WVU/Big 12 Visitor's Guide Part I: Fine Dining

Jul 23, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; The Big 12 logo is projected on a wall during Big 12 Media Day at the Westin Galleria. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE

Greetings, curious travelers. It has come to the attention of us here at TSM that some of you will be coming to visit our fair state for a rousing game of collegiate level American Rules Football. Knowing this, we've construed a compilation of restaurants, public drinking establishments, and attractions of the Morgantown area more commonly known as Free Degree Land. Personally, hailing from the Mary Lou Retton Emporium and close to the home of Brother Saban in Pepperoni Rolls, my view will predominantly focus on the Morgantown area that you will visit for that assumed Friday-Sunday stay. If you so choose to explore the surrounding areas outside of Mon-Marion-Preston tri-county area or have any other questions regarding Motown, please feel free to ask or read the comments/tips that I trust other By-Godders will be happy to contribute.

This first part of the Welcome Caravan will cover my favorite local eateries around the area. If you just want to go to a regular chain/fast food restaurant, the University Town Center, Suncrest Town Center, and Patteson Drive (not a typo, it's Patteson) should suffice.

Boston Beanery

http://www.bostonbeanery.com/

Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/8ScIR

This is the kind of place you take your parents when they are in town visiting you and giving you that last bit of money before finals. The Beanery tries and does a pretty decent job of playing both the role of a nice sit down place and the Boston tavern bar area. They have just put in a handful of flat screens so you can watch Pitt lose in a very exciting Sun Bowl. It's about average price and has a strong bacon cheeseburger.

Tip: get the fries if they are available with the meal you order.

Double tip: get ranch with the fries. I don't know if ranch+fries is a WV thing, but you won't regret it.

Triple tip: There are two locations in Morgantown, but stick to the one on Patteson.


Varsity Club

http://www.thevarsityclubwv.com/

Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/6O8sn

Repeat after me: TVs, beer, waitresses, wings/burgers, WVU memorabilia on the walls

Varsity Club is the first of three sports bar type wing+beer places on this list. The major pros to Varsity Club are that it is right across the street from Milan Puskar Stadium. Due to it's location, you will see plenty of the coaching staff/administration eating and boozing on any given night after practice. Just saw Oliver Luck in there a few weeks ago throwing a couple back at the bar while a TV above him read "Andrew Luck with Pads in Training Camp."

The con of the location is that there is a really awkward parking lot. You have to pay attention to where you end up to not be in a towing zone. I've never seen anyone zoned away, but that wouldn't help your Morgantown experience.

Outside of location, tons of different kinds of beer and good wings/burgers. If you plan to eat there, let me know on here. It's a stones throw away from my apartment and I'm always down to be a tour guide for the price of one Blue Moon.


Kegler's

http://keglerssportsbar.com/

Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/zLvnV

Repeat after me: TVs, beer, waitresses, wings/burgers, WVU memorabilia on the walls

Kegler's is the second of the three local sports bar types except it has a bowling alley. Well, sort of. Suburban Lanes is right inside and connected to Kegler's so you can go and bowl right afterwards. I'm not completely sure of the relationship between the two businesses, but it's a cool addition to the atmosphere. Kegler's is much larger any of the other two sports bar and grille types which means many more TVs and you're not on top of one another. This place can rock when the Steelers/Ravens/Eagles/Penguins/Caps/Flyers are on.


Mario's Fishbowl

http://mariosfishbowl.biz/

Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/vBQi0

Repeat after me: TVs, beer, waitresses, wings/burgers, WVU memorabilia on the walls

The Fishbowl is one of those places that you have to go to when you are in Morgantown solely because it's tradition and the frosted fishbowl mugs. It's more towards the Downtown Morgantown area rather than the Evansdale/Suncrest, but it works if you are choosing to go downtown after and looking for a meal/pregame. Instead of a magnitude of WVU memorabilia, there are notes left by past visitors that act as full wallpaper. Size is comparable to Varsity Club, but the "old grads" prefer Mario's.


Tudor's Biscuit World

http://www.tudorsbiscuits.com/

Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/15ufI

I laugh every time I think of Tudor's because it encapsulates the state of West Virginia so well. Very polite/cute building and atmosphere, really good food, and it's horrible awful bad heart attack deathly fatal type stuff. You know it is going to take days off your life... but you're hungry, want breakfast, and want to do it right. Spencer and the gang stopped at one during the LSU game and adequately summed it up. I'm partial to the Mountaineer: hash brown, cheese, country ham, all inside two halves of a buttered biscuit. Do it.

Note: Mind the business hours. I think it closes at 1 or 2pm. I think it's their way of saying no one should be able to eat it three times a day.


Oliverio's

http://oliveriosristorante.com/

Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/KRz7z

The North-Central West Virginia region is very much influenced by the Italian heritage of the immigrants who came to work in the mines. As a product of this, we do Italian food pretty well. Oliverio's is a very good Italian restaurant located in the Wharf District downtown and, while pricey, very classy. Good food and a stock of wines. Because it is in the Wharf District, you can park in the parking garage right there and it will only be about a dollar. Oliverio's is a good place to get a nice sit down dinner and finish the night off with some ritz.


Colasessano's

http://www.colasessanos.com/

Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/cgkUZ

ENGAGE FAIRMONT NATIVE PROPAGANDA

As the Italian heritage I mentioned earlier, West Virginia has one certain delicacy that every visitor must try. The pepperoni roll is a staple of West Virginia culture and the best place to get one is Colasessano's. According to their website, "These world famous, fresh baked, golden brown buns are filled with strips of pepperoni, your favorite toppings and toasted to perfection." Toppings include provolone cheese and a kind of meaty sauce and just go get one. Do it. Seriously.

Side note: they also make some awesome Sicilian pizzas.

FAIRMONT NATIVE PROPAGANDA DEACTIVATED

Alright, those are my favorites. Next session will be public drinking establishments for the night before and after the game. As I said before, please, ask any question below and read the inevitable comments below. As for you, TSM, I didn't get around to Black Bear and Brew Pub. Go nuts.

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