Sunday, October 14, 2012

SEC Fan's Guide to Mizzou Baseball: A Weekend in CoMo

What's there to do in Columbia, MO (often referred to as CoMo) on a baseball weekend?

Take in some other sports action:  Mizzou Basketball is already in the post-season by the time baseball's conference schedule rolls around, but you may be lucky enough to catch some other sports scheduled in town - often within a short walk from Simmons Field
  • MU's track and softball fields are right behind the baseball field.  MU Softball is a perennial top-ranked team, and MU Track often has individual leaders in the national standings.

  • On certain weekends (especially during the annual Missouri Relays in late March), there can be baseball, softball and track going on simultaneously, with fans wandering back and forth between the venues, or watching the track meet between innings of the ballgames.

  • The Missouri state high school basketball and wrestling championship tournaments take place at the Mizzou Sports Park, with game after game scheduled throughout their respective weekends, which often coincide with MU Baseball weekends.
Places to go, things to do:  Sure, you can go to the mall, but why do the same things you can do back home?  CoMo has some unique entertainment venues to check out:
  • Ragtag Cinema , 10 Hitt Street, in downtown CoMo, is a nice little independent "art house" movie theater, featuring a lot of off-the-beaten track movies.  Alcoholic beverages are sold in their small cafe.
  • The Blue Note, 17 N. 9th Street, in downtown CoMo, has become a nationally known music venue, featuring a wide range of regional and national acts in every genre imaginable (and a few that aren't imaginable).

  • MoJo's, 1013 Park Avenue, in downtown CoMo, is a great little restaurant that also features a wide range of live music, majoring in blues and roots music.  
Columbia's unique dining opportunities.   Like any college town, CoMo has a plethora of chain restaurants and fast food joints.  But if you want the true CoMo experience, check out these places:
  • Booches, 110 N. 9th Street, in downtown CoMo, is a pool hall and restaurant that dates back to 1884.  Their cheeseburgers, which are served on a sheet of wax paper, have been listed in USA Today as among the best in the country.  It comes across as an unassuming place, but there's often a line stretching out on the sidewalk waiting to get in.

  • Shakespeare's Pizza, 225 S. 9th Street, in downtown CoMo (the original location) and 3304 Broadway Business Park Court (on the west end of CoMo), was named by Good Morning America as the Best College Hangout in the nation.  Serving unique pizzas since 1973.  It's a must-visit spot when you're in CoMo. The song "Whiskey Bottle," by Uncle Tupelo, is rumored to be about the city of Columbia as it makes specific reference to a sign which used be displayed on a Columbia tackle shop sign which read, "Liquor, Guns, and Ammo." The sign is now displayed at the downtown location of Shakespeare's

  • The Broadway Diner, 22 S. 4th Street, in downtown CoMo, is the place to stop for breakfast, even if breakfast is at 3 AM (they're open 11 PM to 2 PM daily).  For the truly hungry, there's nothing quite so delicious or filing as The Stretch, "a multi-tiered plate of hash browns topped with scrambled eggs, chili, cheddar cheese, green peppers and onions." 
  • Murry's, 3107 Green Meadows Way, is my recommendation if you're looking for a more upscale but affordable unique dining experience in CoMo.   Try the fried green pepper rings while you listen to live jazz.

  • Sparky's Homemade Ice Cream, 21 S. 9th Street, is a unique ice cream shop in downtown Columbia.  Sparky's offers something other than the usual ice cream fare.  You can order alcoholic ice cream drinks (a Guiness float, a White Russian shake, etc) and an ever changing assortment of ice cream flavors.  My favorite is the cinnamon ice cream, but I've also enjoyed the Les Bourgeois & Ghirardelli Chocolate, the Rum Raisin and Butterbeer flavors.  And check out the time Sparky's made the national news with one of their creations:  
♦ Also check out The SEC Guide to Missouri's Home Turf, which lists many good options for food and fun in CoMo.
When you're in Columbia, Mo., you definitely need to make it to Booches on 9th Street. A pool hall that serves the best burgers I've ever tasted. Cash only. Notable for the sign in the front that says "Closed Sunday, see you in church."
♦ Also check out the Columbia Daily Tribune's annual Our Town issue, with nearly everything you could possibly want to know about Columbia.

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