national champion

Saturdays in the South: Gainesville, Florida

First published in Current Magazine in 2007. Since this article was first printed UF has added both another SEC title and National Championship to the trophy case and QB Tim Tebow was been awarded the Heisman Trophy as college football’s best player.

Birthplace of Gatorade, Gainesville is also the home of the defending national champion Florida Gators. Of which sport you ask? Well, all of them. It seems that way anyhow. The Gators have won back-to-back NCAA basketball titles and took the same honor in football this past year. Though the round ball titles are snazzy it is on the gridiron that the Gator Nation butters its collective bread.

As an added bonus, the city of Gainesville was recently named the top city in America by Foddor’s in the 2007 “Cities – Ranked and Rated, Second Edition.” Yes, things are pretty rosy in Gator Town these days, and Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley has built a potent and prominent program right in the heart of it. Alma mater of 1966 Heisman Trophy winner Steve Spurrier, Lito Shepard, Emmitt Smith (NFL’s all-time leading rusher), Danny Wuerffel (1996 Heisman Trophy winner), and Chris Leak, the Gators have given fans a lot of happy memories, like say a pair of national titles and seven SEC crowns.

Tailgators surround Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (a.k.a. The Swamp) feasting on grilled gator sausage, burgers, and chicken and getting their “drunk” on. They have to feed their bravado as one of the great sports of UF tailgating is taunting fans from visiting schools with the familiar Gator Chomp arm gesture and screaming profanities. All that verbal abuse takes a lot of energy.

Among the 88,548 in attendance at the Swamp is Mr. “Two-Bits” George Edmondson. Two-Bits is a Gator fan from Tampa who stumbles from section to section leading the fans in the old cheer that goes, “Two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar! All for the Gators stand up and holler!” Between the third and fourth quarters the Fightin’ Gator Marching Band plays “We Are the Boys from Old Florida,” as fans sing along while standing arm-in-arm, staggering left and right.

At first, grubbing in Gainesville might seem a little discouraging when a glance at the “Best of” poll from the Gainesville Today Magazine lists Domino’s Pizza as the winner for “best wings” and Sonny’s as the winner for “best BBQ.” So they don’t have good cue or wings, they do have some unbelievable local styles like pan-Latin and New Florida cuisine and virtually all of it is right by the Swamp.

Grog (University Ave.) is famous for two things – quarter pitchers of beer and being the favorite hangout of UF’s representatives in the “Girls of the SEC” issue of Playboy. Also on the ladies’ hit list is Club XS which is popular for its 80’s night. Leonardo’s 706 (W. University Ave.) is the place for Sunday brunch. Located just a short walk from the stadium, brunch is nothing short of phenomenal with over 25 handcrafted culinary creations to chose from. Plus it is a great place to ditch the older members of your party while you hunt for those Playboy Bunnies.

Emiliano’s Café (SE 1st Ave) puts Florida’s rich Latin community on display with zesty empanadas, ceviches, fried plantains, and luscious paellas. They also serve the most popular food craze in the country right now – the Cuban sandwich. Emiliano’s also offers traditional black beans, grilled filets, and terrific soups, but the can’t-miss recipe is the sizzling chipotle brownie cake.

Hogan’s “Great Sandwiches” (13th St.) opened in 1983 with the goal of providing the biggest sandwiches and the coldest beer. Hogan’s serves traditional subs like turkey, Pastrami, and ham but they also have higher end cold cuts like Proscuittini and Cappicola plus six cheeses to choose from. They make a pretty mean Cuban, too. Their menu consists of sandwiches, heroes, subs, and most importantly beer from 21 countries. Saturdays are Gator Day; wear a Gator T-Shirt & get .50¢ off all pitchers of beer.

Italian Gator Pizza (W University Ave.) is consistently Gainesville’s best slice. Don’t let the name fool you, there is no gator pizza on the menu. Their pizzas are tributes to the old New York tradition of little flash and quality ingredients. They use Grande mozzarella, the industry’s top brand, and their pies are fired in stone ovens, available by the slice or in 14” and 18” pies.

Kirk Herbstreit recently named Mark’s Prime Steakhouse (201 SE 2nd Ave. Suite 102) one of the ten best college eateries in the nation. Mark’s has a dedication to serving only the finest beef, freshest seafood, premium wines, and organic vegetables, blah, blah, blah – this place is best for impressing hot young redheads by buying them a dessert martini.

For those looking to get liquored up, Gainesville has a great bar scene with juke joints like 8 Seconds (W University Ave), a country themed bar that features $20 all-you-can-drink on Saturday nights. For posh surroundings there is 2Bits Lounge (SW 34th Street) which features a big screen TV and a pool table. Alley Gatorz (NE Waldo Rd) is a bowling alley, full service bar, and Gator shrine all in one with a daily Happy Hour from 3-7 that includes $1.00 drafts, $1.75 bottles $2.00 wells $5.00 pitchers $8.00 buckets (5 bottles).

Dugout Billiards (SW 2nd Ave) is a classic hangout with 13 pool tables, 3 TV’s, video games, 2 65″ TV’s, plus other arcade faves like foosball, darts, and air hockey. . . oh, yeah, and beer. Jewell’s Billiard Lounge (S Main Street) has been voted the “Hottest Staff in Gainesville” and understandably so – bar tenders and servers wear halter tops and Daisy Dukes so short they should be considered belts and none of the staff is bashfull about doing a little pole dance. With hundreds of gorgeous women and $3 Long Island Ice Teas on Saturdays, Jewell’s is also your best bet to see two (or more) chicks making out.

e okul veli bilgilendirme sistemi

e-okul veli bilgilendirme sistemi

e okul veli bilgilendirme sistemiThat doesn’t make a lick of since does it?  Like it’s some made up language or something.  Well, a year ago or so I started getting a lot of traffic to the site searching for that very phrase or any one of a half dozen variations.  Damned if I knew what it meant.

Daha burada bu siteyi t?klay?n hakk?nda daha fazla.

I hopped over to BabelFish and tried to translate e okul veli bilgilendirme sistemi.  I thought with all of those vowels at the end of the words it’s got to be a romance language so I went for Italian.  It wasn’t Italian.  It wasn’t Spanish, French or Portuguese either.  On a whim I tried both Russian and German to no avail.  Eventually, it could have been minutes or months, I stumbled over a page that translated it for me from Turkish.

Bakar m?s?n?z?

AllWebCo Web Hosting ServicesKalite siber varl??? ihtiyac?n?z var?

Apparently it means e-school parent information system.  I know, that’s not a helluva lot of help is it?  But to the people of Turkey it means something.  My guess is that one of my 600+ posts had one paragraph that had all of those words in it.  And then somewhere down the line it got translated into Turkish.

Well, to my Turkish guests I’d like to say benim g?da sitesi Türk halk?na ho? geldiniz. Google Reklamlar? t?klay?n?zBenim yemek kitaplar? sat?n al?n.  Ben Joe Biden, Lindsay Lohan ve Kardashian için özür dilerim ama ben Justin Bieber için suçu reddediyorum. O Kanada’n?n hatam.  Auburn Tigers bir numara var!  Thanks to Google Translator for the assist.

What’s Cooking for Football Season?

Auburn's Jordan Hare Stadium
I guess it could be said that my hometown (Mobile, AL) is the epicenter of football.  We have our hometown South Alabama Jaguars starting their second season of NCAA play.  An hour or so away is the University of Southern Mississippi.  Two hours away is New Orleans home of the Super Bowl Champion Saints of the NFL.  Mobile also is roughly four hours from LSU, Alabama and Auburn.   All three are power houses from the nation’s toughest conference, the SEC.

Suffice it to say, we love our football here.  We also love great food so football season is also the height of our party season.  But football parties are not solely the domain of Mobile or the state of Alabama or even the South.  Starting this weekend football fans across the nation will be breaking out their best recipes to impress their guests and more importantly those who dare to wear the colors of the other team.

In the current issue of Southern Tailgater Magazine I have an article entitled Top 10 Tailgating Trends for 2010.  In the course of writing that article I chatted with Carrie Oliver of the Artisan Beef Institute where she offered burgers made from dry aged beef as a coming trend.  Unfortunately the constraints of the article kept me from using all of the information Carrie gave me.  With football season here I thought it a good time to share with you the rest of her expertise on the subject of grilling, trends and artisan beef.

According to Carrie, fancy condiments are out, dry-aged beef burgers are in.  Or as she puts it, “Bland is out, flavor is in.  Because when you use top quality beef that’s been dry-aged before you grind it, the burgers themselves have flavor. You won’t even need to use condiments.”

Carrie has a free tasting guide that you can download from her site.  With it you can learn the ins and outs of the new artisan meat movement.  You can even send in the results of your tasting and she’ll post them for the world to see.  You will also find reviews of the beef, pork, lamb, and poultry from different artisan farms and butchers.  She also has information on artisan lamb, poultry and the South’s favorite, pork.
Oliver is also a founder of MeatCamp™, a one-of-a kind education and tasting series for artisan beef, pork, lamb, poultry and goat that is augmented by a moderated chat series known as #MeatCamp on Twitter.

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less

Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards

2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up


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