Food Review | 10th & Piedmont deserves a second visit

Grade: A-
Verdict: 10th & Piedmont has a casual-yet-posh atmosphere and great food, but will leave you wanting more.

When you walk into 10th & Piedmont at dinnertime, you’re immediately struck by the chic, calm ambiance and contemporary interior design. The recently revamped menu features a variety of food from shrimp and scallop nachos, to filet mignon, to a classic burger, hinting that everyone is guaranteed to find something they enjoy.

The bocadillo, a sandwich composed of shredded pork, arugula, asiago cheese and tomato marmalade, is cut into four, making it perfect for sharing. What makes this dish stand out, though, is the kick of wholegrain mustard.

Also perfect for sharing is the restaurant’s take on chicken and waffles. Instead of Belgian waffles with a side of fried chicken, 10th & Piedmont serves up battered chicken on a skewer that looks like a corn dog. The “waffle” outer is crispy and sweet, and the chicken inside has a smoky flavor that feels like a serious meal. The pseudo-corn dogs come with three dipping options to be mixed and matched as desired: syrup, powdered sugar and hot sauce.

10th & Piedmont challenges expectations once again with its play on shrimp and grits. The “shrimp on grits” consists of seared juicy shrimp presented on a cake made of grits. The outside of the cake is firm, but the inside is the smooth Southern grits everyone knows and loves.

The wild mushroom ravioli was a crowd-pleaser, even to me, who is not the biggest fan of mushrooms. The ravioli is filled with spinach and mushrooms and sits in a generous helping of cream sauce with multiple types of wild mushrooms on top. The dish was definitely created with mushroom-lovers in mind.

The icing on the proverbial cake came as a chocolate soufflé with crème anglaise. Made fresh-to-order in 17 minutes, the soufflé can be enjoyed with the cream either poured into the piping hot interior or as a dip for each individual bite. The richness of the chocolate is balanced nicely by the lightness of the cream.

The food is served quickly and employees are genuinely attentive to customers’ needs, which makes up for the dim lighting. However, the portions aren’t as hefty as what’s expected from your neighborhood sit-down place. The majority of the prices won’t break a student’s bank and there’s no lack of flavor here. At the end of the day, 10th & Piedmont is a great choice for a more mature chill night out with friends.

*This review originally appeared in the Arts & Living section of The Signal on Nov. 12, 2013.*


The downside to positive discrimination: One school faces the possibility of taking steps back in the war against racism

In 2006, Michigan voters passed ballot initiative Proposal 2, which barred the (currently) 77 percent white University of Michigan Law School from using an applicant’s race in their admissions decisions. Since Proposal 2 passed, admission of African-American students has dropped 40 percent. The school is now making waves as it goes to the U.S. Supreme Court in defense of a clause that allowed the admissions office to factor race into their decisions. 

Should the Supreme Court uphold the constitutionality of the proposal, the University of Michigan Law School will likely continue to admit fewer and fewer students of color each year, and this is a problem. 

According to worldwide news outlet Al Jazeera America: Of the 315 students admitted to the University’s law school this semester, just 14 were black and around 42 were Asian. Mean- while, the school is located less than an hour outside of the predominantly black city of Detroit. 

This may seem like a case in which affirmative action, or what Oxford Dictionaries refers to as “positive discrimination,” is acting as “reverse discrimination:” the belief that policies designed to aid minorities put the majority (i.e. white people) at a disadvantage. However, the demographics of the school and its area must be taken into account. 

Regardless, this is a complicated matter. I think everyone can agree that all students should be given equal opportunities for education. And while the creation of a quota-type system for students of color helped diversify the school, the method is questionable. 

As sad as it is to see such a dramatic decline in a single demographic, it can’t really be called a fair system. Based on the proposal, it seems that this was less affirmative action and more a case in which minority students were admitted with lesser credentials simply because of perceived race-based discrimination and disadvantages. 

Under these circumstances, the Court could reasonably rule to continue the ban on race consideration because of the advantage it appears to give students of color or disadvantage it gives to other races. Upholding the proposal would also 

open the door for others to challenge similar systems around the country. 

At some institutions, such as Georgia State, which has no issues attracting students from varied backgrounds, provisions are unnecessary. But others, such as Historically Black Colleges/ Universities and predominantly white institutions, could garner more diversity by factoring in race. 

Even though a quota system appears to be unfair to some, minority students will ultimately suffer if they’re not in a comfortable environment. Any student would. Beyond socioeconomic status, students don’t tend to gravitate toward schools where they feel that they will be alone. 

We want to see others who look like us and may, therefore, share common interests with us. A system that takes race into account guarantees that students will not be alone. In an environment where we are alone, our voices are stifled. We’re inclined to refrain from emphasizing our differences, resulting in assimilation rather than diversification.

*This article originally appeared in the Opinions section of The Signal on Oct. 22, 2013.*