In spirit with the olden days of romantic turkey-leg gnawing by firelight, Olde Towne serves up an extensive menu of protein-packed fare, including grilled meats, seafood, burgers, sandwiches, hand-tossed pizzas, gourmet salads, soups, and more. Pique your palate with an order of Chesapeake crab fritters served with roasted red-pepper aioli and wasabi slaw ($9.99); or Cajun chicken nachos, topped with wood-fired chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, jalapeños, and a mix of cheeses ($7.99). Jumbo fresh fried chicken wings come doused in your choice of sauce (house specialties include lemon pepper, ranch, and lemon-yaki), served with celery and blue cheese or ranch dressing ($8.99 for 10). Treat your mouth to some wood-fired protein, such as prime rib served au jus with horseradish ($12.99 for 8 oz.), chicken Florentine stuffed with spinach and artichoke dip and topped with sun-dried tomatoes and a demi glaze ($13.99), or seared tuna served with veggies, wasabi slaw, and one additional side ($13.99). To satisfy the mini taste sensors on your fingertips, try a handheld creation such as the Black and Blue Burger (bacon and blue, jack, and cheddar cheeses, $8.50) or patty melt (Swiss and American cheeses and sautéed onions on rye, $8.99), and satisfy creative impulses with a build-your-own pizza topped with your choices from Olde Towne's bevy of meats, veggies, and cheeses (starting at $9.99 for 14").
A perimeter of brick walls and flat-screen TVs envelops AC Tavern, where seasonal craft beers wash down a menu of Southern-inspired pub fare and events busy guests with poker, karaoke, and football. In the kitchen, chefs lightly fry catfish morsels and layer them onto plates alone or stuff them into po boys flanked by Cajun tartar dipping sauce. The texas brisket pizza joins two hearty staples as jalapeños and onions top texas brisket, coated in the same root-beer barbecue sauce that also drenches a half or full rack of slow-smoked but fast-talking St. Louis–style ribs. Every day of the week, diners can pair their feasts with diversions, including live music on Fridays and college football on Sundays.
Having toured with Dinosaur Jr. and Meat Puppets in recent years, Dead Confederate returns to reclaim its native soil by planting its flag at the intimate downtown venue 40 Watt Club. In a dynamic live performance, the five-piece band will free cuts from their newest album, Sugar, from the confines of ear buds and bootlegged eight tracks. Beards can stoically bob along to the J Mascis–aided single "Giving It All Away" and the band's other forays into the dark corners of the rock-o-sphere, from freeform psychedelic wanderings to pulsing aural packets of distortion. Fellow performers Colour Revolt, whose debut album ranked among Paste's Best of 2008, and shoegazey Twin Tigers will ease ears into the deep end of the sonic pool with tonal palettes that range from jaunty to noisy. 40 Watt Club boasts two full bars for mid-show sipping or pouring libations to the gods of rock. Doors open at 9 p.m.
Recently featured in Athens Food and Culture Magazine, Jack's Bar pleases adult palates of all styles with tantalizing wine tastings and a cozy, sports-centric ambience, including a heated patio and big-game-beaming TVs. Amid glowy lights and a backlit bar, imbibe six South American wines while getting the skinny on their complex flavors, a thrill for burgeoning fine-wine aficionados or developers of wine-flavored toothpastes. As stomachs savor zestful vinos, mouths can relish complimentary hors d'oeuvres. Customers must be 21 and up.
“Here’s to you, Andrew Volstead, NICE TRY!” The owners of The Volstead have good reason to raise a toast to this congressman, who famously passed the prohibition laws in the 1920s: he became the inspiration for everything their bar and restaurant wouldn’t be. To show their appreciation for libations, the team took great pains to restore the space to reflect the way it originally looked in 1893––the height of the American saloon era. But while the decorative archways, pressed tin ceiling, and William McKinley impersonators evoke the gilded age, the bar also holds a few modern twists. An ice rail runs along the wooded bar top to help keep cocktails and brews cold while draft beers are poured out at a 32 degree temperature and shots are shot back at a bone-chilling 5 degrees. Just under 100 guests can cozy into indoor tables and bar seating to enjoy weekly karaoke or trivia nights or linger on the outdoor patio as they gaze upon a handful of TVs and the large projection screen, which showcases Sunday football games and date-night movies. Back in the kitchen, Chef David Perez leads a skilled culinary team as they handcraft 12 types of half-pound burgers, classic sandwiches, and 14 different appetizers to help create what part-owner Brian Holloway described to the Online Athens Banner-Herald as "a casual eating experience with an upscale feel." Black Angus beef patties are crowned with a variety of toppings, from jalapeño-pimento cheese and sliced hot dogs to fried eggs, while other hearty entrees include beer-battered fish and a 10-ounce rib-eye steak. Savory eats can also be consumed during the restaurant’s Sunday brunch, which serves up plates of shrimp and grits, ham and cheese omelets, and a pair of Elvis pancakes which arrived painted onto a velvet plate.
The galleys at Joe’s to Goes garner gastronomically satisfied grins by housing a menu of handheld hunger stavers. Like a mom-piloted spoon-airplane, two toasted sesame-seed buns shepherd the half pound of ground beef, plus lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, mayonnaise, mustard, and ketchup cargo, inside Joe's original hamburger ($4.99) to eager cuisine landing zones. There is an additional charge for cheese, bacon, and extra toppings. The low-carb half-pound bacon cheeseburger, meanwhile, flavorfies the palate with gooey cheese melted over crispy bacon ($4.69). A troop of thick-cut steak fries shimmering in special seasonings rallies starving stomachs or buttresses burger-based hunger quenching, and a refreshing soft drink washes away all memories of previous meat deprivation and can be used as drinkable ink for napkin notes written with a fry.
At Havana South Restaurant and Bar, a conga line of authentic Cuban entrees parades out of the kitchen, transporting diners to the Caribbean with dishes such as picadillo a la Cubana and ropa vieja in criolle sauce. The chef draws on his culinary experience to populate the menu with true Cuban cuisine.
Meanwhile, drink enthusiasts can marvel at servers using guava, mango, and passion fruit to brew up refreshing batches of house-made mojitos. The tropical flavor carries over to the eatery's decor as well. A life-size painting of palm trees and domino players on the beach may fool diners into thinking that they're dining on the coast, whereas crimson-hued walls compliment heated salsa nights that are speckled throughout the eatery’s event schedule. Spanish music constantly pours from the speakers, inspiring guests to get up and dance, a practice encouraged by the staff.