Closed: Irie On The Square

SAMSUNGWe received a man-on-the-street alert from Eating Oxford reader Steve Wooten (along with the attached photo), that Irie On the Square has closed.

It was just about five years ago when we first posted about Irie opening (see original post here). Since then, the restaurant became a favorite spot for its wide array of beers on tap, big burgers, and seafood platters.

Word around town is that a new restaurant named Smitty’s (no apparent relation to the former Oxford Smitty’s) will soon inhabit the location.

UPDATE: According to a former Irie employee, the next restaurant to take over the space will be Fins Fish & Oyster Co., owned by Clint Boutwell, chef/owner of Oxford Grillehouse.

–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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Now Open: Butter & Bread Co.

10668741_367525196730117_1225999303_nThere’s an adorable little kitchen store that recently opened just off the Square called Butter & Bread Co.

Owner Taylor Shaffett, born and raised in Clarksdale, Mississippi, says she’s been dreaming of this store for years and finally took the leap.

Butter & Bread offers everything to make a kitchen and home look comfy and cozy.

Check it out at 107 N. 13th St., Ste. A, on the Facebook page here, or on their website here.

–Liz 10708013_367525193396784_2021405268_n

(photos courtesy Butter & Bread Co.)

Video Interview: Favorite Grove Food

Eating Oxford intern Carter Hach conducted his first Man on The Street interview this past weekend during the first Ole Miss home game, asking the question, “What’s Your Favorite Ole Miss Grove Food?” to Rebel fan Randy Hope.

See what Randy had to say, and keep an eye out for our roving cameras next time you’re eating!

–Liz

 

 

Interested in being an Eating Oxford intern? Contact us at Liz@EatingOxford.com.

Panera Sneak Peek

EatingOxford.com was invited to a practice party today at the new Panera on Jackson Avenue, which is scheduled to open next Wednesday, September 17.

I knew you’d want a peek into what the new restaurant looks like, so of course I snapped some photos for you….

Some of the things that stood out to me today were the array of pastries and breads available; flavored teas at the soda station; the option to get my soup in a sourdough bread bowl; and interesting pastas such as butternut squash ravioli and pesto sacchettini.

Enjoy the pics!

–Liz

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turkey bravo sandwich with broccoli cheese

Turkey bravo sandwich and broccoli cheese soup

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Mediterranean Veggie sandwich

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Mississippi Food Events – September

mississippi mapLooking for something to do in Oxford and beyond? Fortunately, there’s no shortage of events happening in the next few months throughout the state. I’m always perusing various sources for the latest food-related happenings, and now you can benefit from all of my research.

Check out what’s on the schedule for September and send along photos of yourself having fun (we may use your pic in a new project we’re compiling!).

Note: Click on each event name to find out more….

Fri./Sat. Sept. 5-6 – Fire & Feast BBQ Competition & Festival – Yazoo Festival

Sat., Sept. 6 – Our Team Our Town Community-Wide Tailgate – Oxford

Sun., Sept. 7 – NW Mississippi Farm Tours – Ashland, Tyro, Coldwater

Sat., Sept. 13 – Muscadine Jubilee – Pelahatchie

Sat., Sept. 13 and Sun., Sept. 14 – 33rd Annual Biloxi Seafood Seafood Festival – Biloxi

Tues., Sept. 16 – Flaming Desserts Class – Oxford

Wed., Sept. 17 to Sat., Sept. 20 – Alcorn County Fair – Corinth

Fri., Sept. 19 – Bash to Benefit Junior Auxiliary of Oxford – Oxford

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Credit: Wing Dang Doodle Festival

Fri., Sept. 19 – 24th Annual Rice Tasting Luncheon – Cleveland

Fri., Sept. 19 to Sun., Sept. 28 – 158th Annual Mid-South Fair – Southaven

Sat., Sept. 20 – The Wrecking Ball – Marshall County

Sat., Sept. 20 – Front Porch Jubilee – Hernando

Sat., Sept. 20 – 37th Annual MS Delta Blues & Heritage Festival – Greenville

Sat., Sept. 20 – International Gumbo Festival – Jackson

Sat., Sept. 20 and Sun., Sept. 21 – 5th Annual Mississippi Gourd Festival – Raleigh

Tues., Sept. 23 – Oxford Art Crawl – Oxford

Tues., Sept. 23 – Taste of Long Beach – Long Beach

Fri., Sept. 26 to Sat., Sept. 27 – Bodock Festival – Pontotoc

Fri/Sat, Sept. 26-27 – The Great Ruleville Roast & Run – Ruleville

Fri/Sat, Sept. 26-27 – Tallahatchie Riverfest – New Albany

Fri., Sept. 26 to Sun., Sept. 28 – Nourish- Reclaim Real Food – Starkville

Fri., Sept. 26 to Mon., Oct. 13 – Fall Pilgrimage – Natchez

Sat., Sept. 27 – Wing Dang Doodle Festival – Forest

Sun., Sept. 28 - 32nd Annual Chefs of the Coast Food and Wine Gala – Biloxi

 

–Liz

EatingOxford.com

 

The Story Behind the Newk’s Teal Cup

Newks cupIf you’ve been to Newk’s lately, you’ve received a teal cup in place of the standard issue black one, and you may have wondered about the switch.

At more than 70 Newk’s locations, the signature black cup has been replaced by a teal cup in recognition of Ovarian Cancer Awareness this September thanks to the efforts of Lori Newcomb.

Lori, the wife of Newk’s Eatery co-founder and CEO Chris Newcomb, was diagnosed with stage IIIC ovarian cancer in early 2013, and in response, decided to launch a Newk’s Cares campaign to raise awareness about the disease.

By educating women and their loved ones about early warning signs of the disease, promoting research for a cure, and sharing her story, Lori hopes to be a source of strength, inspiration and hope in the fight against ovarian cancer (in the U.S., ovarian cancer causes more deaths than all other gynecological cancers combined and is the 5th leading cause of cancer death in women).

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Lori Newcomb

Throughout the Newk’s Cares campaign, Newk’s will provide educational information on ovarian cancer signs and symptoms at each restaurant and the story of Lori’s personal journey will also be available to guests in restaurants, as well as on the Newk’s Cares website. Newk’s will donate a minimum of $15,000 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund as part of its charitable initiative. And on September 25, Lori and Newk’s Cares will raise funds for OCRF through a 5-hour Ovarian Cycle® indoor cycle event in Jackson, Mississippi, where Newk’s is headquartered. The fundraising goal for this event is $50,000.

The 5-hour Ovarian Cycle® fundraising event will be held at the Country Club of Jackson on Thursday, September 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will raise much-needed money for ovarian cancer research. Information about event registration and guidelines is available at ovariancycle.kintera.org/JACKSON2014. More information about Ovarian Cycle events can be found on the OCRF website.

For more information about ovarian cancer and to hear Lori’s story in her own words, visit Newk’s Cares.

 

You Said It: Oxford’s New Parking Meters

parking meterNew parking meters went live on the Oxford Square Tuesday.

We were curious about what locals thought about them, but we weren’t expecting the dozens of responses that came flooding into our Facebook page when we posed the question yesterday.

There were people on both sides of the debate, including restaurant servers who are concerned about spending their money in the meters, and those who say that a couple added bucks spent on the Square is no big deal (the meters require a dollar per hour).

Check out some of the responses we received here and share your own feedback if you have an opinion.

–Liz

 

Opening Soon: England Dan’s Opens Next Weekend

England Dan’s will open next weekend.

I interviewed co-owner and chef Mike Salts for my biweekly column in the Oxford Citizen and have included the story below for those who missed yesterday’s issue.

–Liz

SAMSUNGI sat down with Mike Salts last week, the co-owner and chef at England Dan’s Char-Steaks & Grill, opening next weekend at 2580 West Jackson Avenue, Suite 30, to find out what the former owner of Fred Red’s Steaks (Tupelo) had planned for Oxford.

In addition to an extensive menu covering traditional southern favorites such as whole catfish; pork chops; meat loaf; deep-fried oysters; fried chicken; and chicken livers, Salts and his son Pat-Rue will also offer a full lineup of chargrilled Certified Hereford steaks, breakfast starting every morning at 5:30 a.m., weekday plate lunches, and a salad bar.

“I just want to serve quality food at good prices,” says Salts, who named the restaurant after his son England-Dan, who the family lost in a swimming accident in 2012. “England-Dan used to own a steakhouse in Starkville, and now his brother Pat-Rue and I are carrying it on.”

Salts says that he’s looking forward to serving the type of food he was raised on and still enjoys today. “You might look at a few of the food combinations and wonder if they will work, but trust me, it’s good,” says Salts. “We’ve also recruited some dynamite local cooks and servers who we’re excited to have on board.”

England Dan’s will offer BYOB service and be open Mondays through Saturdays, 5:30 a.m. until the last person leaves. If you stay late enough, Salts might even turn on the disco ball he recently had installed.

 

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Panera to Showcase Local Artists

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Artwork: Benny Melton

I ran into local artist Benny Melton yesterday at High Point Coffee who passed along some exciting news.

The new Panera Bread opening on Jackson Avenue will be featuring Melton’s artwork alongside several other Oxford artists in the future.

It’s always great to hear about a new restaurant integrating itself into the community this way, and I’m looking forward to checking out the gallery of artwork when Panera opens its doors.

–Liz

 

Dinner and a Show on Wednesday, August 20: Harvey

Harvey_PosterTheatre Oxford is presenting Harvey at The Powerhouse from August 20 through August 24.

The popular play, made famous by a 1950 film starring Jimmy Stewart, is centered around the main character who has a six-foot rabbit as an imaginary friend.

Wednesday’s opening night will feature a special cocktail hour with appetizers beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Get all of the details, along with times, prices and tickets at the following link: http://www.oxfordarts.com/

 

Culin-Arts Moves from West Point to Oxford

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Photo: Culin-Arts

When I shared an article yesterday on Facebook about West Point’s Culin-Arts moving from West point to Oxford, I had no idea that the store had so many fans. One Facebook fan responded to the post by saying, “I’m going to need a bankruptcy attorney, and possibly a place to stay,” while another agreed by commenting, “I’m going to have to negotiate a raise if I’m going to have daily access to this place.”

According to the Daily Journal, owner Valeda Carmichael will be moving her culinary supply store, Culin-Arts, from downtown West Point, Mississippi, to Oxford in the coming weeks to take advantage of Oxford’s booming economy.

While I’ve never been to the West Point store, I’ve read fabulous things about it, so I’m already excited about what Valeda will be bringing to Oxford. Follow along on the Culin-Arts Facebook page here.

–Liz

Keep up with the latest food news. Start here.

Open Your Own Restaurant August 17!

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Photo: Restaurant Day; Roy Backstrom

Have you heard about Restaurant Day? It happens this Sunday, August 17, and invites people around the world to open their own pop-up restaurant for one day.

This is a really cool concept that has been spreading around the world since 2011. It occurs four times per year in 55 countries, and there have been nearly 10,000 one-day restaurants set up by 35,000 self-made restaurateurs.

How cool would it be if we did this in Oxford?

It’s just one day.

Your own restaurant, serving whatever you want, wherever you want.

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Photo: Restaurant Day; Kimmo Lind

Think about it….you could sell your “famous” fish tacos, BLTs, cupcakes, whatever you dream up. No one can stop you!

Watch the below video for inspiration and check out the Restaurant Day website for more information.

–Liz

Oxford Author Releases Pizza Book

DSC07741There’s a new pizza book coming out in September, written by an Oxford-based author who you’ve probably known for years.

Here’s a hint…it’s me!DSC07742

OK, that was a giveaway.

Anyway, I’m super excited to announce my new book hitting shelves next month, Pizza: A Slice of American History. So excited in fact that I’ve gotten the publisher to agree to give a 30% discount on all preorders until the end of August!

Getting the discount is simple…

Go to the publisher’s site here. When you have the book in your cart, enter the PROMO Code: PIZZA30. You will DSC07743DSC07747receive 30% off your order (that’s $7.50 off the cover price)!

If you love pizza, you’ll love this book. It’s full of pizza history, pizza styles, pizza recipes, interviews with people in the industry, interesting pizza facts, fun pizza quizzes and much, much more.

It’s the perfect companion to a slice of your favorite pizza.

 

–Liz

Oxford’s New Restaurants

new restaurantsSummertime in Oxford means hot weather and lots of new restaurants! Get the latest scoop with this quick round up….

New Openings

Starbucks is now open at 1804 Jackson Avenue.

The Wine Bar at 401 S. Lamar is open for business.

Sweet T’s Bakery opened in the Papa John’s shopping center on Jackson Avenue

Coming Soon

Krystal is slated to be added to the Exxon on Hwy 6

Wingstop is getting close to completion next door to Rice & Spice on Jackson Avenue

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken is nearing completion at 306 S. Lamar

England Dan’s is under construction in the former location of Bistro Burger

Panera is scheduled to open in September on Jackson Avenue

TriBecca Allie Cafe in Sardis is working on opening a coffee/dessert shop next door to the pizzeria

Ron Shapiro has plans to reopen his Hoka/Main Squeeze concept as Hoka, Also, in the former Renasant Bank just off the Square

Mesquite Chop House has been approved for buildout at 1001 E. Jackson Avenue

Nashville-based burger restaurant The Slider House has its eyes on an Oxford location

Ming’s Kitchen is opening next door to England Dan’s in the Walmart shopping center on Jackson Avenue.

The Growler, a craft beer bar serving steamed subs will open soon next to High Point Coffee on the Square.

An outpost of Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina and Boneheads (grilled fish/piri piri chicken) are planned for the new Highland Court project being constructed in the old Cannon Motors location on Jackson Avenue.

 

Next Eating Oxford Institute: Family Cooking Night

The next Eating Oxford Institute class on Tuesday, August 12, invites families (max 4 people) to create a family supper with the help of Sunny Young of Good Food for Oxford Schools. Get all of the details here, and pre-order tickets early as seating is limited to 10 families.