Broadway Comes to Columbus!

I’m a huge Broadway fan, so I’m always excited to hear about a new show coming into Columbus!  These shows usually come to one of my two favorite theaters downtown – the Ohio Theatre and the Palace Theatre.  If you’re a Broadway aficionado – or if you’ve never seen a show before in your life – you should definitely check out the line-up at these theaters.  I’m sure you’ll find something of interest!

This week I went to see Million Dollar Quartet.  This musical is set on one night – December 4, 1956 – when four music legends were all together for a recording session.  These musicians were Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley.  This would be the only time these artists, who all debuted with Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee, were all together.  The show featured memorable songs such as “Hound Dog,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Great Balls of Fire,” and “Walk the Line.”  The actors did a fantastic job and took the audience members back to the ’50’s for this session.

Broadway actors portray Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash
(photo courtesy of

My favorite of the artists portrayed in this musical is Johnny Cash.  My freshman year at Ohio State, I had the privilege of taking a seminar course solely focused on Johnny Cash and his songwriting.  Each class session, we would listen to a couple of his songs and discuss what we thought the lyrics meant to Johnny and what they meant to us.  Some of my favorites of Johnny’s were actually covers – not his original lyrics – and many were spirituals.  In the Sweet By and By and Hurt were two in particular that I enjoyed, although I also love his most famous original songs like Folsom Prison Blues, Walk the Line, and Ring of Fire.

The real Million Dollar Quartet: Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash
(photo courtesy of

I would highly recommend this show – or any off-Broadway shows – that stop by in Columbus for a week or two.  Ohio State’s theater department also puts on shows throughout the year, so you might check out their line-up for the spring.  Even if Broadway isn’t your thing, it’s definitely important to get away from campus for a few hours a week and do something that takes your mind off of classwork.  You have plenty of time to spend in class and working on projects, so be sure to take a break and explore Columbus!

Gourmet Food on the Cheap

In another attempt to bring you ideas on how to save money, this one may not be considered as strong as my last post. I mean, we are still talking about gourmet food here — you’re going to drop at least $15 a person. But these plates will take you to some of the best restaurants in Columbus at heavily discounted prices. It was even featured on NPR WOSU, so you know it’s cool. And if you make your reservations fast, you’ll get to partake! They call it Restaurant Week and it begins today, Monday January 17th through the 22nd. Prices range $15-$35 a plate for a fixed multi-course menu. What’s more? Restaurant Week benefits the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. I’m going to try the Melting Pot with my boyfriend, just $30. Or you can check out Hyde Park or Cameron’s for the same price, and Mitchell’s Steakhouse or the Refectory for just $5 more.

To peruse other participating restaurants and their menus, as well as phone numbers to make reservations, go to:

Peanut Butter, Jelly Time

One of my to-do’s when I first arrived on campus was finding the local grocery store. I am generally a lunch-packer, so I needed to purchase groceries for my peanut butter and jelly, baby carrot, yogurt, and teddy graham packed lunch. (Yes, my lunch in grad school is eerily similar to what my mom packed for me during grade school. I’m only missing the Dunkaroos, but those are pretty hard to find.)

Over time, I have found a few options for grocery shopping. Here is a list of the different  locations near Fisher Commons, in reverse order of my favorites.

3. Giant Eagle on 5th. This is a bigger grocery, and I have to give Giant Eagle the edge on produce selection and freshness. If you are an avocado fan, Giant Eagle has giant, delicious avocados! They also have a nice meat counter. Really the only reason they earned the #3 spot is because I don’t have a Giant Eagle discount card, and I find paying an extra $0.20 cents on most items really annoying. Other than that, it is a great option!

2. Kroger on Chambers. This is another great grocery! Kroger on Chambers is a decent size and has all of the essentials. They even have a nice “Naturals” section and an OSU fan shop. Being able to grocery shop and fill up on gas in one trip is also convenient. I don’t like the produce selection quite as much as Giant Eagle, but I do have a Kroger Plus Card, so the savings make Kroger a strong #2 in my mind.

1. Whole Foods on Lane. Whole Foods specializes in delicious, natural and organic foods and groceries. On top of having all the basics, Whole Foods offers a salad bar, hot foods bar, fresh pizza by the slice, soups, and other “ready-made” options. I find myself going for lunch quite often! They also have the best fresh seafood and meat bar. The only major con is the price. Whole Foods is generally the most expensive of these three grocery locations, but the price speaks to the quality of their foods. You can sign up for coupons to help curve costs, and I also tend to buy the lower-priced Whole Food’s 365 brand for most items.

If you are a foodie like me, you can rest assured there are several grocery options near the campus (and especially Fisher Commons)!

Splendor Is Worth the Wait

When you walk into Jeni’s Ice Cream, it really is no wonder that the name is officially Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. Splendid is not a word often used in everyday English language. I mean, when was the last time you heard someone say, “I had a splendid time at lunch with you today!” It seems a little overkill, right? Well, the company’s choice adjective to describe their ice creams is neither exaggerated nor pompous. It is not only excellent, but inventive. Just give goat cheese and with cognac fig sauce a try. If you think that sounds awful, you’d be awfully incorrect. They’ll even let you test their precious flavors, if you don’t believe me. My favorite time of year to visit is in the fall, when the seasonal flavors include heirloom pumpkin, and you can take in the sights while strolling the Short North. And in the Short North, there never seems to be a dull moment (seriously, I watched a young woman sitting in the middle of the street under an illuminated Short North arch, posing – in her wedding dress!). During Gallery Hop on Saturdays, Jeni’s draws an extended line out its door of patrons willing to wait. I was rather excited to walk right in on Friday. Though I had come in thinking I’d give one of the other flavors a chance, I ended up leaving with my old favorite, salty caramel. I’m usually the type to like ice cream with a lot of stuff in it — nuts, candy, etc — but this is so different. Each taste is worthy of being savored. And you won’t even get annoyed if the ice cream melts a little. You’ll eat every last bit.

Jeni’s is well known for their commitment to buying local. They’re participating in Local Foods Week, October 2nd through October 8th, which includes several opportunities to enjoy Jeni’s ice cream. Or you could just stop in at one of their shops in Short North, North Market, Grandview, Dublin, or Bexley. I guarantee that splendid will enter your vocabulary.