2 years on…

My then fiancee (now wife) and I headed out to DC after we both graduated in 2007. A few others from our class came out as well, and since then we’ve met other great Alumni and have remained an active part of the Haas community, both socially and as part of the Berkeley MBA interview/info session process.

After a very long two years, we decided to return and spent a wonderful Memorial Day weekend in Berkeley. We caught up with old friends as well as those that we’ve kept in close contact with since graduating. To complement the social cycle, we hit up some of our favorite eateries and enjoyed some new ones. Most importantly (when it comes to food), we made the obligatory stop at La Burrita.

It’s been two loooooong years since I’ve had a great burrito, and the large super carne asada burrito hit the spot.

In addition to La Burrita, here are some other great eateries that have stood the test of time for those lucky enough to be starting their Haas adventures shortly:

Ici (wonderful ice cream)
Cheeseboard Pizza
Le Cheval (French Vietnamese)
Brazil Cafe (tri-tip sandwich and mango smoothie)
La Note (awesome brunch)
Noodle Theory
Paragon (Mac & cheese at the Claremont)
Great Wall (best Peking Duck in the world, this from native Chinese who have travelled the world)
Trattoria La Siciliana

Now if we can only get back to Berkeley before another 2 years pass….

—Colin C.

"This Weather is Awesome"

That was the starting point of almost every conversation last night. During our 7:30-8:15 dinner break, most every evening student was lounging around the courtyard, taking full advantage of this weather.

There’s nothing like flip-flop, shorts, and sweatshirt evening weather. That warm but cool temperature that’s perfect for bonfires on the beach or lounging around the back deck with an after-dinner drink in hand.

Even though I was in the courtyard and only had a soda and large carne asada super burrito from La Burrita in hand, it was still awesome.

—Colin C.

Go Bears!

Despite my 33 years of age, it’s still a great time to catch a Cal football game in the student section.

I met up with some friends at the joint Haas/Boalt tailgate in the courtyard before the game. A few enterprising First Years set up a well-run fund-raising assortment of pre-game snacks by the Stadium (to support Haas students engaging in non-profit internships this summer). The tailgate was also well-run. BBQ chicken, dogs, burgers, and some veggie alternatives for those into tofu served with ice-cold sodas, water, and beer (apparently there wasn’t any wine for the tofu crowd).

Even students without tickets show up to mingle before heading to Henry’s to watch the game on TV.

A few minutes before the game, we made the walk up to the stadium and quickly passed through the electronic ticket stand (much faster than last time). A group of us found our home along the 50-yard line, nestled in amongst the undergrads, for a great view. (Just forget that the stadium is on a major fault line.)

Despite the alcohol-free nature of the stadium, or perhaps because of it, the crowd was eager to cheer on the Bears as they beat the Bruins. Card tricks, surfing-students, hangin’ with the kids… a good time.

This may not be new to most people, but coming from a small military academy with a student body of 1200 and a tradition of push-ups in the end-zone following a touchdown, it’s a different experience to enjoy a game with 75,662 of your closest friends.

One tradition you should know of is Henry’s. Get to Henry’s early on Saturday to secure your wristband, it allows you enjoy more of the post-game activities by skipping the long line headed into Henry’s following the game.

After pre-game celebrations, a tailgate, the game, and post-game celebrations at Henry’s, head over to Blondie’s Pizza, Top Dog, or La Burrita for a quick boost of energy, then head over to Kip’s or into the city for more fun. If you can.

—Colin C.