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Seeking tips for Oct. 2 Ala-Fla weekend in Tuscaloosa

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Pete, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. Pete

    Pete Well-Known Member

    I'm hitting Tuscaloosa for the Alabama-Florida game the weekend of Oct. 2. There will be a large group of us, likely 10-12 guy friends from college along with two spouses. FYI, we're all about 40 years old.

    Any suggestions on where to eat/drink? Places we shouldn't miss? I've been to Dreamland once years ago; is it still worth the trip? Something we should know about tailgating? I think I can buy a parking pass for $40 from the guy renting me the condo. Is that worth it?

    We're staying in three separate condo/rental home setups between 1.5-4 miles from town, so we'll mostly be driving around. Any parking tips, either on Gameday or just in general? Are cabs a reasonable/efficient alternative, particularly after a night in local taverns?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Sell your tickets, profit a shitload of money and watch the game from Dreamland over a couple racks of ribs.
  3. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    Don't wear Florida gear. If you do, watch out for the flying beer bottles and the spit.
  4. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    This is right in my wheel house. I lived in Tuscaloosa for a total of eight years, most recently in July 2009:

    Dreamland is not the place to go if you want to watch the game. Not the original one, anyway, which isn't really the "sports bar"-type place many think it is (it's not really big and doesn't have the dozens of TVs tuned into football all the time people might expect). There is a new, more modern location across the river in Northport, but I can't vouch for it. They serve chicken and side dishes, for God's sake (the original serves NOTHING but ribs and white bread).

    If you can find it (and I hesitate to try and explain how to get there), Archibald's is the best-kept secret in town. Some say its ribs are better than Dreamland's. It's a little smokehouse out behind a guy's house in Northport, right across the river from Tuscaloosa. This link will explain it (NOTE: They DO NOT serve alcohol):


    Bob Baumhower's Wings restaurant (just off Hwy 82 on the east edge of campus) is a pretty solid sports bar with good food. It also has a lot of Alabama football memorabilia to check out and a good beer selection.

    Drinking-wise: The Houndstooth, which doesn't have much of a menu, if any, on University Blvd. is probably the best drinking place right near campus. Wilhagan's (which has the big-screen TVs that Dreamland lacks) is more downtown, but it's good, too. Has pretty good food and a good beer selection. Both are loaded with honeys.

    If you're interested in the college football history angle, go to the Bryant Museum, which is about a half-mile (20-minute walk) east of the stadium. It's pretty cool and only costs a couple of bucks. Also make your way to Denny Chimes at the south end of the quad and check out the captains handprints (Joe Namath, Kenny Stabler, Shaun Alexander, etc.). That's different than the new walk of champions right in front of the stadium that has plaques for all the SEC/national titles and the Bryant, Wade, Thomas, Stallings and Saban (yes, Saban) statues.

    Parking on campus is hit-or-miss. You can probably park relatively close to the stadium for about $25, but if you want free you're going to have to get there early and hike a long way. Try the downtown (west) side of campus, rather than the side closer to the hospital and the shopping areas.

    I have never taken a cab in Tuscaloosa, so I can't speak to that. I know they are there, just don't have any experience with them.

    If you have any more questions, shoot me a PM.
  5. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    Guess who just shot the OP a PM with virtually an identical restaurant list? I got better parking info than you do, though. Also, unless it just happened within the past few days, the Saban statue is not up. Seems Terry hasn't signed off on the look yet. :)
  6. Ty Webb

    Ty Webb Member

    The Original Dreamland is only good for the experience and atmosphere. Far from the best Bar-B-Q in Tuscaloosa or Birmingham. Cypress Inn and Chuck's Fish are really good spots for a nicer dinner in Tuscaloosa Friday (I live in Birmingham, if you plan to eat there, I can put you on some good spots).

    Parking sucked when the stadium held 82,000. It now holds 102,000. Tailgating on the quad is now largely controlled by a group that sells spots for the season. Areas around the quad are normally full but do seem jovial on gameday. Bear in mind that most people have probably used the same spot for 30 years so, while areas may be first come first served, it could be tricky.

    I concur on the Bryant Museum. It has a great deal of college football history, not just Alabama and Bryant. It is worth the $2 but is crowded on gamedays.

    My #1 suggestion is to make sure you listen to WJOX 94.5 FM (99.1 in Tuscaloosa) while in town. Especially 10-2.
  7. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

  8. Ty Webb

    Ty Webb Member

    Remember when we were friends?
  9. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I haven't been to Dreamland in a few years. I doubt there is a TV in the place. Just ribs, white bread, sweet tea, soda and I can't remember if the one in Tuscaloosa has pudding. I know the one in Birmingham does.
  10. Ty Webb

    Ty Webb Member

    Northport Dreamland has TVs. Original Dreamland barely has electricity. The banana pudding at the all the non-original Dreamlands is fabulous. That comes from a lifelong southerner with a highly developed banana pudding palate.
  11. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    The original Dreamland DOES have TVs, but they're are just as likely to be tuned to re-runs of Martin or daytime soap operas as ESPN. And they don't have pudding. Just ribs, white bread, barbecue sauce, soft drinks, tea and beer.

    Cypress Inn is indeed an excellent dinner spot (tremendous catfish and a great view of the Black Warrior River), but is also hard to find (and even harder to explain how to get to). Chuck's Fish is just OK. Very good food, but way pricey.

    And Pete, I vouch for whatever PofO told you, even without having read it. If there's one person who knows T-town better than me, it's him.
  12. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    I ate at the Dreamland in Huntsville once. One of the most overrated places I've ever been to. Kinda bitter I never got to try one in Tuscaloosa, although I'm not sure how much better it could get.

    My favorite BBQ place in North Alabama was Big Bob Gibson's in Decatur. That place just pummeled the Huntsville Dreamland.
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