Commons Basement - Italian Place - Circa 1993

1,902 Views | 31 Replies | Last: 5 mo ago by AggiePhil
Bonfire97
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All, I had a flashback last night about a little Italian place in the basement of the Commons. It was open late and I remember using the "lagniappe" credits to buy some sort of pizza stick or something like that that you could dip in marinara or ranch. It was unbelievably good. I would always go down there late after studying. Does anyone have any idea what that place was called, or better yet, what that great item was they served that I'm talking about? Thanks in advance!
Bonfire97
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OK, so bits and pieces are coming back to me. Was this called the "Common Denominator"? That may have actually been at ground level because the actual cafeteria was in the basement. Was the "Common Denominator" a single walk up restaurant or was it a cluster of them?
chigger
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Bernie's or Lil Bernie's. My friends and I mention those days regularly to this day.
ringrit
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I believe the Common Denominator was the walk up restaurant/food bar that served hamburgers and food like that. Little (Lil?) Bernies was off to the side in the same area and served the Italian food.
aggiepaintrain
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I ate many a calzone at lil Bernies.
Carny89
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I used to deliver bread there. All the ladies would feed me. They would take all my cakes off my truck. Fair trade.
expresswrittenconsent
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Little Bernie's sounds right. I was thinking common denominator was the name of the scantron store upstairs btwn the 4 forms.
BlueMiles
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Wasn't there one called Stone Willy's? One Italian place replaced the other, if I remember correctly.
AggiePhil
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In 2000-2002, it was Stone Willy's Pizza and Chick-fil-A.
Bonfire97
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Quote:

Bernie's or Lil Bernie's. My friends and I mention those days regularly to this day.
YES! Thank you. That was it. I lived in Dunn and would go there often after I got done studying. I am not sure what it was about that little food court and Bernie's food, but that was awesome. I recall the food court area being somewhat small and dimly lit with only a handful of tables. It didn't seem to matter what time you went, there was always a stream of scenery from Krueger and Mosher appearing out of nowhere. Those were some good times!
dodger02
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AggiePhil said:

In 2000-2002, it was Stone Willy's Pizza and Chick-fil-A.
I gained 50 lbs my freshman year in Aston eating Stone Willy's and Chick-fil-A every single day.

Surprised I didn't die.
trouble
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Bernie's/Lil Bernie's Ranch Sticks!

The first thing I ate after I moved in!
95_Aggie
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CD/Li'l Bernie's/Stone Willys were actually on the 1st floor of the Commons toward the back. The main dining cafeteria was in the basement. (I know a lot of folks like to put that cafeteria out of their minds.)
AggiePhil
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Yeah, all those dorms are co-ed now, can you believe it?!
Counterpoint
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Did the place where you could grill your own hamburgers have a name? You could get as many as you wanted with a meal plan, if I remember correctly.
bobinator
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The grill your own burgers (and make your own omelettes in the morning) was in the awful downstairs cafeteria. (also had a similar stand at Sbisa) I don't remember what it was called but man that place sucked except for that station.

The best thing about the little sandwich place next to the italian place was after a couple of months of the standard menu items you'd get bored and start asking them for all kinds of weird combos and they didn't give a s***.

You could pretty much ask them to make any sandwich involving whatever ingredients you could see and whatever it was it only cost one meal. I remember seeing some guy in front of me asking them to grill some onions and melt the cheese on them before putting it on the sandwich and I thought that guy had like hacked the matrix.
bobinator
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We used to all go down there and load up on those ranch sticks if we were hosting a movie night in someone's room.
dodger02
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This is 100% true.

Them: "What can I get you"?

Me: "Everything"

Them: "Jalapenos?"

Me: "Everything"

Them: "Gimme five minutes."
Bonfire97
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Quote:

Bernie's/Lil Bernie's Ranch Sticks!
YES AGAIN! OK, that is what I used to always get there. Those things were the bomb! You guy's memories are holding up better than mine!
expresswrittenconsent
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I remember the pizza being not great, but they took aggiebucks and off campus places like gumbys didnt yet. Then again, the fact that I thought gumbys was good back then doesn't say much.
Does anyone remember the McDonald's on university selling pizza around 94/95? It did not survive.
bobinator
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Their pizza was awful even when I lived in the commons ('03-'04) but the stromboli and the ranch sticks or whatever they were called were pretty good.
PS3D
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I think according to my patched-together Commons history (including lots of archived Battalion articles online that unfortunately don't exist anymore) it was Common Demoninator.

Quote:

As seen in the Sbisa Dining Hall article, there were arcade and pinball games at the "Commons Snack Bar" in the late 1980s, which I'm guessing became the Common Denominator later on. (indeed, a 1970s yearbook confirms a "snack bar" was upstairs). This was one of the four "Snack Bar" locations in the 1980s and 1990s, which were the Pavilions Snack Bar, the Golf Course Snack Bar, the Bus Stop Snack Bar, and the Commons Snack Bar, which served primarily sandwiches and chips (note that all of these are gone, with the exception of the Pavilions Snack Bar, which morphed into The Grill at the Pavilion). By 2001, the Commons Snack Bar was now the Common Denominator Snack Bar and Lil' Bernie's Pizza Corner (a spin-off of the late Bernie's at Sbisa, back when Bernie's offered and was known for pepperoni rolls) was built as well.
Counterpoint
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expresswrittenconsent said:

Then again, the fact that I thought gumbys was good back then doesn't say much.



Blasphemy! Just kidding, but that's where I learned about putting ranch on pizza for the first time, so it will always have a special place in my heart. When I visited home for the first time my fish year and put ranch on my pizza there, my parents thought it was an Aggie tradition or something.
Bonfire97
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Quote:

Blasphemy! Just kidding, but that's where I learned about putting ranch on pizza for the first time, so it will always have a special place in my heart. When I visited home for the first time my fish year and put ranch on my pizza there, my parents thought it was an Aggie tradition or something.
Yeah, that! I was going to say - I always thought Gumby's was some good stuff. Or then again, maybe it was all the beer I had usually consumed before calling in an order for it. LOL
BlueMiles
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I never knew about the ranch sticks. Can someone describe them? Different than "pepproni rolls"?
trouble
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Small pizza crust covered in garlic and pizza blend cheese. Baked in the pizza oven then cut into "sticks". Served with ranch or marinara.
BlueMiles
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Thanks! Sounds good.
EMY92
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expresswrittenconsent said:

I remember the pizza being not great, but they took aggiebucks and off campus places like gumbys didnt yet. Then again, the fact that I thought gumbys was good back then doesn't say much.
Does anyone remember the McDonald's on university selling pizza around 94/95? It did not survive.

I knew Gumby's wasn't good, but it was cheap. $5 for a large delivered.

I still remember the phone number and I haven't called it in 30 years. They recognized my voice and knew what I wanted.

They were a big part of my 70 pound weight gain in my first year and a half.
nought
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Bernie's was up and to the left. Common denominator convenience store, etc. was down straight ahead. Sbisa bagelwiches ruled but weren't available late at night.

Hoodie on, walk feminine, head into the girls' modulars with a pizza after-hours to hang with the gf. Good times.
Bonfire97
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OK, so I have to ask. Does anyone happen to know anyone that worked at Bernie's that would have the recipe for those ranch sticks? A copycat recipe would be good too. Thanks in advance!
Beware of Doug
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Bonfire97 said:

OK, so I have to ask. Does anyone happen to know anyone that worked at Bernie's that would have the recipe for those ranch sticks? A copycat recipe would be good too. Thanks in advance!
I used to work at the commons front desk. Saw a guy "billy" that worked at Bernie's in the mid 90s a couple years ago. I think he works at or owns the gaming store on Harvey.
AggiePhil
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Forget Bernie's! Nowadays it'd be called Don Juan's!
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