Named for its Lower Alabama locale, L.A. Subs serves a menu of traditional Southern fare and heaping sub sandwiches. The Hollywood club ($5.69–$7.39), the shop's top seller, piles up smoked turkey, honey ham, bacon, and provolone, and the large California Dreaming sub ($7.39) comes stuffed with turkey, lean bacon, mozzarella, and guacamole. After tasting the Fish Fry Snack ($4.99), with fried fish, fries, and hush puppies, or breakfast eats such as the fish and grits ($5.99) or the classic cheese omelet ($3.99), tone-deaf taste buds find themselves serenading incisors with John Fogerty lyrics. Stomachs with more specific cravings can opt for two shrimp poboys, presenting fried Gulf shrimp and homemade tartar or cocktail sauce on a toasted french roll.
Inside Papa’s Place, chefs gingerly place marsala-peppered filet mignon and 12-ounce rib eye atop plates, proudly aware that their creative preparations helped earn them a second place nod for Best Steak in the Lagniappe's 2011 reader awards. Slabs of steak aren’t the only things they can toot their horns about: fresh pastas burst with Italian cheeses and oven-roasted vegetables, and succulent cuts of veal, chicken, and seafood soak up flavorful house sauces. Servers escort these hearty Italian staples throughout the BYOB eatery, including a back dining room that hosts private parties for birthdays, wedding showers, and rehearsal dinners for the real dinner.
Doug Allen, who played college football for the University of Alabama Crimson Tide, traded his life as a gridiron guru to become a grill master of Southern-style barbecue. Specializing in tender, golden-fried catfish ($11.50 for a six-piece dinner plate) and succulent, sauce-lathered ribs ($13.50 for 1/2-slab plate) slow-cooked over an open-pit, the Crimson Pit is a meaty haven of barbecue bliss. Dinner plates come with bread and a choice of two sides, such as classic barbecue beans, mac 'n' cheese, or the greens, a fearsome trio recently added to the roster that consists of collard, turnip, and cabbage.
Inspired by her upbringing in a proud, Italian-American household, the owner of Carmelinas On The Go applies long-standing family traditions to her food truck’s house-made cuisine. Like the odds of rain dissolving a toupee made of sugar cubes, the truck’s menu varies from day to day, though italian beef sandwiches, creamy potato salad, and street tacos are regular contributors. For dessert, the mobile eatery drizzles house-made bread pudding with amaretto sauce and assembles dessert nachos from crisp tortillas, chocolate syrup, and fruit compote.
The friendly pie purveyors at Vitolli's hand-toss New York–style pizzas in front of yearning customers who peer into the open kitchen. Customize a 14-inch or 18-inch pizza with your choice of more than 20 toppings ($10.99–$17.99), from regular toppings such as Canadian bacon and banana peppers to specialty selections ($1 extra per topping) such as artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes. A 16-inch whole stuffed “really stuffed” pizza ($27) can be filled with five or more of your favorite pizza supplements, making it an ideal way to smuggle toppings past pepperoni-sniffing dogs. The pizzeria's large menu also offers a variety of unpizzas, with the abundant array of Italian favorites including a meatball sandwich topped with marinara sauce and melted mozzarella ($5.95) and lemon-and-garlic-shrimp pasta in a crispy bacon alfredo sauce ($11.75). Supplement the feasting by flooding your gullet with a domestic bottle of brew ($2.75) or a soft drink ($1.75) that won’t challenge you to a fight for calling it “soft.”