Part II: The Oxford Bar & Restaurant Crawl
In June I posted the first installment in my “Oxford Crawl” series – that post detailed the best locations in Oxford for happy hour, an appetizer, and dinner (and can be found here). Today I’ll continue a perfect evening in Oxford with recommendations for after-dinner drinks, dessert, end-of-the-night drinks and a midnight snack.
In my view after-dinner drinks should be accompanied by one thing…live music. There are a myriad of live music venues in Oxford, including The Lyric, Two Stick, The Blind Pig and The Library. But one venue stands out as Oxford’s best, Proud Larry’s. Anyone familiar with Oxford will recognize Proud Larry’s as the most consistent provider of quality live music every day of the week. As for the drinks, Larry’s has a great offering of beer on tap, and the bartenders are quite capable. Check out the website link above to see the upcoming music calendar, the menu and more.
One of the newer restaurants in town easily takes the prize for the best dessert. Waltz on the Square is a fine dining establishment which has already become one of Oxford’s favorite dinner destinations. Waltz features a bar/lounge which is unique in Oxford (the seating is modern and luxurious) and offers the best selection of single malt scotch in town.
As for dessert, the menu features a number of selections, including: Key Lime Pie, New York Style Cheesecake, Frangelico Market Beignets, and Double Chocolate Cake. My recommendation, however, is the Nutella Fondue. The fondue is chocolate, of course, and comes with enough skewers for a group and a variety of items to dip: caramelized bananas, vanilla wafers, strawberries, graham crackers, marshmallows and white powdered doughnuts (my favorite!). Reasonably priced at $13.00 and more than enough for a group of four or more…I recommend you take your friends.
End of the Night Drinks
Yes, end of the night drinks require a category separate and distinct from after-dinner drinks. With so many great bars in Oxford, I’d be remiss not to recommend one more. After a long night of great food, great drinks and great music I can’t help but make one more stop. For me, that last destination is the Parrish Baker Pub. Parrish’s is certainly a favorite hang-out for Oxford locals — the college crowd is somewhat thinned by the strict 21 to enter policy. Parrish does a number of things very well, one of those is hiring some of the best (and most attractive) bartenders in town. He also has affordable drink specials, $3.00 bourbon drinks on Whiskey Wednesdays and $3.00 mixed drinks on Thursdays, and great live music from some of Oxford’s best bands. [UPDATE JUNE 2009 - Parrish's closed down, and re-opened as Taylor's Pub. The look hasn’t changed drastically, food’s the same, and so are a number of the staff]
Finally, where and what to eat after such a long night? Well, everyone knows about Oxford’s famous Chicken-On-A-Stick. While chicken is always a good option, I often opt for the other white meat. My favorite midnight snack comes from the colorful hot dog stand that mysteriously appears late at night in front of the Freeland & Freeland Law Firm at 1013 Jackson Avenue, right across the alley from the Parrish Baker Pub. You can get a hot dog for $2.00, or add chili and cheese or kraut and spend $3.00. Condiments are available, including diced jalapeños.
As a secondary benefit, the hot dog stand location offers a great view of the inevitable mass exodus from the 18 to enter bars. Watch long enough and you’re sure to see someone being detained and/or arrested by Oxford’s finest.