Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Loyal Blue Weekends: A New Gameday Tradition

Written by Tori Ward, Marketing/PR Assistant

There are few things we like more than Louisiana Tech Football season here in Ruston. It’s a special and fun time when students, alumni, and locals all come together to socialize, eat great food and, most importantly, cheer on the Bulldogs. Different players and coaches have come and gone, but one thing always remains the same: Louisiana Tech fans’ loyalty. 

For the 2016 football season, Tech fans are embracing a new and exciting LA Tech football tradition: Loyal Blue Weekends. The City of Ruston has partnered with the Ruston Lincoln CVB and the Louisiana Tech Alumni Association to bring fans a whole new home-game experience that you absolutely won’t want to miss. 

Loyal Blue Weekends take place every home-game weekend and feature family activities, spirit groups, live music, and more football fun. 

LA Tech Cheerleaders and some Bulldog fans participate in cheers
Photo credit: Buie Photography

Loyal Blue Weekends kick off on Friday night in Downtown Ruston, where all football fans are invited to come Rock the Railroad. Starting at 5:30pm in Railroad Park, there will be kids’ activities, including inflatables and face painting. At 6pm Champ and the LA Tech spirit groups will get the crowd pumped up with some fun and interactive performances. Families will definitely want to take full advantage of these fun activities!

After you get your dose of school spirit from Champ and the crew, stick around for some great live music from 6:30-8:30pm. There will be a different band playing every Loyal Blue Weekend, so you definitely won’t want to miss any of the Rock the Railroad events! This is also a great time to visit local shops and grab a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants in Downtown Ruston.

Grab some cotton candy from the Social Bites cotton candy cart while you're downtown
Photo credit: Buie Photography

But the fun doesn’t stop there! Everyone is invited to come watch a movie in the Quad on LA Tech’s campus after the band wraps up at 8:30pm. Oh, and if we haven’t mentioned it already, all of these activities and events are totally free!

The festivities continue on Saturday, as fans are encouraged to shop and eat in downtown before the game. Avoid game day traffic and stadium parking by leaving your vehicle downtown and catching the Tech Trolley at Railroad Park, which transports fans to the stadium free of charge. The trolley will run continuously 2 hours prior to kickoff, giving fans plenty of time to tailgate, and 1 hour after the game. Still need tickets? Purchase them here.

Join us in Downtown Ruston for Loyal Blue Weekend!
Photo Credit: Buie Photography

As you can see, game-day weekends are being taken to a whole new level here in Ruston, La., and we hope you’ll join us for all the fun! There’s definitely no better way to gear up for LA Tech football games than by coming together to enjoy family activities, live music, and some serious school spirit. We’ll see y’all in Railroad Park, Go Dogs!

Rock the Railroad Dates: Sept. 9, 30, Oct. 28, Nov. 11
LA Tech Football Home Games: Sept. 10, Oct. 1, 6, 29, Nov. 12*

*Homecoming Game

Tori is a proud Louisiana native and social media nerd. She has a passion for travel, food, and all things related to tourism promotions. Tori is an avid movie watcher, coffee fanatic, and lover of the outdoors. Still want to know more? Head over to her website

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Gameday 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. 

We have a recipe for Cream Cheese Sausage Balls, which are great for an early day game, as well as a recipe for Mini Muffulettas, which are a perfect afternoon snack. For those hot Louisiana game days, we have a recipe for a 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 is a proud Louisiana native and social media nerd. She has a passion for travel, food, and all things related to tourism promotions. Tori is an avid movie watcher, coffee fanatic, and lover of the outdoors. Still want to know more? Head over to her website 

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 is a proud Louisiana native and social media nerd. She has a passion for travel, food, and all things related to tourism promotions. Tori is an avid movie watcher, coffee fanatic, and lover of the outdoors. Still want to know more? Head over to her website

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 Ponchatoulas
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 is a proud Louisiana native and social media nerd. She has a passion for travel, food, and all things related to tourism promotions. Tori is an avid movie watcher, coffee fanatic, and lover of the outdoors. Still want to know more? Head over to her website