Last Monday I shared some info and photos of Oxford Canteen, Saint Leo and Proud Larry’s. Today you can take a look at some of the great food served in 3 out of 4 restaurants owned by Chef John Currence.
Snack Bar completely defies its name, especially in terms of ambiance and menu. It is open for dinner Monday through Saturday. I sampled the boudin balls, French onion soup, a funeral sandwich (ham and Swiss on a Hawaiian roll), some truffle parmesan fries, and “just a bite” of several amazing desserts. My favorite was the lemon tart.
Snack Bar is one of 5 businesses in Oxford owned by award-winning chef, John Currence. In addition to Snack Bar, he owns City Grocery, Big Bad Breakfast, Boure and a catering company called The Main Event. Snack Bar and Big Bad Breakfast are next-door neighbors (and share a kitchen) on North Lamar Boulevard, while City Grocery and Boure are on the Courthouse Square.
City Grocery is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday and for brunch on Sunday. With candles and white tablecloths, this is definitely considered “fine dining.” After a dinner of a beautiful salad followed by catfish with shrimp etouffee and a Kitchen Sink Sundae, full of every decadent ingredient you can think of, I was completely satisfied.
City Grocery occupies a two-story building right in the thick of everything in Oxford, and John Currence is in the thick of many food/wine/travel publications with his recipes, his flair with food and his personality. Currence was born in New Orleans and gained vast experience there and in Chapel Hill, North Carolina before deciding to strike out on his own in Oxford in 1992. It was a good move for him and a huge win for the city of Oxford.
John Currence’s foray into the breakfast dining scene has been so successful that a cookbook resulted — BIG BAD BREAKFAST: The Most Important Book of the Day. In addition to Oxford, Big Bad Breakfast locations are showing up in Birmingham, Homewood, and Florence in Alabama, in Inlet Beach, Florida, and the newest is coming soon to Charleston, South Carolina.
Giant cathead biscuits and various skillets are signature items, and, if you’re lucky, you might arrive on a day when the housemade doughnuts are hot and fresh. The food is very good. I predict we’ll soon see more and more of these restaurants. Don’t worry if you’re “not a morning person.” Big Bad Breakfast also serves lunch.
I can’t wait to try Boure during a future visit. Check out their website. Sounds mouthwatering, doesn’t it?
As I’ve mentioned before, I was thoroughly impressed with Oxford, Mississippi. Between all the restaurants, the places of historical significance and the great shops, it doesn’t even matter if you’d never say “Hotty Toddy.” Go and check it out anyway. It’s a hidden gem.