For the students at Ohio University, spring break started with the utmost excitement and spiraled into what many could call dread and displeasure. Many of us are weathering the storm and holding on. Despite disease and its presence, we still have to eat. I was given this idea in an Airbnb in Alabama over spring break while watching Bobby Flay.

When preparing steak, a dry rub is often used to change the texture and flavor profile of the meat while cooking. Garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning — the permutations on dry rub are as numerous as the number of cooks that use them. What stood out to me was the choice to use coffee as a dry rub for the steak. As a student who has to be forced awake in the morning, I have nothing but love and respect for the crushed bean. This had to be tested at once.

The selected cut to test the coffee rub on was the highly decorated filet mignon. In the steak world, the filet sits on a throne for its luscious texture. When cooked properly, it melts in the mouth. Along with the coffee, I used dry mustard, paprika, and salt. The result, after searing, was more than I could have hoped for. The texture was divine, a salty and light crunch to the outside, but the inside melts away like butter. The taste, frankly, was a shock. I expected a bitter element from the coffee, but the result was savory and pleasing to the palate.  This is a food I insist on anybody having to try. No excuses, everyone is stuck in their homes anyway.

This experience is demonstrative of the fact that even under our nose, the things we know and take for granted can have utility and versatility we’ve yet to think of. Even beyond the field of food, experiment and take risks that are out of the blue. Subvert what you take for granted, and see what life grants back from it.

Noah Gruenberg is a junior studying music composition at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Noah? Email him at