OSU vs. Purdue

My husband and I went to the game last Saturday. Professor Jay Dial was there, too, being recognized for receiving the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching earlier this year. Unfortunately, he flashed by too quickly on the scoreboard for me to get a picture.

The game was great, if a little repetitive. Touchdown after touchdown after touchdown. (Ha!) The Bucks made Purdue look like a hapless high school junior varsity squad at times. Too bad they didn’t do so well against their previous opponent. We’ll see if the new #1 falls yet again this weekend. I suppose if Ole Miss scores a touchdown against Auburn on their first kickoff return, we’ll find out!

We sat in the nosebleed section, almost directly below the Iowa pennant. It was unfortunately the away side, which meant we didn’t get the full effect of the halftime show and Elvis dotting the “i”–in “Elvis,” not “Ohio.” I thought it was a bit silly to dedicate a whole halftime show to the King, but it was funny. The Elvis impersonator was only okay. If this were Las Vegas, you’d have a better crop of those dudes to pick from.

After the game, we made the trek from the stadium to the southeast corner of Lane and High, passing the massive street party that forms along Lane Avenue during home games. Where were we going? To eat at a taco truck: El Manantial Latino. My husband works at Ohio State and frequents this truck for lunch. He had a huge order: two empanadas (beef and chicken), one cheese arepa and plantains. I, being a vegetarian, opted for the arepa and plantains. The arepa was like a flat cheese tamale, but griddled instead of steamed. The plantains were deep fried–health food!–and oh so delicious. You can see a picture of the taco truck itself in the gallery below. The menu can be seen in a larger picture here. It was much better than any of the humongous chain restaurant options nearby; and the truck really wasn’t busy after the game. In contrast, the BW3 across the way was jam-packed. Well, Buffalo Wild Wings opened its first restaurant in Columbus, so you could argue that it’s “local”. It is awesome how some local restaurants can “make it big” and start taking over the world, but at the same time I think eating in locally-owned restaurants is better than choosing from homogenized menus intended for large regions of the country.

I hope everyone has a happy Halloween weekend!

New To The Area

Why it’s important to do your homework before moving to another city, and why Columbus won’t disappoint.

The Peach Pit from 90210. No, we did not have one in my hometown

At least I was, 10 years ago when I came to Columbus for my undergraduate degree at THE Ohio State University.  But when do you actually start saying you’re from a city, not just living there, not just going to school there?  Is it when you can tell someone new to the city where the best pizza or sushi in the city is?  Or is it when you found your own little secret place that even someone who has lived their entire life here has never heard of?  These were the kinds of things I needed to know, wanted to know before I moved out here.

I had my reservations about coming to Columbus.  I was a little bit of a snob, (hey, my high school was the basis for 90210.  Can you blame me?) a burgeoning foodie, and a shopaholic.  Growing up in DC/MD, I had access to all the best shops, concerts, cultural centers and an ethnically diverse population that demanded not only an incredible variety of restaurants but that these restaurants be top of the line.  Moving to the Midwest was not as glamorous as moving to NYC or Malibu like a lot of my friends were.  But I wanted an adventure and I wanted my wanderlust to take me somewhere I had to work without a safety net like classmates or family.

Before I took the plunge and said yes to OSU, I did my research.  I wanted to know all about the shops, concert venues, restaurants, the gay scene, campus life, public transportation, etc.  I wanted to have jump off points as places for me to start exploring this city and make it my own.  I was not disappointed.

That’s the great thing about Columbus.  We have such a diverse population that if you’re a hipster or a punk or a prep or an alt or a gay or a jock or a college kid or a foodie or an art snob or anything else under the sun, you can not only find a niche here, you can carve out a whole new scene and watch it flourish.

Did you notice I said we?  Yeah, it slips sometimes.  Now and then I say, “Oh yeah, I’m from Columbus,” instead of saying “I live in Columbus” or “I go to school in Columbus.”  I have definitely made this city my home for the past ten years and at least the next two years as I return to OSU to pursue my MLHR degree.

Over the year I’ll be taking you to places around the city that are definitively Columbus and to some places you may not have even heard of, so you can make this city your home and whatever else you want it to be.

Managerial Accounting: Kitchen Version

Expenses on food are the largest portion of my living cost besides rent. And the major account related to food is Inventory (raw material, work-in-process, and finished FOOD in Fridge). How to keep cost low, increase inventory turnover, while still maintaining your finished food’s quality become the main concern in the kitchen. Here are some tips followed by examples.

1. Refurbish leftovers.
Food22If you have some meat left from last meal or some leftovers from your doggie bag, mix them with fresh ingredients and create a new dish. Example: Roast chicken sandwich. I used the roast chicken left over from previous meal, and layered them with veggie and cheese on flat bread.

2. Diversify your products.
Example: Garden corn chowder. I figured I could never finish the milk I had in fridge before its expiration date. Coincidentally some fresh corns were on sale. This dish added delights to my day and also reduced the obsolete cost in production.

Food24Home 1883. Look at what you have in the fridge.
Many people like to stock up on-sale items in their fridge to lower their raw material unit cost, so do I. However, many times I found these goods deprecate faster than I can consume them. So based your production on what you have in the fridge, instead of on what is on the shelves in store. Example: Apple kiwi grape smoothie. I opened my fridge one day and saw the drying grapes. The kiwis were there for weeks and the bottle of ginger ale was occupying the space of my fridge. Simple enough I put all the peeled fruits and drink in the blender, adding an apple to increase the thickness.

4. Last but not least, Bento!
If you cook too much, just pack everything in your lunch box (a bento). It will save you time from running back and forth to grab lunch plus the food is totally homemade!Home 372

BRIO Tuscan Grille

Lately I’ve been pigging out a lot and this weekend was no exception. We tried out a new Italian place this time called BRIO Tuscan Grille. This is a new one for Tiffany and I, since we don’t have BRIO in Texas. For starters, in addition to the bread, we got some Calamari Fritto Misto or simply fried calamari dripped in some really yummy mayonnaise (I’m guessing) sauce.

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Then, for the main course, I had my eyes set on the Garganelli Carbonara the moment I opened the menu because I have really low resistance for white sauce mixed with bacon and extra cheese. However, Tiffany beat me to it and picked this one so I had to improvise. After requesting extra time twice with our waiter, I decided to settle for some Lasagna Bolognese Al Forno. And man this lasagna turned out to be a big food coma inducer.

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We were kind of shocked when the waiter brought the entrees over. 1) They were gi-normous, and 2) they weigh like a ton. My lasagna weighed at least 20lbs and when I joked with the waiter why he didn’t say anything when we placed the order, he goes “well you look like you can eat a lot”. LOL. gee thanks~ Nevertheless, we initiated contact with the food and put up a fight. I threw in the towel with about 1/3 left and I was ready to take a nap at that point because of all the cheese and pasta. Tiffany couldn’t pull it off either so we had 2 to-go boxes with us on the way home. As for the rest of the day I was sort of half-asleep and half-awake and reading the FASB Codification certainly didn’t help. So I told my laptop to go hibernate and I grabbed a blanket and also made up some Zz’s that I missed in the past couple of weeks.

One last note, you can get gift cards for these restaurants at the union for $15. The gift cards are good for $25 so it’s quite a bargain. You can only get them once per quarter so go get them while they last!!!

So… I Went To Tommy’s Pizza and Subs

If you are like me, Lunch is probably the highlight of your school/work day, it is the delineation from being really, really tired in the morning, to being exhausted in the afternoon. But at least my tummy won’t be growling. This far in my Fisher experience, lunch usually means Free Food! Which Usually means Free Papa John’s Pizza! It hasn’t gotten old yet, but I suspect that it may soon. In the off chance that free pizza may get boring, I decided to see what other operations were available to me around Fisher. Luckily, as I was staring wistfully out a third-story window in Gerlach, I saw the enticing red block lettering of Tommy’s Pizza and Subs.

Tommy's Pizza And Subs
Tommy's Pizza And Subs

I made the 5 minute walk across Lane Ave with a member of my cohort to the homey and cozy interior of Tommy’s, which reminded me a lot of the inside of a bowling alley, without the whole bowling part. The menu is pretty standard for your general neighborhood pizza/sandwich place, but what turned me on this very day was the lunch special: Half an oven toasted sandwich, side and drink for just under 6 dollars.

What About Six Dollars Looks LIke
What About Six Dollars Looks Like

I got a turkey sandwich and french fries with a coke. In all honesty, it wasn’t the best sandwich I have ever had, but it wasn’t the worst either. However it was much superior to the Subway in the quickie mart next-door or the pre-made wraps sold in the cafe in the nearby architecture school, even though all 3 options were sold at basically the same price-point.

Doesn't That Look Delicious?
Doesn't That Look Delicious?

I’ll probably be going back the next time there isn’t free food during lunch… which I hope doesn’t happen for a long time. Tommy’s has a website… just in case you want to plan ahead before your trip.