An extensive menu of fresh and comforting treats takes shape in Jefferson’s laid-back interior, where friendly servers warm up crowds with starters such as fried dill pickles ($3.00/$5.75), corn nuggets ($6.50), and Ultimate fries, smothered with three types of cheeses, Cajun seasoning, and a layer of crispy bacon ($6.95). Spice up a slow workday or a slow-moving fasting day with an order of Jefferson's fully customizable wings ($6.95 for 10), or nosh on a fried oyster po' boy, a hearty hoagie stuffed with fresh gulf oysters that are battered and fried until golden brown ($7.95). Other seafaring portions include fried catfish ($7.50), a spicy shrimp basket ($8.25), and a melodious band of fish 'n' chips fronted by soulful slaw and backed by harmonious hush puppies ($7.95). Customers craving candied confections can find fulfillment in slices of creamy peanut butter or pecan pie ($2.95 each).
With a delectable selection of chophouse favorites from land, sea, and sky, Austin's Seafood and Steak gives premium proteins new homes on plates and palates. Each of Austin's certified Angus steaks—from the 8-ounce top sirloin ($12.99) to the 14-ounce cajun ribeye ($20.99)—is hand-cut daily by kitchen beefmasters, preserving freshness and appeasing the cravings of the restaurant's eager-to-help meat cleavers. Fish and fowl round out the menu, as tender scallops ($16.99) bring familiar comfort to tables of off-duty mermaids. The Mardi Gras chicken ($12.99) throws a tablecloth Carnival with a colorful assortment of peppers, onions, and sauces served in the shape of a smiling-jester float.
The chefs at Mama's American Table take their motto of Something for Everyone to heart, preparing meals ranging from burgers and sandwiches to pasta, pizzas, and chicken enchiladas. Signature dishes include the Big Mama sandwich, a toasted ciabatta roll piled with thinly sliced ham and swiss cheese, and Big Mama's signature salad, with grilled chicken, mandarin oranges, strawberries, gorgonzola, and croutons. The staff also mans a full bar featuring a selection of 20 different beers on tap, about the same number of beers it takes to fill up The Incredible Hulk's beer stein. Mama's American Table does not disappoint dessert-hungry diners, either—warm plates of old-fashioned bread pudding topped with caramel sauce and whipped cream round out the food roster.
With a primo outdoor patio, an elegantly decorated interior, and a full-service bar, El Olmeca Mexican Cantina is a year-round destination for savory, spicy Mexican food and drinks. Classic dishes such as pollo Vallarta—chicken breast smothered in cheese and pineapple—and seafood fajitas, which combine shrimp and scallops with one king shrimp. Especially hungry customers or lions wearing trench coats can attempt to conquer the Burrito Macho XXL, a behemoth concoction of steak or chicken, beans, veggies, and dipping salsas.
Inside The Apollo Cafe's kitchen, chefs synthesize local produce and meats into lunch, brunch, and dinner menus of Southern-inspired comfort cuisine. Take a seat in the noontime sun to savor a battered and fried monte cristo sandwich ($7.95), pairing gouda, ham, and turkey with fruit compote to blur the boundary between sweet and savory and between waffles and Thanksgiving. Goat cheese and pears complement mixed greens and a house-made basil vinaigrette in The Apollo salad ($6.95). During dinner, cooks daub the honey-glazed pork chop ($12.95) with brandy cream sauce and surround it with brussels sprouts and smashed potatoes to keep feral steak knives at bay. Golden fried carrots, a creamy grit cake, and sautéed spinach accompany seared mahi mahi ($14.95) fillets on fantastic voyages to explore the inside of the human stomach.
Although ingredients from nearby growers and paintings from local artists send a clear message about Brix, the restaurant's scope is by no means limited to Alabama. Simply stepping into the garden room is like hopping over the Atlantic and jumping through the window of an Italian house. Exposed stone, a decorative balcony, and walls that seem to crumble with antiquity trick the mind into believing that the chicken scallopini's capers and tomatoes were plucked fresh from the Florentine countryside.
No matter what region inspires the chef's ever-rotating menu—Europe, the deep south, New England, anywhere in between—one thing each dish at Brix has in common is the ability to spark conversation. Whether discussing what Californian wines would pair best with the pork tenderloin, or complementing a shareable small plate with talk of long division, diners relish an atmosphere that entices all kinds. Fans of art admire the photographs and paintings in the foyer, fans of football cheer on local teams on the bar area's big-screen TVs, and fans of fresh air can rest amid the peace of the patio.