5 Underrated Bars in Tuscaloosa, AL

5 Underrated Bars in Tuscaloosa, AL

Going out in college is fun, but these bars don't get nearly enough attention.

Tuscaloosa is the home of the Crimson Tide, Nick Saban, some of the best students in the world and some really great bars. Don’t get me wrong, Tuscaloosa is no Athens, and it does not have a huge bar scene, but there are some VERY underrated bars.

High Tide

Many of us have fond freshman and sophomore year memories from good ol’ High Tide. Recently the bar has undergone some changes that I think are making it more than relevant on the Tuscaloosa Bar scene. High Tide has not only changed the literal aesthetics of the bar, but it has gone above and beyond at reaching out to the students. Through its social media to even the DJ's and bartenders it employs, no bar is more interactive with its patrons than High Tide. High Tide even hosts fundraisers for nearly anyone who wants to support a cause. Additionally, High Tide hosts a Wednesday night Beer Pong Tournament where the winner can get a $100 prize. I had a blast playing last week. Also, High Tide is becoming a member of the live music scene. Every Wednesday through Saturday High Tide hires a DJ and has a light show making it a fun dance club without many of the creepers that come from other bars where the dance scene is massive and impersonal. Moreover, "creepers" wouldn't fit in with High Tide's strict "good vibes only" requirement, which is proudly donned on a sign above the front door.


Everyone knows that Innisfree is a great nightime bar, but it is severely underrated for its food and daytime specials. Innisfree is known for its chill environment and crowd, but the best part, I believe, is that the outdoor patio is just as sweet as their indoor space. Plus, where else in Tuscaloosa can you get a pitcher of beer and two hot dogs for only $10? With cheap pitchers of beer, great food and company, Innisfree is a great daytime hang out. Just like their slogan says, “Head to the Free!”


Martinis and karaoke - what more could a college kid ask for? Roxy’s convenient location downtown is already a plus, but add my sweet, melodious voice on the mic and you’ve got a night to remember…or forget. The best part about Roxy's is that it isn't your average crew, students from Bama, Shelton State, and all around T-town hang out at this cool bar.

Rhythm & Brews

I’ve said it before and will say it again; Tuscaloosa isn’t one for a crazy bar scene, but y’all…. Rhythm & Brews has a mechanical bull! Where else can you find such an awesome experience?With great live music, the bull, and great drink specials, it’s an understatement to say that this bar is underrated.

The Alcove

The Alcove, with it's cream colored brick façade, grilled windows, and stained glass front door, looks and feels like a local drinking tavern that you might find nooked in a small French village next to a whistle stop bed and breakfast rather than its present location behind the Tuscaloosa District courthouse. Those familiar with the bar know that this is no surprise as the owner of the bar designed it based on personal experiences from traveling across Europe. So if you're a college student and feel like pretending you're an adult, no bar in town has Alcove beat. That's right, at Alcove, you can wear your favorite kicks or heels and not worry about getting them covered in bud light and yagerbombs. Additionally, you won't find a smoke machine, strobe light, or Future playing at Alcove. Jokes aside, Alcove's drink menu is no joke - the bar offers around 150 different beers and a range of liquors. There are lots of TV’s to catch sports, bar stools, booths, and tables, two bathrooms, and a covered outdoor patio (that's heated during the winter).

Cover Image Credit: Park Moving and Storage

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25 Secret Dairy Queen Treats

Order like an expert.

Flurries and soft serve cones from other ice cream chains can’t compete with the delicious treats served at Dairy Queen. DQ is the perfect place to stop after a family dinner, on a date, or on your way home from work; essentially, there’s never a bad time to eat ice cream. And Dairy Queen has been serving loyal customers for over 75 years, so they know what they’re doing. Blizzard flavors and specialty treats have come and gone over the past decades, but some still exist on the Dairy Queen secret menu. Although not displayed on the menu boards, these items can still be ordered and created just for you. If you’d like one, don’t hesitate to ask!

Secret Blizzard Flavors

1. Banana Creme Pie

Ingredients: sliced banana, pie pieces, and whipped cream

2. Cappuccino Heath

Ingredients: chocolate syrup, coffee concentrate, and Heath

3. Caramel Delight Pie

Ingredients: caramel, choco chunks, and pie pieces

4. Choco Cherry Love

Ingredients: cherry topping and choco chunks

5. Chocolate Chip

Ingredients: a ladle of chocolate cone coating

6. Chocolate Covered Cheesecake

Ingredients: cheesecake pieces, cocoa fudge, and choco chunks

7. Choco Covered Strawberry

Ingredients: strawberries and choco chunks

8. Choco Peanut Butter Brownie

Ingredients: choco chunks, brownie pieces, and peanut butter topping

9. French Silk Pie

Ingredients: pie pieces, choco chunks, cocoa fudge, and whipped cream

10. Georgia Mud Fudge

Ingredients: brownie pieces, cocoa fudge,

11. German Chocolate Brownie

Ingredients: brownie pieces, coconut, pecans, and caramel

12. Mint Chocolate Chip

Ingredients: mint and choco chunks

13. Mocha Chip

Ingredients: coffee concentrate and choco chunks

14. Ooey Gooey Caramel Brownie

Ingredients: caramel, brownie pieces, and choco chunks

15. Oreo Brownie Earthquake

Ingredients: brownie pieces, Oreo cookie pieces, hot fudge, and marshmallow topping

16. Cookie Jar

Ingredients: chocolate chip cookie dough, hot fudge, and Oreo cookie pieces

17. Peanut Butter Butterfinger

Ingredients: Butterfinger and peanut butter topping

18. Strawberry Banana

Ingredients: strawberries and sliced banana

19. Tripleberry Brownie

Ingredients: Tripleberry (from Julius station), brownie pieces, and choco chunks

20. Tropical

Ingredients: sliced banana, pecans, and coconut

Secret Royal Treats

21. Pecan Mudslide

This delicious creation can be created by putting caramel and hot fudge in a large sundae cup. Then, add the ice cream and top with more caramel and hot fudge. Finally, finish it off with some pecans.

22. Oreo Brownie Earthquake

Although DQ no longer has the sliced brownies for the classic version of the brownie earthquake, it’s still possible to make this. Start off with a round treat dish and add ice cream. Top it with hot fudge and marshmallow, and add plenty of brownie pieces and Oreo cookie pieces. Lastly, garnish it with whipped cream!

23. Peanut Butter Bash

Start off with a large sundae cup and pump peanut butter topping and hot fudge into it. Then, add ice cream and top with more peanut butter and hot fudge. Spoon some choco chunks on top, and it’s finished.

Secret Drinks

24. Arctic Rush Freezes

This is just your favorite Arctic Rush with ice cream. You can choose to have the ice cream blended or have the Arctic Rush served with ice cream floating in it!

25. Frozen Hot Chocolate

This can be easily made by filling a clear cup to the red line with Arctic Rush base. Then, add cocoa fudge and the desired flavor (Double Fudge, Caramel, or Peanut Butter). Fill the cup with ice cream and blend. Garnish with whipped cream, and you have a frozen hot chocolate!

Now that you’re a DQ expert, go ahead and order your favorite secret menu treat! Be aware, however, that toppings and candies may vary by location.

Cover Image Credit: http://assets3.thrillist.com/

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A General guide to a perfect cup of coffee

Making that cup is half the experience. Don't miss out.


A good cup of coffee is a treat in and of itself. The rich and earthy aroma of freshly ground beans when you wake up is a delight to the senses. Now I am not what you would call a coffee connoisseur, but like any other person, I am very particular about the coffee I drink… so much so that I had a Nespresso pod machine with me as I began my first year of college.

Now, most coffee aficionados would tell you coffee pods are a disgrace to the beverage and I agree. They don't capture the essence of the bean, the texture, or quality. But they are drastically better than instant coffee! Now that is horrendous. The coffee pod is a decent, minimally acceptable substitute. But I implore any coffee lover, to step out of Starbucks (that most definitely isn't good coffee) and quaint coffee parlors, and actually make an effort to learn about the beverage you consume and are delighted by.

I will be honest, I was never a coffee fan. I barely drank it to stay awake. Highly caffeinated tea was my poison of choice for late nights. My interest in what makes a good cup of coffee and my, let's say, pickiness when it comes to drinking it stems from my father's journey in making the perfect espresso, latte, ristretto etc…

Every process to make that perfect cup is crucial so let me paint a picture. Imagine freshly picked coffee beans sent in for processing and roasted at a range where it doesn't get burnt nor is it too blonde, a warm brown with undertones of red comes to my mind. For optimal extraction of the oils, the beans have to be used within 2 weeks of being roasted (so do not buy the beans from Starbucks usually). Instead of getting it grounded ahead of time feel as you grind the beans to the size you want because powder size plays a huge role in the bitterness and the very drip of the coffee. Finding the correct size powder is a crucial element to customize your coffee for your palate.

After the powder size has been recognized, a pressurized system lets the water seep through the powder. Whether it be an Aeropress because of its cheaper price tag and the opportunities for customizing it or a good old coffee machine, maintaining a good amount of pressure for the oil to be extracted is key.

Tamping is an important aspect if using a regular coffee machine, since it again determines the drip speed and bitterness as it packs the powder into compact form, allowing for maximum oil extraction for the espresso. And you can determine if the effort was worth it as you look at the thick creamy creamer on top of your espresso shot and breath in what should be a full-bodied and earthy scent.

If you are an avid coffee drinker, I ask you to give making your own coffee from scratch. If you don't like coffee, well, try making it your own. You might like it for all you know.

-Sincerely A Coffee Enthusiast

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