The Star's blog on college sports, featuring Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri
Big 12 food tournament: Vote for your favorite college grub
03/14/2013 11:30 AM
05/16/2014 9:28 PM
When it comes to picking the best basketball teams in the Big 12, a few favorites emerge. But picking the best college town eats in the conference is a bit tougher. So we’re going to let you decide the Big 12 Food Tournament championship.
The Star’s Kellis Robinett picked his favorite spot to chow down in each of the 10 Big 12 towns (It wasn’t easy: Plenty of other deserving options didn’t make the cut). We've seeded them according to their respective college's basketball finish.
Take a look at the descriptions, menu links and videos, then cast your vote for the winner using the poll at the right.
No. 10 TCU
Joe T. Garcia’s (Fort Worth, Texas) http://www.joets.com/
This Mexican restaurant is both tasty and iconic. The menu is small, but people like just about everything on it. The Family Style Dinner and fajitas are local favorites.
Cagle Steaks and BBQ (Lubbock, Texas) http://www.caglesteaks.com/
Some of the best ribeye steaks you will find in West Texas. As the restaurant claims, they are “melt in your mouth tender.”
No. 8 West Virginia
Morgantown Brewing Company (Morgantown, W.Va.) http://www.morgantownbrewing.com/
Most in the Big 12 are still discovering Morgantown, but visitors can’t go wrong by dining here. All the beer is brewed on site, and the burgers are solid.
The Salt Lick (Driftwood, Texas) http://www.saltlickbbq.com/
It’s technically just outside Austin, but that shouldn’t stop some of the best barbecue in the Lone Star State from being included. The meat is cooked over an open grill, not a smoker, and brisket, sausage, pork ribs, potato salad, cole slaw and bean are all served all-you-can-eat, family style. It’s also B.Y.O.B., making the long waits on weekends much more enjoyable.
George's (Waco, Texas) http://georgesrestaurant.com/
The Big O Chicken Fried Steak is the most famous item on the menu, but people also rave about their Crazy Wings and Big O beers.
Hickory Park (Ames, Iowa) http://www.hickoryparkames.com/
This place has everything. Barbecue, hamburgers, sandwiches, traditional dinners and desserts. Huge lines form to eat here on gamedays and weekends.
The Diner (Norman, Okla.) Urbanspoon website
The name says it all. This is a simple diner that serves diner food. But long lines form outside the door each morning. Locals and visitors alike enjoy the breakfast and lunch selections that were once featured on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives."
Eskimo Joe's (Stillwater, Okla.) http://www.eskimojoes.com/
There's a reason the shirts they sell are so popular. Joe's has long been the most famous restaurant in Stillwater. The burgers are good, but they serve a little bit of everything. Bill Self has said the "Fowl Thing," a chicken sandwich served with a pineapple ring, is his favorite meal.
So Long Saloon (Manhattan, Kan.) http://www.solongsaloon.com/
Tasty selection of both hamburgers and Buffalo hamburgers that range from the Saloon Burger to the Crank it Up Head South Burger. The Chipotle Raspberry Black Bean Dip is a must-order, and the pineapple beer is popular with K-State students.
The Wagon Wheel (Lawrence) Wagon Wheel's Facebook page
The iconic college dive serves up plenty of Wangburgers — a burger with a fried egg on it — and the connected pizza joint gives some variety. It's not gourmet; it is college. Come early to avoid the undergrads. Bonus points for a jukebox.