There’s a pair of common threads that bind us all in the South: food and football.
Hell, in my family, we reminisce about great meals we’ve eaten while we’re eating and discuss what we’re going to eat next when we’re full. We look back on memories in the Grove and Vaught Hemingway—the food, the victories, the booze, all a part of our culture.
In that vein, sometimes you ain’t about that foie gras life, and you’re just wanting to cram 2,000 calories down your piehole for as cheap as possible.
The same can be said for most SEC programs. They offer maximum entertainment, traditional atmosphere and indulgence at a relatively affordable price.
Here’s how every SEC program is pretty much a mega restaurant chain that is trying to make you fat and happy.
Alabama: Waffle House
24/7/365. Its the same today as it was 50 years ago. It’s unyielding, uncompromising, and more recently insanely popular again. And when you’re super drunk and trashy, it’s home.
Arkansas: a Subway inside a Wal Mart
You’re there because you’re either desperate or its the only option in your town. But it’s reliably mediocre which for some people drives them mad. Spontaneously and sporadically surprises you though usually filled with regret later.
Auburn: Huddle House
Sometimes you just gotta call a little brother, a little brother. All the same tenets of the Waffle House, yet not nearly as successful.
You want a fantastically delicious outcome that you didn’t order and somehow stumble your way to success despite ineptitude? Boy, have I got the place for you.
Mississippi State: Penn’s
AIN’T NOTHING WRONG WITH GAS STATION CHICKEN LIVERS AND OYSTERS. It’s strictly regional, and a far cry from the button-ups and khakis you find at its seafood competitors. You won’t starve though, so...yeah.
Ole Miss: Bonefish Grill
It’s pretentious but ultimately not Michelin starred, because it insists on residing in upper middle class neighborhoods and offer “Bang Bang Shrimp.” Visitors end up having a great time but also leaving thinking the regulars are wasting their money.
Texas A&M: Steak n Shake
There’s dated period outfits (seriously the milk men weird me out), lots of beef, unnecessary dependence on steak and a decided longing for things “the way they used to be” with a wink and nod.
“Delightfully tacky, yet unrefined” seems strikingly accurate for any organization in the Sunshine State.
The fans are rabid and can’t understand why they aren’t number one year in and year out. More expensive experience than it really should be and no one understands why.
Yeah, I mean, I just don’t know where else to go with this and I’m lazy. It’s best years are behind it, but it’s always there.
The yeast rolls are great, fluffy and delicious and so are multitudinous passing yards. An Irish name without any of its traditional food - sounds like Midwestern America to me.
South Carolina: TGI Friday’s
In Columbia, it’s always Friday. There’s a strong but family friendly party atmosphere, meanwhile the food and drinks all lack talent and substance. Those endless app deals are fleeting much like Steve Spurrier’s successful tenure.
Boy, howdy, the 90’s and a baby back ribs jingle was really great huh? Clinging onto old success and reheating it year after year works for East Tennessee and fajitas imo.
Vanderbilt: P.F. Chang’s
It’s clearly meant to be a little more fancy, there’s some flair, but ultimately, there’s usually not many people inside and nationally not taken seriously.
So that’s it. What did we miss out on? Leave your comments or tweet your best at @RedCupRebellion. Just leave the sacred institutions of Whataburger and Cookout out of it.