Winner List – Oxford’s Best Eats 2014

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A few months ago, we asked EatingOxford.com readers to participate in a 40-question survey to help choose the best in Oxford’s restaurant scene (best burger, catfish, sandwich, shrimp & grits, chef, customer service and more).

The votes have been tallied and the winners are listed below. In addition to finding the list here, you can locate it easily at any time via the “Oxford’s Best Eats” page on EatingOxford.com.

We hope this will inspire you to explore some new restaurants in Oxford; let us know your thoughts about the winner selection in the comments section below.

–Liz

 

Newk’s Eatery

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  • Best Sandwich
  • Best Soup
  • Best Salad
  • Best for Healthy Eating

My Michelle’s

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  • Best Catering/Tailgating

Ajax Diner

  • Best Plate Lunch
  • Best Vegetarian Selection
  • Best Country Cooking

Snackbar

  • Best Restaurant
  • Best Restaurant for a Date

Boure

  • Best Customer Service
  • Best Restaurant for Hanging with Friends
  • Best Restaurant for a Business Meeting

Handy Andy

  • Best Burger
  • Best Barbecue

Oxford Grillehouse

  • Best Steaks

Ember’s

  • Best Biscuits

Tre Amici

  • Best Italian

Soulshine Pizza Factory

  • Best Pizza

Tequila’s

  • Best Mexican

Jinsei

  • Best Sushi

Rice & Spice

  • Best Asian

Bottletree Bakery

  • Best Bakery

Big Bad Breakfast

  • Best Breakfast
  • Best Brunch

Popeye’s

  • Best Fried Chicken

John Currence

  • Best Chef
  • Best Restaurateur

Buffalo Wild Wings

  • Best Wings

High Point Coffee

  • Best Coffee

Ya Ya’s

  • Best Frozen Yogurt

City Grocery

  • Best Shrimp & Grits
  • Best Bartender (Chip Moore)
  • Best Bar

Oxford City Farmer’s Market (loop)

  • Best Farmer’s Market

Chick-fil-A

  • Best Fast Food

Lamar Lounge

  • Best Fries

McAlister’s

  • Best Sweet/Unsweet Tea

Chevron 4-Corners chicken on a stick

  • Best Late-Night Snack

Taylor Grocery

  • Best Catfish

 

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Attention restaurant winners: If any of you still need winner certificates, please contact Liz@EatingOxford.com.

 

 

 

All is New Again at Rooster’s Blues House

roosters signIf you haven’t been to Rooster’s Blues House lately, you haven’t been.

A new kitchen, new menu, new chef (Jeff Robertson), and new specials are all beckoning new and seasoned customers up those familiar wooden steps and onto the balcony of Rooster’s Blues House at 114 Courthouse Square.

Owner Scott Michael says that the newly condensed menu focuses on three amazing burgers, wings, smoked barbecue nachos and Rotel house fries. “Our Coldwater River burger is a hefty 16 ounces of meat topped with bacon, jalapenos, Rotel, and homemade barbecue sauce,” says Michael. “We want people to know they can come here for burgers, fries and wings and find the best prices on The Square.”roosters menu

And speaking of great prices, every Tuesday night, Rooster’s Blues House offers every item on its menu for only $5, and Monday nights have become famous for 25 cent wings and $3 pitchers of beer.

Rooster’s regularly hosts live music on the weekends and tunes into the Ole Miss game on the televisions, but did you also know that you can  grab dinner there any night of the week and enjoy lunch on the weekends? The kitchen is open 7 days a week, from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday to Sunday the doors open at 11:30 a.m. for the lunch crowd.

Don’t miss happy hour and late-night drink specials, and keep up with the latest food specials and band appearances via the Rooster’s Blues House Facebook and Twitter pages.

–Liz

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coming Soon: Chef Kelly English Opening Restaurant in Oxford

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New Food Truck: Serrano’s Tacos

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credit: Serrano’s

If you’ve been on The Square past 11:00 p.m. recently, you may have noticed a new addition to the late-night landscape–a food truck called Serrano’s Tacos serving up Tex-Mex tacos and quesadillas.

Serrano’s Tacos is run by three Ole Miss students: Stuart Monteith, Eric Olsson, Andrew Bracy, and executive chef/general manager Samuel Rubin, who is a third-year culinary student at Johnson & Wales.

EatingOxford.com caught up with chef Samuel Rubin to get the scoop about the food truck, so we’ll all know where to look for it, and what type of food to expect.

Eating Oxford: When and where can we find the truck?

Rubin: The hours vary from weekend to weekend, but will always be posted on our Facebook and Twitter. This weekend we are open from 11:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. on Thursday and Friday, 10:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Saturday, and 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Sunday. The truck will be parked between Soulshine Pizza Factory and Abner’s.

Eating Oxford: What’s on the menu?

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credit: Serrano’s

Rubin: Our two staples are breakfast tacos, which are made up of eggs, cheese, chorizo, and bacon all rolled up in a warm corn tortilla, and chicken quesadillas with avocado, cilantro, grilled onions, and tomatoes. We also make our own green salsa daily from fresh tomatillos. Everything is made from scratch on the truck. The rest of the menu changes daily and is based on what’s fresh and what the chef can dream up (see a sample menu here).

Eating Oxford: How long have you been running a food truck?

Rubin: This is our first time running a food truck and it was in the works for six months before finally opening at the beginning of October.

Eating Oxford: Many have had to fight the city over food truck regulations. How have you bypassed this?

Rubin: It took us a long time and a lot of permits to finally get our truck on the street.

Eating Oxford: Do you set up in locations other than Oxford?

Rubin: We are only in Oxford at the moment. On game weekends we cater and are open more of the time, but on off weekends our goal is to cater to the late-night crowd.

Have you tried Serrano’s Tacos yet? Let us know about it in the comments!

–Liz

 

 

 

Class Wrap-Up: Flaming Desserts

IMG_8142Flaming Desserts, last Tuesday’s Eating Oxford Institute class held in the downstairs cellar of Locals Restaurant & Bar was fiery and delicious.

Seasoned chef Roland Shnider, with 50 years experience in kitchens abroad and in the U.S., showed attendees how easy it can be to create show-stopping flaming desserts at home–without setting off the smoke alarms.

The class learned how to make Cherries Jubilee, Crepes Suzette, and Bananas Foster, while sipping wine and noshing on appetizers. IMG_8144

With plenty of dessert and ice cream to go around, everyone departed with a sugar high and a new yearning to set fire to desserts.

View more photos from the event below; all photos were taken by the Daily Mississippian’s Giana Leone. Thank you to everyone who came out for a fun evening!

–Liz

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Don’t miss our next class, where you’ll learn to Create Top-Shelf Margaritas and Authentic Guacamole at Casa Mexicana. The class is scheduled for Monday, October 6, at 5:30 p.m.  ($15 admission; limited seating; tickets available here)

–Liz

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Win My Food Press Trip! Nourish – Reclaim Real Food

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Photo: MS Modern Homestead

Mississippi Modern Homestead in Starkville, Mississippi, will present NOURISH – RECLAIM REAL FOOD, Friday, September 26 to Sunday, September 28.

Registration is open until September 8, with just 20 spots available.

I’m unable to attend, but the Nourish event coordinators have agreed to let me pass my invitation along to ONE lucky Eating Oxford winner! The winner will receive a full weekend of education, meals and housing (a $290 value). The catch? We just want you to have a good time, snap some photos, and tell us about your trip for a post on the Eating Oxford website. Email me at Liz@eatingoxford.com and tell me why YOU should win. We’ll choose a winner this Friday, August 29.

Event/Retreat Description from website:

Chef Marion Sansing cuts through the bombardment of the latest health craze and brings participants back to the traditional kitchen for real nourishment. Participants will become confident in the kitchen and in making healthy food choices that will impact health for the rest of their lives.

True nourishment is not just about what we eat; it is also about the quality and source of our foods, and how you prepare them. Learn the kitchen crafts of the past, preparing in-season, wholesome, locally and sustainably grown foods for your well-being. You will gain a good understanding of: nutrient-dense foods, beneficial fats, fermentation, bone

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Photo: MS Modern Homestead

broths, pasture raised meats and eggs, proper preparation of seeds like legumes, grains, etc., and about health risks in industrial food. We will also cover general kitchen skills like: making the most out of nutrient dense ingredients, making the harvest last, fitting traditional kitchen crafts into a modern life style and the art of the perpetual meal. Feel confident to make good food choices for a healthy lifestyle and learn to make sense of all the nutrition information you hear about every day.

Registration is $245 to $290 (this price includes meals, housing, and workshops)

Schedule of Events:

Friday Evening:

3-5 pm Check-in, relax, find a bunk and meet your retreat-mates.

5:30pm  The best part of our weekend retreat is by far the meals. Chef Marion Sansing rolls out 6 all-star meals throughout the weekend. Join her for dinner and fellowship.

7 o’clock Setting Up Your No Waste Kitchen

Saturday

8 o’clock  Farm Fresh Breakfast

9:00am-12:00pm  Canning and Drying

12:30-1:30pm  Fresh and Local Lunch

1:30pm  Condiments

3 o’clock  Healthy Fats

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Photo: MS Modern Homestead

5 o’clock  Dinner is Served

7:30pm  Hot cocoa and visit by the fire

Sunday

8 o’clock  Farm Fresh Breakfast

9-11am  Fermentation/Culturing

11 o’clock  Final luncheon, clean-up and farewells

Find Tickets Here

 

Family Cooking Night: Tuesday, August 12 at 6:30 p.m.

kid cookingEating Oxford Institute: Family Cooking Night with Good Food for Oxford Schools

Family Cooking Night invites parents and children (max 4 per family) to a night of cooking with Sunny Young, director of Good Food for Oxford Schools and Richmond Smith, a former chef of the New Orleans Saints and current nutrition services director for the Oxford School District.

Tickets are not available at the door. Please pre-order via Brown Paper Tickets to secure your place to this limited-seating class.

Attendees will create a salad, dressing, and shrimp dish utilizing ingredients from our local Oxford City Market.

The class will be held at Della Davidson Elementary School on Tuesday, August 12, at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $30 per family (4 per family max).

Find the Facebook event page here.

Eating Oxford Institute is a monthly food-centric class hosted by EatingOxford.com, in partnership with the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council and the Oxford Parks Commission.

 

July 15: Southern Foods Done Light

tims class flyerTickets are now available for the second Eating Oxford Institute class: Southern Foods Done Light with Tim Woodard

In this class, Tim Woodard, owner of Little Easy Catering, will show you how to make some of the same food he serves inside his popular restaurant, imparting all of the delicious flavor you want, but with less fat and calories than the typical southern fare.

Sample several menu items as Tim walks you through the process of preparation and provides tips and ingredient swaps for lightening up your favorite dishes.

The class will take place at the Oxford Activity Center (corner of Molly Barr and Price St.) at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 15. Tickets are $35/pp and include food and beverage.

Purchase Tickets

Visit the Facebook Event Page

***Eating Oxford Institute is a series of food-centric classes, held monthly, and hosted by EatingOxford.com, in partnership with the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council and the Oxford Park Commission.

STUDENT TESTIMONIALS
“The Eating Oxford Institute is a wonderful opportunity to engage with smart instructors in a fun, relaxed environment–to acquire new cooking skills and advance one’s nutritional awareness.”
Robert Saarnio
Director, University Museum & Historic Houses
University of Mississippi

Class Wrap-Up: Juicing for Health and Energy

IMG_5027Our first class in the Eating Oxford Institute series was held Wednesday night at The Powerhouse.

Attendees learned the benefits and techniques of juicing from Melody Sharp, owner of Living Foods (formerly Local Flavor).IMG_5096

Melody showed the difference between styles of juicers, how to get the most bang for your buck out of fruits and vegetables, tips for any fruits that need to be peeled/cored before juicing, and more.

The class sampled fruit and vegetable juices, participated in questions and answers, and all departed with a full-size juice, recipe card and coupon.

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We loved having Melody share her knowledge at a fun evening of culinary learning!

Check out the great write-up by LaReeca Rucker in today’s Oxford Eagle, too!

Don’t miss next month’s class, Southern Foods Done Light, taught by Tim Woodard on July 15 at the Activity Center. Details Here.

 

***Eating Oxford Institute is a collaboration between EatingOxford.com, the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, and the Oxford Park Commission.

(Thank you to Giana Leone IMG_5021of the Daily Mississippian for sharing her photos from the event.)

Calendar of Classes for Eating Oxford Institute

juice for flyer 2Will we see you at our first Eating Oxford Institute Class this Wednesday, June 18? Ticket sales end Tuesday night. Secure yours here.

The Oxford Citizen ran a story last Friday about our upcoming classes. In case you missed it, here’s a rundown so you can mark your calendars…

Wednesday, June 18: Juicing for Health with Melody Sharp from Living Foods (formerly Local Flavor)

July 15: Southern Foods Done Light with Tim Woodard from Little Easy Catering

August 5: Kid’s Shopping/Cooking Class with Sunny Young from Good Food for Oxford Schools

September 16: Holiday Flaming Desserts with Roland Schnider from Locals

October 7: Easy Flatbreads with Chef Lee Craven from Tu Country Catering

November: TBA

December (day TBA): Know Your Champagnes with Kevin Brooks from The Wine Bar

***Eating Oxford Institute is a collaboration between EatingOxford.com, Yoknapatawpha Arts Council and the Oxford Park Commission.

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Opening Soon: A Food Truck with No Wheels

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7 Things You Need to Know About My Michelle’s

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An Oxford Favorite for 20 Years and Counting

proud larrys exteriorThere’s always something going on at Proud Larry’s; whether it’s chef Jon Myrick whipping up his latest specials in the kitchen; bartenders pouring the newest craft beers from the taps; or a band setting up on stage for a waiting Ole Miss crowd. This constant flurry of activity is just part of what has kept Proud Larry’s at 211 South Lamar a local favorite for the past 20 years.

Recent activity at Larry’s includes the introduction of a new menu, which is just days away from debuting. Jon Myrick tells EatingOxford.com that, among other drool-inducing items, there will be a chili dog that’s braised in beer and topped with black bean chili (stay tuned for the full menu announcement).

In order to fully understand the diversity of Proud Larry’s, just walk past it on a weekday afternoon, a Friday night or a Sunday morning. You’ll find lunch crowds enjoying the outdoor patio on a sunny day, families gathering for brunch on Sundays, and music lovers piling in to see popular bands on a weekend night.

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Scott Caradine (pictured), and his wife Lisa, own Proud Larry’s.

In a college town like Oxford, co-owner Scott Caradine understands that in order to keep a business running during slow summer months, you must diversify. So even though Proud Larry’s originally started in 1993 as a bar where you could get pizza and hear live music, over the years the menu and space have expanded in order to cater to his customer’s needs and wants. “We wouldn’t be here today without the support of Oxford locals and students,” says Scott. “We’ve done a really high volume of food over the years, and it’s thanks to the great staff and management who care and understand that it’s about the whole experience for the customer.”

Today, in addition to the popular pizza, you can find appetizers, salads, sandwiches, calzones, and a full kid’s menu, including the following menu favorites.

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Chef Jon Myrick always has a new special
up his sleeve.

Fried Larry: mozzarella sticks, toasted ravioli, fried mushrooms

Lobster Nachos: Chilled lobster knuckle salad, avocado salsa, and Sriracha sour cream on house-fried corn tortillas

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Lobster Nachos

Fat Larry Pizza: Italian sausage, beef, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, peppers, onions, mushrooms, black olives and mozzarella

Basket of Fries: Fresh-cut Idaho potatoes, deep fried and seasoned with Larry’s Original Fry Spice (same recipe since 1993)

Larry Burger: 8 oz. seasoned certified Angus beef grilled to order, served on a whole wheat bun with mayo and creole mustard, lettuce, tomato, red onion and pickle on the side

Larry Burger

Larry Burger

Larry’s Creole Catfish Sandwich: Creole seasoned pan-fried Mississippi catfish filet on Gambino’s French bread with lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickle and Larry’s remoulade sauce on the side

Shrimp & Grits: Sauteed Gulf shrimp, tasso ham, andouille sausage, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms and scallions in a spicy creole cream sauce on Mississippi Grit Girl cheese grits

“We make almost everything from scratch, including our pizza dough, sauce, meatballs, fry spice and more,” says Scott. “When people think of Proud Larry’s, I want them to think about our fun, laid-back, family friendly environment and our high-quality, fresh food.”

Daily Lunch Specials

  • Any lunch-portion pasta with salad and drink for $9.95
  • Featured pizza slice of the day, cheese, pepperoni, BBQ chicken or Fat Larry with salad and drink for $8.95

In addition to the specials above, chef Jon creates a new lunch and dinner entrée special each day, ranging from crab cakes to Carolina barbecue pork sandwich to pork with caramelized onions and more. The Blue Cheese Cole Slaw was a hit a few weeks back, and Jon is sharing his recipe with us below.

pork w caramelized onions and humboldt fog cheese

Pork po’ boy with caramelized onions and Humboldt fog cheese (special)

 

Proud Larry’s Blue Cheese Cole Slaw

Recipe courtesy of Jon Myrick

  • 1 3-lb. bag shredded cabbage/carrots/purple cabbage
  • 1 c. mayonnaise
  • 2 c. blue cheese crumbles
  • ¼ c. green onions
  • ½ c. sugar
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  • Worcestershire sauce, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Mix all ingredients to combine. Pairs well with pulled pork.

So whether you’re new to Oxford or have lived here your whole life, there’s always something you haven’t seen or tried happening at Proud Larry’s. And if there’s a special dish you fall in love with, try asking Jon for the recipe; you may get lucky.

 

 

 

Proud Larry's on Urbanspoon

Snackbar’s Vishwesh Bhatt Nominated for James Beard Award

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Photo: Snackbar

The list of semifinalists for the 2014 James Beard Foundation Restaurant & Chef Awards has been released and two Mississippi chefs have made the list in the Best Chef: South category.

One of those chefs is Oxford’s very own Vishwesh Bhatt from Snackbar; the other is Derek Emerson from Walker’s Drive-In in Jackson, MS.

The James Beard Foundation Awards will take place on May 4 and 5.

Congratulations to Vishwesh from everyone at EatingOxford.com!

 

Nov. 15: Cookbook Signing: Robert St. John and Wyatt Waters

italian palateFriday, Nov. 15, at 5:00 p.m., Square Books hosts Hattiesburg, Mississippi, chef and restaurateur Robert St. John and Wyatt Waters who have recently released An Italian Palate, a cookbook, which includes watercolors inspired by the duos travels through Italy.

While this is St. John’s ninth cookbook, it’s the first that takes him away from southern cuisine and into Italian.

 

This post sponsored by James B. Justice, PLLC, Attorney at Law