The SEC guide to MSU's home turf

Get the cowbells ready for our "Home Turf" stop in Starkville to check out Mississippi State's home.

Past stops:

I haven't spent much time in Starkville, but I'm sure I'll be there in near future. The Bulldogs fans made sure outsiders and I know just where to go when we get into town:

Matt and Stefanie in Starkville write: Tucked away between a bridge and the fire station on University Drive is a dilapidated building next to an empty gas station. From the outside, the place looks abandoned like in an episode of Scooby-Doo with its outdoor dining area consisting of lawn chairs. Beneath the shabby exterior, however, is the vibrant and, might I mention, always packed Stromboli's of Starkville, Mississippi. Stromboli's is considered the go-to pizza place of Starkvegas. From the 16" pizza to the stromboli to the cookie dough bites, Stromboli's crust has just the right amount of sweetness, crispiness, and softness that would make Colonel Rebel come running home (Sorry, "Black Bear"). Along with the graffitied walls and eclectic decors, the atmosphere and staff are friendly, laid back, and vivacious. Neither the food nor the place itself can ever let you down.

My thoughts: I like the teamwork. Shot fired at Ole Miss ... the rivalry is alive and well on the blog!

William in Starkville writes: Before I was a student at MSU, I didn't know what the little city in northern Mississippi was all about. But once I got there, I found out the good way and I vowed I would stay as long as I could. First things first. You have GOT to try the pizza at Stromboli's on University...specifically the chicken ranchero pizza. The crust alone will make you want to smack your mama. If pizza isn't your taste, go the true southern way and find your way to Little Dooey's Bar-B-Q. Not only is the BBQ to die for, but the massive catfish plate is my personal favorite. The plate is full of huge pieces of tender catfish cooked to perfection, which it should be, since Mississippi is known for its succulent catfish. Then there's always the chance that you're in town for a football game and you aren't hungry and just want to have a good time. Look no further than the Junction. This little piece of Heaven is the MSU tailgater's paradise, with some room for the away fans as well. With thousands of tents lined up side-by-side for acres, the food is abundant and the flavors don't lie. The MSU-engineered grass (used at several professional fields) makes for a lush play area for the kids and a beautiful scene for kicking back and enjoying yourself. Don't ever skip a chance to visit this beautiful city. Go Dawgs!

Brad in Columbus, Miss., writes: When you arrive in Starkville (God's country) MS, I am sure you will be starving from the ride or the flight in. Two places are a must to eat at. If it's an amazing burger you crave, head no further than downtown Starkville and hit up Mugshots. Huge burgers on a sourdough bun will have you wanting to slap yo mama! If you want some authentic New Orleans style food but can't make the trip to be big easy, I highly suggest Oby's. It is by far my favorite place to eat. You start out with the Rotel cheese waffle fries as an app, and top it off with the Muffaletta. If it is night life you are after, then there are two places I recommend in that regard also. Ricks Cafe in downtown, and Remington's Hunt Club off of Hwy 12 beside Bulldog Lanes. Most of all, enjoy our great hospitality, great scenery (fellas you know what I mean) and most of all GO DAWGS!!

Johnny in Hernando, Miss., writes: Starkville and MSU athletics (new athletic director, football, baseball & basketball coaches) have undergone a complete makeover the past 5 or 6 years and the energy around town is better than ever. Start the afternoon by having some drunken chicken nachos and a cold drink on the patio of Bin 612 in the Cotton District, the best people watching spot in town. From Bin 612, walk or drive less than a mile downtown to Restaurant Tyler for dinner, far and away the best food Starkville has to offer. ESPN's Taste of the Town highlighted this place. Whatever you order, you will love it! After dinner, walk upstairs to Zorba's for some good local live music. Saturday, hit up The Junction for some great tailgating in fall or the left field lounge at The Dude in the spring for some baseball. Don't miss Restaurant Tyler's Sunday morning brunch on your way out of town! Viva Starkvegas!

Justin in Montgomery, Ala., writes: If you visit Starkville and don't go on down to Pap's Place, Main Street, Ackerman, Mississippi, then you are missing out on the finest food in the South. All you can eat fried chicken, BBQ ribs, and the greatest catfish in the world! Don't worry when you go, they won't rob you, just fill your belly.

My thoughts: Greatest catfish? Sir, I'm a catfish enthusiast, so be careful. I'm very picky about it ...

DL in Durham, N.C., writes: Let me say this about Mississippi State and Starkville, it is a hidden gem. This comes from a proud alumnus, but also someone who has worked at Florida State, FIU and UNC-Chapel Hill. It's easy for commentators and opposing fans to cast a snide comment at StarkVegas until they actually step foot in the community. Every college town has it's barbecue place, it's sandwich place, and it's strip of local bars and eateries. Starkville does, too, and I must say for a city it's size, the food is AMAZING! What makes the community unique is the people. Tailgating at the Junction is quite an experience. I think most visitors will be surprised at the convenience and the friendliness of the environment. If Starkville had any other name, it would be recognized as one of the premier college towns in the Southeast. Enjoy yourself when you get there. It's a really easy thing to do.

Gray in Brandon, Miss., writes: Having graduated State in '91 Starkville has boomed since I left there. Too many bars to mention, Lil Doohey's, The Veranda, Petty's, tons of good places to eat and lots to see. The Cotton District is great for walking around and getting a feel of the university and the city. The ever changing campus, always growing, is beautiful this time of year. Our landscaping is second to none. Visit the clock museum for a unique tour through the history of timepieces, the creamery and Extension Service stores for a taste of our legendary cheese.

Evan in Fort Worth, Texas, writes: Many places to choose from depending on the type of meal you are looking for. For lunch I recommend checking out the Blue plate specials at either the Veranda or my personal favorite Restaurant Tyler (Veranda has your choice of meat and three sides plus drink and tax all for $8; Res Ty is meat plus two larger sides for $8 not including drink). Other great options include Stromboli's for Italian (a hole in the wall but absolutely delicious, I recommend the Boli Calzone), Petty's or Grumpy's for barbecue (both are much better than the over-hyped Little Dooey's). For dinner on the cheaper side I would recommend checking out the likes of Oby's (Po Boys), Mugshots (burgers and beer), The Halfway House (dumbest name for a bar but my preferred place in town for wings) and Dave's for deep dish pizza (a 14" will feed two very hungry grown men) but you have to wait and I suggest trying to leave before the band starts playing. If you want a nicer meal we have again the Veranda (not a big fan) and Res Tyler($$$$ but usually quite amazing). Also Harvey's for steaks and for hibachi and sushi go for Umi's. (Voted best sushi in MS)

Greg in Starkville writes: The best southern home-style cooking is at Petty's on Highway 12. BBQ, frog legs, country fried steak, fried green tomatoes...Outdoor seating so it's fantastic for a fair weather evening meal. I enjoy going to Southern Billiards downtown to shoot a few rounds of pool, then head to the Burgundy Room at Old Venice Pizza right up the block for a few drinks.Hitting up the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge (known as simply "The Refuge") is an excellent way to relax and see some beautiful wildlife.Growing up an LSU fan, I knew what SEC tailgating was like. LSU is a fantastic football/tailgating atmosphere. Now that I'm a student at State though, I would not trade tailgating in the Junction for anything. Such a great, positive atmosphere. On the Sunday after the game, make sure to go to Strange Brew Coffeehouse on Hwy 12 to get some coffee to go. Wonderful coffee and you get a chocolate (or white chocolate) covered coffee bean with every drink purchase! YUM!