SnackbarBy: TLP Editors
Indian-meets-Southern snacks at Snackbar, run by chef Vishwesh Bhatt who expertly fuses Gujarati-spiced stewed black eye peas with fenugreek dumplings alongside a French 75 or two.
Migrating with his family from Gujurat, India to Strasbourg, France, and ultimately to Mississippi, Bhatt’s eclectic and multicultural background makes it into every beautifully constructed plate. A several-time finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: South award, Bhatt combines earthy Indian spices that shaped his childhood with homestyle Mississippi hill country cuisine to offer his signature “Bubba brasserie” a truly unique experience. Rooted in a foundation of fond memories spent cooking with his late mother and learning from her mastery of Indian cuisine, Bhatt was able to create something entirely new. More than just amazing flavors, customers can taste the joy and reverence in each of Bhatt’s dishes.
Snackbar’s dimly lit hunting club-inspired interior is perfect for cozy meals with loved ones. The restaurant features a raw bar and elevated classic dishes like harissa-spiced roast chicken with cumin-fennel potato puree. The spot opened in 2009 as an inconspicuous tiny space in Oxford, Mississippi at the north flank of the Midtown Shopping Center. Neither Indian, Missippian, or French, Executive Chef Bhatt has created a rare environment where culture is melded to welcome all who enter its doors. Don’t be fooled by its humble exterior, great culinary adventure, dangerously delicious drinks, and a sense of belonging await just over that threshold. Snackbar has continued to impress and cultivate curious and loyal patrons eager to try the blend of home-cooking styles from either side of the Atlantic Ocean.
Oxford, Mississippi, is that kind of small Southern city that makes you want to bury your nose into a book. And Oxford’s food scene has something for everyone.
On the Road
A Weekend of Eats and Sips in Oxford, MS
Traditionally recognized as the “tailgating capital of the world” and home to the Ole Miss Rebels, Oxford, Mississippi is making a different kind of name for itself these days: One of America’s best foodie towns.
Southern Spice Route with Vishwesh Bhatt
Placing emphasis on seasonality and versatile ingredients, chef Vishwesh Bhatt hones Indian spice use through seemingly familiar dishes.
In the Field
Breakfast at Bhatt’s
From Gujarat to Mississippi, chef Vishwesh Bhatt’s Southern journey
South Indian Cabbage Fry
In a large frying pan, heat 4 tablespoons canola oil over medium-high heat. Add asafetida, cayenne pepper, turmeric, cumin, coriander, garam masala, pepper, and salt. Sauté for 3 minutes.
Raitha (Indian Yoghurt Salad)
In a medium-sized mixing or serving bowl, combine yoghurt, sour cream, heavy cream, lemon juice, cucumber, tomato, and onion. Mix well.
Potato Masala Pani Puri with Date and Tamarind Chutney
This pani puri recipe is a combination of multiple cultures, but holds true to the original Indian philosophy with rich, earthy, full flavors.