With Grille 86 finally closed after a year of back-and-forth management, the Storrs bar battle for the near future is set as Ted’s vs. Huskies’. Both institutions vie for student loyalty with daily specials, cheap drinks and “Nickel Nights,” as is tradition. That said, Ted’s always had the upper hand on Huskies with the “Beaver” (formally known as the Bionic Beaver), their classic drink. After years of failing to match their cross-street rivals, Huskies’ unveiled their “Dog Bowl,” a drink with the same price range, size and outrageousness as the “Beaver.” Is it up to task?
There are three types of “Dog Bowls” available at Tavern. The most popular one by a decent margin on Saturday was “The Dominator,” a concoction of Truly spiked seltzer and some type of blue mixer (or liquor, or both — I couldn’t tell). Props to Huskies for picking up on the spiked seltzer trend, because they were selling “Dominators” like hot cakes, as they should. Spiked seltzer is legitimately fantastic and deserves all the hype it gets. They also had the hilariously titled “Walk of Shame,” an Angry Orchard Rosé-themed rendition that didn’t seem super popular. Finally, they have the “Steve-A-Rita,” Huskies’ take on what would happen if a frat invented the margarita. It will probably take one month for the names to dissolve into “red,” “blue” and “yellow,” respectively, which is really smart. Trashed students aren’t going to remember “The Dominator” when it’s their time to order, but by making the three drinks distinct colors they’ll be set. I had the giant margarita, or “yellow.” It tasted like a light margarita with a pound of ice, which is what I expected. And I can’t complain; it tasted good!
Something that I instantly noticed about the production of the drink, if you can call it that, is that they whip them up fast. I hit Tavern right as the post-tailgate buses were returning from the football game on Saturday, and it was wall-to-wall packed with drunk Huskies. It took me a solid five minutes to wade through the barrier to get my drink order in, and it seriously only took about 30 seconds to get my drink after ordering.
As tasty as both the “Beaver” and the “Dog Bowls” are, they have a fatal catch — they take an eternity to finish. Both bars are incredibly smart to pack their huge drinks full of excess water for a couple reasons. For one, it gives the impression that you’re drinking a lot more than you actually are. Additionally, on busy nights it keeps you occupied sucking on your Chihuahua sized monstrosity, acting as a pacifier so the bartenders can breathe. I spent a good 15 minutes trying to get through my “Steve-A-Rita” and I only got two-thirds of the way through. If your goal is to get trashed as soon as possible, I’m not really sure if the “Dog Bowl” is the right move. If you share it with friends and keep them coming it might be, but if you’re running solo you might be better off getting a few regular drinks for the same price ($8, although it’s occasionally $6). If you’re ordering one, you probably aren’t weighing the options like I am; you just want a giant alcoholic drink. The Dog Bowl is a pretty good one, with a great name.
Daniel Cohn is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.