KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — On Saturday, Neyland Stadium will fill with fans from across East Tennessee eager to watch their favorite team play against the Florida Gators. The week leading up to the big game is traditionally filled with excitement and festivities. It's also known as "Gator Hater Week."
It's also usually filled with alligator meat, as restaurants start serving special plates to celebrate their favorite teams. The Shrimp Dock is serving frozen and hot gator gumbo until Saturday, with fresh and frozen gator selling at $18 per pound.
They also gave some recommendations for cooking alligator meat. They said marinating is essential to help tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavor. But people can also choose to tenderize it with a mallet.
For grilling alligator, they recommended marinating it with olive oil and lemon juice or using Italian dressing. They suggested people who want to fry alligator meat marinate it with buttermilk.
It's a tradition for the restaurant to put gator meat on the menu. While people can buy it to prepare their own dishes, some restaurants also ask to buy some for their own creations.
Hard Knox Pizzeria is serving its "Gator Hater Pizza" which mixes white sauce with smoked gouda and smoked alligator meat from The Shrimp Dock. The pizza is available until September 24.
Some restaurants got into the Vols spirit without serving Gator meat, too. Yassin's Falafel House joked on social media that if they were not the Nicest City in America, they would be making Alligator gyros all week. However, they said they were not actually serving gator meat.