Towson’s Best 2013
Best Sushi: Sushi Hana
If you’re searching for the best sushi, you have to go farther than Susquehanna. If you want the goods, there is a sushi trifecta in Towson: Kyodai Rotating Sushi Bar, Miya Sushi and Sushi Hana. But the guaranteed best is from Sushi Hana at 6 E. Pennsylvania Ave., walking distance from campus. Although the outside looks a little rough, the inside has a good atmosphere and is a great place for a date night out.
They have all different kinds of rolls, from the most basic and plain like the cucumber or avocado rolls to the extravagant and decked out that are topped with eel and stuffed with fried shrimp. The price is fair, with rolls ranging from $3 to $13, and they are consistently fresh and of good size. The major downfall of this sushi joint is that it doesn’t deliver, although it offers take-out.
Best Fast Food: McDonald’s on York Rd.
There’s truly nothing more American than a good old McDonald’s burger. And what’s better than a burger for lunch or dinner? Answer: a burger around midnight or 2 a.m. when you need a study break. McDonald’s is conveniently just down the road from campus and open 24 hours a day. No matter what hour of the night, they won’t judge you for coming in grabbing a burger, a 20 piece nuggets combo, or even a combination of half the menu if you so please. Definitely stop in for a late night snack, or even an early morning one. It’s always open.
Best Local Joint: Andy Nelson’s Barbeque
While Baltimore offers countless restaurants for students to enjoy, they can also choose to stay closer to the Towson area for great food.
Andy Nelson’s Barbecue in Timonium is the perfect example of a yummy local joint.
It is easy to drive by Andy Nelson’s, which is located at 11007 York Rd. The red shack could easily be mistaken for a closed-down restaurant. But inside the restaurant is a completely different story, offering a down-home feel and great North Carolina-style BBQ.
The easy choice here is the traditional pulled pork or chicken sandwich, with sides ranging from coleslaw to baked beans and cornbread.
Andy Nelson’s also has homemade lemonade that, while expensive, is well worth the extra bucks.
This traditional BBQ restaurant is only a short drive away, and can take the stress out of any day with home-style BBQ sandwiches.
Best Chinese: Chinese King Wok
Believe it or not, Towson’s best Chinese food is not from Towson Best! Located just south of Favorites on York Road, King Wok provides the best all-around value in the Towson area. This small, family-owned carry out and delivery restaurant provides excellent tasting Hunan, Szechuan, and Cantonese cuisine to go along with fantastic prices.
During lunch hours, customers can get large portions of a variety of meats, including beef, different types of chicken (General Tso’s, Hunan), and shrimp with a huge serving of white or fried rice and a large bowl of wonton or egg drop soup for anywhere from $4.95-$5.35.
They also have anytime special combination platters that feature even larger portions of similar entrees. But instead of soup, customers get a crispy, delicious egg roll for anywhere from $6.95-$7.35.
Oh yeah, Towson University students also receive a 10 percent discount when they pick the food up and present their OneCard.
Best Underrated: Pho Dat Thanh
You’re walking to your favorite concert at the Recher Theatre and you get some rumblings in your tummy – well, where can you buy meal and not be late to see Miranda Lambert? Pho Dat Thanh, a small Vietnamese place, offers huge portions of unique and tasty food and is right next door. Everyone seems to walk right past Pho’s home on York Road, but why? You can take a date here, swing by for a quick pick up or explore new culinary horizons with dishes like Pig Knuckle or classic favorites like Lo Mein. Recommendations: the dinner special—your choice of three meats or their soups.
Best in Baltimore: Broadway Diner
The Broadway Diner, located on Eastern Ave., presents customers with a menu that rivals The Cheesecake Factory’s.
The diner has even been featured on celebrity chef Guy Fieri’s show “Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives” for its plethora of options.
The average dinner platter is only around $10 and you’ll never leave feeling empty. The Broadway Diner even has a burger with chicken tenders on top. While that may not be ideal for the student looking for a healthier option, that burger is one of dozens of dishes patrons can enjoy for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
There aren’t many restaurants in the Baltimore area that can rival the Broadway Diner.
Best Student Group: Love is Louder
Since its inception two years ago, Love is Louder has taken huge strides, developing from a simple one-day conference to a full-fledged student organization. The group focuses on alleviating bullying and the students involved serve as mentors for those who have been bullied. Last year also featured a week of events revolving around a variety of subject matters. These racked up significant student attendance and attracted the attention of several administrators. The group’s mission is noble and it is by far the fastest growing group on campus.
Best Gen Ed Course: Kanji Takeno’s Japanese 101 class.
What do you get when you mix flying squirrels, old folktales and a lot of particles that don’t exist in English? The answer is Takeno-sensei’s Japanese 101 class.
You’ve probably seen Kanji Takeno, or Takeno-sensei, photographing many campus events, always offering a smile. But what you may not know is that he also teaches his significant knowledge of Japanese culture with anyone who takes his class. Not only does he help you gain a basic understanding of the language, crazy particles and all, but he also ensures you enjoy every minute spent in his class.
Upon entering, you can expect to see cartoon-ish drawings on the board, mostly of animals. After naming them in Japanese, Takeno-sensei will most likely share an old Japanese story or one of his experiences growing up in Japan. And you will never leave without a smile on your face from the welcoming (and hilarious) environment that the classroom becomes.
Best Student Newspaper: The Towerlight
… What were you expecting?
Best Campus Hideaway: Third Floor of West Village Commons
When the library gets too crowded or your bedroom gets too cramped, make a trek over to West Village Commons and take the stairs up to the third floor. Hidden above the dining hall and looking over “Pac-man Field” is a quiet study lounge. Filled with comfy chairs and tables for projects, the third floor lounge is the best campus hideaway.
Plus, if you’re looking for some food for brainpower, just walk downstairs and visit Jamba Juice, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Roadside BBQ, Outtakes or the Commons’ dining hall.
Best On-Campus Dining Hall: Susquehanna
Some may argue with this choice, but Susquehanna has long since carved a niche as the go-to dining hall for the majority for campus. Situated conveniently near the Towers (besides the obvious choice of smelly Glen) and a hub for student meetings, Susq offers a range of typical delicacies. Where else can you find a 12-count box of Chick-fil-A chicken nuggets alongside a fried Twinkie or a slice of white pizza? Susq also offers the ever-popular sushi selection and a surprising assortment of burgers for your pleasure. Some may swear by Ptux or Paws, but don’t knock Susq until you’re craving a Chick-fil-A lemonade and have nowhere to go.
Best Residence Hall: Scarborough
Scarborough Hall is no exception to the rule that everything gets better with age.
Often criticized for the lack of air conditioning, Scarborough makes up in community what it lacks in amenities.
The majority of Scarborough operates under an optional open-door policy, with floors knowing who everyone in each room is after only one week into the semester.
Scarborough often works together with Prettyman to put on events that draw in students and encourages them, especially freshmen, to meet new people and open themselves up to new ideas and adventures.
The community-style bathrooms can take some getting used to, but nothing can compare to the number of friends and memories students can make by sticking to the old side of campus.
Hopefully Scarborough will be even better by 2015, when it is scheduled to be renovated to have the air conditioning it has lacked since it first opened decades ago.
Best Campus Landmark: Burdick Tiger Statue
While the Tiger statue in front of Stephens Hall may be the most traditional Towson landmark, the best campus landmark might be its newest.
The Tiger statue located between the College of Liberal Arts and Burdick Hall was brought in last spring. It offers a pretty surrounding landscape and more space for bigger group pictures. You also won’t have to deal with honks and shouts from passersby on York Road.
Taking a picture on the Tiger should be on your Towson bucket list, so why not visit Towson’s newest and best landmark.
Best Male Athlete: Jerrelle Benimon
Sure, Terrance West did what Terrance West does best for Towson football this year, but he’s not getting this award. This year it’s going to junior transfer Jerrelle Benimon who has almost single-handedly turned Towson men’s basketball around this season. He’s currently leading the NCAA in rebounds per game, with 11.7, and “double-doubles,” with 13. He also cracks the top-50 in the NCAA in blocked shots per game (2.16) and field goal percentage (54). Benimon may not have done so well with Georgetown his previous seasons, but it’s clear he’s hit his groove with the Tigers under the guidance of Head Coach Pat Skerry. With Benimon leading the team, only an NCAA disqualification is keeping the Tigers out of the NCAA tournament.
Best Female Athlete: Aubrey Kirven
One of the more under-looked of this year’s volleyball team, Aubrey Kirven set the tone for the Tigers this season. The senior captain 1,236 assists in 100 sets played, giving her a 12.36 assists per set average and landing her second overall in the NCAA. At the Colonial Athletic Association banquet, Kriven was also named CAA Setter of the Year. Kirven played an integral role for the Tigers this season, being a major factor in the team’s undefeated regular season conference record and rise to the top of the CAA in regular season play.
Best Bar: Charles Village Pub
A classic choice—CVP is a prime example of a success story—a phoenix with a liquor license rising from the ashes. On quieter days CVP is an excellent place to enjoy the company of your friends while you down a beer or Dirty Shirley, whatever your fancy. The rooms are spacious, you’ll never feel terribly crowded even during the busiest days, and if it is packed, you should be drunk enough to not care. Take a trip to the patio on those warmer nights and try to seduce your honey, or you know, a bar sleeze.
Best Liquor Store: Beltway Fine Wine
Easily the best liquor store in the Towson area is Beltway Fine Wine. It’s located just off Loch Raven Blvd. and while it’s a bit of a pain to get in and out, it’s worth it. The store has one of the largest supplies of beer, wine and liquor in the area. Interested in testing out the different types of beer out there? The store has two aisles devoted to creating your own six-pack. You’ll be hard pressed not to find exactly what you’re looking for, and more, here. But don’t bother trying to sneak a fake ID past the cashiers. They’re diligent at examining IDs and aren’t afraid to turn anyone they suspect is underage away. Drink responsibly.
Best Photo Spot: Federal Hill
Off campus there are many great photo opportunities. Although many pictures of people at the Inner Harbor or Towson fill your Facebook feed, Federal Hill is the best spot for photos. The actual ‘hill’ in Federal Hill has a view of the Inner Harbor and the city that makes for a great background. Not only that, it’s a nice little park with shaded areas and a sidewalk that takes you down the hill. The view of the city from here is great yet and has charm.
Throughout this grassy hill, there are statues in various places that make for nice goofy photo poses and there are also benches to sit on. There are often wedding parties coming through to snap some photos.
It’s not a far drive from campus and after you finish your little photo session there are plenty of restaurants and shops nearby to go enjoy.
Best Day Trip: New York City
These streets will make you feel brand new, big lights will inspire you, let’s hear it for New York. New York City is the best day trip for those who have $10 to their name. The Megabus offers a cheap and quick three-hour drive to the Empire State and can bring you right back. After you’re dropped off, a lot of options are within walking distance from the stop.
In New York City you can do almost anything your heart desires. Plus, this has to be on everyone’s “top 10 places to visit before I die” list. And if you’ve already been there before, it’s guaranteed that there is somewhere you didn’t go or something that you didn’t do the last time that you can now. Check out comedy clubs, chill in Central Park for a day, grab something delicious to eat, visit museums, go skating at Rockefeller Center, see a Broadway show and much more. There are a lot of free things if you don’t have the cash to throw down for three meals and souvenirs. Plus this day trip allows the option to bag a lunch if you’re really that low on cash, although there are some pretty cheap places to grab a pizza too. So either way, broke or rolling in dough, it’s a successful trip.
Best Shopping Bargain: Ukazoo Books
Ever have those days when you want to do something different but don’t feel like spending an arm and a leg?
Well, instead of heading to Towson Town Center to blow all of your cash, turn into the shopping center just across Dulaney Valley Road from the mall. Tucked away behind the strip mall with the Starbucks and Chicos is a cozy bookstore called Ukazoo Books that offers a wide selection of used books and showcases local art. It’s the perfect place to find a few books to occupy a rainy day or to pick up between classes.
And the best part? All used books are buy three, get the fourth free. Now you’ll have no reason to be bored, since for just a short walk or drive and a small sum, you can obtain enough books in just about any genre to entertain you for hours.
Best Off-campus Apartments: Towson Place Apartments
Though everyone has their own opinions, the Towson Place Apartments are the best off campus apartments because of their convenience to campus.
Don’t have a car? No problem. It’s about the same distance from campus as living in West Village.
Don’t have four people to live with? Also not a problem. Unlike many local apartment complexes where you need four roommates, Towson Place offers singles, doubles and triples.
The apartments are a decent size, fully furnished, and utilities are included. Additionally, most apartments have a washer and dryer inside, so doing laundry is extremely convenient.
Towson Place Apartments are a step up from the residence halls, as they are off campus, but they’re still built for Towson students. If you’re not ready to be completely
apart from campus-life yet, Towson Place offers a nice transitional place. Just make sure to read your contract thoroughly before signing the dotted line.
Best ‘Nerdy’ Pastime: Pokémon
Unlike a number of “nerdy” pastimes, Pokémon doesn’t apply to the popular Internet saying “Only ‘90’s kids will get this.” Pokémon is still going strong, over 15 years into the franchise. From the trading card game to the video game to the television show to the movies, Pokémon has one of the most dedicated fan bases out there.
Fans were treated to a belated Christmas present in early January with the announcement of Pokémon X and Y, the first entries in the series to be featured on the Nintendo 3DS.
Featuring three-dimensional battle animations and characters, the series hopes to draw in fans both new and old in October when the game launches worldwide.
Pokémon is one of the rare franchises that has managed to keep the first generation of players who first picked up Pokémon Red and Blue in 1998, but also draws in new fans of the genre with the newest release Black and White 2.
No matter where the franchise goes, fans will also stick to their pocket monsters.
Best Cold Treat: Yolavie
The frozen yogurt “fro-yo” trend has overtaken college students. Originally in a few large cities, these franchises have spread to the suburbs and in your local mall. While some may argue their favorites (Sweet Frog or Tutti Frutti) all of them carry the same concept: choose a cup, serve yourself and adorn with delicious toppings. The yogurt flavors are so diverse that anyone with a hankering for something sweet, whether that be chocolate or tart mango, can find what they’re looking for. Yolavie in particular has excellent customer service, decent discounts and coupons and a decent mix of flavors. Find them in the Towson Town Center.
Best Puppy Store: Just Puppies
Is there any other? A wonderful option when you’re feeling a little down – you can visit this store and play with one to two puppies of your choice. Recreationally. Not much else to say.