On The Rocks, Florence, AL

Our Florence Restaurant Week coverage continues with a 37-mile bicycle ride to the Natchez Trace, followed by lunch.
We have to burn those calories off in advance so we can earn them later.

The drivers in Lauderdale County are very courteous. They wave at us with all five fingers of their hands. Our ride takes us to the Tennessee River, which runs right through Florence.

The coolest thing we see today is the Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall, which Tom Hendrix has been working on for the last 30+ years.
The pictures do the wall no justice. Hendrix is at his creation and tells us that there are nine million pounds of rock in it and that’s it’s the largest freestanding mason wall in the world.
He’s got over a mile of rock put down, and he likes to point out that he lifted each stone three times: into the truck, out of the truck, and onto the wall. It’s quite the creation.

Meanwhile, back in historic Downtown Florence…
Most of the buildings here were built between 1880 and 1920. Get rid of the cars and things look a lot like they did one hundred years ago. On The Rocks is in one of those historic buildings.
There’s a long bar when you walk in.
During the day, the place is pretty quiet. At night is when it starts rocking.
There’s live music five nights a week. We are told it gets very busy, especially on the weekends when they are open until 2AM, which is way past our bedtime.
They allow smoking after 10PM, so if you don’t like that, clear out early.

The menu has a lot of bar food, including burgers, sandwiches, and wings. The draft selection is so-so, but they do have a nice selection of local brews in cans and bottles.
Check out these finds. On the left is the brown ale from Good People Brewing. On the right is the milk stout from Straight to Ale. You can taste the hops in the brown ale, but it’s not bitter at all. The milk stout is smooth and creamy.

We are hungry after our ride and we order a lot of food. Can we conquer the Macho Nachos?
These are described as the “King Cadillac of all nachos”. It’s a big pile of chips and a huge mound of sour cream. It towers over the plate. Two things could have made this better: real cheese and less salt in the chicken. They put cheese sauce on the chips, which reminds us a lot of melted Velveeta. The sauce makes the chips soggy. Instead, why not put shredded cheese on top and melt it in the broiler? The chicken is tender and nicely-grilled, but very salty. It keeps us reaching for our beers and waters. We can’t eat the whole plate. All that’s left is a pile of chips.

It’s Wednesday, and that means the burgers are only five dollars at lunch. They have daily specials on lunch and booze. The margaritas are only three bucks today.
We get the burger, which is eight ounces of beef. We add the fried egg on top because we can. We also add the fries. The burger is tasty, although it’s cooked a little past the medium we ask for.

We don’t get dessert. You will find why we passed in our next Florence Restaurant Week entry.

Watch the food come alive in our exclusive Tastemade video, which you can watch here.

The bottom line for On The Rocks: The place to go in Florence for live music. We went for lunch, when it was much quieter. Check out their specials, like Wine Down Wednesday and cheap beer on other days.

Disclosure time: Since we are guests of Florence Main Street, we did not pay for this meal or for our hotel room in Florence. Thanks to Christina for the invite and to the Marriott at the Shoals for the excellent hotel accommodations.

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