Thursday, August 18, 2016

Game Day Recipes

Written by Tori Ward, Marketing/PR Assistant 

The 2016 Louisiana Tech Football season is right around the corner, which means it won't be long before fans are flocking to Ruston to set up their tailgates and cheer on the Bulldogs. Everyone knows that great friends, food, and drinks are key to a successful tailgate. While we can't provide the friends, we can give you some easy and delicious game day recipes to make sure your tailgate goes off without a hitch. 

Cream Cheese Sausage Balls are great for an early day game, while Mini Muffulettas are a perfect afternoon snack. For those hot Louisiana game days, try the refreshing Blueberry Lemonade (which also brings some school spirit to the table). Find these tasty tailgating recipes below!

Cream Cheese Sausage Balls

Photo via

1 lb. spicy sausage, uncooked
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups Bisquick
4 oz cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400F. 
Mix all ingredients until well combined. Roll into 1-inch balls. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until brown.

Mini Muffulettas
Photo via
8 small buns
15 oz olive salad
8 thin slices deli ham
8 thin slices hard salami
8 thin slices provolone cheese

Heat the oven to 350F.
Lay out the bottoms and tops of the buns. Spread an equal amount of olive salad onto each half. Add ham, salami and provolone cheese to the bottom half of each bun. Wrap each sandwich in foil. Add the sandwiches to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, until warmed and the cheese has melted. Serve warm. Makes 8 servings. 

Blueberry Lemonade
Photo via: sprinklesomesugar

Blueberry Syrup 
3 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar

10 large lemons (2 cups of juice) 
6 cups water

Simple Syrup
1 cup granulated sugar 
1 cup water 


  1. In a medium-size saucepan on medium-low heat, stir blueberries and sugar together and allow the berries to cook down and start releasing their juices, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently. 
  2. Once blueberries have released a good bit of juice, mash them down and cook for another 5 minutes. Mash one last time and then strain blueberry syrup into a large measuring cup and set aside to cool down completely. This syrup can be made in advance and refrigerated if needed. 
  3. Squeeze all of your lemons into a large measuring cup or bowl. You should wind up with about 2 cups of lemon juice. Straining your lemon juice if desired. Pour lemon juice and water into a large pitcher along with blueberry syrup and stir. 
  4. In a small saucepan, whisk sugar and water together until all sugar is dissolved. Gradually add the simple syrup to your blueberry lemonade until it is sweetened to your liking. 1/2-3/4 cup is typical. Serve over ice with additional blueberries for garnish. 
For a grown-up version of this Blueberry Lemonade, add 1 1/2 cups of vodka. 

Happy tailgating and Go Dogs!

Tori Ward is a proud Louisiana native, born and raised in Shreveport, La. She is a Louisiana State University alumna and has a passion for all things PR. Tori is an avid movie watcher, coffee fanatic and lover of the outdoors. She is currently attending Louisiana Tech to pursue a master’s degree in business administration. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Locals Love It: RAW Restaurant

Written by Tori Ward, Marketing/PR Assistant

In continuing with our "Locals Love It" blog series, we're spotlighting RAW, a locally-owned Japanese restaurant that has become a culinary staple in Ruston since opening its doors in 2010.

Locals Love the Intimate Atmosphere
"Whether you are looking for a quiet romantic evening or just a place to relax this place has it all." - Jason B.

The atmosphere of RAW is undeniably unique. Positioned in the middle of historic Downtown Ruston, RAW's modern design and setting provides a sharp yet refreshing contrast to its surroundings. The restaurant is dimly lit inside, providing the perfect atmosphere for date night or a relaxing meal with friends. While the architecture and décor are sleek and contemporary, the restaurant maintains an intimate and quaint feel that locals can't seem to get enough of.

RAW Restaurant in Downtown Ruston

Locals Love the Fresh Menu
"Absolutely amazing sushi. Always fresh and always presentable." - Kelley H.

RAW's impressive and creative menu offers a wide assortment of sushi, as well as other options for those who aren't sushi lovers. RAW consistently delivers fresh and flavorful dishes made by highly-trained chefs who strive to make every meal a culinary experience. Several sushi rolls even have some local flair, like the Louisiana and Cajun rolls which feature crawfish as a main ingredient. If you're looking for a sushi suggestion, locals rave about the Tech Roll, a tempura-fried roll with crabmix, avocado, cream cheese and spicy mayo. 

Chef Special roll at RAW
Photo: Tammy B. Caudle

Locals Love the Personable Service
"The Chef's truly listen to what you like and don't like." - Tammy B.

Locals love that the RAW waitstaff is knowledgeable, friendly, and efficient. Not only do locals appreciate the stellar waitstaff, but the bartenders and chefs never fail to rack up major kudos for their work. Locals who frequent RAW will tell you that the sushi chefs go out of their way to learn about their customers' tastes. The chefs are also happy to take special sushi requests if you are a little more particular about your rolls.

RAW Sushi Chef making fresh rolls

Next time you're in the Ruston area, be sure to stop and experience this hidden gem in Downtown Ruston. RAW is located at 114 W. Park Ave. and is open on Tuesday-Saturday from 4-11pm.

Tori Ward is a proud Louisiana native, born and raised in Shreveport, La. She is a Louisiana State University alumna and has a passion for all things PR. Tori is an avid movie watcher, coffee fanatic and lover of the outdoors. She is currently attending Louisiana Tech to pursue a master’s degree in business administration

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Best Burgers in Ruston

Written by Tori Ward, Marketing/PR Assistant

Most people can agree that there's just nothing like a good burger. Here in Ruston, there's no shortage of great burgers to choose from. Whether you like your burger traditional, piled with bacon, or topped with a fried egg, there's a burger in Ruston to satisfy every craving. 

Take a look at the list we've compiled below featuring some of the best burgers in town (in no particular order). 

1. Claude's Burger at Dawg House Sports Grill
Dawg House is best known for their juicy burgers, having won the title of "Best Burgers in the Delta" several times. One of their signature burgers that has become a local favorite is Claude's Burger. In addition to traditional dressings, this burger comes with pepper jack cheese, bacon, and j
alapeños on your choice of white, wheat, or jalapeño cheese bread. 

Claude's Burger at Dawg House Sports Grill

2. Classic Burger at Portico Bar & Grill
Portico's classic burger never disappoints. This tasty burger is made with 100% CAB ground chuck and piled high with fresh tomato, lettuce, red onion, pickles & mayo on a brioche bun. Add bacon and a fried egg to take it to the next level. If you're dining with a friend who is also a burger lover, then take advantage of Portico's 2-for-1 burger night every Wednesday from 5-10pm. 

Classic Burger at Portico Bar & Grill

3. Ranch and Bacon Burger at Beau Vines Steakhouse
While Beau Vines is well known for their thick grilled steaks, they also make a mean burger. The Ranch and Bacon Burger puts a tasty twist on the classic burger with homemade ranch dressing and 
a stack of crispy bacon on top. 

4. Classic Burger at Scott's Catfish & Seafood
Some locals say this burger is one of the best-kept secrets in town. Scott's grills their 1/3-pound hamburger patties to perfection and serves them with all the traditional fixings. If you're looking for a deal, don't miss their Tuesday night special of 2 burgers for $10. 

Classic Burger at Scott's Catfish and Seafood

5. Invent Your Own Burger at Cheeburger Cheeburger
If you're feeling creative and want to build your own burger, then Cheeburger Cheeburger is the ideal spot, offering more than 8,721,000 burger combinations. You get the freedom to pick your burger size, how you want it cooked, and your preferred bun, cheese, and toppings. If you're feeling brave, take a shot at eating the Famous Pounder Burger; finish it and you'll get your picture on the wall! 

Invent your own burger at Cheeburger Cheeburger

6. Backyard BBQ Burger at Log Cabin Mesquite Grill
When it comes to grilling meat, Log Cabin has it down to a delicious science. For their Backyard BBQ Burger, they take a 1/2-pound burger and grill it with BBQ sauce, bacon, and cheddar cheese, then top it with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and grilled onions and bell peppers. Are you drooling yet? 

Backyard BBQ Burger with a side of Cajun roasted potatoes from Log Cabin 

7. MJ's Burger at Sundown Tavern
Locals love Sundown's classic 6-ounce burger dressed with mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and onions on a sesame seed bun. Take it up a notch by adding cheese, grilled onions, bacon, or chili to your burger.

8. Classic Cheeseburger at Ponchatolas
The cheeseburger at Ponchatoulas is always a solid pick. This 1/3-pound burger is seasoned and grilled to perfection and topped with lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, and mustard. Personalize your burger by adding grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, or bacon. For an extra kick, opt for their delicious 
jalapeño sourdough bun that comes lightly toasted. 

Classic Cheeseburger at Ponchatoulas

Tori Ward is a proud Louisiana native, born and raised in Shreveport, La. She is a Louisiana State University alumna and has a passion for all things PR. Tori is an avid movie watcher, coffee fanatic and lover of the outdoors. She is currently attending Louisiana Tech to pursue a master’s degree in business administration.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

5 Must-Visit PokéStops in Lincoln Parish

Written by Derek J. Amaya, guest blogger

If you find yourself Pokémon GO-ing through the Ruston, La. area, then be sure to visit these 5 PokéStops: 

1. Louisiana Tech University
The home of Bulldogs might want to rename itself as the home of PokéStops. Almost every single landmark on Louisiana Tech University’s campus has been deemed a PokéStop to refill on Pokéballs, potions and a few hidden surprises. More than 12,000 students attend Tech. Most of the student body grew up with Pokémon. With so many students playing the game, almost hourly a student places a Lure on a PokéStop to catch more Pokémon. Take a stroll through campus and find ’em all. While on the trail on Tech’s campus, take in the views of Lady of the Mist, the famous clock tower and several of the campus buildings to find Pokémon and PokéStops.

Rattata at Lady of the Mist on the LA Tech campus 

Pinsir spotted on the bricks near the LA Tech Student Center 

2. Grambling State University
There may be Tigers at Grambling State University, but a lot of rare Pokémon can be found on campus. With more than three gyms, one of which at Brown Hall’s entrance, Pokémon trainers will find plenty of special places on campus to catch ’em all. From the GSU Tiger at the entrance of campus to the Eddie Robinson Stadium, there are plenty of stops along campus to find Pokémon.

Staryu at Brown Hall on GSU's campus

3. Eddie G. Robinson Museum
Speaking of “Coach Rob” one of the PokéStops a sports fan might enjoy is the PokéStop at the Eddie G. Robinson Museum. Take a break from the hot weather and using up that phone data and stroll through the most visited museum in the state, according to the museum’s website. The museum is dedicated to the second most winningest head football coach in Division 1. Once finished, check out the other scenes and historic churches in the Grambling area for more PokéStops.

4. Railroad Park
Railroad Park is home to a beautiful fountain known to many Rustonites. The fountain used to be home to many fish — let’s bring back those fish, by the way — but now it’s home to many Pokémon instead. Right next to historic downtown Ruston, almost daily someone puts a lure at the fountain for 30 minutes of non-stop Pokémon attraction. The park also hosts concerts during Peach Festival and the Dog Days of Summer. But it’s also a place to relax and enjoy the sounds of the fountain and residents walking through our historic downtown. Remember to stop at one of downtown’s restaurants to grab some food and drinks while you’re trying be “the very best that ever was.”

Rattata at the fountain in Railroad Park in Downtown Ruston

5. The Dixie Theatre
Home to local artists and community theater programs, the Dixie Theatre is also home to a ton of Ruston Rattatas. Siting at the heart of downtown Ruston, the community theatre is a PokéStop worth the stop. Replenish those Pokéballs, get some potion and enjoy one of the many shows and art gallery’s this landmark has to offer.

Derek J. Amaya grew up a proud Southern gentleman in Metairie. He graduated from Louisiana Tech University and works for the Ruston Daily Leader. He loves the finer things like waiting for the Kansas City Southern train to pass when he has to be somewhere, Tech parking tickets and voicemails. Follow Derek on Twitter at @DerekAmaya or on Facebook.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Summer Steals: Thrifting in Ruston

Written by Tori Ward, Marketing/PR Assistant

Let's face it: between travel expenses and high electricity bills, summer can be a financially tight time. We're all looking to save a little cash where and when we can. However, with temperatures constantly on the rise, a new summer wardrobe can feel like its a necessity. If you fall into the category of having a small budget combined with a big desire to freshen up your summer wardrobe, then this is the blog for you!

An often underrated method of saving a little money is to turn to thirifting. Thrift shops are a perfect place to find clothes, shoes, books, movies, and other odds & ends that are in great, if not brand-new, condition. Luckily, there are several thrift and consignment stores in Ruston where you can score some great deals. We've included the best places for thrifting in Ruston below. 

Rolling Hills Thrift Store

Rolling Hills Thrift Store is know for its huge selection and variety of items. Rolling Hills carries everything from clothes and shoes to dishes, children's toys, books, and furniture. Did we mention that the prices are incredible? You can easily leave the store with a whole new outfit and a good summer read for under $10. Another big plus of this thrift store is that it's very tidy and organized. If you're looking for some great thrifting, then Rolling Hills is a must-visit spot. 

Racks upon racks of clothing at Rolling Hills Thrift Store

Grab a summer read from the great selection at Rolling Hills Thrift Store

One Wardrobe
One Wardrobe specializes in "recycled fashion" and carries an impressive assortment of clothing and accessories. While they mostly carry women's fashions, they do have a "for the guys" section as well. If you're looking for more upscale thrifting, One Wardrobe is the place for you. You can find jewelry, shoes, purses, cute tops, and even cocktail dresses. Be sure to check out One Wardrobe next time you're in Downtown Ruston!

One Wardrobe has a great selection of women's shoes 

Find recycled fashions for the guys at One Wardrobe
Cute summer looks available at One Wardrobe

WEAR EVER Resale & Thrift Boutique
Wear Ever is a resale shop that carries a wide assortment of items. Take your pick from clothing, shoes, accessories, furniture, home decor, and other home items. The furniture and home decor selection offers nicer items than you generally see in resale shops. Additionally, Wear Ever has a great selection of gently-worn clothing for every age, even offering some designer-label items. If you're looking to freshen up your summer wardrobe with great pieces at even better prices, visit Wear Ever!

Cute summer outfits available at Wear Ever
Great selection of purses and accessories at Wear Ever

Furniture selection at Wear Ever 

Next time you're in Ruston be sure to check out these great thrifting spots where you're sure to find some awesome items without breaking the bank. Happy thrifting!

Tori Ward is a proud Louisiana native, born and raised in Shreveport, La. She is a Louisiana State University alumna and has a passion for travel and tourism. Tori is an avid movie watcher, coffee fanatic and lover of the outdoors. She is currently attending Louisiana Tech to pursue a master’s degree in business administration.