Taste of the Game: Homecoming Happiness at Ajax Diner as the Rebels host Auburn
OXFORD, Miss. — It’s Homecoming weekend at Ole Miss!
It’s always good to come home, especially after the Rebels experienced a tough one on the road last weekend in Fayetteville. No matter how long you’ve been away from Oxford, there is just something magical the moment you step back on The Square.
In our “Taste of the Game” feature, we never struggle to find places on the road to recommend to our traveling crew for their gameday fixings. But, because of all the many amazing places from which to choose, it’s not quite so easy to pick a place to showcase when back in Oxford.
In honor of Homecoming weekend, I think it’s only fitting I start with one of the first places I fell in love with when I had my first real pre-college trip to Ole Miss.
It was the summer I turned 16, or was it 17? My mother was visiting New Orleans, but of course I wanted to be in Oxford. So after a few hours drive, she checked me in at The Inn at Ole Miss and I began my first on-my-own adventure to discover all the things that make this college town so unique.
I would’ve never imagined when I walked in the door to Ajax Diner that day — rocking an Ole Miss ball cap with a Yale shirt, shorts, and my grey New Balances — that this would be just one of many adventures at one of Oxford’s best little comfort food joints.
We all have our stories of Ajax Diner. Who doesn’t, especially after Randy Yates and the fine folks have found ways to comfort our souls with their menu for over 22 years. There is nothing fancy or overzealous about the place itself, but what makes it memorable are all the little details and quirkiness in decor.
Today’s food coma brought to you by: Ajax Diner 🤤🍽 pic.twitter.com/76xttYGRGg
— VisitOxfordMS (@VisitOxfordMS) September 17, 2020
There is nothing like waiting in line for a bit, knowing you will be greeted by a friendly face, good food, and, in my case, a cold Shiner Bock while you’re watching a game or listening to all the conversations going on at once.
Now that I have got y’all with the nostalgia — and likely some cravings — let’s get down to it!
If you are looking for something hearty and a taste of the sweet sunny south, you never can go wrong with any of their plates on the menu. If you haven’t tried the Turkey and Dressing Plate with the jalapeno cornbread, folks you need to, stat. If I could teleport that dish here to me in Texas, I would. It never gets old or any less delicious. Do yourself a favor and add some of their sides because you will be in heaven.
The crew at Ajax can whip up some of the best meatloaf, dumplings, and Southern fried catfish on any of those plates, and if you can’t finish it, then trust me you will want to save some for later. It is even better the next time around!
No one should leave Oxford without honoring Ronzo! So if you’re looking for something light and fresh but still bold, then order up the Ronzo Salad and take a seat on one of those barstools and strike up a conversation with a stranger and make Ronzo proud!
And if you’re down South, you simply cannot miss your chance to have a pretty damn good PoBoy. There’s a PoBoy for all your moods and they’re pretty big in size so you might just want to go for half and save one for after the post-game cravings. You can also never miss the mark with the Andouille PoBoy or the classic Roast Beef & Gravy PoBoy.
After all that, if you have room be sure to indulge in some sweet and savory banana pudding or chess pie. Wash it down with a sweet tea or cold brew!
This little diner is more than just good eats; it’s a bed of comfort and a place where for a while you can just forget about all the woes of the day.
For me, I have grown up in this place to a degree. I have laughed, gotten rowdy, been on dates, fell in love, and best of all shared it with my family and friends. I am pretty sure that’s why my kids crave turkey and dressing — they were indulging in it before they even knew it.
Sixteen years later there is no place like Oxford, and there is no place like down-home cooking from Ajax, especially after a long road trip. So whether you are dining in or ordering curbside, go grab some delectable gameday comfort food and watch our Rebel Revival this weekend! Happy Homecoming and All Aboard!
For more info on Dine-In or Ordering Curbside visit:
118 Courthouse Square,
Oxford, MS 38655
Fri & Sat
Lee Ann is the Director of Recruiting for The Rebel Walk. She is a veteran SEC sports journalist and NFL content writer. She is also the Sr. Editor for MESPORTS digital. Herring-Olvedo is a Brown University graduate who loves good cigars, good games, and a smooth glass of bourbon — not necessarily in that order.