The SEC guide to Ole Miss' home turf

April, 20, 2012
4/20/12
2:00
PM ET
It's time to head to the Grove as our "Home Turf" series continues.

Past turfs:
It's no secret that I grew up in Oxford, so I was happy to see that most of the Rebel faithful had similar tastes as me. It means you're all doing something right. Missouri and Texas A&M fans should be excited about visiting Oxford in the future. Get ready for a real party, whether you're on the Square or not:

Noz in Oxford writes: First off, welcome to God's Country! When you get to Oxford on Friday afternoon go eat lunch at AJAX diner, go with the daily special and a bloody Mary. For dinner, I recommend Boure or Proud Larry's, or take the short drive to Taylor, MS (15minutes) and hit up Taylor Grocery for the catfish. If you want to go out in Oxford, the town offers a plethora of bars on the Square, but the BEST bar in town in The Library, period. If you want to eat something a little more casual, Oxford has the original Abner's Chicken and McAllister's Deli. Then on Saturday, get up early and experience the BEST tailgating experience in the country: THE GROVE. The Grove is right in the middle of campus and a short walk from the Square, and is the place to be on game day. Tents everywhere with food, TVs and plenty to drink, just make sure you keep it in a cup. And before you ask, yes, we dress up for football games, guys will wear a shirt and tie and ladies will be in sundresses, heels and pearls. Be prepared to have a great time and remember when it comes to partying, Ole Miss is undefeated.

My thoughts: Ajax is a must for me when I head back home. There is bacon in ALL of the veggies and it really is great southern dining. Can't go wrong with catfish at Taylor's either (Write on the wall!).

atl-olemissreb-terrell in Atlanta writes: If you're in the mood for some fried catfish you should head to my hometown of Taylor MS and eat at Taylor Grocery. It's in the country so just take I55 south from Memphis to Hwy 6/University of Miss exit. From there when u get into Oxford exit on Old Taylor Rd make a right and drive until it dead ends at a 3 way stop & Taylor Grocery will be on your left. If you want a sports bar check out The Locker Room on West Jackson Ave in downtown Oxford, they have some amazing bacon.

Brit in Oxford writes: Places to visit, might I suggest:In town: Faulkner's grave - a place where artists place pens and leave bottles of whiskey and gin as good luck charms. The Square: not just for partying, but for the boutique shops, too. Also, Square Books and it's large selection of books by Mississippi writers.On campus: The Lyceum: the oldest building on the campus, opened in 1848. While it is used as an administrative building now, it was a classroom building and Civil War hospital as well. Rowan Oak: Some might argue it's in town, but it's actually on campus and owned by the university. Everything is as it would have been when Faulkner lived there: complete with the writing on the wall.

My thoughts: All good choices. When my father was a professor at Ole Miss I explored pretty much every building on campus. The Lyceum is a real gem. Also, Rowan Oak is haunted. You've been warned ...

Thomas in Atlanta writes: First off, whenever any visitor comes to Oxford they leave with nothing but compliments about the town and its patrons. First off, food. Great BBQ: Handy Andy's. Southern cooking: Ajax (get the country fried steak with both potato and Rice Cass). Fine Dining: City Grocery, 208, Lenora's. All of them are unreal and staples of Downtown. For partying there is no better than "The Club" Library Bar. Biggest and best bar in Oxford and where the best scenery can be found. For music goers Proud Larry's and The Lyric are both great. Finally, when it comes to tailgating no one does it better than us period. THE Grove is HANDS DOWN the best atmosphere for college football tailgaiting and all sports for that matter. Where else can you walk to all of your friends' tailgates within 5 min. I'll wait.... exactly, nowhere! We take opponents in and cater them with food and drinks (Yes, even Cajuns). We live and stand by our Motto at Ole Miss.. "We may not win every game, but we never lose a party!" Hotty Toddy

Stephen in Tupelo, Miss., writes: Prior to hitting up the Grove on Saturday for a once in a lifetime experience on game days, every visitor should make their way to the Oxford Square for some great food and night life. Depending on your mood, the Square has whatever you might be craving, and some things you didn't know you would crave until you tried them. For a good southern home cooked meal, head over to Ajax for some vegetables and pot roast. If you have a craving for pizza, head to Old Venice Pizza Company followed by trip to the Burgundy room for drinks following dinner. If your mind is set on some upscale dining, go to City Grocery and order their shrimp and grits or go to 208 or Waltz. Finally, if you really want to enjoy the nightlife, but don't want a big bar tab on the credit card, head to the "Library" Bar. I promise, there are no books in Oxford's Library and no one will tell you that you have to whisper either. You can find anything and everything on the Square in Oxford, including the most beautiful girls in the world. As we always say at Ole Miss, "we may not win every game, but we ain't never lost a party."

Barton in Nashville, Tenn., writes: A lot has changed in Oxford since I graduated six years ago, but one of the staples remain: Ajax Diner. I've eaten soul food all around the country, and I've never found any place better than Ajax. Located right on the Square, Ajax is known for Oxford favorites like "The Deuce" (double cheeseburger named for our beloved #22), "The Big Easy" (a country fried steak sandwich topped with mashed potatoes and lima beans, my favorite), and the best plate lunches you've ever had (make sure you try the broccoli-rice casserole). I had the pleasure of working for the owners (Amy and Randy) while I was in college and remain friends with them today. If you're in Oxford, don't miss out on Ajax.

Nabil in Austin, Texas, writes: If you are looking for a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the Square Phillips Grocery is the place to go grab a bite to eat. Known for having great food I would have to say go with a burger or catfish these being their trademarks. In college me and my friends would take our formal dates there because not only is it a great restaurant but you can brown bag! If it you are looking to have a few drinks..."we may lose the game but never the party". Although small this is a local favorite and if the Square restaurants are all booked up with reservations this is probably one of your best bets.

Bob in Washington, D.C., writes: There are a lot of great places to eat and drink in Oxford, but two of my absolute favorites are two of the newest places in town (and they just so happen to be next door to each other). Big Bad Breakfast is exactly what its name would suggest. It's a cozy yet lively spot known for its heaping helpings of made-from-scratch meals. It's only open for breakfast and lunch and fills up as soon as it opens, so get there early. The handmade biscuits are great, as are the fresh fruit preserves, house-cured bacon, and home-style hash browns. They also make a mean burger and great fried chicken if you're there for lunch. Next door to Big Bad Breakfast is Snackbar, a more genteel establishment specializing in cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. The charcuterie plate is a must have, as are any number of the hand mixed whiskey and gin drinks the skilled bartenders can toss together for you. Accompany that with a few dozen oysters and you've got a heck of a way to spend a happy hour. Both restaurants are operated by John Currence, a highly respected chef and winner of the James Beard Award for Best Southern Chef in 2009.

Christian in Atlanta writes: Get in town on Thursday and make the ten minute drive to Taylor Grocery for their life changing fried catfish and rotel fries. Friday, grab some breakfast from Bottletree Bakery and take in the beauty of downtown Oxford and the Ole Miss campus. Head over to Handy Andy Grocery for lunch to get the best burgers and bar-b-q sandwiches for your buck. City Grocery, Rooster's Blues House, and The Burgundy Room all have great balconies overlooking the square that are great for a pre-dinner drink. If you're looking for fine dining, you'll love anything from 208 South Lamar, Waltz on the Square, City Grocery, or Boure. For something a little more casual try Ajax Diner, Rib Cage, or Old Venice Pizza Company. You'll want to spend as much time in college football heaven as you can, so get to the Grove early and stay late. The Library Bar and Grill is truly a sight to see on a Saturday night. But check out Proud Larry's, Rooster's, or any of the other smaller establishments on the square if you're looking for something a little more low key. Be sure to stop by Big Bad Breakfast before heading out on Sunday morning.

Chuck in Oxford writes: As an Oxford native, you get tired of hearing everybody recite the same places year in and year out. City Grocery, Snackbar, Boure, Big Bad Breakfast, Ajax, anything on the Square really. All of those places are fine choices. But to find some of Oxford's best kept secrets you've got to extend beyond the Square and all the bars. Besides, who wants to compete with all the students for a table anyways?! So my suggestions are places like Honey Bee Bakery for lunch, dinner, or brunch on the weekends. Hit up Oxford's newest steakhouse, The Char Grille. Of course, if you want catfish, take a trip just outside of Oxford to Taylor Grocery and throw down on some of the best food this side of the Mississippi. Oxford has a lot of great food, music, and scenery to take in. All you have to do, is show up. Welcome to the SEC Texas A&M and Missouri! To all our other friends in the SEC, we look forward to seeing you again this year. Hotty Toddy and let's go SEC for our 7th straight!

My thoughts: Getting away form the norm. Well done, Chuck.

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SEC SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 12/20
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