SvoNotes: It's Time To Pig Out

SvoNotes: It's Time To Pig Out

The NCAA's decision this week to allow colleges to provide student-athletes with unlimited meals and snacks prompted college football writer Andy Staples to list some of the best foods across the CFB landscape. But Staples didn't mention Ohio State, so I wanted to rectify that with a look at some of the best food around campus.

One of my favorite Simpsons lines of all time shows just how much of a nerd I am.

In one early episode, Krusty the Klown loses his spot as the best children's entertainer in Springfield to the inferior ventriloquist's dummy Gabbo, who takes many of Krusty's favorite skits and uses them on his show.

In one, Gabbo puts in a crank call to someone, prompting Bart to say, "I can't believe it. He stole this bit from Krusty!"

Ever the smart one of the pairing, Lisa replies, "Yeah, well, Krusty stole it from Steve Allen … Is there anything that isn't stolen from Steve Allen?"

The joke is a callback to the legendary TV performer who was the first host of "The Tonight Show" as well as a number of other variety shows and who pioneered many of the gags still at play on shows you find across your dial.

The Simpsons joke gets even better when the person that Gabbo calls is Krusty himself, who immediately complains, "If this is anyone other than Steve Allen, you're stealing my bit."

Get it?

OK, that was a long road to get to where I'm going, which is to apologize to Andy Staples, the only college football writer I know whose name is also a full sentence (making him the writer equivalent of Ohio State lineman Chase Farris). Yesterday, the NCAA approved allowing schools to provide unlimited meals and snacks to Division I athletes, the first reform step that will paint the college sports ruling body in a kinder, gentler way in regards to student-welfare (and also broaden the gap between college football's haves and have nots, but the cat is out of the bag on that one).

The reaction was met by acclaim by many athletes, including Ohio State's Joshua Perry.

A noted foodie, Staples, meanwhile, took the opportunity to write a column about the programs that stand to benefit the most based on their proximity to some of his favorite restaurants across the nation.

But unfortunately, his article was not an exact science, as it completely skipped over some of the culinary delights available in Columbus.

So yes, Andy Staples. I'm now stealing your bit. Since you so callously forgot to mention one of the best food cities in America, I am forced to pick up the slack and discuss some of the best pig-out places around campus and throughout Columbus.

This is, of course, a total flight of fancy. These places aren't suddenly about to drop off pounds of free foodstuffs at the Woody Hayes Center, and team nutritionist Sarah Wick probably wouldn't be a fan of that anyway.

But hey, everyone loves talking about food. So let's give it a try.

Adriatico's: OK, I'll be honest. I never liked the Buckeye. There, I said it. It always reminded me too much of cafeteria food (the square slices, the mass-produced nature) when I attended OSU. But I've come around a bit, and a fair number of Ohio State graduates love the Buckeye. And if you're making a list of the best pig-out foods on campus, well, this has to be on it.

Apollo's: I'm of the opinion that gyros make some of the best late-night drinking food out there, and Apollo's is the best drunk gyro I've ever had. Having been open for more than 30 years, the place is kind of a dump, which adds to the mystique, and Apollo's makes the best gyros in the city. The gyro also pairs well with Sriracha, another huge benefit in the internet age. Man, I want to go right now.

Buckeye Donuts: A campus institution and likely a favorite of offensive linemen everywhere. Any pig-out list has to include donuts, and Buckeye Donuts has been making them fresh every day for decades. Plus it's an interesting hangout spot on High Street if you're into such things (I think I've eaten inside like twice in my life, though). Some people love the gyro as well, but it can't hold a candle to Apollo's.

Hound Dog's: People will bicker and argue about pizza for days (especially when it comes to college campuses) but this is the best pizza on campus and in the city. And yes, I'm considering it on campus even though it's a few blocks north of Lane Avenue at Dodridge and High. The garlic parmesan crust is perhaps the most delicious thing in the city. I was part of a group of friends that would meet every Tuesday at Hound Dog's for YEARS after we graduated. It's that good.

PJ's: IT JUST GOT REAL IN HERE. Hey, this is a list of the best gorge-yourself foodstuffs on campus, and "gorge" is the only verb that can be used to describe what happens at PJ's. Located right across the street from Out-R-Inn, this late-night haunt serves up cheap carryout beer and their famous "Fat" sandwiches. Basically, it's fried everything on a bun, and it often seems like a good idea in moments of weakness.

Little Palace: Moving off campus, this place is on here for its cheese curds. As far as I'm concerned, no trip to Columbus is complete without a stop at this bar/restaurant, which serves up a variety of foods in a chill atmosphere on Fourth Street downtown. And perhaps the biggest draw are the cheese curds, which are locally sources and fried to a perfect golden brown. It may be the most delicious food in the world, if you don't care about weighing 500 pounds.

Schmidt's: No list of Columbus food establishments is complete without the iconic German Village restaurant. And you can get plenty full there given the Autobahn buffet and the giant cream puffs the restaurant is known form. But really, this place is all about the sausage, including the bratwurst and the famous Bahama Mama, which brings in tourists from across the country. To top it off, there's a Schmidt's fudge shop right up the street. I'm full just typing this.

Thurn's: OK, this isn't a restaurant. But no list of food on the internet is complete without mentioning bacon, and the best bacon in the city is available at Thurn's Specialty Meats. Located just off I-71 at Greenlawn Avenue, the sausage house is a true Columbus landmark that has been open since 1886. They spend the first half of the week smoking their meat then sell it from Thursday-Saturday. It's, simply put, the best. The double smoked bacon smells so good that I wish it was available as an air freshener.

But let's be honest. If this were possible, most athletes would just eat three times a day at Raising Cane's. And I would, too.

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