Being a poor student, I've only had the Mississippi's gourmet and delicious pies a few times, as they tend to be out of my price range.
However, I went there to celebrate the end of finals and my friend and I ordered a pitcher of Pabst. They had run out of PBR, so we got Fat Tire instead, which they gave us at the Pabst price. Wasn't that nice? I thought so.
PROS: family-friendly division between restaurant and bar
When I moved to Lair Hill, the first sign I had welcoming me to the neighborhood was Ross Island Grocery's Thanksgiving Potluck. It's open late on Friday for open mic night, and is easily the most popular place in the neighborhood, dark, full of music and teeming with people sipping wine or stopping in on a beer run. There's more emphasis on "cafe" than "grocery,:" with sandwiches and coffee drinks made to order and a rotation of salads, quiches and desserts. On the grocery side, there's a great selection of beers and other drinks.
The help is friendly and fun.
PROS: meet Lair Hill dwellers in their natural habitat, great beer selection
CONS: $4 minimum on debit cards
As well as being a must-see for art students, this gallery is a wonderful place to buy works by local and regional artists. They display a mix of styles and price ranges of pottery, fiber and wood arts. The staff is very friendly and has gone the extra mile to help me find ceramic work I liked and could afford.
Though located in residential neighborthood north of Johns Landing, it deserves more exposure.
This is the place you went during high school because it was quirky, fairly cheap and open late. If you're older than 21, though, there's no reason for you to be here. The menu hasn't changed since 1999, and you've had all the bland Old Mac or spicy-yet-boring entrees before. THe determinedly-inattentive waiters were funny when you were 16, as were the "are we totally blowing your mind yet?" foil sculpture doggy bags. Le Bistro needs to occasionally change things up to stay interesting.
PROS: open late, parking available
CONS: no credit cards