The Big 10 is known for its great sports teams, respected academics, and beautiful Midwestern campuses. Dig a little deeper and you will find some of the best restaurants in the country, mixed right in with the massive sports venues and abundant lecture halls. The Big Ten offers a multitude of restaurants and great places to eat. With a widespread collection of Universities, the Big 10 ranges all the way from the East Coast to the middle of the country. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to most of these places over the past couple of years while playing baseball. Each campus is unique and different in its own way. One component of traveling that I’ve come to love is trying out new restaurants. Keep in mind that we are your classic poor college kids, therefore, we can only afford these great restaurants because our parents like to take us out to dinner. Suckers! As I continue to travel I will update this list and add on more of my favorites. For now, here are my top 3!
I’ll start off by saying that I love Minneapolis. It’s clean, not too populated, and designed so that you never have to go outside in the cold. Two years ago during the Big 10 Tournament, my teammates and I came across the 8th Street Grill. Just like the city, this Grill had a great feel. Our situation was different than most, eating a large meal at a sit-down restaurant before a game usually turned out poorly. The portions were usually too big and salty, just made you feel tired out there on the diamond. Luckily, 8th Street understood our dilemma and nailed it with the portions and the food. They offer a wide variety of salads, sandwiches, and flat bread pizzas. Overall, this big city grill made you feel at home and had a great atmosphere.
Down in Hoosier country, there’s another great bar and grill called Scotty’s Brewhouse. Their menu is insanely unique. First off, they have a massive selection, and in some locations, one that is coupled with a separate menu for Dogs (Scotty’s Dawghouse, Scotty’s Brewhouse Carmel and Thr3e Wise Men Broad Ripple). For humans, they offer gourmet hot dogs, great buffalo wings, and colossal burgers. All delicious, all unhealthy. Whoops. The atmosphere was fun too. The waiters and waitresses were great and there were big screens everywhere. Check out this snippet from their Chicken selection…
Am I biased because they have my family’s nickname on their menu? Yes.
Right here in Ann Arbor, there’s a place called Blue Tractor BBQ and Brewery. When someone is coming into town, this is where I always take them. The Carnivore burger is definitely my favorite in the Big 10 and if you like good, quality barbecue, this place is for you. The rest of the menu and craft beers rock too so it’s ideal for whatever you’re feeling. Since we actually live near this restaurant, my friends and I get these weird urges where we tell ourselves that “we’re rich”, or “we deserve this”, both completely false but it gives us an excuse to head to the Blue Tractor.