A-Day Eats

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Football fans, rejoice! A-Day is once again upon us.

This Saturday, thousands of Auburn students, alumni, families and fans will converge on Jordan-Hare Stadium for the team’s spring scrimmage.

Where will those thousands of people eat? For many, lunch and dinner will consist of a quick walk to a local eatery. Good thing we’ve got plenty of walking-distance options.

Many will likely stroll across South College Street to Taziki’s, Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint, or the old standby, Price’s Barbecue House.

For those who head to the downtown strip, the range of options is huge. Here’s an overview:

Toomer’s Drugs, Bizilia’s Cafe, Big Blue Bagel & Deli, Tacorita, Cheeburger Cheeburger, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Moe’s Southwestern Grill, Moe’s Original Barbecue, Zazu Gastropub, Hamilton’s, Little Italy Pizzeria, Halftime, Pita Pit, Arigato Sushi Boutique, Jimmy John’s, Quixotes.

If you’re willing to walk a little farther to Glenn Avenue, you can drop by Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Island Wing Company, Waffle House, or Wild Bill’s Kitchen.

So for anyone in need of dining plans on A-Day, hope this helps. War Eagle, y’all!

The Sights and Sounds of Wake Up Coffee Company

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My audio slideshow, entitled “Wake Up Coffee Company” (link below if the hyperlink fails), gives you the chance to hear from the very busy owner of the popular coffee shop, Wade Preston. He describes his inspiration, his coffee philosophy and a little bit about how his shop supports fair trade practices and artisan crafters. I hope you enjoy!

Full link:  https://googledrive.com/host/0B06vquViR27jWUhOU0tZTWhoUlE/index.html.

(Note: To get the full experience, click “captions” under the slideshow frame to enable picture captions)

Impressive Audio Slideshows

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If a picture is worth a thousand words, then an audio slideshow must be worth at least five thousand.

In an audio slideshow, readers get to not only see the images and read the captions, but hear a narrator add life to the story. This could be a reporter narrating or even the subject.

Peter Frank Edwards’ “The Whole Hog” slideshow for the New York Times is a good example of the subject telling the story of the photos. The slideshow depicts Scott’s Bar-B-Q in South Carolina and is narrated by the owner, Rodney Scott, along with raw audio from the restaurant.

Scott tells his story of growing up in this family business, the history of the business and comments on its uniqueness of being out in the country. He describes the difference between how his business cooks its meat–and the skins–compared to other barbecue joints. He sets himself apart.

This slideshow is an excellent example of community journalism, to which I am very partial. It gives people a look at a small, family-owned business that is thriving out in the country. This benefits both the owner who is getting exposure and the barbecue-loving viewer who watches and then thinks, “I’ve got to try that place.”

It really inspires me because this is basically what I’d like to do for a magazine someday. Getting to seek out and featuring small-town gems like this for, say, Southern Living Magazine would be my dream.

You’ll notice that the captions on the pictures are more factual rather than adding to the narration. They simply identify the people in the pictures and clarify what is happening if it is not completely obvious. A few of the photos don’t have captions at all, but those images don’t need further explanation because a viewer can tell what is pictured.

The restaurant featured in this gallery brings to mind many local barbecue joints here in Auburn. Moe’s Bar B Que, Country’s Barbecue, Barbecue House, Byron’s Smokehouse, Mike & Ed’s bar-B-Q…we really love our barbecue around here.

Which one do you think would give Scott’s Bar-B-Q a run for its money?

Alright, alright, back to the topic. So, audio slideshows.

While using a subject to narrate the slideshow adds a little more of a personal aspect to a story, a reporter-narrated slideshow can still add life.

For example, Eric Asimov’s “Dining in Napa Valley” slideshow, also for the New York Times, adds pizazz to the traditional dining review.

In the slideshow, Asimov gives an overview of dining in Napa, California. (Good thing he’s a wine critic!)

He discusses the restaurants he went to and describes both the atmosphere and the food. After looking at the accompanying article (a tad long for my taste), I appreciated the option to look at pictures and listen rather than read.

Hey, even journalists get tired of reading.

As Asimov narrates the pictures, captions clarify what the viewer is looking at. When he shows dishes, the captions tell you what’s on the plate. The audio and the pictures are loosely joined. By this I mean that the pictures he shows all come from the place he is talking about, rather than being described in the audio.

This is a good example of when the captions are definitely necessary.

This type of journalism is more on the consumer side. Asimov has basically made a go-to restaurant list for anyone wanting to enjoy some great food when they visit Napa.

What I love is that Asimov has paid a lot of attention to detail. He describes not only the dishes, but the ingredients and the atmosphere of each restaurant as well. He specifically sought out the newer restaurants that may not be well-known yet.

He also looked at a variety of restaurants. From upscale to diner-like, he gives an example of a small variety of options for travelers.

I can picture making something like this for great restaurants of Auburn and Opelika. For the upscale I’d probably talk about Maestro 2300 over on Moores Mill Road.

I’d definitely rave over their lobster risotto.

Rather than a diner, I think I’d go with a popular game day option: Niffer’s. Every student should eat there at least once during their time in Auburn. It’s borderline tradition.

Which Auburn or Opelika restaurants do you think deserve a shout-out?

A Fair Take on Coffee

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College students love coffee. Yeah, I just dropped some (obvious) knowledge on you.

What college students also love is when they can feel good about their purchases.

Our generation is often happy when we can not only buy our coffee, but know that the people who grew and picked it were treated well and paid fairly.

Enter Wake Up Coffee Company.

Take a look at the gallery below to see what this new South College Street shop brings to downtown Auburn.

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The Auburn branch is just one in the Wake Up Coffee Company tree. Each shop is dedicated to the same fair trade, sustainable and community-centered standards.

I don’t know about you, but I could go for a vanilla latte now.