Monday, August 6, 2007

Cheap Meals on OSU's Campus

Cheap meals do exist beyond the fast food “dollar menu” and campus dining, especially on or around Ohio State (OSU) campus. There are so many restaurants that special deals exist for each day of the week and in every genre of food.

Some of these restaurants are chains and some are family-owned businesses. But sometimes these Davids around campus are dwarfed by the Goliath fast food chains. National advertising for the major fast food chains are a constant reminder of “dollar menus” and special offers that can be found anywhere. There are other options to get a meal for a minimal price.

Many people would rather go to a local restaurant. Fast food chains can sometimes become redundant.

“Since they're chains, I feel I already know the menus,” said Cat McGrew, a grad student and teaching assistant at OSU.
Different deals come up every day of the week. Some of the specials that are currently running around campus are particularly well-priced for the portions of food. Some are just extraordinarily cheap meals.

“My friends and I always order Gumby’s extra-large pizza on Wednesdays and watch Lost together,” said Tarah Clark, a student at Columbus State Community College student.

These specials are offered only on specific days during the week. All are located easily within walking distance from anywhere on campus.

- Adriatico’s New York Style Pizza (locations can all be found below) offers a Monday Night Madness pizza deals starting at $6.25 after 5 p.m.

- BW3’s popular 35¢ wings deal is usually accompanied with a large entertaining crowd
- Adriatico’s offers the same Tuesday Night Madness pizza deal.

- Gumby’s Pizza offers a Wicked Wednesday extra-large 1-item pizza for $7.49

Thursday - Subway’s Italian B.M.T. 6 inch sub is a mere $2.49. Subway offers an array of sandwiches on different days (Monday through Sunday) all for $2.49.

- Mama’s Pasta and Brew cooks up a lasagna dish that comes with bread and a salad for $5.50

A cheap meal is often more desired than a decent meal. This rings especially true for students with all the financial problems that they face. However, cheap meals at local restaurants can be decent too.

“I go to restaurants outside the major food chains to get food that at least feels like it might be home cooked, which you don’t get a lot of living away from home,” said Melissa Larke, a junior at OSU.

Some restaurants offer cheap, simple, daily menus that one could drop in for between classes.

“The most common time I eat out, around campus, is during the day, because I am usually too busy too cook anything myself,” said Andrew Krieger, a senior at OSU said. “Besides the obvious nutritional reasons, I tend to like higher quality food than most fast food restaurants can offer.”

“Healthy” is a term that has become hard to define these days. However, there is an “unhealthy” stereotype attached to many fast-food chains. Many of the restaurants around campus bake their fresh bread daily or cook their meals “home-style.” Bagel shops like Hillel Bagel Café and Bernie’s Bagels are a great place to get a fresh, “healthy” meal.

Local restaurants offer a variety of deals, in a variety of different genres of food that could be of interest for a variety of different reasons every day of the week.

“Nick's Diner, a little cafe over on Neil Avenue is an independent place that has great food,” McGrew said.

§ Nick’s Diner (locations can all be found below) has daily breakfast and lunch specials. Breakfast starts at $1.25 and lunch prices range from $3.95-$7.95.

§ Aladdin’s Eatery (which has won numerous awards for its Middle Eastern menu including “Best Cheap Eats” by Northern Ohio Live Magazine and Columbus City Search website) offers lunches such as rolled pitas and sandwiches priced around $5.50.

§ The Blackwell’s Bistro 2110 has an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet for $8.95 and a lunch buffet for $9.95.

§ Moe’s Southwest Grill specializes in Mexican food. Burritos start at $4.69 and quesadillas at $2.99.

§ Potbelly Sandwich Works’ sandwiches all cost $3.79.

§ The Cellar, a common stopping place for students and faculty on campus, sells prepackaged sandwiches ranging from 90¢ to $3.75.

§ LaBamba’s Mexican menu consists of combo meals that are $6.64 with tax.

§ JR Miggs offers an array of American food that cost $5.99 on average with a drink.

§ Moy’s Restaurant (another restaurant on Columbus City Search’s “Best Cheap Eats 2005” list) has meals starting at $5.50 such as Moogoo Gai Pan, Chicken Broccoli and Chicken Black Bean.

§ Tommy’s Diner is a classic, 50’s style diner that has a lunch special (half-sub, side and drink) for $4.50.

§ Jersey Dogs is a cart that can usually be found rolling around High St. that sells hot dogs with the works for $2.00.

§ Brenen’s Café sells soup (starting at $2.95), bagels with cream cheese ($1.55) and fresh sandwiches (from $5.25).

§ Bento Go-Go’s specials vary. California sushi rolls currently cost $5.25.

§ W.G. Grinders’ sandwiches and grinders can be a refreshing break from chains. Soup combo’s (soup, side salad and drink) cost $3.20.

§ Wall Street Deli’s classic sandwich costs $3.75 (only $1.50 more for a combo).

§ Apollo’s Greek Kitchen is running a fall special of two regular gyros and a soda for $6.00.

§ PJ’s filling, special sandwiches with just about everything on them cost $4.75.

§ Sicilia makes an assortment of 9 inch subs for $3.99.

§ Pita Pit’s pitas (11 of which contain less than 5 grams of fat) range from $3.50-$5.50.

§ Catfish Biff’s sells two single slices of pizza and a pop for $3.70.

At the end of a hard day people are often looking for a place to crash before heading home. After work or after class is a prime time for finding happy hour specials at restaurants.

§ Ugly Tuna Saloona’s (locations can be found below) happy hour special is from 3-8 p.m. Wings and Peel-n-Eat shrimp are 29¢ and oysters are 59¢.

§ Paninis happy hour consists of half price appetizers between 3-9 p.m.

Plentiful specials exist both around campus and within delivery distance. After trying these, check the Paper Gold or Saver mailed to dormitories and homes around campus for other cheap meals or get online at or for more information about other local restaurants.

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