Best of Brookings 2003


Hallie Thomas, Krista Tschetter

In March of 2003, two of our intrepid staff members set out to find the best edibles, drinkables and everything else in Brookings. This is what they came up with. We humbly re-present it to you, as you are new here and may not know of the wonders of Movie Gallery and Sound Station 7. Look for us to continue this feature next fall, as we try to find the best of EVERYTHING in Brookings. We will not rest until every buffalo wing has been tasted and every cup of coffee sampled!

In addition, if you are underage, please know that several of the items in this piece are not for you. You may look, but please don’t touch. If you’re of age, we’re not going to stop you. But if you’re an over-eager newbie, WAIT YOUR TURN!

That is all.

We now present “Best of Brookings 2003” in its entirety.

Best Breakfast

Cook’s Kitchen (304 Main Ave.). With prices as cheap as a weekend at grandma’s and the ambiance to match, it’s the best place to go eat with a case of the bed-head and a serious appetite.

Everything’s hot, everything’s fried and nobody asks questions. And they open seriously early, so die-hards can hit it up post-party and still sneak in a little shut-eye before class at 9 a.m.

Best Coffee

Our friend three-pots-a-day-John says Artworks frame gallery (325 Main Ave.) is the best place to get your fix of caffeine and culture.

They serve coffee in the back, and you can sip while you browse.

Not many students seem to know about this place, so check it out on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Come on kids, it’s a stimulant, and it’s legal!

Best Book Store

The Brookings Book Company (420 4th St.). Stop by, sort through the stacks and shelves, if only to find your lit class books at cheaper prices then the university book store.

They also sell records and comic books and have a book search service.

Best of all, they have a cat! Seriously, right in the store!

Best Music Store

Sound Station 7 in the University Mall (967 22nd Ave. S.). Two words: used CDs. Lots of ’em. Hopefully used by people that treat them better than you do. And they’re super cheap.

That, and the indie atmosphere and essence of patchouli plays to your inner-hippie. Even if you’re looking for a copy of Air Supply’s “Hearts in Motion.” Plus, they have a great selection of posters to adorn the cold plaster of any dorm room.

Best Burger

What’s more American than eating a juicy burger in the glow of multiple TVs simultaneously broadcasting sporting events from around the world (and the occasional episode of “7th Heaven”)?

Cubby’s Sports Bar and Grill (307 Main Ave.) offers half- pound burgers prepared a variety of ways, including Cajun, mushroom and Swiss, barbecue and bacon cheeseburger.

They come with a mound of criss-cross seasoned fries or a salad and are reasonably priced at around $6.

Best Gifts

The South Dakota Art Museum (Medary Ave. at Harvey Dunn St.). Y’all know where it’s at. The gift shop offers everything from baubles to tapestries, posters to books. And many of them are crafted by local artisans who remind you that something beautiful can come from the frozen South Dakota tundra.

Check out the Hot & Twisted handmade glass bead jewelry. Crafted by Amy Fill from Volin, S.D., it’s high-quality and you can’t get it anywhere else.

Best Video Rental

Movie Gallery (1004 6th St.). They have a large selection of old movies, and they sell a lot of previously viewed tapes for under $10. Plus, deals, deals, deals. On Tuesdays, old releases are two for $1.49. Also, all rentals are seven days. We also like the service. Ask for a recommendation, we haven’t gone wrong yet (“Amelie,” “Donnie Darko,” those are just a few).

P.S. Dare your friends to check out the adult film section. It’s in a back room, for the discretionary among you. Naughty!

Best Fountain Pop


Best Street

Harvey Dunn. Where it snakes around just past Sexaur Park. Every house in that section looks straight out of “Leave It to Beaver” (on Technicolor crack).

It’s best if you slow way down and whistle any innocuous TV theme song from the 1950s. It’ll trip ya out.

Best Mixed Drinks

Jim’s Tap (309 Main Ave.). These little puppies sure give you the bang for your buck. But they’re not for the weak of heart (or stomach).

The bartenders at Jim’s show affection for their patrons by burning their drinks. A whole lot. But we’re poor and we like the cost effective. And by effective, we mean REALLY effective. Try a backpacker.

Best Day (Night) Trip

It’s about a two hour drive if you don’t know how to get there, but once you find it, the movie theater in Milbank is great for a night out. It sounds odd, but the tiny theater often features indi films even before Sioux Falls gets them. “Bowling for Columbine” and “Frida” are two of the recent features. It’s also under five bucks and the concession stand is atrociously cheap in this day and age of $9 boxes of popcorn.

Best Pizza

We have a tie between George’s (311 Main Ave.) and Papa John’s (1833 6th St.). Papa John’s has great dipping sauces and hot peppers (plus speedy delivery) but George’s sells by the slice from the window. And you can’t get it anywhere but Brookings. We’ll leave this one up to you.

Best Live Entertainment

We have to give a shout out to our compatriots on the University Program Council. They have a part in bringing most live entertainment to campus and it’s often educational as well as entertaining (and free).

Honorable mention goes to Max at the Jackalope Lounge (311 3rd St.). It’s consistently been a hot spot for live music, especially local artists. Kudos.

Best New Building

The Performing Arts Center. The building is amazing, the acoustics are astounding and its all very state-of-the-art. Finally, SDSU’s hills are alive with the sound of music.

Best Bartender

Lora Zeng from The Lantern Lounge (303 3rd St.). This girl is a marvel to watch in action. Often flying solo behind the bar, she ping-pongs from one end to the other, magically producing your favorite drink almost before you have time to order. She remembers who you are, she remembers what you like and she always has time to smile and say hi.

Observe the subtle art of bartending at its best before she graduates in May … oh wait … guess you kids will just have to hear the legend. Oh well.

Best Bar

After months of research, the award goes to (drumroll please) Skinner’s Pub (300 Main Ave.).

They have the most pool tables, the most bathroom stalls and the most room in general. The waitresses are friendly and eager to rush you drinks and tobasco-spiked popcorn.

They also play great music (i.e. Bowie and Queen’s “Under Pressure” and all the Ryan Adams you can shake a stick at).