Dorm Food: Finals Week Roundup

Finals week is upon us, bringing with it all the built-up stress from the year, piles of final projects and studying to be done, and lines out the door at the lib and the coffee shops. It’s hard to stay on track and remember to eat (and eat healthily!) in the midst of all that is the end of the semester; I know that for me my freshman year I lived off the thought of my mom’s cooking and double-shot espresso.

However not eating, or not eating well can have a massive negative effect on the body and mind, especially during such a stressful and high focus period of time. When a person doesn’t eat when they need to for any period of time the hypothalamus, the region of the brain that controls the balance of the body sends out signs to tell you that you need to eat. Ignoring these signs can actually affect your ability to focus on tasks and decreases your level of comprehension and memory. Low blood sugar, often a symptom of not eating, can increase your chances of becoming fatigued and having low or no energy, which clearly is not great for high-intensity studying.

So while it may seem like just skipping a meal or snagging something to-go may be the best option for time management, it’ll come back to bite you when you crash later on. Skipping the temptation of greasy dining hall food and saving time by skipping the long lines at dining halls are two things you can do by meal prepping and eating in your dorm room, and by doing so you can prevent the finals week slouch.

Breakfasts:

  • 5 Ingredient Peanut Butter BitesThese power bites are a perfect way to start your day off with the nutrients you need, without the taste of typical energy foods. Make a batch for the whole week, and freeze the ones you don’t eat for a simple and filling dessert.

 

  • Blueberry Muffin Mug CakeThere’s nothing better than warm pastries in the morning. Mix up a big batch of the dry ingredients and mix as needed, or just make as you go along; either way, enjoy the sweet start to your day!

 

  •  Overnight OatsWhile they may take longer than microwave oats, the wait is well worth it. This link has seven different ideas for mix-ins, including Almond Joy and German chocolate cake.

 

Lunches and Dinners:

 

  • Omelette in a MugI know, I know, eggs are breakfast foods, but as a breakfast lover, I think eggs should be an all-day food. Besides, eggs are a good source of high-quality protein, making this meal filling and perfect for mid-day, or the second wind before a long night of studying.
  • Couscous Greek SaladThis recipe is a little complicated, but all of the ingredients can be found in the market. It would also be great cold, so it can be made in bulk and saved for a while. It’s full of great high-quality fats and mixed vegetables.
  • Elevated Mac-n-Cheese: This recipe again calls for a lot of ingredients, but considering it’s the end of the year, you may have room to splurge with your swipes. Or instead, you could substitute many of the “fancy” ingredients for more simple, college budget-friendly options. No matter what, it’s a good base dish that can help tide you over on comfort food until you’re back to home-cooked heaven.

 

Snacks:

 

  • Packaged granola bars: Brands like KIND, Lärabar, and Luna have some great tasting and nutritious options to help stretch time between meals when your schedule doesn’t permit a break.

 

  • Hummus and veggies/pretzels: Cut up your own veggies and pair them with your choice of hummus rather than buying them pre-packaged. Try to stick more with the carrots and the greens, but you can always bring along pretzels to shake things up.

 

  • Green tea: Another issue at this time of year is overeating out of stress. Never skip a meal, and listen to your body when it does feel hungry, but if you’ve just eaten and you’re already ready for the next meal, try drinking a cup of hot green tea instead. Green tea is full of antioxidants and has been said to help with focus; The warmth fills you up fast, and the caffeine is perfect for that extra kick when you need it.

 

This finals season, don’t fall into the trap of the stress and strain. Keep your eating habits healthy and conscious; your body will thank you later!

Cover Image via Jakob Owens @ Unsplash.com

Going Vegan in College

According to recent reports, 3.5% of Americans are living a vegan lifestyle. That’s about 7 million people, 1 million of which are college students. With numbers like that, more and more colleges are looking to increase and better their vegetarian and vegan options, and many are making real strides towards that goal.

However, is it too little too late for those who were ahead of the trend? Vegetarian and vegan college students have always had a notoriously hard time finding things to eat and knowing the ingredients in dining hall dishes.

To learn more about what it’s like to go vegan or veggie in college, I talked to my friend Amanda, a long time vegetarian who went vegan this past year.

 

Q: When did you go vegetarian? What made you want to go meat-free?

A: Well, I went vegetarian the summer going into my sophomore year. For me, it started out as a health thing and the rest, the values and the animal liberation, followed.

Q: What have been the struggles of going vegetarian and vegan?

A: Honestly, it comes down a lot of times to being forgotten. People would mistake me for being vegan when I was vegetarian and order me something separate, like Avalanche Pizza without cheese. Even going to cultural events, people would forget to think about if I could eat the food there.

I’ve also caught a lot of sass from people, like in my sorority and even my sophomore roommate. I know one time I chose to try a bite of chicken n’ waffle from Union Street Grille when I was walking some friends home from the bars. My roommate heard about it and never let me live it down. When I go to brunch at the sorority house, people will go out of their way to ask me if what I’m eating is vegan. To me, if I’m choosing to eat it that’s my prerogative, vegan or not, but I’m good at keeping myself accountable.

I’m totally open to having a real conversation about veganism, but I don’t like being called out by people who don’t have a full grasp of the vegan lifestyle.

Q: What tips and resources do you have for others who want to go veggie?

Ohio University has been making strides to be more veggie friendly. There are labels on the menus in most dining places on campus marking the vegan options. But otherwise, there just aren’t that many all-vegan communities.

In Athens, there is a really great group mentality from places like The Farmacy, which carries plenty of vegan products and has people who are knowledgeable about the lifestyle. There are lots of hurdles involved, but going vegan is worth all of them.

Local Spotlight: Ginger Asian Kitchen

I’ve been holding myself back from writing about Ginger for a while now. It’s probably my favorite restaurant in Athens, but I also know it’s a mainstay for a lot of people. Or so I thought until I started meeting sophomores who had never had a bowl or tried sushi from the Court Street staple. If you are one of those people, this is the article for you!

According to their website “Ginger Asian Kitchen is a cornerstone in the Athens community and has been recognized for its outstanding Chinese cuisine, excellent service, and friendly staff.” All of that is true, and their dedication to making the food and the experience great is the reason it’s become one of my favorites.

 

Their menu is fairly extensive, including items from sushi to hotpot soups. They even have a downstairs market that has a crazy variety of snack foods and bulk products. But by far the most popular item they carry are their bowls. Customizable, filling and a great value, their bowls are very clearly the best deal on the menu. For my spotlight, I wanted to review their bowls in particular.

My bowl order is not super creative or “healthy”; it usually consists of lo mein noodles, grilled chicken, a double scoop of potatoes, with bibimbap sauce. So, in order to get a wider range of bowl ideas, I polled my friends to see what they usually get in their bowls and asked them why they get what they get or why they choose ginger.

 

 

“I get low mein, grilled chicken, and an assortment of veggies. I like Ginger cause it’s customizable. Sometimes I don’t like all the ingredients of Chinese dishes, so getting to choose exactly what I want is perfect.” – Paige

 

“I get white rice cheese carrots yum sauce & salmon! I get it because I’m picky but there’s enough flavor & stuff I like that it’s not boring or plain.” – Michaela

 

“Brown rice, broccoli, extra beans, tomato, carrots, spinach, yum yum sauce, no meat. Also, it’s my go-to b/c I just love everything in it. I sometimes get onions in exchange for the carrots. I just enjoy every flavor and ginger is my favorite place on court.” – Madison

 

“Low mien, hibachi chicken, General Tso’s, lettuce, and carrots! I love ginger because not only can you pick exactly what you want but at least for me one bowl is two meals.” –Brittany

 

“I get fried rice, chicken with either teriyaki or general tsos, broccoli, green beans, and cheese! I sometimes will get the lo-mien instead of rice, but usually rice. It’s my go to because it’s just good and that’s basically all I like of the options.” –Stephanie

 

“Half rice, Half lo mein, green beans, broccoli, kung pao chicken, yum yum sauce, carrot, spinach, and lettuce. It’s my go to because I can get exactly what I prefer, it’s affordable, I always have leftovers, and I can’t get anything like it in my hometown.” -Megan

Local Spotlight: Little Fish Brewing and The Cajun Clucker

I was lucky enough this year to catch my dad on a weekend where things back home were calm enough for him to come down and spend Dad’s Weekend in Athens! I come from a long line of foodies, and my dad is no exception to that rule. Since I’ve become a college student, he and my mom have been introducing me to good food and good beer. I’m starting to become a bit of a snob when it comes to craft beers, and I’m discovering what my tastes are the more I try.

So naturally, this weekend my dad and I had to stop by Little Fish Brewing while he was in town. Little Fish is a locally sourced world-class brewing facility and bar. They make their beers with Ohio-grown ingredients whenever they can and are dedicated to growing the local economy with their business.

 

The other feature of the day was the food from The Cajun Clucker, a local food truck serving Cajun food. Their menu is extensive, including many vegan and vegetarian options as well as “odd” regional foods, like alligator. It was a catered event, so we got to try a little of all of it!

 

The Beer

 

The menu at the brewery is an eclectic, ever-changing mix of flavors, methods, and grains. We had a “taster” of a few of them, but I want to highlight my favorite two.

 

Lil’ Harvey’s Milk Stout

I am a huge fan of nitro cold brew, and this beer is a great blend of cold brew taste and creamy texture. It was one of the darker beers of the day and is one of the very few beers that they constantly have on tap, so it can become a long-term favorite!

 

REINHEITSGEWHAT!? VERDE

In total contrast to the milk stout, this was one of the more out there brews. It’s based on a German Berliner weisse but isn’t made with hops. It has another one of my favorite things, gunpowder green tea, and lemongrass, so it makes for a tart but balanced sour beer.

 

The Food

 

The Cajun Clucker, like I said, has a crazy full menu. Everything I tried was delicious, but I had a few favorites.

 

Breaded Alligator

For my first-time alligator experience, I couldn’t have been happier. It was an odd texture, obviously, but the remoulade sauce and the breading added so much flavor to the chewy meat. I would recommend for the adventurous!

 

Dirty Rice

Words cannot describe how much I loved the dirty rice. It was so well seasoned and spicy; I can honestly say it was the best food I’ve tried in Athens. Some of the people I was with did say they thought the spice was too much for them, but I thought it was perfectly spicy and chock full of great ingredients like jalapenos for a natural spice.

 

Beignets

The perfect end to a perfect meal, their fluffy and sugary donuts are a delight. They are almost too delicate to be fried, and I think I ate a whole tray of them before I realized what I was doing!

Dorm Food: Ramen Hacks

Ramen. A college staple. We all eat it, we all stock up on it with our swipes and we all get tired of it after the first few weeks of school. Searching “ramen hacks” on Google brings up nearly 9 million results, but I have 6 that are my personal standby.

1.Add an egg

Microwaved eggs are gross and rubbery. That is, until you mix them with ramen. Either make scrambled eggs in a ramekin and tear them up to add them in, or add a pre-boiled or packaged hard-boiled egg to get a “traditional” taste.

2. Experiment with seasoning

AKA, throw the seasoning packet away! My favorite spice blend is cumin and curry powder. It makes for a mild curry flavor that’s low sodium and a good changeup from the norm.

3. Cheese it up

Out of instant mac n’ cheese? Add your cheese of choice and butter to your ramen in lieu of the flavor packet for instant easy mac! I personally recommend parmesan or cheddar, as it melts the best.

4. Cook it in broth…

Grabbing a can of chicken broth and cooking the ramen in instantly brings up the flavor profile. Add veggie, beef or even bouillon to have the same effect, all to your taste.

5. …Or add it to soup

I know, it sounds odd.  But nood-less soups are made so much better by noodles, and ramen is a good way to use up cans of unwanted soup by making them new.

6. Add protein

Jerky, tofu, even peanut butter takes ramen and elevates it into a meal. Experiment with dining hall proteins and vegetarian alternatives to find what suits you best.

 

 

 

Local Spotlight: The Farmacy

One of the things that first attracted me to Athens was the “hipster” vibes from the shops and restaurants in this area. It isn’t the most recent incarnation of hipster, the one that includes juice cleanses, clean white rooms with clean minimalistic features, and pastels everywhere, but the more hippie vibe of the past. It’s not a phase here, it’s a lifestyle. The locals who are involved in the small business community are dedicated to making things here and supporting each other.

 

One amazing business is The Farmacy, a natural and organic grocer on Stimson Avenue. A short walk from campus, The Farmacy has everything from vitamins and supplements to bulk foods, to smoothies. According to their website “The Farmacy was officially established in 1971 in Athens, OH, as a small sundry store and a place to buy then hard-to-find items like brown rice, old-fashioned rolled oats, dried fruit, and nuts. We opened our doors in the infancy of what is now a billion-dollar-a-year industry led by corporate natural food supermarkets like Whole Foods.”

 

Upon walking into The Farmacy, the small aisles and rainbow of smells give off the vibe of a home-grown Whole Foods, but better. They have three distinct sections; the Deli, tucked in the side, the bulk and grocery section that takes up much of the store, and the small but well-stocked supplement aisle towards the register.

 

My companion and I were enthusiastic to try a little bit of everything. Seeing as we live in a sorority house though, we didn’t have a practical use for the bulk items.

 

That being said, I couldn’t help but dream and plan for when I eventually do have a home and a kitchen of my own in Athens! They have coffee, tea, spices, flours and even honey in bulk, and at a reasonable rate for the things people use the most.

 

Instead of buying from the bulk items, we looked for the most interesting things from the deli and from the organic and local products and decided to review the best things we could find. It was hard to stay practical in a place with so many types of foods and drinks, so we just crossed our fingers and went with it.

 

Organic Finds

Obviously, there were plenty of these to find in an organic grocery store, but I was happily surprised by the lack of items that were not locally made; I put the three items that were not from the area or Ohio in this section to separate them from the local and in-house items.

 

Blue Sky Ginger Ale

Made with cane sugar, ginger, and water, it’s one of the most simple sodas I’ve ever had. It’s super hard for me to pass up a good ginger ale, and at $0.99, it was cheap enough to grab in passing. Plus, the packaging was super cute, and the can is sturdier than a normal soda can, so it can be used for a DIY pot for a succulent or a desk organizer if you’re feeling crafty!

 

Good Health Rosemary Olive Oil Potato Chips

I’m super picky when it comes to chips, so finding a “healthy” potato chips was exciting but also a little risky. These were so good, I’m actually afraid they may become an addiction. They’re fairly low calorie for potato chips, but be careful, they can easily be eaten in one sitting.

 

Teaonic Herbal Supplement

My friend grabbed this and set it on our stack, because “It’s a pun!” and “You seem stressed.”, so thank you to her. Honestly, this one doesn’t taste like much and recommends daily use in order to work effectively, but call it the placebo effect or call it magic, I honestly felt a little more energized after drinking this little tonic. It’s pricey for what it is, but it’s better than a Five Hour Energy if you’re planning for an all-nighter or prepping for a busy week.

 

Local Products

My definition of “local” was southern Ohio as a whole (including Cincinnati).

PawPaw Pop

Can you believe that in the two years I’ve lived in Athens, I still haven’t tried a pawpaw? That changed today. They are produced in Albany, Ohio, and are better versions of the push up pops everyone had as kids. I was surprised at its sourness, but it was a great first time trying a pawpaw product and I would buy it again in a heartbeat.

Laurel Valley Cheese Curds

Honestly, this was the best purchase of the day. Cheese curds are amazing and these were so fresh and delicious. Add these to the potato chips and you could make a broke college student version of poutine! But in all honesty, despite the high price ($6.50 for the container), these are worth a try.

 

Skinny Pig Kombucha – Lavender

I’m always down for floral flavors in my drinks, and so this kombucha caught my eye immediately. It’s made in Cinci, so it’s a little far for local, but it’s Ohio made and that makes my little Ohioan heart happy. It’s a little sugary for kombucha, so I would recommend it to people who are trying it for the first time

 

Farmacy Magic Bars

The deli serves a variety of baked goods, and this was the one that caught our eye first. Honestly, I couldn’t even tell you what it is made of, but it for sure has chocolate, coconut, and cashews, but it doesn’t taste like any of those ingredients in particular. It is worth the trip just to try that!

 

A Dairy Free Guide to College Eating

Like most people, I grew up drinking milk with meals, eating ice cream on hot summer days, and enjoying pizza at birthday parties throughout my life. In fact, according to the US government’s dietary guidelines, over 80% of Americans consume more dairy on average than is recommended in a healthy diet, and according to an article from the Cornell Chronicle “…some 30 million to 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant.”

There are many reasons why people go without dairy; lactose intolerance, veganism, and other health reasons. With vegan diets on the rise and healthy eating becoming more accessible and feasible for all, the spread of dairy alternatives is becoming vast.

However, it is often still difficult for college students to go dairy free. So much of a college student’s diet is made up of cheese, milk or cream, from the dining hall meals to the comfort foods college students go back to after long days.

I learned I was lactose intolerant in high school, and after mostly ignoring my symptoms for those years, I went into my freshman year determined to stick to a milk-free diet. Based on that experience, I have gathered my best tips for going dairy-less as a college student.

1.Dairy alternatives are your friend

Or as my dad calls it, “better living through science”. We live in a day and age where soy, almond, and lactose-free products are numerous (and delicious).  Some of my favorite alternatives are:

  • Milk: My preferred alternative is goats milk. It’s the most milk-like and doesn’t affect me the way that soy and almond products do. However, it is clearly not a vegan alternative. Almond milk is overall the best alternative; it’s sweeter than dairy milk and not great for cooking, but is an amazing standalone drink.
  • Ice cream: Halo Top just released their lactose-free line and I have been obsessed. I can highly recommend the peanut butter cup; it tastes like regular ice cream with the Halo Top texture. Ben and Jerry’s and Talenti also sport dairy alternative ice creams and sorbets that rival the sweet treat you grew up with.
  • Coffee creamer: Califa. Almond. Creamer. It’s at Jeff Market right now and has an original option and a variety of flavored options.

2. Avoid the temptation of free food

This aspect is absolutely the hardest part of going without dairy. All student orgs, campus programming and even church and community events draw students in with free food and drinks, most often pizza or coffee. It’s hard to avoid the draw of free food and it’s hard to sit out when you haven’t eaten before. My only advice is to make sure to eat before or make plans for after. Just think: you’re staying clear of the main cause of the Freshman 15!

3. Find what works for you

If you’re lactose intolerant, finding what types of dairy upset your stomach can be a huge help. I’m not affected by most hard cheeses, but it took trying different kinds to see what works to discover that. If veganism or dietary concerns are your reasoning, but you still crave dairy, finding alternatives like vegan mac n’ cheese with avocado  or vegan mozzarella cheese for pizza can help ease the transition and help you step up your cooking game in the meantime.

Caffeine Boost: Court Street Coffee

Midterm week is almost synonymous with coffee. All-nighters, early mornings and study dates are never complete without a caffeine boost (or three), and it nearly runs in many peoples blood by the end of testing.

I have a few mainstay coffee shops on campus, based on where I am and what I need. Court Street Coffee was a late find from my freshman year, but now when I need something that errs on the side of sweet, it is my go-to stop. Their “frappuccino” style drinks are my favorite pick-me-up on especially rough days, and the general atmosphere of the shop is cozy and feels like something from my hometown. Plus, it’s the closest to Schoonover center, so when I am in a rush it’s the best place to stop by!

Speaking of bad days, I decided to cover Court Street this week following a messy start to the week on Monday. I had never gotten a large from there before, and it was WAY larger than expected, much to my excitement.

Their large is literally bigger than my head! No complaints here.

I tried a frozen Irish Creme Mocha the first visit and I can highly recommend it. To me, it almost tasted like a smores frappuccino, and it was a great mix up from my usual black coffee.

The one drink that keeps popping up all over campus is chaider, a delicious mix of chai and apple cider that screams fall. It seemed like the natural choice to try for my second round at Court Street, despite the lack of lovely fall weather. My friend who was with me got an equally lovely mocha. Both of us have been desperately waiting for fall to come, and this was a perfect way to fake it until our wishes come true.

Chaider is so much better than the hype leads on; it’s a well-balanced, slightly spicy drink that is best when warm and fresh. It blows the battalions of pumpkin spice products far, far away. It may not be coffee or overly caffeinated, but it doesn’t need to be when it tastes like fall in a cup. The mood boost and the flavor are worth skipping the caffeine for!

Mug French Toast Taste Test

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I love breakfast food more than anything.

 

Because of my strange passion for all things breakfast, my biggest food issue while living in the dorms as a broke college student was the lack of quality breakfast foods from the dining hall and the exspensiveness of eating out. My goal for freshman year is to find the best dorm room alternatives to my favorite foods, learning the secrets to perfect microwave meals.

 

French toast is a classic sweet treat from many people’s childhood. There are so many ways to prepare the dish, from different ingredients to different breads, but consistently the dish is made the same way, on a stovetop. This week, I went on a mission to find the best recipe for microwave French toast, judging based on taste (does it taste like it was made in a microwave?), like the real thing, and childhood memory accuracy (if it makes me miss my Momma’s cooking).

 

The three recipes I chose came from three different sources: one from Food Network, one from a blog run by foodies and one from Spoon University, an authority on college eats. My test tasters and I (aka, very hungry sorority sisters) judged each recipe on taste, texture and something my friend described as “French-toasty-ness”.

Recipe One: Food Network

The Food Network recipe called for eggs, milk, bread, maple syrup, butter, cinnamon and salt.

 

Directions:
“Whisk together the egg, milk, maple syrup, cinnamon and a pinch of salt in a large mug until combined.

Evenly spread the butter on one side of the bread. Cut the bread into bite-size pieces and add them to the mug, pressing down lightly so all the bread is submerged.

Microwave the bread mixture on high power for two minutes, pausing every 30 seconds. Let the French toast cool in the mug about one minute before serving.”

The Verdict:

This one was ranked highly by my taste testers for consistency and “French-toasty-ness”. It also had the prettiest before and after! The maple syrup in the egg mixture makes this one extra sweet, but it did cook the leftover egg in an unappetizing way.

Taste: 7/10

Texture: 8/10

“French-toasty-ness”: 8/10

 

 

Recipe Two: Pretty Prudent

The Pretty Prudent recipe called for bread, butter, cinnamon, vanilla, milk and an egg.

 

Directions:

“You’ll need one or two pieces of bread per cup. I like to make two cups at once so I can split an egg, but you can totally make one big cup with more bread and a whole egg. Work with what you’ve got. Place the bread in the cup of your choosing. About a slice or a slice and a half will do it. Squish it down a bit but don’t compact it so much because you need the liquid to be able to work its way in.

Now in a separate cup or ramekin do the following:
-crack an egg into it
-add three tablespoons of milk
-sprinkle cinnamon
-if you like your french toast really sweet or vanilla-y, add a single drop of vanilla extract

Mix it all together with a fork

Pour the mixture into your cup/cups. Pat it a little, and give it a minute to soak down into the bread.

Now stick your cup in the microwave. Start with one minute, then add ten seconds at a time until it’s cooked to your liking (no runny eggs). In my microwave that’s one minute, 20 seconds.

The Verdict:

This incarnation got low marks for almost everything. The taste was okay, but the consistency was too eggy for our taste, and after the top layer, the bottom half was soggy.

Taste: 6/10

Texture: 4/10

“French-toasty-ness”: 5/10

 

 

Recipe Three: Spoon U

Spoon U had the simplest ingredient list: just eggs, milk, bread and cinnamon.

 

Directions:

  1. Cube slices of bread.
  2. Place bread cubes in mug.
  3. Combine egg, milk and cinnamon in a separate small bowl.
  4. Pour egg mixture into mug.
  5. Press bread down so it can fully absorb liquid.
  6. Microwave for one minute, and then ten seconds at a time until fully cooked.

The Verdict:

Simple doesn’t always make things better. This recipe was a bland mess, and was dry as a desert without much taste or sweetness.

Taste: 3/10

Texture: 4/10

“French-toasty-ness”: 2/10

 

 

Winner: Food Network

Local Spotlight: The Fluff

 

The Fluff is one of those hidden gems of Athens that really makes you feel like a local when you find it for the first time.  From the array of specialty drinks to the amazing brunch options to the amazing atmosphere, Fluff has everything you need for a relaxing meal under one cozy roof. All of the baked goods are made in-house or made locally, so freshness is guaranteed every time. Their goal is to use the best ingredients possible, and you can tell that they do through their cooking.

 

The Food

 

Fluff’s menu is inclusive and extensive, including a number of vegetarian, gluten free and vegan options. The store’s Sunday-Wednesday hours are 7:30 to 3, so their regular daily menu mainly consists of amazing brunch and lunch options. The menu ranges from breakfast sandwiches of all types to rice bowls, so there is really an option for everyone.

 

WHAT WE TRIED

BBQ Pork Business Biscuit: Seriously, this is one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever tried. The biscuits are made in-house and are super flavorful on their own; adding the pork barbeque just adds another delicious dimension. It’s a whole meal of its own without sides, especially if you’re sticking around for the baked goods (which you should!).

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Bagel: The staple breakfast sandwich is elevated by the house-made bagels in a variety of flavors (we went with an everything bagel and it was perfect!).

 

The Drinks

 

The drink menu at Fluff is almost as extensive as the food. They use Silver Bridge Coffee Company roasts for their drip and Herbal Sage for their teas, further cementing their mission to use locally sourced products. Aside from their coffee and tea options, they also have an impressive cocktail, wine and beer menu that includes mimosas, Irish coffee, and Jackie O’s beer.

 

WHAT WE TRIED

Toddy: Fluff’s cold brew espresso is no joke. It’s strong and deliciously earthy, and does the job to wake you up!

Apple Cider: While not a Fluff classic, I couldn’t resist trying their apple cider and getting in the fall spirit! It was a refreshing reminder that despite the weather, fall is here.

Red Blend Tea: I’ve been a huge fan of Herbal Sage teas since I first got to Athens, but hadn’t tried their red blend yet. It has a natural sweetness and a touch of cinnamon and is a great option for help in getting rid of the sniffles.

 

The Bakery

 

The bakery goods almost steal the show at Fluff. There are about a dozen different options, ranging from energy balls to cookies to something called the “booty shaker”. The sugary delights are a great way to top off a great meal, and nothing is better than “homemade” sweets after a long morning of classes!

 

WHAT WE TRIED

Red Velvet Whoopie Pie: It’s better than cake, honestly, and at $2.50 a pop, it’s the best deal on the menu for sweets. Be forewarned: your mouth WILL turn red from eating this, so it may not be the best choice to discreetly cheat on your diet with.

Maple Spelt Cookie: As great as chocolate chip is, it’s always great to switch things up every once in a while. White chocolate, maple, and dried berries make for a light delight that nearly doesn’t feel like dessert.

 

 

Next time you’re wondering where to eat on Court, take Fluff for a spin! While they are only open until 3 Sunday-Saturday, they recently have extended their hours and introduced a special dinner menu with $3 tacos and more. It’s worth the effort to find this gem of a place; life is fun, eat it up!