Dig Baton Rouge

Champagne & Campaign

By Mark Clements
@mcleme9

Syracuse serves beer in the Carrier Dome!

Just wanted to get that out of the way before getting started. So no worries on sneaking in that fifth of whiskey you shoved in your boot.

And, even better, it’s a dome! So no 120-degree heat indexes this week.

After a dominating 45-21 daytime performance against Auburn last week, No. 8 LSU makes a rare trip up north to New York to take on 3-0 Syracuse for a noon Eastern kickoff.

It’s a mere 1,400 miles from Baton Rouge, but the Tigers are hoping their well-traveled fans can make it feel like home. Here’s a general guide on how to best utilize your time in the Empire State this weekend. 

DINING:

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

Courtesy Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
Courtesy Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

When the restaurant boasts itself as “world famous,” it’s no joke. The Dinosaur was voted as America’s best barbecue by ABC’s “Good Morning America” in 2009 and has taken home numerous other local awards in the years since. It doubles as a music venue and will have live shows both Friday and Saturday night. A Syracuse-based electric blues and classic rock band called Dr. Killdean will play Friday at 10 p.m. and a swamp-blues group called The Swamp Drivers is onstage Saturday. Grab a rack of ribs or a barbecue sandwich and enjoy the show.

Kitchen hours are Monday – Thursday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Sunday: noon to 10 p.m.

Syracuse Suds Factory

Everyone knows LSU fans like to drink, and the Suds Factory can quench that thirst. It was the first brewery in the city, founded in 1993, and still boasts one of the best beer selections in Syracuse. The Suds Factory will give fans a chance to sample some local craft brews, and you can even take a tour of the brewery on your visit. They also feature a full food menu with everything from chicken wings to sirloin steaks available.

Kitchen hours are 10:30 a.m. to midnight with a limited menu until close. They open at noon on Sundays.

ENTERTAINMENT

Destiny USA

Everyone can find something for them at this six-story shopping and entertainment complex. It’s ranked as the sixth-largest shopping center in the nation, boasting 20 retailers, 26 food options, and 13 entertainment venues. Along with the wide range of shops and restaurants, Destiny USA also features a mirror maze, laser tag, and go-karts among other activities. There’s also the World of Beer, a comedy club, and a Dave & Buster’s in the massive complex.

Open Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Sunday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

NIGHTLIFE

Clark’s Ale House

After being closed for four years, Clark’s Ale House re-opened last year in Syracuse. It’s regarded as the first true “beer bar” in the city with 35 different beers on tap, typically local craft brews or hard-to-find imports. Clark’s also has a food menu, highlighted by its famous roast beef sandwich. The venue has a unique atmosphere with no TVs or music in the entire venue, making good beers and good conversation the focal point of the night.

Open Monday – Saturday: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday: Noon to 8 p.m.

Al’s Wine and Whiskey Lounge

Courtesy of Al's Wine and Whiskey Lounge
Courtesy of Al’s Wine and Whiskey Lounge

Al’s boasts itself as the premiere bar in downtown Syracuse and offers a wide selection of whiskey and wine from around the world. It’s a more like an upscale bar, with drink selections complimented by artisan cheeses, cured meats, paninis, and more. Al’s also has a good selection of craft beers and often hosts live music entertainment at night. Lounge with a glass of whiskey and soak in the cool scenery and good music or walk around and shoot pool while enjoying a fine wine or beer. Al’s can be what you make it.

Open Monday – Friday: 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday: 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday: 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.

TAILGATING

With the Carrier Dome being located right in the middle of a jam-packed campus, the Syracuse gameday scene is often several smaller tailgates sprinkled throughout campus. Parking near campus will likely run you between $10 and $20, but once you’re parked, soak in the scenery of the city downtown. There are also several shuttle services to nearby suburbs if you happen to be staying outside of the city. The early noon kickoff doesn’t give too much time for a full tailgate experience, but if you do plan on getting out there, you shouldn’t have too many issues finding a good spot to post up for some pre-game activities.

The Carrier Dome in all its orange, glowing glory.
The Carrier Dome in all its orange, glowing glory.

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