Great places to wine and dine mom this weekend


Daily Illini File Photo

Black Dog Smoke and Ale House serves The Daily Illini Dish of the Week, a beef brisket drizzled with Georgia peach barbecue sauce and a side of sweet potato fries. The restaurant, located on Broadway Ave. in Urbana, usually has a line of people outside waiting to eat just before it opens every day.

By Bisher Martini, Contributing Writer

Your mother works tirelessly, and now, it’s time for you to give back. If your mom is coming to campus this weekend, now is the time to be her own personal tour guide.

Take her out, show her off and spoil her with a good meal. C-U has such a grand variety of unique eateries. The area has plenty of options for you to go cheap without having to resort to franchise fast foods. Give your mom a little perspective on your experience here at C-U.

It’s Saturday night. You and your mom had a few drinks at KAM’s and left revolted but not grossed out enough to evade alcohol-induced starvation.

You wonder to yourself, “What’s open past midnight?” And you find Merry Ann’s Diner, a beacon of light in a hungry crowd. You won’t have to resort to McDonald’s, which often has lines out the door after the bars close.

Merry Ann’s is open 24 hours a day and has served many desperate college students. It is located on 701 S. Gregory St. in Urbana, which is slightly off-campus, and 1510 S. Neil St. in Champaign.  

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    Black Dog Smoke & Ale House is universally agreed upon as a campus favorite, known for its flavorful and meaty barbecue options Meals cost about $20 per person. If that sounds expensive, just know they prepare the meat the day before, so it’s fresh and worth the price. 

    There are two locations not far from one another, one on 201 N. Broadway Ave. in Urbana and the other on 320 N. Chestnut St. in Champaign. Be sure to call ahead of time to see which has less of a wait, as they are often packed.

    If you’re going to be spending some time in downtown Champaign, Farren’s Pub & Eatery is a great option. It’s a casual underground burger joint, located on 308 N. Randolph St. What it lacks in decor, it makes up for in taste.

    Students frequently hail the “The Russell” burger enthusiastically, a surprisingly good mix consisting of mushrooms, bacon, pepperjack cheese and blue cheese sauce. Expect to spend about $10 for a meal, with specialty options a few dollars extra.

    If your mom isn’t into trying new foods, Papa Del’s is a safe option. Who doesn’t like pizza? It isn’t anything too fancy, but it is cozy and one of the most adored pizza places around campus.

    Located on 1201 S. Neil St., Papa Del’s is like C-U’s specialized version of Giordano’s. Make sure you have some extra time on your hands; the wait can range from one to two hours.

    For all coffee lovers, the University area has an unhealthy number of cafes and coffeehouses. We have Starbucks — three of them, to be exact — and Dunkin’ Donuts, but your mom probably has both of those back home.

    BrewLab Coffee, a fairly new cafe on campus, is a very hipster, college student-esque little cafe. It has it all, from a youthful, cool ambiance to rich, snobbish espressos. Not to mention, its croissants are lighter than air, and you can draw on the whiteboard-laden walls.

    If your mom wants to gain some perspective on life at the University, BrewLab, located on 630 S. Fifth St. in Champaign, is a must.

    Campus has so many options. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to enjoy time with your mom, but you can treat yourselves if you’re feeling up to it.

    The weekend is dedicated to her, so now’s the time to splurge. She’s certainly worth spoiling.

    Bisher is a junior in LAS.

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