Fashion Week has always been a lifelong dream of mine. The inspiration that designers draw from the famous city is incredible to see put into their designs and such beautiful works of art. I would also like to spend the rest of my life in The Louvre, please.

victoria-travel
Victoria at her favorite place she’s ever hiked: Hamilton Pool.

-What’s your favorite restaurant in BCS?

Well, that depends on what kind of food we’re talking about. My favorite spot for a great cheeseburger is Blackwater Draw. For an amazing taco: Raspas de Payaso. And let’s not forget the holy grail of brunch spots: Hullaballoo Diner. I LOVE brunch. If you haven’t read my account of the best spots to brunch on Aggie Gameday do it. 

-What’s the best present you’ve ever received and what was the occasion?

For my 13th birthday my dad gave me a silver and gold bracelet with “You Are My Sunshine” engraved on it. It meant a lot because he has always sang that song to me, even now that I am 20 years old.

-Why did you choose Texas A&M?

I chose Texas A&M University because it immediately felt like home. From the moment I stepped on campus for my first tour to this very day, Texas A&M has always felt like home.

victoria-aggie-game
Victoria & her friends at her first Fightin’ Texas Aggie football game!

 

-Would you rather go sky diving with Zac Efron or go on a shopping spree with Michelle Obama? 

Oh gosh, a shopping spree with Michelle Obama because I am TERRIFIED of heights. Sorry, Zac. Not to mention Michelle Obama has flawless style and I would love to have a glance into her closet.

Next up in our “Meet the Intern” series for this fall is Madeleine Russell! Stay tuned!

 

Brunchin’ on Aggie Gameday

When it comes to Gameday, Aggies take two things very seriously: Texas A&M football and their favorite brunch spot. We’ve picked our top ten favorites in the Bryan College Station area for you to try and grub out at. Now let’s get to brunching!

1. Hullaballoo Diner
When it comes to brunch spots in the BCS area, Hullaballoo is probably not only the most famous brunch spot, but probably the most fun. You’ll have to wait a little while (anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour and a half) but I can assure you it is well worth it. Not to mention they have live music, board games and a full bar to keep the hunger at bay. I mean, is it even brunch without a mimosa?

Hullaballoo is not only famous for being on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” but for having some really amazing food. Whether it is the giant pancakes or their Food Channel-famous French toast, you can’t go wrong with Hullaballoo Diner.

Our favorite brunch dish: The French toast

Our favorite brunch booze: Sangria

Price Point: $$

Typical Wait Time: 45 minutes – 1.5 hours on game weekends

Website/Menu: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g55649-d874898-Reviews-Hullabaloo_Diner-College_Station_Texas.html

 

2. Blackwater Draw

Conveniently located on Northgate, Blackwater Draw is a brunch-lover’s paradise. Whether you are craving a hearty brunch like The Outlaw, which features their freshly baked buttermilk biscuits smothered in sausage gravy, or their Southern Belle  — with fruit, yogurt, granola and an egg white — that is the perfect lighter fare. Blackwater Draw also offers a full bar with brunch special drinks such as the go-to booze for any brunch-goer: the Mimosa. Or you can change it up and sip on one of their savory Micheladas that is sure to make your mouth water.

Grab your mimosa and get ready to cheer on the best University in the world.

Our favorite brunch dish?
The Sanchito: Pulled pork migas smothered in fire roasted salsa, shredded cheese w/ potatoes and tortilla strips.

Our favorite brunch booze?
The Michelada

Price Point:
$$

Typical Wait Time:
15 – 30 minutes

Website/Menu:
http://www.blackwaterbrew.com/brunch/

 

3. First Watch

Focused on bringing you only the most farm-fresh brunch they can, First Watch is one of the newest brunch spots in the Bryan College Station area. Whether you prefer a booth to yourself or an inclusive community table, First Watch welcomes their customers with a light and happy atmosphere. Their brunch dishes are sure to get you salivating, whether it be a dish off of their seasonal menu or some of their Egg-sclusive dishes. Along with their amazing food, First Watch also offers freshly squeezed juices and herbal teas sure to get your vocal chords ready to scream the Aggie War Hymn.

It does not matter if you are just looking for some comfort food, or you’re a health-conscious Ag, First Watch has got you covered. With dishes like their energy-inducing Power Wrap or their mouthwatering Bacado Omelet, you cannot go wrong with First Watch.

Our favorite brunch dish?
The Parma Hash: Two eggs any style atop a hash of fresh, seasoned potatoes, Italian sausage, house-roasted Crimini mushrooms, onions and tomatoes with melted Parmesan, mozzarella and fresh herbs.

Our favorite brunch drink?
Freshly squeezed orange juice  

Price Point: $$

Typical Wait Time: 30 minutes – 1 hour

Website/Menu: http://www.firstwatch.com/menu/breakfastbrunch/fresh-starts/

 

4. The Village

The Village is one of the local eateries nestled in the center of Downtown Bryan. With their indoor and outdoor eating spaces, you can enjoy all the beauty that Downtown Bryan has to offer while grubbing on some of the amazing, locally sourced dishes The Village has to offer. Putting a unique spin on some of your favorite brunch dishes, The Village shows you their sweet side with dishes like their Orange Oat Waffles. Looking for something a bit more savory for your brunch? The Turkey & Egg Sammy will fill you up with turkey, eggs, provolone cheese and chipotle mayo on a jalapeño cheese bun.

With colorful artwork brightening up every wall in the café, inspiration is the perfect side dish to your brunch at The Village. Their array of coffees, espressos and freshly brewed teas are sure to wake you up for even the earliest of morning games.

Our favorite brunch dish?
Turkey & Egg Sammy: Sliced turkey, eggs, provolone cheese & chipotle mayo on a jalapeno cheese bun, served with roasted rosemary potatoes or fresh fruit.

Our favorite brunch drink?
The Happy Bee: a blend of Honey, banana, cinnamon, peanut butter with 2 shots of espresso.

Price Point: $$

Typical Wait Time: 5 – 15 minutes

Website/Menu: http://www.thevillagedowntown.com/eats/our-menu/

 

5. Kolache Rolf’s

For those Ags who struggle waking up early enough to brunch before the game, Kolache Rolf’s is the perfect on-the-go brunch. From their Meat Kolaches to their Sweet and Sticky, Kolache Rolf’s is always hot and fresh. Their Slovacek Sausage, Cheese & Jalapeño Kolache is sure to kick-start a fire in your mouth and in your gameday-ready soul. Not into the spicy? Kolache Rolf’s Cinnamon Twist with cream cheese, caramel and pecans is sure to make your gameday a lot sweeter.

Kolache Rolf’s drive through is just as quick as walking in and, after noon, everything in the shop is half off! Kolache Rolfs is completely local and ready to help feed your hunger for kolaches and Aggie football.

Our favorite brunch dish?
Slovacek Sausage, Cheese & Jalapeño Kolache

Our favorite brunch drink?
Blended Iced Coffee

Price Point: $

Typical Wait Time: 5 – 15 minutes

Website/Menu: http://kolacherolfs.com/Kolache_Rolfs_Menu.html

6. Raspas El Payasitos

Whether you want to stop by the restaurant or grab something from their food truck, Raspas El Payasitos is the place to experience an authentic Mexican breakfast. From their barbacoa tacos to their giant tortas, be ready to leave Raspas El Payasitos with leftovers after a day of watching your favorite team. Their savory breakfast tacos and real cane sugar sodas are some tastiest ways to start a long day. If it’s going to be a hot day in Kyle Field, grab one of their locally famous raspas (snow cones) before heading out to tailgate. Always fresh and ready to take with you, you can rest assured that you will not be standing on the wood with an empty stomach.

Whether you’re sitting down or taking it to go, this place is the savory, spicy haven for any Ag ready to hiss the other team off the field.

Our favorite brunch dish?
The Chupacabra Torta

Our favorite brunch drink?
Mango Raspa

Price Point: $

Typical Wait Time: 5 – 15 minutes

Website/Menu: https://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/raspas-el-payasito-bryan

 

7. Christopher’s World Grille

Christopher’s is the brunch spot for the Ags who love the finer things in life. With brunch only on the weekends from 11 am to 2 pm, get ready to dress to impress and enjoy a meal that you were born to enjoy. From Café Du Monde inspired beignets sure to make your sweet tooth ache to their savory Christopher’s Eggs Benedict, this authentic BCS spot has the brunch you only dream about. Starting the morning at Christopher’s makes your game day a little bit more luxurious.

Our favorite brunch dish?
Christopher’s Eggs Benedict: Poached eggs on grilled beef tenderloin, creamed spinach and English muffin topped with béarnaise sauce

Our favorite brunch booze?
Rum Punch: Bacardi Coco, orange juice, and pineapple Juice

Price Point: $$

Typical Wait Time: 20 minutes – 1 hour (reservations are taken)

Website/Menu: http://www.christophersworldgrille.com/pdf/brunch.pdf

christophers

8. West End Elixir

West End Elixir is the newest member of the BCS brunch gang. Opening their doors to the avid brunch-goer just this past July, West End Elixir has a new made-from-scratch brunch that will knock your boots right off. Your sweet tooth will be aching to try their mimosas made with freshly squeezed orange juice while the shrimp and grits will have you wanting more. With only three items on the menu at the moment, what they lack in selection they make up for in flavor.

Their chorizo pizza will have you drooling all over yourself while the handmade beignets could make any New Orleans native feel like they’re right back at Café Du Monde.

West End Elixir only has brunch on Sundays, so you won’t be able to fuel up here before a game, but the morning after feel free to indulge in some of their great new dishes. Besides having a great new menu, West End Elixir is known for their awesome mixology and their brunch drinks do not disappoint. Peach Bellinis and mimosas are sure to help you decompress after a long weekend of cheering on the Aggies.

Our favorite brunch dish? Shrimp & Grits

Our favorite brunch drink? Peach Bellini

Price Point: $$

Typical Wait Time: 30 mins – 1 hour

Website/Menu: http://www.westendelixircompany.com/edible-cures

wee

9. Café Eccell

Last but certainly not least, Café Eccell has everything from breakfast tacos to brunch pizza. Their classic French toast is dipped in crème brulee before being sprinkled with cinnamon and powdered sugar, while their Chorizo Migas Tacos will keep you full so that you can cheer on the Aggies all day. Café Eccell adds some uniqueness to their brunch menu with items like their Scrambler Bowl of the Week and their Hawaiian Brunch Pizza. In addition to their awesome menu, Café Eccell has a Build Your Own Mimosa and Bloody Mary Bar ready to quench your thirst.

Brunch for Aggies is the soul food of game day and at Café Eccell, you can get a taste of anything. Whether you need a couple of breakfast tacos to get you started before your long day ahead or a good glass of OJ, brunch at Café Eccell will have you ready to sing the War Hymn as loud as you can.

Our favorite brunch dish? Hawaiian Brunch Pizza

Our favorite brunch drink? The Mimosa

Price Point: $$

Typical Wait Time: 15 – 30 mins

Website/Menu: http://cafeeccellbryantx.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Brunch-menu.pdf

We hope you’re feeling ready for a great gameday brunch with good friends!
Gig ‘Em!
-Victoria 

Meet the Intern: Jennifer

jennifer-8

Meet one of our newest interns, Jennifer! Jennifer is the newest Sports + Events Intern and we can’t wait for you to get to know her. 

Where are you from?
Houston, Texas.

What are you studying?
Sports Management.

Why did you choose Texas A&M University?
 I liked the idea of the people being so nice, and this seemed like an easy move from home. Also, I visited and had Antonio’s pizza once and immediately fell in love.

jennifer-7
Jennifer and her friend cheering on the Aggies.

What do you do at the CVB?
I am the Sports + Events intern, helping plan and execute events.

What is your favorite sport?
My favorite sport to watch is Aggie Football, of course (whoop!). My favorite sport to play is soccer.

jennifer-6
Jennifer loves playing soccer and from the looks of it, she’s pretty great at it.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
If I could live anywhere in the world, I would want to live in Australia; they have great scenery and beaches, and the people are so real and fun to be around.

What is your favorite memory of living in the BCS area?
My favorite memory of living here in College Station has been Chilifest. I love concerts and exploring Snook the entire day was really fun.

jennifer-4
Jennifer loves concerts and being outdoors.

If you had to eat at one restaurant in the BCS are for the rest of your life, which one would it be? What would you order?
I would eat at BJ’s for the rest of my life, because they have everything I want. Anything off of their menu is amazing but if I absolutely had to choose, my top choice is always the deep dish cheese and pineapple pizza.

What song of the summer can you not stop listening to?
I get a lot of hate from my friends for this one, but I constantly listen to “Me Too” by Meghan Trainor. It has been on repeat in my car and my head.

What is your favorite thing to do on your days off?
I love being outside; day trips to the lake with jet skis, boats, floats, friends and family are always a go-to for me on my days off.

jennifer-2
Family, fun and sunshine are just a couple of Jennifer’s favorite pastimes. 

 

If you won the Powerball, what is the first thing you would buy?
I would buy a plane, so I could travel anywhere with anyone anytime.

jennifer-1
Jennifer and her family visited Colorado this past year. 

What Disney Character do you most relate to and why?
Belle, because I would do anything for my family. Also, I have dated some beasts before.

Stay tuned for our next introduction to our Fall 2016 interns! 

 

Aggie Gameday Survival Guide:

We’ve all seen that family of Aggies who try to bring their baby stroller and umbrellas into Kyle Field, or a student frantically searching for their student ID to get into the game. Especially with the new clear bag policy, these 12 tips are essential for surviving a new season of Aggie Gamedays.

  1. Book hotels early

img_3056

Avoid the sheer panic of realizing every hotel from Bryan to Brenham is booked by going to www.visitaggieland.com and finding the perfect place to stay for you and your family. From bed and breakfasts to 4 1/2 star hotels, the Bryan College Station area has the amenities to make you feel right at home.

  1. Parking & Transportation

parking

As far as getting to and from the game, click here to see our list of airports, auto rentals, bus/public transportation, driving directions, limousine services, shuttle services, TAMU services and taxi services.

There are several options for parking for the game. Here is a list of shuttles you can take on gameday, on-campus parking, and even a $20 off coupon for your first Uber ride!

  1. Places to watch the game other than Kyle Field

aggies cheering

Click here to see the full list! 

In addition to these off-campus locations, you can watch the game on campus in the Memorial Student Center, The Association of Former Students, and maybe if you’re lucky a nice tailgate will let you pull up a chair to watch it under their tent. 

  1. Bring a clear bag

Clear Bag Policy

Texas A&M has recently implemented the Clear Bag Policy for entering Kyle Field. Here is a link to the 12th Man website explaining in great detail what you can and cannot bring into the game.

P.S. If you happen to forget your clear bag, no worries! Stop by our Mobile Visitor Center in the Fan Zone to grab one – we’re right by the E. King Gill statue! 

  1. Identify and remember where cool zones are

Sweating

Bryan College Station is hot — very, very hot. Needless to say, it is important to drink a lot of water and know where the cool zones are on game day. Once you are in Kyle Field, you cannot leave and re-enter. There are cool down zones located inside of Kyle Field, as well as concession stand areas in the shade. Outside of Kyle Field, you can sit down and cool off anywhere in the Memorial Student Center or the Association of Former Students.

Need a fun way to cool off before the game? Head to the John J. Koldus Building to purchase your Maroon Out T-shirt for the Tennessee game on October 8th!

  1. Football Friday in Downtown Bryan

TKD_3518

Football Fridays feature a FREE concert each Friday night before a Texas A&M home football game weekend, giving fans a chance to enjoy Historic Downtown Bryan shopping and dining before heading to campus.

Gates open at 7:30 p.m. and the concert begins at 8 p.m. All concerts will end by 10:30 p.m. so there is enough time to attend Midnight Yell!

Fans are encouraged to return to Downtown Bryan for a free gameday shuttle on Saturday. Pickup/dropoff is on Regent Street between the Clara B. Mounce Library and the Roy G. Kelly Parking Garage. Parking in surface spaces is free, and garage parking is $10/day.

  1. STUDENTS, THIS IS CRUCIAL — BRING YOUR STUDENT ID 

texas_a_and_m_id

Students will not be let into the game with a student ticket if you don’t have your student ID. Most importantly, stay hydrated! There’s nothing worse than a bunch of Ags dropping like flies in the stands because they haven’t been drinking water. Pro tip — fill a milk jug with water and freeze it the night before the game. It’ll melt and be cold during those 4 hours of standing in Kyle (and those 10 minutes of sitting while the opposing team’s band plays at halftime.)

  1. Look the part

Header

Need the perfect A&M T-shirt to wear to the game? Head to The Warehouse on Holleman Drive! They have a HUGE T-shirt selection, as well as several other A&M goodies. Check out their website here!

  1. Don’t forget to eat

Ron eating

With all the chaos of gameday, it is so easy to forget to eat before heading to campus. Rather it’s an 11 AM game and you need to plan breakfast and dinner, or a 2 o’clock game and brunch fits perfectly into your schedule, check out these dozens of restaurants in Bryan College Station that will fuel you for gameday!

  1. Tailgating

 Cain+Home

Every single thing you could ever need to know about Texas A&M tailgating is here!

  1. Fake it ‘til ya make it (inside Kyle Field)

what is going on

We’ve all seen the blobs of non-maroon shirted people scattered in Kyle Field, being slammed together by Aggies swaying in the War Hymn. Don’t fight the sway, join the sway! Can’t remember the words to a yell? Just mouth “watermelon” and be sure to hump it. Feeling really tired during halftime while the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band plays? DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT SITTING DOWN. Last but not least, the Bugle Call will most likely make you cry. Thank God for 12th Man Towels.

  1. Download the Destination Aggieland App

Destination Aggieland

Make your gameday weekend run as smoothly as possible by downloading the Destination Aggieland App. The app includes a stadium map, information about traffic conditions, the best routes through town, parking options, shuttle bus routes, tailgating, and things to do while you’re in town. The MyParking section even lets you find your parking spot and pay before you arrive!

In conclusion…

We hope this survival guide has made you feel much more prepared for an Aggie Gameday. Now pack your bags and load up the car because, “there’s a Spirit can ne’er be told, it’s the Spirit of Aggieland!”

By: Madeleine Russell

10 Reasons to Get Your Texas Reds Tickets Right Now

This year, the Texas Reds Steak and Grape Festival is back for its 10th anniversary! The festival is set for September 23-25, 2016 in Historic Downtown Bryan, Texas. Wine, beer and food lovers alike will be in heaven throughout the weekend with tons of ways to partake in the festivities, but if you still need convincing we’re giving you 10 reasons to get your tickets right now!

  1. There’s going to be over 20 Texas wineries
    IMG_5650.JPG

    • Did you know that Texas is the fifth-largest producer of grapes and wine in the country? Representatives from over 20 Texas wineries will be on site Saturday and Sunday offering samples of the best in the state. Don’t miss out on the exclusive Texas Reds wine from Messina Hof while you’re in town!
  2. The Entertainment lineup is as prime as the beef!
    IMG_5628.JPG

    • Live music is a staple at any festival, but Texas Reds is taking it to the next level with four different stages and over 40 acts slated for 2016. Festival favorite Ray Wylie Hubbard will be returning for a performance on Saturday night and Grammy winner Rodney Crowell will grace the stage on Sunday afternoon. Other artists include local favorites The Docs, The Texas Twisters, The Nightowls, Joey McGee and more!
  3. Art, art and more art
    • The best vendors and artists in the state of Texas will set up shop in the heart of Texas Reds festival, offering everything from pottery to jewelry, wine accessories and more over the weekend.
  4. The family will LOVE it!
    IMG_5635.JPG

    • Bounce houses, arts and crafts, and Paw Paws party train! Bring the kiddos out for an entire weekend of family fun and festival goodies! $15 gets kids unlimited fun in the Texas Reds Festival Kids Zone! There’s also a grape stomping competition
  5. It’s festival foodie heaven
    IMG_9701.JPG

    • This year, Texas Reds is expanding its steak offerings with the Farm-To-Table Texas Dinner, VIP Kick-off Party, Saturday Night Steak Dinner, and the Steak and Egg Brunch on Sunday! Get your fix of Texas steak at one of these events or you can partake in some classic festival food, or stop in at one of the local restaurants in Downtown Bryan for a special Texas Reds menu!
  6. Train Rides
    • Presenting Sponsor Union Pacific has partnered with the Downtown Bryan Association this year to bring its Heritage Train for the festival! The train will run throughout the event, giving hourlong rides outside of Downtown Bryan and back.
  7. Experience Historic Downtown Bryan
    TKD_3518.jpg

    • While you’re taking in Texas Wine, Beer, Steak and tons of festival fun, take a second to stop in some of the local shops and restaurants in the area. Shops include boutique clothing stores, antiques, furniture stores and art galleries for all tastes.
  8. It’s Hoppin’
    • Last year over 15 Texas breweries were in attendance at the festival with samples of some of the greatest brews in the state! This year, expect even more craft beer and tastier hops!
  9. It’s the 10th Anniversary and things are better than ever
    • Like wine, festivals only get better with age. The Texas Reds Steak and Grape Festival is turning 10 this year, so don’t miss the celebration!
  10. 10% off tickets before September 10th!
    • As if we need to give you any more reason to get your tickets right now, you can get 10% off your Texas Reds Steak and Grape Festival passes by using the code 10UNTIL10 at checkout! Snag your tickets now at texasredsfestival.com!

Best Burger in Bryan College Station

Hamburgers are a staple of American food. They come in all shapes and sizes, with all types of toppings, condiments, and sauces. Hundreds of restaurants throughout the area offer some version of a hamburger on their menu, and we set out to find the best burger in town!IMG_9804

Because the burgers differ so much across restaurants, we decided to find the best traditional hamburger. We wanted to have a comparable sample of plain burgers with the standard meat, toppings, buns, and sauces.

We began by sending out a survey to everyone in the office asking them to select their five favorite burger joints in Bryan College Station from a list of 15 places. The survey also included an open response section to write in an additional burger place. We compiled the responses and narrowed that list down to the top 10 places in Bryan College Station. We then decided to conduct a completely blind taste test of the top 10 places. We followed careful procedures to ensure that high quality and unbiased results were obtained. First, the restaurants were not informed ahead of time that they were being sampled, or that we were writing this blog. This was to make certain that a “special” batch was not made just for the judges.

Second, the burgers were purchased around the same time every day we did a taste testing (shortly after lunch). Our goal here was to get a consistent and comparable sample across restaurants. Only one person in the office was responsible for purchasing the burgers. They were tasked with cutting the burgers into quarter-sized portions on a plain plate, while hiding any bags or receipts from the judges. The knowledge this person possessed about where the burger came from meant they were ineligible to participate in the testing.

taste test 3
Judges filling out score cards as they taste test

We sampled burgers over the span of a two-week period. The judges – which had to be a minimum of 8 people per sample (generally between 8 and 12 judges) – were given a universal score sheet used for every burger sampled. The scoring sheet consisted of seven, 5-point Likert scale questions, ranging from very favorable on one end of the spectrum, to very unfavorable on the other end. We asked judges to rank the overall taste of their first bite, then their second bite. Next, we asked them to rate the quality of the meat, their satisfaction with the taste of the bun, the flavor of the condiments, and the overall freshness of the burger. Finally, we included an open response section for judges to write additional comments. Throughout the tasting process, the judges were not informed of the burger they were sampling.

FullSizeRender
Our Twitter poll from the top 4 places in BCS

After all of the burgers had been sampled, we tallied up the responses from our scoring sheets. The scores from each of the seven questions were taken into account and added up across respondents. A cumulative average was computed, and the burger places were placed in rank order. We then chose to expand our reach to gather the input and opinions of local residents about the top burger places in Bryan-College Station. We posted a Twitter poll for people to choose their favorite burger place from the top 4 places.

 

Every restaurant in Aggieland makes our town unique. We won’t be publishing the scores or the final ranking order of our restaurant list because we don’t want to alter peoples’ current perceptions of local restaurants. A burger that ranked low on our judges’ list might rank higher on another person’s list. We are going to leave it up to visitors and residents to decide what their favorite burger is!

We used the votes from our Twitter poll, and the averages from our blind taste test to arrive at our top three burgers in town: (in no particular order)

 

IMG_9895
Blackwater Draw
IMG_9791
Grub Burger
041
Proudest Monkey

I traveled to these places to film interviews with the head chef and general manager at each establishment. I asked them questions like: Why do Texans love burgers so much? What makes this establishment so special and so unique? What is your best selling burger here? How many burgers do you go through in a day? While at these restaurants, I tried their best selling burgers and they were delicious!

I edited a quick video of my experiences at the best burger places around. Check out the video here:

Happy Burger Eating!

-Keefer

 

Pet Friendly Patios in BCS

We wanted to find some pet friendly patios in Bryan College Station for our furry friends. After some looking, we found the following places allowed dogs on their patios. 

IMG_9903

Blackwater draw 

Blackwater Draw has a great outdoor space in the Northgate District. Pups of all shapes and sizes are welcome. Kick back and play a game of cornhole or washers.  Blackwater is known for great craft beers and food sourced from local farms. They are open from 11 a.m .to 2 a.m. Monday to Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays.

IMG_1316

Lakeside Icehouse

The Lakeside Icehouse at Lake Bryan is a great place to bring your four-legged friends. The Icehouse has a patio right next to Lake Bryan. The icehouse is a great place to eat, play and listen to live music while enjoying the Aggieland Sunset. They also serve brunch Sunday afternoons.

IMG_9980

Torchy’s Tacos

The Austin chain finally brought a store out to Bryan College Station. Enjoy gourmet street tacos and views of Texas A&M University.

IMG_0015

Village Café

Grab a coffee and relax in the middle of Downtown Bryan at The Village. They also serve sandwiches, pizza, and other café-style dishes. Local artists routinely play at the Café, and local artwork can be found throughout.

IMG_9987IMG_9992

West End Elixir Company

West End Elixir is the first cocktail-specific bar in Aggieland. Enjoy great drinks, specialty pizza and appetizers in one of the coolest patios in Bryan College Station. A retractable wall on one side connects the patio to the restaurant in the cooler months. The second floor will be a cigar room. Patrons can buy and smoke cigars on the patio as well, and stay close to their furry friends. During the morning West End serves as a coffee shop with fresh coffee and donuts.

IMG_9996

The Corner Bar and Grill

The Corner allows dogs on either one of their two patios. The rooftop patio provides a rare view of Texas A&M campus and Bryan College Station. They have an eclectic menu and daily drink specials that are sure to keep all kinds of guests happy.

IMG_0012

Carney’s Pub and Grill

Carney’s is a standalone bar with a modern feel. Get lucky in a game of giant jenga or bingo, or partake in one of many weekly events and craft beer releases. Carney’s serves half-price food on Fridays and is home to over 46 draft selections.

IMG_0007

World of Beer

One of the newest places on this list, World of Beer is much more than the name states. Enjoy a night out with the pup, listen to live music, grab a flatbread of gourmet burger, and play some cornhole. World of Beer has a full menu as well as their extensive collection of beers and ales.

059

Grub Burger

Grub Burger has been dubbed one of the best burgers in BCS pretty much since its inception. Grab a burger and/or a gourmet shake from a wide selection of options. Grub has a patio out front that accommodates guests of the canine variety.

IMG_0019

Revolution Café and Bar

Revolution features a spacious patio/courtyard. Come out of for poetry open mic night on Sundays, grab a coffee and join in on some yoga, or come Thursday through Saturday for some great live music. Of course, dogs are always welcome.