Back in Black in Blacksburg

Everyone has a place their soul calls home. For some it’s mom’s kitchen with that favorite childhood dish on the stove. Some poor bastards find it in a life’s work. Others find home at a bar, on the links, or in their baby girl’s eyes. Me? My home is nestled a hundred miles away from anything in the Blue Ridge mountains, out where the buses, planes and trains don’t run and I’m on my way. You guessed it, I’m going home to Virginia Tech.

You don’t come to Virginia Tech by accident. It’s 4-plus hours from DC, at least 2 from Charlotte and unless you have a private plane, the closest flight goes out of that massive aerodrome known as Roanoke Regional. Sports commentators have bitched about it for years. No, you have to plan to get to Blacksburg. And a plan I have.

If Blacksburg is a home, the bars and eateries are the individual rooms. And each place has an iconic dish, drink, or atmosphere.

Our first stop is Mike’s. Good old beautiful Mikes. Where the multiple Sam Adams pitchers, cheeseburgers and fries are quick, delicious and cheap. Ahhh… tastes like home! Mikes was decorated once in 1950. And the orange plastic seating, walls resplendent with faded Acropolis prints on the wall. The question is asked ‘Didn’t they used to have a deer’s head in here?’

Food in belly, we head to El Rodeo for their version of liquid evil affectionately known as the Texas Jumbo Margarita. Stating that we had a Texas Jumbo is a lot like the phrase ‘Ms. Peacock in the Lounge with the Revolver.’ I could tell you about the faux-Tex Mex orange/yellow decor or I could just give you the recipe

Texas Jumbo Margarita – Evil Style

  • One huge goblet.
  • One ice cube.
  • 4 ounces Tequilla
  • 1 ounce triple sec
  • 1 ounce mixer.

A trip to Top of the Stairs for a Rail – an unholy combination of cheap, plentiful, and diverse liquors that tastes just awful confirms our collective reservations on this roller coaster of an evening. On to Champs for beer and pool, and Underground for pitchers of Harp and fooseball then end the night with a stromboli from Alpha’s.

Heaven.

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