John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Bama, Bourbon and Bacon

If you are spending the day in Tuscaloosa for the Alabama / Ole Miss game this evening, here’s a list of places to go and things to do that might involve some of your favorite things.

Innisfree - If you are not traveling with children, a pre-game Bloody Mary at Innisfree is a special treat. In fact, before I tailgate with my alumni group, I usually make this my first stop on game day. The popular bar uses the award winning Zing Zang Bloody Mary mix as a starter but finishes off the drink with a piece of BACON twisted around the swizzle stick. Life really is better with bacon.

Steel City Pops, a gourmet popsicle store in Birmingham, recently opened a location in downtown Tuscaloosa (just down the street from Innisfree). Alabama football is a family event and those of you traveling with little Tide fans may not want to take your children into a bar (this is not a Reese Witherspoon movie after all). The popsicle store features dozens of healthy frozen treats your kids will love (and you will too). Unfortunately, my personal favorite, the Maple BACON Bourbon selection, is not currently in the menu rotation. Steel City is an affordable game day treat for the whole family and is just a 10 minute walk from the stadium (I am not a good judge of time).

Nick’s in the Sticks - Nicks Steakhouse, affectionately known to the Tide family as “Nick’s in the Sticks,” is a Crimson Tide tradition. It is not a fast in and out place. In fact, you may want to head over there now (no matter what time you are reading this) if you want to get a seat in the foreseeable future. You can order a couple of house specialty adult beverages while you wait. The BACON-wrapped filet is a house specialty and a local favorite. At some point, every Tide fan has to make this a destination.

The game day experience in Tuscaloosa is truly special. There is something for everyone of every age. Whether you are tailgating on the quad or seeing the town, be sure to tell everyone to look for Bama Hammer for all the best suggestions.

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