Ken Eats Gainesville

The most wonderful time of the year is fast approaching. That’s right, I’m talking about football season. There’s nothing like the smell of grills firing up, RVs and campers filling the lawns throughout campus, crowds at The Swamp, and of course our Gators. But if you’re not at the game, and don’t feel like entertaining your rowdy friends on Game Day, there are a plethora of things happening every football weekend and a wide variety of ways to watch the game.

Swamp Head Brewery hosts their weekly Football Fridays the night before each game. The festivities usually include live music, food trucks, and limited beer releases. The party typically starts at 5PM and runs until 11PM. If the brewery is not your scene, head downtown for a variety of dining options that include Dragonfly Sushi, Mojo Hogtown BBQ, The Top, Big Lou’s, V Pizza, and Crane Ramen. For cocktails, check out the bar at Dragonfly Sushi, Sidecar at V Pizza, and The Dime. Gainesville’s first Cuban-inspired cocktail bar, Madrina’s, will also be open this fall featuring the venerable TJ Palmieri (formerly of 2nd Street Speakeasy).

On Game Day, places like First Magnitude Brewing Company will show the game on a 12-foot projection screen while their tap room is open for business. While places like Buffalo Wild Wings and The Social in Midtown will also show the game on their big screens, if I’m going out, I much prefer to watch the game at Loosey’s in Haile for a more relaxed atmosphere or grilling up some Korean BBQ at Bequeholic so I can stuff my face with meaty goodness while I watch my Gators.

This is shaping up to be a great season, with recruiting picking up, exciting new coaches, and a schedule full of great home games. Coach McElwain and his squad will once again set their eyes on Atlanta and beyond, and prove the analysts wrong. We’ve got some explosive playmakers this year with guys like Kadarius Toney and Dre Massey adding some shiftiness to the offense, a linebacker corp with a mean streak, and a solidified offensive line. I could go on and on, but I write about food and not football. So no matter where you choose to watch the game, Go Gators!!!

By Ken Peng

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