Here are the places to eat/drink/visit if you follow the Buckeyes on the road this year
Who doesn't love a good road trip? While it'd be easy to hit the corner tavern for each of the Ohio State Buckeyes' five regular season road games, true memories are made on the open highway. Here's a quick-hit travel guide for anyone ready to set rubber to road to catch the Bucks outside the state this year.
Thursday, Aug. 31
Where you're staying: Bloomington, Indiana
Driving distance: 226 miles
Where you're eating: Mother Bear's Pizza. The Divine Swine is the four-decades-old joint's award-winning pie (ham, bacon, pepperoni and ground sausage), but I'd swing for a simple deep dish — an offering nearly on caliber with the better-known Chicago joints further north.
Where/what you're drinking: Dragonfly IPA from Upland Brewing Company. This IPA isn't as floral as most, owing to a heavy dosage of malts.
Be sure to visit: Fairfax State Recreation Area. Monroe Lake is the largest lake in Indiana, and with August temperatures likely remaining high, this could be the last chance to hit the beach before fall arrives.
How you're celebrating a Buckeye victory when you get home: Hit up Studio 35 on Indianola Avenue (get it?) for an evening brew and view.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Saturday, Sept. 30
Where you're staying: New Brunswick, New Jersey
Driving distance: 524 miles
Where you're eating: The Fat Sandwich at RU Hungry?. The only thing I know about this place is that the “Man vs. Food” guy failed the eatery's challenge: down 5 sandwiches in 45 minutes and win the chance to add your creation to the menu.
Where/what you're drinking: Wrath Russian Imperial Stout from Demented Brewing. Brewed in nearby Middlesex, New Jersey, this massive stout lives up to its dark, evil-sounding name.
Be sure to visit: Kirkpatrick Chapel. The chapel has ties to historical figures (Alexander Hamilton, etc.), but is just as remarkable for its stunning stained glass windows.
How you're celebrating a Buckeye victory when you get home: Get in a Twitter war with @MedievalTimes.
Saturday, Oct. 14
Where you're staying: Lincoln, Nebraska
Driving distance: 819 miles
Where you're eating: According to The Lincoln Journal Star, Daffodil, a Mediterranean eatery sandwiched in an unassuming strip mall, is among the city's best-kept dining secrets. Yelp backs this up, as it's currently running a 4.5 star average (on a 5-star scale) with 81 reviews.
Where/what you're drinking: Farm Boy cream ale from Ploughshare Brewing Co. Yes, this heartland brewer — it's logo is a farmer working the fields — crafts more adventurous beers (dry stouts, tripels, maibocks, etc.), but this session ale ranks as its flagship.
Be sure to visit: Sunken Gardens. A much better “sunken place” than what you'll find in Jordan Peele's great film “Get Out.”
How you're celebrating a Buckeye victory when you get home: Drive to Dublin to give the finger to the Field of Corn, aka Cornhenge.
Saturday, Nov. 4
Where you're staying: Iowa City, Iowa
Driving distance: 541 miles
Where you're eating: Short's Burger and Shine. The campus classic offers a bevy of options, including 20 beef burgers, a dozen chicken sandwiches and five vegetarian burgers. After eating, head upstairs to the Clinton Street Social Club, with its speakeasy feel, and select a cocktail from its similarly bountiful menu.
Where/what you're drinking: Lion Bridge Yard Sale at Sanctuary Pub. OK, so Lion Bridge is brewed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, but it's offered on tap — alongside 26 other brews — at this impressive-looking beer bar. (And Lion Bridge beers are always worth seeking out.)
Be sure to visit: You could always soak up some culture at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, but after that drive it might be best to hit Devonian Fossil Gorge to stretch your legs with a hike.
How you're celebrating a Buckeye victory when you get home: Watch “M*A*S*H.”
Saturday, Nov. 25
Where you're staying: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Driving distance: 165 miles
Where you're eating: Zingerman's Deli is an Ann Arbor institution for good reason.
Where/what you're drinking: Anything sour at Jolly Pumpkin Cafe and Brewery. Jolly Pumpkin brews some of the best sour beers offered up in the Midwest. Go for a tasting flight and sample as many as you possibly can.
Be sure to visit: Nickels Arcade. The shopping center opened in 1918 and still houses businesses that date back to the 1940s. Grab a cup of joe from Comet Coffee to enjoy while you walk the concourse.
How you're celebrating a Buckeye victory when you get home: Hit up Wolf's Ridge Brewing (I know, a wolf isn't a wolverine, but I'm working with what I've got here) and toast to the Buckeyes' upcoming appearance in the College Football Playoff.