Athens’ little secrets

Here is something that may surprise you: Athens has a lot to do! But not every student makes the effort to check out some unique spots in-and-around Athens. So we decided to take you to a few places beyond Court Street that students may not think about when they explore Athens.

 

Athens Farmers Market

Make sure to check out this market on Saturdays from 9am-12pm on Saturdays, 9am-12pm Wednesdays (April-December) and 4pm-7pm Thursdays (May-September). Athens favorites such as Jackie O’s and Casa Nueva have booths where they sell some of their best foods (such as bread and salsa). Check it out though to see all the vendors, you can even grab a slice of pizza or a vegetable taco for lunch!

The Athens Farmers Market is located on 1000 East State Street, inside the parking lot of the Athens Mall. Here is the map if you want to find it. Starting in the fall of 2016, there will be a bus that will take you to the farmers market if you do not have a car.

Directions to the market from Court Street (in front of College Green)
Directions to the market from Court Street (in front of College Green) via Google Maps

 

Strouds Run State Park

About 15 minutes outside of Ohio University is a state park that stretches over 2,606 acres and includes hiking trails and a beach for anyone to enjoy. On a perfect day, this is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the weather. At Strouds, there are almost 80 campsites and 35 miles of trails that you can hike on (25 of those miles can be open to bikes).

The park is located on 11661 State Park Road in Athens, here is a map for directions.

Directions to Strouds Run from Court Street (in front of College Green)
Directions to Strouds Run from Court Street (in front of College Green) via Google Maps

Premiere Video

 

 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzNVtHkqNKw

In an age where video stores close in favor of websites like Netflix and Amazon, Premiere Video serves as the exception that video stores cannot compete against the Internet. This store has hundreds of movie titles (both DVDs and VHS tapes) and offer great deals on a regular basis. So if you have a DVD player and/or a VCR, look no further than Premier Video for your movie needs.

Premiere Video is located on 284 East State Street.

Directions to Premiere Video from Court Street (in front of College Green)
Directions to Premiere Video from Court Street (in front of College Green) via Google Maps

 

ReUse Thrift Store

You can't miss the colorful facade of ReUse, their sign is just as quirky as the store.
You can’t miss the colorful facade of ReUse, their sign is just as quirky as the store.

ReUse is located on 100 Columbus Rd. On a nice day, enjoy a 40 minute walk from Campus taking W Carpenter St. all of the way until you hit Columbus Rd. There is also a bus that you can take for that costs a dollar per trip. Honestly, this thrift store has character. They have everything from clothes for 25 cents to cheap silverware and the occasional Hula girl. If you want to pull together a complete look for under five dollars while simultaneously getting a taste of real Athens county, ReUse is a must-go.

The Antique Mall 

I had a hard time leaving the antique mall without feeling sentimental.
There is something about antique malls that makes one feel mighty sentimental.

Make a day of thrifting on the West side of Athens. Just down the road from ReUse at 180 Columbus Rd. rests an AMAZING antique mall. The Athens Antique Mall is two floors of Appalachian gold. They have vintage clothing, mirrors, old books, records, trinkets and boxes galore. Even if you don’t have the money, making a trip to look around and see artifacts and history is well worth it. Plus you never know what you will find …

https://www.instagram.com/p/BEm5rXPEzgf/?taken-by=dap_menny

 

Hopefully none of you will say, “oh I wish I visited…” once you graduate from OU. These three places are just the tip of the iceberg, there are many places around town to visit and experience.

So what are you waiting for? Go out and explore Athens!

 

 

 

 

Cooking with a college student

Cooking in college is hard. Not only are our apartment kitchen appliances older than we are but, we lack the skill and, more importantly, the time to prepare a decent meal for ourselves. Over the past semester I’ve picked up a few tricks on how to feed myself, emphasis on “a few”. Here’s what I can share with you.

  1. Breakfast for Dinner. Cook Time: 10 minutes (maybe less). Needs: eggs, bread, butter, Jane’s Crazy Mixed Up Salt (the greatest seasoning you can put on anything), cooking pan, spatula.
    Eggs are simple to cook. With 12 weeks of practice I’ve mastered a flawless over easy egg with the outside perfectly cooked with a runny, warm yolk. If you don’t have strong egg flipping confidence yet, start out with scrambled eggs and work your way up. I promise you, your timing and flipping skills will sharpen with every attempt.
  2. Taco Tuesday.. Thursday.. Friday. Cook Time: 12 minutes. Needs: ground beef, taco seasoning, tortillas, lettuce, sour cream, salsa, etc.
    One of my finer dinner dishes is tacos. Although it may seem a little elaborate, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy and enjoyable tacos are. Warm up a cooking pan, unwrap the meat, toss it on the skillet and let it cook! Once the meat is done (make sure it is really done) dress your tacos according to taste.
  3. Grilled Cheese. Cook Time: 7 minutes. Needs: bread, mayonnaise, cheese, extra toppings.
    A cold, rainy afternoon accompanied with a warm, overly cheesy, grilled cheese, feeds the soul. Grab two slices of standard white bread, slap on a generous helping of mayonnaise (yes, mayonnaise) because it helps grill the bread far better than butter. Most importantly, don’t stick to standard yellow american cheese. Venture to add  provolone, mozzarella, white american or a mixture. If you’re fancy, consider dirtying another pan and warming up some tomato soup.
  4. Garlic Noodles. Cook Time: 12 minutes. Needs: noodles, butter, extra virgin olive oil, garlic salt, sprinkle parmesan cheese.
    Boil the water. Cook the noodles. Garnish the freshly cooked noodles with a dollop of butter, a small drop of EVOO, 3 shakes of garlic salt and a hardy helping of parmesan cheese. (I don’t suggest this dish before a night out or a night spent with a significant other. The garlic isn’t a friend.)
  5. Pizza BagelCook Time: 5 minutes. Needs: Half a bagel or a piece of bread, pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, pepperoni.
    Pizza is a college staple. But, it can get pricey. I’ve developed my very own personal pan pizza using half of a bagel as crust and topping it as I please. Once the bagel is dressed, pop it in a toaster oven or microwave and your pizza is ready to eat!

After a day full of classes and work and a night of papers and studying ahead, make sure to eat. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Use what you have to throw something together and be proud of your wonderful meals!

Reviewing the best pizza in Athens

Staying healthy is a hard task in college. Students are either eating too much junkfood or just not eating enough. Either way, the fact that pizza is so readily available on campuses (including this one) is both a blessing and a curse. Regardless of whether you’re healthy or not, pizza is essential to surviving the stress of college. Here are what I thought of the pies from three different venues in Athens.

BY THE SLICE

GoodFella’s is the only regularly by-the-slice pizza in Athens (unless you count the dining halls, and I don’t). And I don’t know who would want to compete with them. Pizza for lunch may not be ideal (though it’s easy to see the competitive advantage GoodFella’s has) and it’s a little expensive, but it is worth it here.

Crust: the pizza at Good Fella’s is made in a square pan-style and the crust is very thick. But it’s also soft and quite tasty. It’s actually a little sweet. It still tastes like pizza crust, though. And it’s good. A

Sauce: the tomato sauce is bright red and has a light, pure taste to it. The only problem is that there isn’t enough of it, possibly because of how much space the crust takes up. B

Cheese: The cheese is decent. It’s nothing special, but it’s not cardboard tasting stuff that many small pizzerias depend on. B

Toppings: There isn’t much offered here outside of pepperoni, but every day there is a different specialty pizza available which can be anything from bacon mac-and-cheese pizza to pesto style. Also, the pepperoni is pretty good. B

Overall: Good Fella’s is not a world class pizza joint. It is a place where you can get a simple slice of pizza for lunch. And that slice might not fill you up, but it will taste good. B

LOCAL DELIVERY

Courtside Pizza (which does offer pizza by-the-slice on designated nights) is a solid option for delivery if you’re bored with chains.

Crust: The crust is a little crunchy and not too dominating. It also tends to get really greasy. That definitely has its upside, though. B

Sauce: The sauce at Courtside Pizza is rich and red. There’s also plenty of it (which, in my opinion, results in a better pie). This can make a slice messy, but I think it’s worth it. A

Cheese: As with the sauce, there is no shortage of cheese on a pizza from Courtside pizza. But again, I think it’s justified. The cheese is messy, but it tastes great and complements the sauce perfectly. A

Toppings: Courtside Pizza has all the regular toppings, but is also willing to make pizzas with anything from buffalo chicken to potatoes. A

Overall: Courtside Pizza is a number of things. It is messy, greasy, and stuffed with ingredients. It is also delicious. A

DELIVERY FRANCHISE

Plus-1 Pizza is the closest you can get to a national chain in Athens without patronizing a national corporation.

Crust: The crust at Plus-1 is either thin or hand-tossed that is intriguingly close to pan-style. The hand-tossed is tasty, but it’s also greasy and a little hard to chew. It does deserve credit for creativity thanks to the “topper seasonings,” such as garlic herb, butter cheese, and ranch that are available, though.  B

Sauce: The sauce at Plus-1 isn’t great and it’s not terrible. It’s just kind of there. It’s got some taste, but it’s really just filler between the cheese and the crust. If that doesn’t appeal to you, though, you might prefer to choose a different one from the seven others that are available. B

Cheese: The cheese was really impressive. Instead of just using mozzarella, Plus-1 uses a blend of both mozzarella and provolone. If that’s not enough, delicacies like smoked gouda and asiago are also available. The asiago was unique and that set it apart for me. A

Toppings: As far as toppings go, Plus-1 offers a number of interesting options, ranging from the normal with a twist (three different pepperoni types to choose from) to the bizarre (rib-eye steak). For me, though, it was enough to stick with regular pepperoni and it worked out well. After that, you can even choose to have sauce on top of the pizza such as garlic or ranch. B

Overall: Plus-1 was definitely the most interesting of the pizzas I tried. But interesting doesn’t always equal great. While it’s certainly doesn’t hurt to take risks, the ones Plus-1 took don’t help the pizza enough to ensure an A grade. B

Pizzas are served in multiple different tastes and shapes. Pizza is hard to screw up. Bad pizza isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it’s a good thing most of the pizza in Athens, a college town, is good. And Courtside Pizza is the best (at least, out of the three that I tried).