Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Year in Review: Eating Oxford: Oxford’s $625,000 Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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Oxford is best known for its chicken on a stick, catfish po’ boys and shrimp and grits, but we can also brag about having one of the world’s most expensive sandwiches.

The door of DownStairs Bar.
The door of DownStairs Bar.

For the past three years, The DownStairs Bar (DSB), or as locals call it, “The Secret Grilled Cheese Place,” has been offering delectable grilled cheese sandwiches inside an undisclosed location on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights starting at 10 p.m.

The owner of DSB, we’ll call him “Mr. X,” said that he created the speakeasy so he’d have somewhere quiet to drink. “There are only 25 people let in at a time,” he said. “And one booth is always reserved for William Faulkner.”

Most of the sandwiches at DSB fall in the $12.00 range, according to Mr. X. However, for $625,000 and a bit of notice, you can order Le Voyage de la Savage (The voyage of the savage). What do you get in exchange for your mortgage and car title?

“For $625,000 and 24-hours-notice, we fly in celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain to grill up four grilled cheese sandwiches for you and your friends,” said Mr. X. If you’re thinking that’s a lot of money for a grilled cheese, Mr. X said it used to be cheaper. “The price goes up 50 grand every time a new menu comes out.”

If you’re skeptical about a visit from chef Bourdain, who is known for traveling the world on his food adventures, you can rest easy knowing that Mr. X has personally spoken with him and confirmed that he’s willing to fulfill your grilled cheese wishes—for a price.

“I ran into him in L.A. and explained to him that we’d pay for everything—jet, hotel, food, etc. if he’d just come to DSB and fix some grilled cheese. He said, ‘OK, stay in touch.’”

The DownStairs Bar is open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 to close. Location undisclosed.

liz headshot

Liz Barrett Foster is the EatingOxford editor for, an award-winning business journalist and author of the recently published Pizza: A Slice of American History. Liz ran the popular restaurant information site from 2009 to 2015. Liz can be reached at

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