Best Burger in Illinois

I Tried Illinois' Supposed 'Best Burger' Joint, Farren's Pub & Eatery In Champaign

So, did Farren's burgers live up to this generous title?

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Back in August, the Champaign-Urbana community received some exciting and tasty news: one of our local gigs, Farren's Pub & Eatery, was crowned the top burger spot in the state according to a TripAdvisor report. Ever since I caught wind of this news, I've been dying to try this burger mecca, but I never got around to it because it's located off-campus in downtown Champaign. With my graduation just about three weeks away, I knew it was now or ever. Unfortunately, I came down with a cold, so I wasn't able to physically go to the restaurant. Instead, I had my purchase catered to my apartment via EatStreet so I could grub in my germ-contained apartment and in some cozy pajamas. Nonetheless, I'll share my opinions and experiences from the online shopping to the final, meaty bite.

The restaurant offers a fair selection for its customers, from the traditional sandwiches and burgers (of course) to tacos and even cupcakes! Though many options were mouthwateringly tempting, I just had to pick one of the burgers to investigate this tasty case. I ordered one of Farren's most popular items according to EatStreet: "The Motherlode," which was garnished with sautéed mushrooms, bleu cheese sauce and Swiss cheese atop a hamburger patty. I asked for extra onions on the side to help open up my congested cavities, then I waited about 50 minutes for my order to arrive. The food itself was about $10, so not a bad bargain at all!

While I was waiting, I was able to track my order thanks to EatStreet's real-time updates that communicated to me which step my order was in between the order processing to the car dispatch. The order came almost right on time, give or take a few minutes. The food was packaged tightly in its container and was still steaming hot. Here it is in all its shiny, greasy glory:


The extra onions and my choice of fries came on the side, along with a container of bleu cheese dressing. I peeled back the burger to peek at its layers; from the bottom up, there was a bun, patty, mushrooms, melted Swiss cheese and a generous amount of sautéed mushrooms under the top bun. The patty was thick, juicy and soft but still held a distinct shape. See for yourselves how big this beefy boy was!

After letting my eyes and camera eat first, I went to town. The buns overall were nice, not tough or soggy. I'm not a big mushroom fan, so the 5-10 mushroom cuts were plenty for me, but that probably also means there would be more left to desire for others. The onions were sweet, reminding me of caramelized unions a bit, but perhaps the Swiss cheese contributed to this taste a bit. The meat? It hit the spot, but it became heavier and heavier as I ate. My burger was also tiptoeing on the rare side, increasingly pink as I bit closer to the center, which isn't something I normally go for. The patty also fell apart, making it messy to eat because the buns that held the entire sandwich together were, as I stated, rather soft. I had to scoop up my scraps and eat them separately at times. My favorite part about the burger was, without a doubt, the bleu cheese sauce. That sauce was so rich and made this burger a stand-out that I'll remember for months to come. As for the fries, they were pretty average. The taste and texture were very similar to other fries I've had, so I wouldn't be surprised if they came straight from a vendor.

All in all, I really enjoyed the burger, but I wouldn't say it's the best I ever had in Illinois. Out of 10, I'd rate it an 8.5. Messy food is oftentimes the tastiest, but because the meat and buns were both a bit soft, it was hard to enjoy all the flavors together once things fell apart. Nonetheless, each ingredient was tasty on its own, but they also each worked together to better the burger. Plus the bleu cheese sauce was simply incredible. I was pleasantly satisfied for the price, and I'm happy to finally check this experience off my list before parting with C-U!

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A Letter To Dad From His Thankful Daughter

Thank you, Daddy.
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Dear Daddy,

I want to start off by saying thank you for always being there for me. You have not made me go a day without a father in my life. You have and continue to teach me how to be loved. You have always loved me with your whole heart. You are not selfish but humble and kind. You gave up your dreams so I could chase mine, thank you. Thank you for giving me the opportunities you did not have growing up. Thank you for working long hard hours so that I can have the things I have. Thank you for always making things work between you and mom. Thank you for not leaving. Thank you for being my daddy.

Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do every day. I will forever be grateful for you daddy. It is because of you that I know how to ride a bike, how to swim, how to cook collard greens and how to pump gas (lol). Thank you for always being a great father and husband to mom. I will always know how a man should treat their daughter and wife because of you. You continuously encourage me to run after my dreams even when I have lost my faith. Thank you for lifting my spirit up when I am down. You have always been a shoulder to cry on. You are my hero. You are the best father and I hope one day I can marry someone who is just like you. You have given your life away to work and support mom and me. Thank you.

Thank you for trying you hardest to not let me fall and for always picking me up when I did. You are my hero. You are the person I look up to for advice and for comfort. I hope you know that I am the person I am today because of and for you. So, Thank you. Thank you for helping me set my standards in a husband and in the future father of my children. Thank you for never leaving me lonely. Thank you for teaching me all the things a daddy should teach their daughter. Thank you for never letting me go without. Thank you for being a daddy and a good one at that.

I am not sure if I have told you this as much as I should but I am so thankful for you. I never had to grow up and not know what it was like to not have you around. Thank you. I will never have to feel alone. I will always have you to hold me and tell me you love me. You are my daddy, my hero, my supporter and my biggest fan. I love you.

So, thank you for never leaving me alone, for teaching me how to not be afraid, and for loving me. I love you, dad.

Love,

Your daughter

Cover Image Credit: Daddy cooking

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5 Things You Need To Know About Thinx Underwear

Those of you with a uterus, listen up.

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I first heard about Thinx underwear two years ago while on a subway in Washington DC. I thought the whole idea of leakproof underwear sounded a bit too much like diapers and brushed the product aside. Fast forward two years, my mom states that she is going to buy a pair to try and offered to get me one too. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, I decided to give it a try. I'm sure glad I did!

If you're not familiar with Thinx allow me to explain. It's a company that prides themselves on creating underwear specifically designed for individuals to wear during their periods. Looking at the reviews, everyone seemed to love them, and after trying them out for myself, I must say I like them quite a lot. Here are a few important things to know about Thinx underwear.

1. It doesn’t always replace your pads/tampons

Thinx may not replace tampons, but it can help cut back the amount you use.

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I learned this the hard way that if you have a heavy flow, you can't wear Thinx on its own. If you have a light flow, you could get away with only wearing these, but for us poor souls with heavy flows, I recommend making these your new period underwear. You never have to worry about any leaks, even at night!

2. They don't stain

Behold! No bloodstains!

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If you leak onto this underwear, fear not. Merely rinse them in the sink and then throw them in the wash like normal and boom! Clean underwear. No more ugly stained underwear to keep in the corner of your drawer.

3. There’s a bunch of cute designs/colors

There's something for everyone!

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One thing I must say about Thinx is that they have a wide variety of options. There are several different cuts, and almost all of them come in different colors options as well. They seem to be introducing new colors all the time, so keep an eye out for one you like.

4. They are super comfy!

These feel just like normal underwear.

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When I got my pair, I was worried that this underwear would feel like wearing a diaper or something else uncomfortable, but that was not the case at all! This underwear when you're wearing it feels like normal underwear, and while you're washing it, it feels like a swimsuit.

5. They donate to a good cause

Everyone should have access to period products. Period.

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For every pair of underwear that you buy, the company donates a pair to someone in need. It seems like most are sent to developing countries where women do not have access to proper menstruation hygiene products. In addition to this, Thinx was designed to help cut back the number of disposable pads entering landfills. They designed this underwear to be a more sustainable alternative for people with periods!

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