Tasty Tailgate: Surcheros’ Guacamole

Luke Christian (AB ’01) founded Surcheros, a Tex-Mex chain known for fresh food and friendly service, in 2007. The restaurant has locations throughout the Southeast, including an Athens, Georgia location that opened in 2022.

We’ve partnered with Luke, who was also a member of the 2018 class of UGA Alumni Association 40 Under 40 honorees, to share Surcheros’ original guacamole recipe to help you take your tailgate to the next level. This fresh, chunky guacamole is sure to be a game day crowd pleaser–and only takes a few minutes to make!

Surcheros’ Guacamole

Makes approximately 1 quart


5 avocados

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon minced fresh jalapenos

1/3 cup lime juice

1 cup diced yellow onions

1 cup diced tomatoes

½ cup chopped cilantro


  1. Remove stem from avocados, then cut in half and remove pits.
  2. Scoop out pulp into a bowl with a spoon.
  3. Add salt, fresh jalapeño and lime juice. Smash mixture with potato masher, but leave chunky.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and fold with a spatula until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
  5. If not serving immediately, cover with plastic wrap so no air is in contact with the guacamole. Guacamole will stay fresh for up to three days in the fridge.

Tasty Tailgating: Southern Belle Farm’s Strawberry Cake

Everybody knows that one of the most important parts of any successful tailgate is delicious food. To help you set up the football buffet of your dreams, we’ve partnered with UGA alumni experts to share some of their favorite game day recipes.  

First up is Easy Strawberry Cake from the Carter family inspired by the bakery at Southern Belle Farm. This sweet treat comes together using a surprising ingredient–boxed cake mix!  

Southern Belle Farm is in Henry County, Georgia, and has been run by the Carters for five generations. The owner, James Carter (BSA ’69, MS ’73) and his son, Jake Carter (BBA ’03) are UGA alumni. 


Easy Strawberry Cake

Makes 16 servings

Total time: 40 minutes



15.25 oz box white cake mix

3 oz box strawberry Jello

1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen and mashed or finely chopped)

¾ cup vegetable oil

½ cup whole or 2% milk

4 large eggs at room temperature

Strawberry Cream Cheese Icing:

8 oz cream cheese at room temperature

½ cup butter at room temperature

5 to 6 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

¼ cup strawberries (fresh or frozen and mashed or finely chopped, drained)


For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly spray pan(s) with nonstick spray or Wilton cake release.
  2. Add cake mix, eggs, milk and vegetable oil to a mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer and mix well. Mix in the 1 cup of strawberries and the strawberry Jello powder.
  3. Mix 3 minutes, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl a couple of times.
  4. Divide the batter evenly among two 9-inch rounds, three 8-inch rounds, or one 9 by 13-inch baking pan. Bake for 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack. Let cool completely before frosting.

For the icing:

  1. Beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add the sugar one cup at a time to the mixture, then add heavy cream and strawberries and incorporate completely.
  2. Remove the domed tops of the cake with a cake leveler or large serrated knife.
  3. If making a layered cake, place one layer of cake on a serving plate and spread about 1 cup of frosting over the top in an even layer before topping with the other cake round. For a three-layered cake, add another cup of frosting and the final layer of cake.
  4. Frost the outside of the cake using an offset spatula to get an even layer.

Away Game Guide: Georgia Tech

UGA’s in-state rivalry game against Georgia Tech—or “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate,” to those who have experienced the heated rivalry—will be in Atlanta this year on Nov. 25. If you’re traveling to the ATL for the game, here’s a guide to all the best hotels, restaurants and attractions for your weekend in the biggest city in the South.  

Where to stay 

The Hampton Inn is the closest hotel to the Georgia Tech campus and makes getting to the stadium a breeze on game day. The Sonesta Select Atlanta is also convenient to Bobby Dodd Stadium, and many rooms have views of the city’s iconic skyline. 

For a luxury option, The Georgian Terrace, in the heart of Atlanta, is a stunning Southern interpretation of a Parisian hotel. The historic hotel was the location of the premiere of “Gone with the Wind,” and F. Scott Fitzgerald stayed there soon after its opening in 1911. 

Designed in the Beaux Arts style, the Georgian Terrace is a vision of timeless elegance in the city’s landscape. (Photo: The Georgian Terrace)

What to eat

The Varsity is one of the most iconic symbols of Atlanta and is close to the Georgia Tech campus. Even though the Athens location closed, you can still enjoy this game day tradition before heading to the stadium. What’ll ya have? 

The Varsity has been family owned and operated since 1928. (Photo: The Varsity)

Antico is a newer local favorite: a chain offering authentic Neapolitan pizzas and calzones. Their Georgia Tech location is part of a family of restaurants and cafes called “Little Italia”—there’s a bar, panini and pasta shop and gelateria right next door. 

Mary Mac’s Tea Room is another local standby, serving up classic Southern comfort foods since 1945. The restaurant is the city’s only remaining “tea room,” a title used by enterprising female restaurant proprietors in the South in the days before women business owners were more commonplace. 

The iconic restaurant has welcomed celebrities, leaders and politicians of all kinds to its dining room over the years, from President Jimmy Carter to Beyoncé. 

For breakfast, head over to the Silver Skillet, a ’50s-style diner that’s been featured in a long list of movies and TV shows because of its retro atmosphere. Their hot breakfasts are so legendary that Guy Fieri featured the diner on his hit show “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.” 

On game day

Sports & Social’s over-30-feet-tall TV screen, interactive games and extensive food and drink menu make it a great place to gather for the game with friends and family. The two-level space is perfect for watching the Dawgs play even if you don’t have a ticket, and game day table reservations can be made in advance to ensure you and your crew have a place to sit. 

Eleventh Street Pub is closer to the stadium and serves up something to please just about every palate. They offer pub classics like burgers and wings as well as upscale dishes, including their garlicky roasted mussels, arancini rice balls or steak frites.  

More Atlanta attractions

Atlanta is home to the largest aquarium in the United States, the World of Coke, the College Football Hall of Fame and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, all of which are located within walking distance from one another near Centennial Olympic Park. 

Visitors to Atlanta can also explore the city by walking, biking or taking a scooter along the BeltLine, a 22-mile railroad corridor turned into trails and lined with parks, public art, restaurants and other businesses. Make a stop at Ponce City Market, a large retail and dining center complete with Skyline Park, a rooftop arcade with views of the city. 

Skyline Park has vintage amusements, games, minigolf and refreshments at its rooftop location. (Photo: Skyline Park)

Not traveling to Atlanta and looking to connect with Dawgs in your own area? Find your local UGA alumni chapter and cheer on the Dawgs with fellow alumni at a game-watching party near you.


Away Game Guide: Tennessee

If you’re headed to Rocky Top this year to cheer on the Dawgs in their annual tilt with the Tennessee Volunteers on Nov. 18, here’s a guide for where to stay, eat, and sightsee in the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains. 

Where to stay

The Graduate Hotel Knoxville is a boutique hotel with eclectic, locally-inspired décor. Their restaurant and bar, Saloon 16, is owned by Peyton Manning, who is frequently spotted there by patrons. The hotel chain has locations in college towns around the country—including Athens! 

Saloon 16’s Western-inspired decor was created in partnership with Peyton “The Sheriff” Manning. (Photo: The Graduate Knoxville)

The Oliver Hotel in downtown Knoxville is located in a historic building above Tupelo Honey, a regional chain restaurant known for delicious fried chicken and Southern favorites. For a luxurious experience, the grand Tennessean Hotel offers electric bikes to guests so they can explore Knoxville’s beautiful outdoor scenery with ease. 

Where to eat

Calhoun’s on the river serves barbecue and other casual American foods in their waterfront location in Knoxville’s historic district. The restaurant is accessible by boat and even has its own dock. 

Enjoy riverside barbecue on Calhouns’ outdoor deck. (Photo: Calhouns)

The Market Square district has many restaurants, bars and shops all within walking distance of one another. Cafe 4, located in the heart of Market Square, has an extensive list of cocktails made with syrups, shrubs, and mixes prepared in-house. The restaurant was part of Knoxville’s urban revitalization and has been dishing out American classics with a Southern flair and locally-roasted coffee for over 10 years.  

The Tomato Head, another Market Square favorite, serves fresh-made pizzas, sandwiches, cocktails and mocktails. The restaurant hosts monthly exhibits to support local artists and serves as a venue to musical acts, poetry readings, and performance art. 

On game day

Even if you don’t have a ticket, you can still watch the game alongside fellow Dawgs at a sports bar or restaurant in the area. 

The Hill Bar & Grill has views of the Sunspot and World’s Fair Park from its patio. They’ve won multiple awards for their wings, which have been voted best in Knoxville. 

Fieldhouse Social is a football-inspired bar and eatery with a massive TV perfect for watching the game.  

Knoxville attractions

The World’s Fair Park, initially created for the 1982 World’s Fair Exhibition with the theme “Energy Turns the World,” is one of the city’s most recognizable attractions. In addition to a large lawn and amphitheater, visitors can tour the Sunsphere, a sculptural tower and observation deck with views of the city. 

Maple Hall, a boutique bowling hall located in the historic J.C. Penney building, is one of the city’s most unique attractions. Upstairs, guests can enjoy craft drinks in the cozy cocktail lounge after they play. 

Maple Hall’s 11-lane bowling area is equipped with leather couches, a full bar, HDTVs from every angle and relaxing lounge areas. (Photo: Maple Hall)

Not making the trip to Knoxville and looking to connect with Dawgs in your own area? Find your local UGA alumni chapter and cheer on the Dawgs with fellow alumni at a game-watching party near you. 


Away Game Guide: Florida

The Georgia-Florida game, held annually in Jacksonville, Florida, is one of the most highly anticipated rivalry games in college football. If you’re headed to Jacksonville this year to cheer on the Dawgs, here’s a guide from fellow Bulldogs James Hopkins (BBA ’03) and Suzie Hutto (BBA ’06) for where to stay, eat, and sightsee. 

Where to stay

Suzie said staying downtown in the San Marco area puts you within walking distance of many of her favorite restaurants. She said the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront is the closest hotel to the stadium. 

If you’re hoping to spend some time at Jacksonville’s beaches, James said The Margaritaville Beach Hotel and Springhill Suites Jacksonville Beach Oceanfront are along the beach and are still fairly close to downtown. 

James advised against driving during the game weekend because of heavy traffic downtown, and he suggested focusing on seeing one part of the city at a time instead of trying to bounce all over town in a day. His favorite form of game day transportation? Water taxi or rickshaw! 

Where to eat

Suzie and James both enjoy visiting some of the city’s rooftop bars and restaurants. For an elegant atmosphere, Suzie recommends Cowford Chophouse, which has views of the Main Street Bridge. For a more casual night out, she suggests the seafood and steaks at River and Post. 

“They have a great happy hour,” Suzie said. “I love their ahi tuna.” 

River and Post’s rooftop bar boasts stunning views of the city. (Photo: River and Post)

Estrella Cocina is one of James’ go-tos. The trendy Mexican restaurant and bar has a rooftop with views of the city, and James described it as “hip” and “very chic.” 

For breakfast, James prefers Maple Street Biscuit Company. The chain’s original restaurant is located in Jacksonville and specializes in Southern-style biscuit sandwiches. Maple Street is a local hotspot, so for a quicker option James says to hit up Foxtail Coffee Co.  

Near the beach, Suzie enjoys eating at The Local for its live music and grabbing late-night Mexican eats at the Flying Iguana. She and James raved about the restaurant’s guacamole, which is prepared tableside. 

The Local’s globally inspired menu includes everything from hot chicken and waffles to tuna poké tacos. (Photo: The Local)

On game day

In addition to tailgates surrounding the stadium, Suzie and James suggest trying some of Jacksonville’s breweries before the game. 

Intuition Aleworks is a brewery near the stadium where the Jacksonville Alumni Chapter has held events in the past. James likes visiting their walk-up counter and getting a beer to-go. 

Wicked Barley Brewery has a dock—James says people can even kayak straight to it! If you don’t have a ticket for the game itself, the breweries are a great place to stay and watch with other fans. 

Wicked Barley Brewery sits on the banks of Goodby’s Creek and has a large outdoor beer garden. (Photo: Wicked Barley Brewing Company)

Jacksonville attractions

If you have some extra time before or after the game, there are plenty of places to explore in and around Jacksonville. 

James and Suzie both recommend shopping at St. Johns Town Center, an outdoor mall with a range of luxury shops and restaurants.  

“That’s where I do all my shopping,” Suzie said. “They just got a Gucci store.” 

Jacksonville has a large brewery scene, and many of the breweries are family-friendly. Suzie likes Strings Sports Brewery, which is located on Main Street. James enjoys Bold City, which is in the Riverside neighborhood downtown. 

Not making the trip to Jacksonville and looking to connect with Dawgs in your own area? Find your local UGA alumni chapter and cheer on the Dawgs with fellow alumni at a game-watching party near you. 


Home Game Guide: Athens

Fall is just around the corner—which means it’s almost time for the Dawgs to hunker down Between the Hedges once again. If you’re traveling to Athens for a home game this season, here’s a guide to all the best hotels, restaurants and attractions for your weekend in the Classic City. 

Where to stay

UGA’s very own Center for Continuing Education and Hotel is a convenient place to stay, just steps from Myers Quad and an easy walk to the stadium. Fun fact: the hotel has a dedicated suite for Uga to stay in on game days—maybe you’ll pass by him on the way to your room. 

If you’d like a boutique hotel experience, The Graduate Athens may be just the place for you. Graduate hotels are located in college towns across the country, each with their own quirky decorative style. 

The Graduate Athens has its own coffee shop and a bar, restaurant and music venue. (Photo: Graduate Athens)

What to eat

Athens has a renowned and diverse restaurant scene. Check out Classic City mainstays downtown like The Grill, a 50s-style diner, or Dawg Gone Good BBQ, a hole-in-the-wall barbecue joint. 

Those looking for a taste of Athens’ fine dining options could head to The National, a Mediterranean-inspired favorite founded by UGA alumnus Peter Dale (ABJ ’99). Peter also owns Seabear Oyster Bar and co-owns Condor Chocolates and Maepole, a counter-service health food restaurant.  

On Sundays, brunch options abound downtown at Mama’s Boy, Trappeze Pub and South Kitchen and Bar. Plan for long waits at many restaurants, but know that the food will be worth it. 

Mama’s Boy’s made-from-scratch breakfasts have been written about in Oprah Magazine, Southern Living, Sports Illustrated and more. (Photo: Mama’s Boy)

On game day

Before the game, cheer on the Redcoat Band, cheerleaders, players and coaches as they enter Sanford during the Dawg Walk, which happens approximately two hours before kickoff at Gate 10 of the stadium. Show up early and you can watch the Redcoat drum line perform a concert before the walk. 

Even if you don’t have a ticket to the game, there are plenty of places in Athens to enjoy the game day atmosphere. Tailgaters surround most of the UGA campus, and big-screen viewing of UGA games is available downtown at both Paloma Park and the Georgia Theatre. If you’d like to stay on campus, the Tate Theater inside the Tate Student Center also screens football games. 

After a Dawgs win, make sure to celebrate by ringing the Chapel Bell on North Campus. 

The Georgia Theatre shows most games on their big screen throughout the season, although you must be 21 or older to enter the venue. (Photo: Georgia Theatre)

More Athens attractions

In addition to UGA sports, Athens has lots of opportunities for cultural exposure and outdoor adventure. Explore Athens’s history as a musical hub by taking the Athens Music Walk of Fame downtown, or pay a visit to the Georgia Museum of Art, which features traveling exhibitions plus an eclectic permanent collection including a sculpture garden. 

Enjoy nature by visiting Bear Hollow Zoo, a free zoo of non-releasable, rehabilitated wildlife, or walking the trails of the sprawling State Botanical Garden of Georgia. 

There’s a lot to see in the Classic City! Not making the trip to Athens and looking to connect with Dawgs in your own area? Find your local UGA alumni chapter and cheer on the Dawgs with fellow alumni at a game-watching party near you.


Away Game Guide: Vanderbilt

If you’re headed to Music City this year to cheer on the Dawgs when they meet the Vanderbilt Commodores on Oct. 14, here’s a guide from fellow Bulldog David Fabozzi (AB ’09) for where to stay, eat, and sightsee. 

Where to stay

David suggests renting houses or condos in the 12South area, a walkable neighborhood with many local boutiques and restaurants. If you prefer a boutique hotel experience, The Joseph is in the heart of downtown, just a block from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. 

If you’re looking for a more affordable option, David recommends staying at one of the two Hampton Inn locations in the West End area, near the Vanderbilt University campus. 

Where to eat

Jack’s Bar-B-Que is a Nashville institution, with award-winning sauces, smoked meats and sides served out of their three locations around downtown Nashville. Another favorite of David’s is Assembly Food Hall, a multi-story space with over 30 bars and restaurants. 

Jack’s Bar-B-Que on Broadway is one of the city’s most recognizable restaurants. (Photo: Jack’s Bar-B-Que)

“This is great for indecisive eaters with an appetite,” he said. 

For dinner, David likes heading to Kayne Prime Steakhouse, grabbing a slice at MAFIAoZA’S or trying tapas and fine wines at Barcelona Wine Bar. 

For brunch the day after the game, David recommends any of the omelets at Noshville, a New York style delicatessen. 

On game day

The Nashville Chapter of the UGA Alumni Association hosts their own BYOB tailgate in the Holiday Inn parking lot next to the stadium.  

David said that watch parties are located at two bars in town, The Valentine on Broadway and Party Fowl in Cool Springs. 

The Valentine has three floors and a rooftop patio, each with their own themed decor. (Photo: The Valentine)

Nashville attractions

Nashville is known around the globe for its legendary music scene, and there are plenty of attractions in the city to immerse visitors in the city’s music and culture. David suggests paying a visit to Robert’s Western World, an old-fashioned country music bar, the Johnny Cash Museum and a few of the Broadway bars.  

“Broadway will get crazier as the day goes on,” he advised. “Go early, enjoy it, then branch out.” 

Beyond its music scene, the city has beautiful parks and historic homes to explore. Tourists can wander the Parthenon in Centennial Park, stroll around Percy Priest Lake, tour Andrew Jackson’s home, The Hermitage, or enjoy a wine and bourbon tasting at Belle Meade, a historic home and gardens. 

The Parthenon is a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens. (Photo: Metro Parks Nashville)

Fans of Tennessee whiskey can tour a number of Nashville distilleries, including Nelson’s Green Brier, Jack Daniel’s, George Dickel and Pennington Distilling Company. 

Not making the trip to Nashville and looking to connect with Dawgs in your own area? Find your local UGA alumni chapter and cheer on the Dawgs with fellow alumni at a game-watching party near you. 


Away Game Guide: Auburn

The Georgia-Auburn game will be held in Auburn, Alabama, on September 30. If you’re traveling to Auburn for the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry, here’s a guide from fellow Dawg Megan Kelley (AB ’11) with all the best places to stay, eat and sightsee. 

Where to stay

The Hotel at Auburn University provides luxury accommodations and is located near the Auburn University campus.  

If you’re looking to stay in downtown Auburn, The Collegiate Hotel could be another great option. This boutique hotel is home to Auburn’s first elevator and has a rooftop bar and wraparound porch—perfect for enjoying views of the city. 

The city of Opelika is less than 20 minutes away and is also home to a number of hotels, restaurants and attractions, including the Auburn Marriott Opelika Resort & Spa at Grand National. 

The Auburn Mariott’s large swimming pool is surrounded by the golf course. (Photo: Auburn Mariott Opelika Resort and Spa)

Where to eat

Megan’s all-time favorite restaurant is Acre, a Southern-inspired fine dining pick with thoughtfully sourced ingredients and house-made charcuterie. The head chef, David Bancroft, is an “Iron Chef” Showdown Winner. 

Megan also enjoys David’s more casual Texas-style smokehouse, Bow & Arrow. The restaurant has plenty of parking and an extensive drinks menu.

A barbecue spread at Bow & Arrow. (Photo: Bow & Arrow)

A trip to Auburn isn’t complete without a stop at Toomer’s Drugs for their famous, fresh-squeezed lemonade. This historic drugstore and soda fountain is beloved in Auburn and sells lunch, ice cream and gifts in addition to their iconic drink.

Toomer’s lemonade, an iconic sweet-tart treat. (Photo: Toomer’s Drugs)

On game day

Even if you don’t plan to tailgate, there are lots of places to gather with other fans before the game. The Plains Taproom in downtown Auburn is the city’s first self-pour restaurant, with pay-per-ounce beers and a full menu of shareable, upscale pub foods. 

Red Clay Brewing Company is in Opelika. Their TVs and pizza menu make it a great place to watch the game if you don’t have a ticket. 

Resting Pulse Brewing Company, just a minute walk away from Red Clay, is located in downtown Opelika and has a comfortable patio space and 11 individually-controlled TVs. 

Megan typically watches the game at The Office Sports Bar & Grill in Columbus, where her local alumni chapter hosts watch parties for select games throughout the season. 

Auburn attractions

Many people pass through Columbus, Georgia—Megan’s hometown—on their way to Auburn. The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center, a free historic museum with interactive exhibits and a giant-screen theater, is one of the city’s most popular attractions. 

When she’s in Auburn, Megan likes to stop at her favorite store, The Maker and Merchant in Auburn Mall. The store features a collection of goods from local jewelers, designers and artisans. 

Not making the trip to Auburn and looking to connect with Dawgs in your own area? Find your local UGA alumni chapter and cheer on the Dawgs with fellow alumni at a game-watching party near you. 


Morehead reappointed to NCAA leadership posts