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Weekend in Oxford for Ole Miss-Alabama: suggestions?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Pete, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. Pete

    Pete Well-Known Member

    I'll be going to Oxford, Miss., this weekend with three college buddies for Ole Miss-Alabama. We're hoping to establish a tradition of attending a college football game each year. (We kicked things off last season with LSU-Georgia in Baton Rouge.) FYI, we are all right about 40 years old.

    Fortunately, we found a hotel in Oxford near the Square, someplace called the Ole Miss Motel, so I also believe we can walk to/from the stadium on Saturday. I have done some research into places to eat/drink, but would appreciate any suggestions from insiders. I've been to a game in Oxford once in '98, but I was working and didn't stay in town either before or after the game. We'll be there as fans looking to soak up as much "atmosphere" as possible.

    A few questions:

    1) We're all scheduled to land in Memphis on Friday around 2p.m.-ish. Any suggestions for Memphis-area BBQ before we decamp to Oxford? Since I gather the airport is on Memphis' south side and we'll be driving south from there, we'd prefer someplace not far from the airport (i.e. not doubling back to downtown Memphis) or generally on the way to Oxford so as not to go too far out of the way.

    2) Restaurants/bars in Oxford we really shouldn't miss? Again, we're staying right by the Square.

    3) Any Grove tailgating tips? I imagine we'll be walking to the game to avoid driving/parking, but it could be more than a half-mile. So we'll only be bringing what we can carry, say a small cooler and some beers, perhaps a little food, etc. Can we just act like friendly Yankees looking to experience some SEC flavor and be taken care of? When we went to LSU I knew folks who could hook us up from when I worked in La. years ago, but we'll be flying blind this weekend.

    4) Any particularly good place to watch the LSU-Florida game that evening? FYI, I'm an LSU fan and plan to wear my "Nick Satan" T-shirt, which I believe the Rebels supporters will like given the opponent and despite its purple-and-gold. I wore it to Auburn in '07 to excellent effect.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    How early in the year did you call to get a hotel in Oxford for this
  3. Pete

    Pete Well-Known Member

    Early August, I believe. We just got lucky; I called pretty much every hotel in Oxford and environs without success but somehow the Ole Miss Motel had two rooms. They're both smoking rooms and one has a single king bed rather than two beds, but I didn't think there was any way we'd find a place in Oxford, especially so centrally located.

    We'd have been fine staying in Memphis, but this way we get much more college-town "atmosphere" and don't have to worry about driving/parking on Gameday.
  4. John

    John Well-Known Member

    I hope the Ole Miss Motel has improved since I was in school, because it was a bit of a dump in the late 90s. I know they used to have themed rooms, but that might not be the case anymore. It's located right next to the original McAllister's Deli -- I worked in the kitchen there for two years -- so grabbing a quick bite will be easy.

    It will be about a mile to the Grove and a little bit further to the stadium. The Grove will be a zoo, so you might want to travel as light as possible. The area around the circle, in front of the Lyceum, is usually a little less crowded.

    Where to eat in Oxford really depends on how much you want to spend. For high-end dining, you can't beat City Grocery on the square, though it is going to be absolutely packed. Hell, everything is packed most fall weekends and with Bama in town it will be even more crazy.

    Proud Larry's is great for beer, pizza and live music. Go to my buddy Murff's for beers (food's nothing special) and to watch the LSU-Florida game. Old Venice Pizza Co. is good -- the bread they bring you is phenomenal. The Downtown Grill is good for people watching if you can get a seat on the balcony upstairs. Jubilee is pretty good, too.

    I haven't spent much time in Oxford since I graduated so I don't know what all is still around. I do know that a bunch of new places have opened and your dining options will be far greater than they were when I was in school.

    I don't really remember there being anyplace special to eat between the Memphis airport and Oxford, but others might know of something. Plenty of good BBQ to eat on Poplar, but that will be a little out of your way.
  5. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    Avoid the Rendezvous in Memphis, the food isn't worth the wait for a table during peak dining hours. If you want good BBQ, drive with your windows down as you head to Oxford. When you see a dump of a joint alongside the road with a smoker out back, stop.

    Drink the sweet tea at McAllister's. It is the nectar of the South.

    As for the Grove, play up your Yankee accents. Tell people you came to the game specifically because y'all hate Saban. Score free drinks.
  6. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    If there's a place that sells Milo's Sweet Tea, buy it! Best choice you'll ever make....if you like good sweet tea.
  7. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    If you haven't secured tickets yet, budget plenty of time and money to securing same on the ground.
  8. Jesus_Muscatel

    Jesus_Muscatel Active Member

    In Oxford, near or on The Square, for eats:

    1) Ajax Diner;
    2) City Grocery;
    3) Old Venice.

    At night, prepare to be amazed by the scenery.
  9. Pete

    Pete Well-Known Member

    We bought tix through Stubhub.

    Many thanks to those who provided suggestions, especially John's detailed report. We're really looking forward to the weekend.
  10. John

    John Well-Known Member

    It's a great place. And the Square will be a freaking madhouse if Ole Miss can somehow pull off the upset.
  11. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    A trip to Oxford is still on my bucket list. And to think I lived like two hours away and never went. Shame on me. And shame on my boss for making me work Saturdays. :)
  12. Chef

    Chef Active Member

    Oh.....be sure to take pictures of the "scenery" at The Grove.

    Heard it is amazing.
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