I asked, and you all delivered. In a pretty big way, in fact.
Big 12 fans will be flooding new territory very soon, and the most exotic locale is Morgantown, West Virginia. I asked the Mountaineer faithful to give a few recommendations, and they flooded my mailbag with responses. Here's what they had to say:
Clayton Myers in Martinsburg, W. Va., wrote: Every college town has it's iconic watering holes. For Morgantown, start with these: Mario's Fishbowl, Crockett's, Gibbie's, Kegler's (best sports bar), and the Varsity Club (new place right across the stadium--most likely place to find football coaches and players having lunch, or recruits and their parents visiting campus).High Street is the main downtown strip, and it's a carnival atmosphere every Thursday-Saturday nights. There are ample places to find good times, cheap booze specials, and trouble if you want that too. For live music, the spot is 123 Pleasant Street. For good craft brews, there are 2 brew pubs in town, in the Wharf District, and the Morgantown Brewing Company at the corner of Walnut and Beechurst.Stay at the Waterfront Place Hotel when you're in town. It's sort of the main University hotel, and you'll often find visiting basketball teams staying there. I won't bore you with additional restaurant recommendations--you'll get plenty of those. Enjoy your trip, and save room for food and beer in the tailgate lots around the stadium on gameday. You will get fed if you stop and introduce yourself. And have a standing invite to come to my tailgate in the light blue lot.
Timothy Sioson in Morgantown, W. Va., wrote: The Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) over at Morgantown is a unique experience. Think of a children's roller coaster as a student's main transportation for classes and sporting events.
My take: Sign. Me. Up.
Dan in Atlanta wrote: The two best sports bars are Kegler's and the Boston Beanery. Both within walking distance of Mountaineer Field. And, you'll be mildly disappointed if you ride the PRT.
My take: Dueling theories on the PRT. Even more exciting.
Pat T in Morgantown wrote: The Unofficial Guide to Morgantown: Tailgating- Best spots are the Blue Lot by the stadium and the Gold Lot about 3 minutes away from the stadium. No kegs allowed though. Restaurants/Bars- The best place to go get a good meal are places like Richwood Grille (house turned into restaurant), Oliverio's, or The Waterfront. For sports bars, you have to go to Sports Page on High St., then there's Keglers, Mario's Fishbowl (historic dive bar), Billiards & Cue, or Gibbie's. For late night bars, there's Bent Willey's, Joe Mama's, and Backdoor all on High St., or any of the sports bars mentioned. Good Eats- You can get one-of-a-kind burritos at Black Bear, comfort food at The Dirty Bird, AMAZING burgers at Tailpipes, wings at Mario's Fishbowl or Sports Page, gyros at Nick's Canteen, pizza at Casa D'Amici, Mexican food at Chico's Fat, or calzones at D.P. dough's.Hotels- Waterfront Hotel is the nicest, Hotel Morgan is nice as well and is located downtown, Hotel Morgantown And Euro Suites are by the Stadium, and Lakeview has a Golf Course and Spa on site.Welcome to the home of Cheers, Beers, and Mountaineers!
Amy Bertsch in Alexandria, Va., wrote: Morgantown: AKA Motown. This town is hilly! You can get a workout just getting to the stadium. Food: pepperoni rolls! I'm vegetarian but the last meat I probably ate was a pepperoni roll. Trash talking: Don't go for the bad teeth and inbred stuff. We've heard it all and it's just not that funny. You can talk about our couch burning, coaches who may like to party from time to time, and just about anything else as long as you stay away from the pathetic, tired stereotypes. Pet Peeves: It's West Virgina University, not the University of West Virginia. And West Virginia is its own state. People in the east and ESPN seem to have difficulty recognizing this. Other: Our marching band and our mascot are outstanding; the latter is also armed. Challenge for WVU fans: Central Time! Does this mean we start drinking an hour earlier or later? Best wishes for the new season and the expanded Big 12!
Brian in Leeds, United Kingdom wrote: Lakeview Resort is a short drive north on Cheat Lake with astounding golfing opportunities. Chick N Bones has great wings and specials to enjoy while you kick-back and sing some Country Roads. Bent Willey's is the place to hang out after a win downtown with their multiple levels and outdoor patio. But where would you be without the Mountainlair with the mountaineer statue outside. From a 12 years removed WVU fanatic. Let's Gooooo Mountaineers!
Jim Fisher in Pittsburgh, Pa., wrote: WV native and WVU grad, living in Pittsburgh.Things to do/see/etc in Morgantown... Food: Black Bear Burritos (lots of variety, healthy, hippies, live music, lots of beers to choose from) Mountain State Brewing Company (fancy style pizzas and beers made in house, what more can you want? Sights:WV is a beautiful state and there are some great sights just outside of Morgantown. Dorsey's Knob and Cooper's Rock are both quick drives from town and offer wonderful views of the fall foliage in October/November. Night life: Basically any bar on High Street will be packed on a Friday/Saturday night during football season. A lot of people will likely recommend Mario's Fishbowl -- it's an iconic place. Stadium: Around the stadium on gamedays are just hordes of very friendly, very drunk people. Visiting fans are likely to be offered food and drink.
Scott Hayden in Houston, Texas wrote: If you travel to Morgantown and are looking for some spectacular home cooking that is off the beaten path, travel six miles north to Pt. Marion, PA and try Apple Annie's. The food is great and the desserts are deliciously huge.
Chase in Harrisonburg, Va., wrote: Where to eat in Morgantown? It's simple. GO TAILGATE. West Virginia features a top 3 national tailgate scene, whether you're a Mountaineer fan or not. A vast majority of fans will welcome total strangers into their tailgate without thinking twice and regardless of your team affiliation. We tailgate early and often, so time of day DOES. NOT. MATTER. But if you're looking for a restaurant, though, basically anything on High Street is a great choice.
Andrew in Morgantown wrote: When you come to Morgantown a sight you must see is Coopers Rock, which is only about 13 miles east of Touchdown City (Morgantown). It is a beautiful view of West Virginia. When taking in a game there are many places to eat but Colasessano's Pizza and Pepperoni Buns (or as everyone else calls them rolls) with your choice of sauce, cheese and peppers. Dont let that fool you, you can walk into any grocery store or gas station and grab one. One new tradition we have started last year its called Mountaineer Mantrip which starts at the corner opposite the Residence Inn by Marriott by the stadium and they walk through a sea of fans on their way to the stadium. A Mantrip is the mode of transportation for coal miners that takes them in and out of work meaning when the walk is over the players are ready to go to work. I hope this has been of help David Lets Go... Mountaineers!!!
Senoy in Morgantown wrote: As for game days, traffic is bad and parking is worse. Personally, I come in from the Star City side and park at the CMA church on Patteson Drive. It's free and they often offer free tailgating food, it is about a mile from Mountaineer Field though, so be prepared for a walk. To get closer, Suncrest UMC has a lot that is usually fairly reasonably priced and is maybe 1500 feet from the field. You can also take the PRT, it's a public mass transit system that sort of resembles a monorail. You can park downtown and ride it to 'Medical Center' You'll leave south from Medical center and have maybe a 2000 foot walk to the field. On game days, everyone is going to the same place, so just follow the crowd. Tailgating usually begins fairly early and for most games it's a continuation of pre-gating from the night before. The public tailgates are throughout the area, but concentrated on the North side of the stadium. On the East side are private tailgates. If you can find someone that can wrangle you a pass to Mylan's tailgate, it's always and worth it. We have a ton of traditions, but since most of the people visiting won't particularly care, I won't go into them. Visitor's section is in the Southeast corner of the stadium.
Tim Canfield in Morgantown wrote: I recommend two very good places in Morgantown to eat. The first is Shift Ace Pizza located on University Ave. next to the downtown campus. The pizza is New York style, is super good, and real cheap price-wise. Plus they have some really wacky pizzas since it caters to the student crowd, but they have alot of parents come in too and they have raved about it. They also have great wings and outstanding bacon-cheese fries too. Plus beer on tap. The second place is the Rusted Musket which is located right next door to Shift Ace Pizza. This place has outstanding stacker sandwiches that are similar to the Primanti Brothers' stacker sandwiches in Pittsburgh (steak, chicken, or fish with homemade coleslaw and fries stacked together with Texas Toast). The stacker sandwiches are named after U.S cities (I recommend the Los Angeles). They also have really good wings too. The best thing about these two places is that they also deliver to the hotels/motels located in Morgantown and Star City. So if any fans want to try these two places out, ask the front desks of the hotel they are staying at for a menu.
Eric in Charleston, W. Va., wrote: When visiting Motown, you gotta have breakfast at Tudor's Biscuit World....not exactly unique to Morgantown, more of a WV regional restaurant, but best Biscuits and gravy you'll ever have besides grandma's.
Jake in Morgantown wrote: Look, any big 12 fan will be fine in Morgantown. Here are some pointers. Do wear your colors. We absolutely don't just randomly attack visitors. Do visit our tailgates. We love to share our food. Learn what a pepperoni roll is, ask for one, and then thank the lord above you made the trip just for that moment. Do prepare for some insults from some fans. Most of us are hospitable and look forward to our new conference mates visiting. Some fans will say mean things. I hope you don't feel attacked, but every school has that. That being said, you should never, ever go near our student gate. If you see a sea of drunk old gold and blue-clad young people lined up at a gate while everyone else is still tailgating... Back away slowly. Other than that, you'll be fine. Oh, if you have any spare couches, feel free to bring them. We like to...er... Collect them. Yeah, that's it. Collect... Definitely not burn.
Great suggestions, everybody. I enjoyed it.
Did we miss any? Feel free to fill your fellow fans in down in the comment section.