Well Billy, here’s the thing. The Grove is what it is. I hate how compact it is and absolutely abhor the ban on open flames and the enforcement of “open containers laws” (whatever the hell that is), but Ole Miss fans enjoy it. And it was pretty damn easy to enjoy it as a visitor who showed up with a little too much alcohol and gorged on Chick-Fil-A (sidenote: if you can’t cook on-site and have to cater, at least do it big like our brothers at Red Cup Rebellion and get the 100-count tray of Chick-Fil-A nuggets). The Grove was a spectacle all the same but for those five or six hours (shoutout to the Wendy’s in Grenada for having the actual worst service ever and keeping us for an extra hour) I put my pretense of what a tailgate should be and tried to enjoy the grove. Now that I’m back in BR with the Grove on my mind it makes me love LSU’s laissez-faire approach to tailgating. You want to fry a turkey at the foot of the pre-historic campus Indian mounds? Go right on ahead. You should definitely keep a pallet of chafing fuel in direct sunlight. A keg? Why would you not have one? It’s your tailgate space, put up any kind of tent you want my dude.
Those are my thoughts on The Grovegating. It comes in at 225 words on the dot, which is nowhere nearly long-winded enough to be an Adam post. So I’d like to pivot to talk about the real highlight of the trip, chicken on a stick.
The scene: it’s post-game, Zach and I have walked back to the Grove to pick our bags and made the Hobbit-long journey back to the truck while listening to the Astros win their first AL pennant. We sat through the dreadful Oxford-post game traffic when we both realized something: we were on the verge of starvation and Zach needed contact solution. So we stopped off anywhere along the way that might have contact solution. The first place was a Chevron station, which turned out to be the infamous chicken on a stick place. We live by the mantra of “don’t let your memes be dreams”, so of course we stopped in and got two with a side of two corn dogs, because corn dogs are good, especially when you’re coming down off of a drunk. Much like any good food joint, they didn’t get our order right and gave us a Hot Pocket equivalent instead, which was also good. But we did get some chicken on a stick, and here are some notes on that:
- It doesn’t look like much, but that is a lot of meat.
- Like I’d say the amount of chicken they crammed on that stick is equivalent to a three piece meal.
- They fit so much chicken on it not due to length but by width. It takes a solid three bites to eat the chicken around the stick and those are big chunks.
- As far as gas station chicken goes, it was seasoned and spiced pretty well. It’s not like Popeye’s spicy, but it has plenty of flavor to it. For what it is, it has kick.
- The breading was actually really good. It wasn’t so crispy and hard that it could pass as fried bark nor was it soft from sitting under a heat lamp.
- Gonna be honest, I didn’t even look at the price but two chicken on a sticks and two Hot Pockets for Zach and I cost me 12 bucks so it probably wasn’t that expensive.
- All told, is it so much better than anything I have ever eaten from KFC.
- A bronzed version of it should be the Magnolia Bowl trophy.
The Chicken On A Stick Trophy is awarded annually to the winner of the Ole Miss-LSU football rivalry. The trophy originated in 2018 after co— Adam Henderson (@AdamATVS) October 22, 2017
And here are some notes from Zach, the guy with actual culinary taste:
I have vague recollections and descriptions.
He was the one driving there and back. Cool, sweet.
Verdict: Absolutely worth it, especially if you’re making your way back home after seeing an LSU running back put up 250 on Ole Miss. I can’t wait to play for The Chicken On A Stick Trophy in 2018.