LC: Auburn is similar to most college towns, but with its own unique charm and vibe. Being part of the SEC, Auburn University is the driving force behind the city. The hustle-and-bustle of Auburn is mostly fueled by the school and football season. That being said, we decided to visit on a random Sunday, during Memorial Day weekend, NOT during football season, and while school was out. Can you say ghost town? *crickets* Though it was quiet around town, we were still able to enjoy the cozy hometown feel of Auburn. My last time in Auburn was in 2010. The highlight of that day was my appetizer experience at Halftime (the Tilted Nachos) and I’ve been craving it ever since. I attempted to go back once in 2012 to find the establishment closed. Thankfully, it is now open and under new management.
DC: As we pulled up to Halftime, I was not entirely sure if they were open. In fact, the open sign was not even lit. I hesitantly reached for the door, and peered into a section of the restaurant that was unoccupied. With the situation feeling a bit eerie, I decided to wait for LC to join me. I figured that if there was an axe murderer hiding in the shadows, at least I wouldn’t die alone.
LC: Gee, thanks friend.
DC: We ventured past the first abandoned section and opened another door, where we happened upon a deserted hostess stand. At this point, I was sort of expecting Jason Voorhees AND Freddy Krueger to jump out and send us to our Maker. Still, I went down a little further, peeped around a corner and saw a couple of people sitting at a bar. It was then that I noticed the host, and we were seated promptly after. Thankful to still have our lives, we sat and began to peruse the menu.
LC: Well, frankly I knew exactly what I came here for. Walking in on a mission for Tilted Nachos, MY concern was what beer I wanted to order to accompany my craving. In an effort to keep it simple, I settled for a good old-fashioned Yuengling, which our server Emily brought out quickly and ice-cold. From the beginning, she was very friendly and personable.
DC: Feeling a bit indecisive when it came to the bever-ahjz, it took a minute for me to order. I finally decided on a Bloody Mary, and I must say, it was a wise and satisfying decision. There have been times where I’ve ordered Bloody Mary’s at other spots and they’ve fallen flat, but this one was nice and spicy like it should be. It was seasoned well, and was quite an enjoyable experience.
LC: I don’t even do Bloody Mary’s like that, but this one made me semi-regret my Yuengling. Next visit, I’m DEFINITELY ordering a Bloody Mary!
DC: Next, it was time to order apps. I was immediately drawn to the chicken nachos, BUT when am I NOT? Sometimes I find myself ordering the same types of things at restaurants, so today I convinced myself to try something different. I ordered a half order of the Loaded Fries instead: crispy french fries topped with smoky bacon, pepperjack and cheddar cheeses, and diced jalapenos ($6). What can I say? There’s bacon, cheese, and jalapenos involved, so this would be difficult to not love. What really made this appetizer above average is that the fries were actually crispy as advertised, and were not greasy or oily in the least. Non-greasy fries that actually taste good? I can definitely appreciate that! My only suggestion is to order a side of ketchup or ranch. The fries definitely needed a condiment.
LC: As previously stated, my sole purpose of waking up today was to experience the Tilted Nachos one more time — crispy waffle-cut sweet potato slices with slow-smoked pulled pork, pepperjack and cheddar cheeses, and smoky barbecue sauce ($6). Clearly, this wasn’t the healthiest choice on the menu, but I made a #ChewRight decision by ordering a half order and splitting it with DC. (Everything in moderation!) I’m here to tell you, this was every bit as good as I remembered. The waffle-cut sweet potato slices remained crispy even topped with all of the fixins. I think the key to this dish is each distinctive ingredient is noticeable, with the marriage of flavors remaining harmonious throughout. Maybe next time, I might request less bbq sauce and cheese, but that’s just if I were being picky. Essentially, it hit the spot just right.
DC: As I’ve mentioned in other reviews, I am not a huge fan of sweet potato-anything, but I have to say that the Tilted Nachos were absolutely phenomenal! These beat out the Loaded Fries for me, and may very well be one of my favorite appetizers of all times. The slow-smoked pork was juicy, tender, and flavorful, with the barbecue sauce serving as a perfect complement. Again, I normally don’t like the taste of sweet potatoes, but these waffle-cut sweet potato slices were actually quite delicious. Everything about this was fantastic!
LC: So I have to admit, walking into a nearly empty restaurant did have me feeling a bit nervous. However, once we were seated and greeted by our friendly server, Emily, I started to feel more at ease. Upon arrival, there were a total of six patrons altogether, then that dwindled down to four. I had to remind myself of the holiday weekend, and school being out; otherwise, Halftime is usually one of the hottest spots on College Street. This is generally the perfect place to grab a beer with some friends and catch a good game and is usually a busy bar, packed full of college students. There is a TV in every corner, so you’ll never miss a game.
DC: I wish I could say more about the ambiance, but this was my first visit, and I clearly understand that this was not a typical representation of the place. Today, it was quiet, which was perfect for a leisurely lunch with my bff. At the end of the day, this is a college sports bar, and it looks and feels like one (probably even moreso when it’s packed and the game’s on). However, what takes Halftime to the next level are the drinks, service, value, and the quality of the food, as most bars don’t mind serving you a sloppy plate of grease. At Halftime, this was not the case, and the food was prepared and presented beautifully, even if it was JUST french fries. Our server, Emily was attentive and very pleasant. She didn’t hover, but came at perfect intervals to check in. Overall, I am glad that LC introduced me to Auburn. The drive from Columbus is short and sweet, and makes for a nice little day trip. I am certainly looking forward to coming back to try some of the other restaurants in town. Who knows? I may even swing by Halftime for an appetizer before dinner! I think you know what I’ll be ordering.
Score: 4 / 5
Halftime is located at:
154 North College Street
Auburn, AL 36830
Halftime on Facebook.