Exploring Boston by Means of a Sweet Tooth

Brianna Spiegel (SAR’24)

Everyone says that college is transformative. From shaping identity, discovering values, creating life-long friendships, and preparing for careers, I can say that my experience in Kilachand and BU as a whole has definitely led me to accomplish those big things. But what about the small stuff? I have found that college changed me in unexpected ways, like becoming a foodie.

Now, I know this may sound silly at first. Maybe you’re thinking, don’t college students just survive on late night pizza? (And I’ll have to agree, there’s nothing quite like ordering Domino’s cheesy bread with your dining points). Or perhaps you’re thinking about budgeting – and it’s true, finding the spots to get the most for your money can be tricky. But living in Kilachand Hall, I had so many nearby options to choose from. Being on Bay State Road meant being walking distance to Fenway, Newbury, and more. And if something was a bit further away, my friends and I were just a block away from Kenmore station, where we could hop on the T and go anywhere in Boston!

Trying out new food places became a way to bond with my suitemates, neighbors, and friends in Kilachand’s living-learning community. From deciding on the restaurant, finding a way to get there, ordering and sharing the meal, and reflecting on all of the flavors and combinations, I found myself growing to love this process. Food transformed into a social and cultural experience for me; it was a way to explore the many diverse neighborhoods of Boston.

Because it can be a bit overwhelming knowing where to start, I wanted to recommend a couple fun experiences to try, especially for dessert – because isn’t that the best part of the meal? More than just the food, I hope that these ideas inspire you to plan your own Boston adventures and make memories along the way. I’ll also provide some suggested ways for how to get there from Kilachand Hall (91 Bay State Road).

L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates – 220 Clarendon St

I remember when my floor’s Resident Assistant (shout out to Christian!) took us all to this lovely shop, and we tried its amazing hot chocolate. L.A. Burdick is unique in that you can order to suit your chocolate preferences: dark, milk, or even white hot chocolate! Also, don’t skip out on trying a few of their chocolate candies and truffles, which have really rich, complex and creative flavors.

How to get there: Take a left out of Kilachand Hall, then take a right onto Raleigh St. Once you hit the Kenmore T station, hop on the train and ride two stops on the Green Line inbound to Copley (from where it will be a 3 min walk). If you’re up for about a 20-minute walk, take the beautiful stroll down tree-lined Commonwealth Ave in the direction of the Common, or opt to do some window browsing by walking down Newbury Street, Boston’s famous shopping area. Newbury and Commonwealth run parallel, so you’ll take a right onto Clarendon St either way.

Bova’s Bakery – 134 Salem St

My friend and I stumbled upon Bova’s in search of cannolis but wanting to avoid the infamously long line at Mike’s Pastry. We were amazed to see such a huge variety of pastries and cakes in addition to the classic cannoli that the North End is known for. I recommend getting a few with different fillings to share! Fun fact is that Bova’s is open 24/7, so perfect for those late night cravings. The North End, also known as Boston’s “Little Italy,” is definitely a must-visit site for anyone coming to the city.

How to get there: I recommend taking the T from Kenmore. Make sure to get on the Green D line inbound, and you’ll get off at Haymarket from which it will be about an 8 min walk. If you’re up for about an hour – but very scenic – trek, head down Commonwealth Ave in the direction of the Boston Common. You’ll actually walk through the park, and continue onto Beacon St, taking a left onto Somerset Ave. Continue straight all the way to Sudbury St. Once you get to the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a big intersection with trees and benches, you’ll cross and head onto Salem St in the heart of the North End.

Our Fave Five Things in Kilachand Hall

Caroline Perna (SAR'25) & Veronica McKinney (CAS'25)

#1: Chrissy

On the first floor of Kilachand Hall are the staff offices, which enable students to build relationships with staff and administration. When you first walk in, you’ll see Chrissy standing behind her desk with her welcoming smile. Chrissy is one of the newest additions to the Kilachand Staff, and she is always a light that brightens our days. Throughout our freshman year, we have had the joy to get to know Chrissy.  She is an awesome resource if you ever need to talk, get advice, or if you need a hug. Over the last few months, Chrissy has become a “mom” for us since we are physically far away from our families, and we have a lunch date with her every few weeks. Make sure to pop in and say hi, and tell her that Caroline and Veronica sent you!

Caroline & Chrissy selfie
Veronica & Chrissy twinning (accidentally)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2: Kitchen

We are lucky to have a fully functioning kitchen on the first floor of Kilachand Hall (one of the only kitchens easily accessible to freshmen at BU)! The kitchen is an awesome way to bring people together to cook, bake, and hangout! Our favorite cooking experiments have been: chocolate chip banana bread, brunch eggs and crepes, and a surprise birthday cake for our friend Tanvi! Although you have to provide the food and cooking dishes, the kitchen is recently renovated, right downstairs, and easy to use. You should definitely take advantage and show off your cooking skills! (Warning: don’t use anything you find in the fridge…)

Tanvi’s partially eaten birthday cake
Banana bread in progress

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hangout sesh
The beautiful kitchen

#3: Coffee & Snacks

In the offices of Kilachand Hall there is a lovely coffee machine (with more than 60 different possible drinks) and a box of snacks. We make sure to stop in the office nearly every day to get our yummy drink, or chips, or chocolate, or granola bar, or cookie… the options are endless. This has been a really convenient (and free) option to get some fuel for the day!  (And we were especially grateful for the steaming hot chocolates on the coldest Boston winter days.) Chrissy stays vigilant on keeping the snack box replenished, and she looks the other way if you want to stock up on some snacks for later… 😉 If you ever have the chance, you should definitely use this (did we mention free?) pick-me-up station. (Bonus: you get to see Chrissy while you’re there!)

Our favorite little coffee machine
Coffee fixings and the snack box
Veronica & Nora
Chrissy & Rick with the popcorn machine

#4: 9th Floor Study Spaces

On the top floor of Kilachand Hall is a common area and quiet study room!  The main entrance area has a dance floor and stage because Kilachand Hall used to be a Sheridan hotel.  There are tables all over for you to work or hangout with friends, and a TV is available if you want to host a movie night!  If you need to actually get some work done, there is a VERY quiet study room (where you can literally hear a pin drop).  Kilachand Hall renovations are starting this summer 2022 (more information is up on the website), so the 9th floor will be upgraded with brand new classrooms, study spaces, and windows to overlook our stunning view of the Charles River.  (Around sunset, the whole floor is aglow in warm lighting that is perfect for selfies!)

9th floor friends enjoying a late night snack!
9th floor open space

#5: 1st Floor Lounge

Our recently renovated first floor lobby and common room is one of the most active places in the building! During the day, students will work in between classes, and in the evenings, the room is even busier!  While working, you may enjoy some nice ambient music from the public piano, or the aforementioned snacks and drinks from the front office.  If you need a quick study break, board games are available for anyone to use, and the blue couches are surprisingly comfortable if you need to take a power nap!  Our monthly Kilachand Teas are also hosted on the 1st floor, where you can get free drinks and food (our personal favorites are the chocolate covered strawberries and chips and hummus!).  Co-curriculars and events like the open KHC Closet (pictured below) are often held on the first floor because everyone coming into the building will pass by!

Friends studying on the first floor
KHC Closet

In conclusion…

WE LOVE KILACHAND HALL 

and all the fun people, places, and memories made here! <3


Photos © Caroline Perna & Veronica McKinney 2022

A Beginner’s Guide to BU Dining

Rebecca Sarkisian (Questrom'23)

Going to college and living away from home for the first time can be hard, especially when you think about not being able to have home-cooked food. And while nothing can replace a home-cooked meal, BU Dining does its best to keep you well-fed so you can focus on making the most out of your college experience.

As a freshman in Kilachand, you’ll be living in a dorm-style residence, meaning that you’ll be required to have a meal plan. BU offers a variety of different meal plan options, each carrying a different amount of meal swipes and dining points. Meal swipes get you into the dining halls, while dining points can be used at to-go style on-campus eating options.

Since my freshman year, I’ve been on the Unlimited Plan. While it’s not the most common option, I’ve found that it’s the best option for me since I typically eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the dining hall. I also sometimes like to go to the dining hall in the afternoon when it’s less busy to study and have a snack, which my Unlimited Plan allows me to do without worrying about wasting a meal swipe.

The main dining halls on campus are Marciano, Warren, and West. Marciano is right across the street from Kilachand Hall, so it’s where you’ll probably eat most of your meals. Marciano features two floors of seating and food options with tons of natural light (and a view of Fenway Park on one side of the dining hall). In addition to dining hall staples like a salad bar, deli, and grill, there’s also a vegan station and a gluten-free station to accommodate different dietary restrictions.

The meals at the dining hall have a lot of variety, but my personal favorite days are the dining hall events. Each Fall, all of the dining halls have Lobster Night where every student gets a full lobster. The dining halls also have other events like ‘90s Night and holiday events like Thanksgiving, Spring Brunch, and Halloween.

If you want to add some variety outside of the dining halls, you can use your dining points at to-go locations across campus. At the George Sherman Union, you can find Starbucks, Panda Express, Basho for sushi, Greens & Grains for salads, Rhett’s for burgers and chicken, and CRBC for sandwiches, along with rotating menus at Open Kitchen and The Market. There’s also Einstein Bros. Bagels in the basement of CAS, and Starbucks and Breadwinners in Questrom, along with more locations around campus.

There’s never a lack of good food at BU, but you can’t forget that you’re in the middle of Boston with tons of amazing restaurants as well! Make sure you explore the city and see what else there is to offer.


Image © Rebecca Sarkisian 2022

Four Core Memories in Kilachand: Freshman Edition

Iffany Zou (CAS'25)

I’ve just about completed my first year here at Boston University in the Kilachand Honors College and to say I’ve loved it is an understatement. Through Kilachand, I have created so many unforgettable memories. However, my memory is bad, so before I forget, I’d better write a few of my core ones down:

1. Hiking Monadnock 

In chronological order: first up we have hiking Mount Monadnock. It was October 23rd, 2021 and I had just met the group of boys from down the hall. Because of Kilachand’s living and learning community, I encountered what became a tight knit group of friends. A zipcar, a collaborative playlist, and a few breakfast sandwiches later, we were off to the misty mountains. What I love about Boston is that you can get the best of both worlds: you live in the city, but you aren’t too far from the exact opposite. The two hour drive and the lack of sleep was completely worth it. Once we began the hike, we could barely stop. Each spot higher than the previous one unveiled a more and more beautiful view. If you love a good hike, I definitely recommend Mount Monadnock in October. At one of the peaks, we could see miles of orange and auburn leaves and this is a view I will never stop missing. We sat there a while, unable to fathom the breathtaking view. Just look at this photo…Boston might be the place for you!

Iffany1

2. Friendsgiving

On November 20th, 2021, my friends and I celebrated Thanksgiving with a home-cooked dinner at Jacob’s. All of us gathered around the kitchen counter was truly a sight to see: Dan reaching over me to grab the string beans, James playing with the fire on the stove, Shea mashing an absurd amount of potatoes, Jacob showing off his card tricks, and everyone singing, screaming, and laughing. It was only a few months into our first semester at college, but I was immensely grateful for the people I had met. As the night went on, my homesickness finally began to ease.

Friendsgiving

3. Fancy Marciano Dinner

One day of no particular occasion, my friends and I decided to have ourselves a fancy dinner at Marciano Commons (the best dining hall on campus). We dressed up, brought a bed sheet/tablecloth (same thing), and claimed one of the circle tables. We had a three course meal, starting with appetizers and ending with desserts. The night was so fun, we decided this was only going to be the first of many themed dinners. Next up: Adam Sandler Night (stay tuned)!

Iffany3

4. Ultimate in the Rain

In the middle of second semester, my friends and I really started taking advantage of the warmer weather. On Tanvi’s birthday, we gathered everyone together on a rainy Thursday night to play a big game of ultimate. We ended up staying out for hours playing ultimate, volleyball, soccer, and football. It was extremely slippery and multiple of us did fall, but I wouldn’t even hesitate to do it again (go team river rats!). On our walk back to Kilachand Hall, we jumped in puddles, sang Pitch Perfect, and continued to throw the frisbee around. By the time we got back, we were wet, sweaty, and a little bit muddy. We ended the night in the Kilachand 1st floor common room eating Veronica’s homemade cake and wishing Tanvi a Happy Birthday (Happy Late Birthday, Tanvi)!

Iffany4

It sounds cheesy, but these are the memories I know I’ll always hold close to my heart. Thanks to Kilachand, I’ve had an amazing year with a beautiful community. And thanks to this blog, I was able to share the best bits with you (and I’ll actually be able to remember it!).


Images © Iffany Zou 2022

The Five Best Items on the Bay State Underground Menu

Jackson Wallace (CAS’22)

I first heard of Bay State Underground from other incoming Kilachand students in the GroupMe we used to get to know one another. It had opened not long before our first year and everyone was sharing what they knew about it. Apparently, the menu was fantastic, with a lot of options beyond what one might expect from a traditional dining hall. When I finally got to campus, Underground quickly became a lifesaver Wednesday evenings, when I did not have time to go to the dining hall before it closed. I looked forward to ordering on those Wednesdays before trying to finish my work at a decent time. After a few weeks, I quickly figured out which menu items were worth their salt and which were better avoided. I will now pass this wisdom on to you.

Fifth on the list is Underground’s fries. If you’re looking to get a little side when you’re going with friends, then these standard cut fries make for the perfect dish. The fries have a good balance of crispiness and are salted to perfection.

The next best item on the menu comes off of the dessert list. Although there may be better cheesecakes to be had, for the price Underground’s New York-style cheesecake can’t be beaten. The graham cracker crust is well-constructed, the cake itself is delicious, and sometimes it comes with strawberries.

The third best item on the Bay State Underground menu is the quesadilla. Specifically the one with chicken. I find that the plain quesadilla is not filling enough for dinner, but once you add some extras it becomes quite the meal.

The cheesecake is actually only the second-best dessert on the menu. The real treat is the warm brownie sundae. Sometimes, you are in the mood for something chocolatey and sweet and that is exactly what this menu option provides. They even put whipped cream on the sundae. The only thing keeping this menu item from number one on the list is that sometimes the brownie is not the finest quality.

With all that said, without a doubt, the best item on the menu is the chicken caesar wrap. It is delicious, it is nutritious, and it's pretty affordable for what you get. If you check out Bay State Underground, be sure to give it a try.

Jackson

Why Too Good To Go Will Be Your Best Friend

By Aiden Cliff (CAS/Questrom'23)

Hello everyone! Welcome to the Kilachand Blog. My name is Aiden Cliff and I am a Kilachand Ambassador, Peer Mentor, and KLAB representative for the class of 2023. I am a dual degree student studying economics (CAS), business analytics (QST), and finance from Billerica, MA. There has been a lot of academic focus on this blog lately so I wanted to change up the pace and focus on another fun aspect of college.

Taking time for yourself is such a crucial part of the student experience that often gets overlooked. What better way to do this than to grab a bite to eat with your friends? I wanted to share an up-and-coming app that I use all the time that made this easier than ever to do on a budget: Too Good To Go. This app is really unique since it repurposes all the leftover food that local restaurants have and sells it to you at a very low price. My friends and I have been able to get some really good meals from restaurants around the honors college this way and are able to reduce food waste at the same time. This is a great excuse to get out into the city of Boston as well and explore some new places to eat with your friends!

You can consistently get an entire meal for less than five dollars on this app from some local Boston favorites such as Otto, Ajeen, Shawarma King, or Twin Donuts. Not to mention the Insomnia Cookies on campus usually run a deal through here so you can get a dozen of their best-baked goods for only five dollars which is the perfect way to fuel a late-night study session. I highly recommend everyone download the Too Good To Go app to try a lot of really good local restaurants for cheap and reduce food waste at the same time! I used this a ton during my first year on campus and still continue to use it years later.

Feel free to reach out to me (acliff@bu.edu) if you have any questions at all about anything in this post or life at the honors college. I would be happy to talk about my experiences as an honors student balancing a dual degree, club sports, and academic research if you are interested in any of these areas. Also, feel free to check out my previous post about dual degrees linked here. Best of luck in your admissions process and I hope to see you on campus this fall!

 

The 5 Best Items to Buy at Trader Joe’s

By Emma Hartman (ENG'23)

One of the great joys of living on BU’s west campus is shopping at the Coolidge Corner Trader Joe’s. Every week or so, my roommates and I pack up our rolling cart and make the trek to TJ’s for affordable food that we can make in our Stuvi 1 apartment kitchen. After months of research, I’ve taken it upon myself to compile a list of the 5 best items to buy at the Coolidge Corner Trader Joe’s. I am not sponsored by TJ’s, but I probably should be. These are just my (and my roommates’) personal and correct opinions.

1. Veggie Bites

As a pre-med engineering major, I know all too well how hard it can be to find time to cook healthy food once things get busy or exam season hits. On busy days (or days when you’re just feeling lazy and want to watch Netflix), veggie bites are the perfect low maintenance, high nutrition option. Throw them in the oven for 10 minutes and walk away (just don’t forget to come back). They look and taste like tater tots, but are loaded with broccoli, carrots, celery, kale, onions, sweet potatoes, and a shocking amount of other healthy ingredients. You can dip them in pretty much any sauce (my roommates and I have tried all of them) and if you’re like me, they’re guaranteed to brighten your day.

2. (Vegan) Kale, Cashew, & Basil Pesto

For something consisting of such simple ingredients, it’s shocking how versatile this pesto is. I love eating it with the Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi (which, honorable mention, are a blessing to gluten free eaters like myself everywhere) and I put this in all of my turkey wraps and sandwiches. Even if you eat it everyday, this tiny tub will last a while and you’re definitely getting your money’s worth.

3. Scandinavian swimmers

Cousins of the Swedish fish, the Scandinavian swimmers are as delicious as they are addicting. I find it’s best to eat them with my friends while we spend hours on our signals homework to avoid consuming an entire bag by myself per sitting. I hesitated to include them on this list because their appeal is almost too strong. I speak from personal experience. My suitemate Steph has a tragic Scandinavian swimmers addiction and buys several large bags per week. The fish have taken over her life. We’ve held multiple interventions, but to no avail. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. Anyways, these are pretty good. I’d recommend them. Everyone seems to like them.

4. Any Trader Joe’s Salsa and Chip Combo

They’re a classic and dependable (and cheap) combo. Nobody says no to Trader Joe’s chips and salsa. For some reason, they’re just better than other chips and salsa. Perfect for nachos and you can enjoy them by yourself or with guests. Enough said. 5. Dark chocolate peanut butter cups I’ve always been a sucker for any combination of peanut butter and chocolate, but in this case, pretty much everyone agrees that these are amazing. I like to eat them while I study for exams for a quick sugar rush. Pro tip: put them in the fridge for a few hours. You won’t regret it!

Being Vegan/Vegetarian On Campus

By Core Funke (CAS’23)

As a vegetarian and sometimes vegan, I have experienced eating both ways while living on campus. While it can be challenging at times, I’ve discovered some tips and recommendations that should make it easier for you!

1. Dining halls

Most of the time, the dining halls on campus at BU offer a solid array of veggie foods. Kilachand Hall is located right across the street from Marciano Commons, so this is probably where you will eat most of your meals. Luckily most people consider it to be the best dining hall at BU!

For breakfast, the choices are similar each day. There is always oatmeal, bagels, toast, yogurt with granola, fruit, cereal, and non-dairy milk options. Usually there is a customizable omelette station which also has tofu scrambles, and I love getting vegan pancakes and hash browns. Pastries rotate daily, and some of my favorites are croissants, blueberry muffins, and vegan pumpkin bread.

For lunch and dinner, there is always a meal at the permanently vegan station. Luckily, if that choice isn’t your favorite, a great option is to ask for just the grain, starch, or vegetable options from any of the other stations. The dining hall workers are always really willing to customize your plate (or carry out container in the age of COVID). Oftentimes you can also substitute the protein option with tofu. There are always salads, vegetables with hummus, vegan pizza, French fries, and fruit. Last year, my favorite meal was called “create your own vegan station,” which was made to order curries with really yummy veggies and sauces! Some of my favorite vegan desserts are chocolate mousse and apple crisp.

Another dining hall is Granby Commons at BU Hillel, which is right near the College of Arts and Sciences building. It is completely Kosher, so they don’t cook with dairy products. This means that half of the options are vegan! There are always really yummy meals here, and my favorite is the stir-fried noodles. On some days the grill makes veggie burgers and fries, which is another great option. Before COVID, there was a huge salad bar with tons of toppings, but for now there are packaged salads. They also always have vegan desserts here, and I would highly recommend the chocolate chip cookies!

2. On-campus restaurants

Most on-campus restaurants are super customizable, which makes it really easy to exclude meat, dairy, and eggs. At the George Sherman Union, I love going to Greens & Grains where you can make your own salads. Open Kitchen alternates between serving Middle Eastern cuisine and Latin American cuisine, and it can also be made vegan or vegetarian. The Charles River Bread Company offers sandwiches on a rotating basis, and while most of them have meat sometimes you can catch one without it. They also have several soups, and I am obsessed with their vegetarian creamy tomato soup. A hack is to get a grilled cheese sandwich from Starbucks next door to make it a cozy meal.

Speaking of Starbucks, I like getting their vegetarian breakfast wraps for either breakfast or lunch, and of course most of their drinks can be made vegan. Located in the basement of the CAS building, Einstein Bros. Bagels has really good bagels and egg sandwiches, and while I was doing a one-month vegan challenge earlier this year, I would get a bagel and top it with vegan butter from the dining hall or peanut butter when I got back to my room. Basho has really good sushi rolls, poke bowls, and sushi burritos! I love getting the bowls, which come with lots of rice, and I get tofu instead of fish. There are many toppings and sauces to choose from, and it’s really easy to make vegan.

A sushi bowl from Basho on campus.
A sushi bowl from Basho on campus.

3. Off-campus restaurants

Being right in the middle of Boston makes it so easy to find vegan and vegetarian options at restaurants! Some staples located really close to BU are Nud Pob which serves Thai food, and Pavement Coffeehouse which has so many vegan swaps. Other favorites of mine are Clover Food Lab, India Quality Restaurant, Pho Pasteur, Life Alive, By Chloe, Dig, Rhythm ‘N Wraps, and so many more!