In an effort to inject a little fun into a stressful basketball season, we’re kicking off a new weekly series called The OhVarsity! Roundup. Here’s the premise: All three members of OhVarsity! get a maximum of 500 words to talk about whatever they want, regardless of its relevance to UC. Simple enough?
Matt is about to talk about this down below, but WLWT's hilarious comment section last night had me thinking about how much enjoyment I've gotten out of OhVarsity! since I started it back in September 2013. I don't talk about this much, although longtime followers have heard the story.
I started OhVarsity! purely as a Twitter account because all of my Twitter followers at that time were friends from back home in Cleveland and therefore were Ohio State fans. Looking for a way to talk about the Bearcats without being in the physical presence of my friends at UC, I took to social media. I remember hitting 100 followers and feeling like my goal had been reached. I had enough people to converse with about the beginning of the Tuberville era and Sean Kilpatrick's senior season. I think when OhVarsity! passed my personal account in followers I knew things were headed in a different direction.
Eventually the shroud of secrecy behind OV--which was an accident, by the way--became kind of a running joke, which made my coming out party in September 2016 somewhat of a big moment for me. I launched OhVarsity.com as a place to occasionally share thoughts I had that couldn't fit on Twitter. A year and a half later, our monthly traffic wouldn't fit in the arena on campus. It's crazy.
Obviously things have spiraled far past what I could've ever expected. OV is in its sixth calendar year of operation, which is unfathomable. We somehow have a team resembling a staff that is credentialed for football and basketball games. We've got ourselves a platform that gives me and others who do cool stuff the ability to share it with a bunch of people. I've gotten to hang out with, and interview, some of my favorite UC players and personalities. In December we had Mark Titus on the podcast, a guy whose stuff I've been reading for years.
Despite all of this, it's the stupid moments that stick out when I look back. Mick was flirting with another school, so I started a joke hashtag while waiting for a flight. By the time I boarded, we were trending on Twitter in Cincinnati. Lance Stephenson hit me up randomly, asking me to text him a video I'd tweeted of him dunking on a DePaul player. I roasted Dan Dakich on Twitter one night and he read it live on ESPN a few days later. Matt recently embarked on a mission to eat a truckload of chili with some huge guests and the local news picking up the story led to dozens and dozens of local Cincinnatians roasting Matt on Facebook.
I know this feels random, but it all got me thinking about how much I've laughed during this stupid run we've had. If you're reading this, I really can't thank you enough for the support. We've got bigger things planned.
Alright so as you probably have seen at this point, I’m going to be visiting, reviewing, and rating every single Skyline Chili in America. It didn’t really dawn on me how much work this was going to be until I visited three in the span of two days and I was worn out. I have to do that like 40 more times. I’m gonna need help by the end of this. Anyways, WLWT picked up the story, and some of the comments on Facebook were hilarious, accurate, or both.
I just wanted to make sure you all got to appreciate these whether you are on Facebook or not. I also have to really thank MADEin cause they are supporting this crazy journey and I couldn’t do it without them. Check out their stuff. Some of it is really great.
If you guys have any ideas on what to do, or guests for the Skyline adventure, leave them in the comments or tweet at me or Spencer. We will take everything into consideration. We already have a lot of cool stuff planned that I can’t wait to share with you guys. Hopefully I’m alive at the end of this.
I’ve lived in Texas now for five years and two weeks. Its hard to believe that I’ve actually been in Texas now for nearly as long as I lived in Cincinnati (five years and three months). Actually, heartbreaking. I’m going to talk about one of the good things about Texas, and that is the A-List Mexican food scene.
Texas is known for Tex-Mex, and rightfully so, but even if you drop the Tex part, the Mexican food here can change your life. Sure, it's all the same, but its not. There are (probably) more Mexican restaurants here per capita than churches in the bible belt. To break it up by type, you have your holes in the wall, your Ole Regulars, your fast food options, and your major franchises. Now, there are also food trucks, but I’m not going to go into those. I’m also not really going to dive into holes in the wall for now.
The Ole Regulars are the restaurants most like any Mexican restaurant you’ve ever been to. Our favorite Ole Regular is MamaCita’s. I found out somewhat recently that its actually a franchise. I’d never seen any one other than the one down NASA Road 1, so I assumed it was a local place. It has solid food, and comes complete with a live mariachi band that is present nearly 100% of the time.
The fast food scene includes Chipotle, but then also places like FreeBirds, El Pollo Loco, Taco Cabana, Fuzzy’s Tacos, and Torchy’s Tacos. There are probably 5-10 more that I’m not going to rattle off, but to save you time, Torchy’s Tacos is far and away the best fast food option. I have a favorite food from all the places I’ve lived. In Chattanooga, its Krystals. In Cincinnati, It’s Skyline. In Pittsburgh, it’s Primanti’s. In Texas, its Torchy’s. Torchy’s started as a food truck in Austin and now has locations throughout Texas and even in Denver. It is a must eat for anyone traveling to Texas. Get the guac, or the queso, and you probably can’t eat more than two tacos. I only order one anymore.
Moving on to the last group, the major franchises. These are the places that overall have the best food, but that cost the most. The big three in my mind are El Tiempo Cantina, Papasitos (part of the Pappas chain of restaurants), and Lupe Tortilla. Lupe Tortilla probably isn’t in the same echelon as the others, but its above the Ole Regulars. It’s the AAC of Mexican Restaurants. These restaurants, particularly El Tiempo and Papasitos, go over and above on the entire ambiance and experience, and it is topped off with some of the best Mexican food you can find.
So, if you find yourself coming to Texas (perhaps San Antonio this April), make a trip of it. Find a way to get to these few places and probably others I didn’t mention or don’t know about across Texas. You won’t regret it.