The culinary artisans at Miguel's Authentic Mexican Cuisine dish up a multifarious menu of both authentic and American-inspired Mexican cuisine. Quash the complaints of a demanding belly with an imperious order of nachos grande ($7.50) or guacamole ($4.75), then break the resulting silence with a signature puff taco buzzing with beef, beans, or chicken slathered in salsa and cheese ($5.25–$6.75). Steaming beef, shrimp, or chicken fajitas ($11.95) saunter into exclusive mouth parties with an escort of grilled vegetable sycophants. Dishes such as the 8-ounce taco burger ($3.75) and taco pizza ($6.75) combine classic American and Mexican innovations with results that would shame any mariachi boy band. Match the meal with a refreshing lime margarita ($2.99 for a small) or icy imported brew ($2.95).
At The Butcher Shoppe, handcrafting sausage and sculpting fresh cuts of meat is a family legacy. Owner Kevin Green and his son Jordan will tell you that serving as a local expert on meat is not just a job; it's a way of life. When the father-son team welcomed Troy Moon of the Pensacola News Journal into their store, Jordan showed off his extensive beef knowledge, knife skills, and the tattoo on his arm, which depicts a snarling steak holding a butcher's knife in each hand. When asked how long he planned to work for his dad, the ambitious and dedicated youth replied, "Hopefully until he either gives up this one to me, or we open another one." Given their talent and close connection with their customers, that may not be a bad idea.
In addition to prime, certified Angus and choice beef, the duo showcases specialty items such as bison and alligator, providing a “how-to” cooking guide with each cut in order to ensure the best flavor. They also turn their patrons' wild game into sausage—adding hot Cajun spices, maple, or sage for an extra kick—and handpick marinades and barbecue sauces that are ideal for slathering on grilled meats or making slip ‘n’ slide journeys more flavorful.
Beachy colors and Caribbean flags set a tropical scene inside Island Kitchen, an eatery that serves up the flavorful foods from Jamaica and other island nations. Fall-off-the-bone jerk chicken, oxtail, and goat curry are a few specialties, and sides, such as sweet plantains and yellow rice, round out meals. For vegetarian diners, the spot's chefs prepare jerk vegetables, curry cabbage, and other meat-free offerings.
Award-winning executive chef Jay Ammons serves up authentic Creole cuisine in an approachable, yet upscale style, similar to a Rolls Royce with a hood ornament in the shape of Morgan Freeman. Send taste buds into a tizzy with menu items including the crab cakes, with jumbo lump crabmeat blended with Cajun spices and served with peach salsa ($11). J's shrimp and grits, meanwhile, feature blackened Gulf shrimp doggy-paddling in creamy Cajun-infused grits ($16). Sandwiches, such as the french dip served with turkey gravy jus ($9), and salads, such as the classic bistro cobb ($12), make for lighter lunchtime fare, ideal for pound-conscious boxers preparing for weigh-ins.
At Arlene Williams Bar-B-Que, smoke sinks into sausage and sauce seeps into slowly roasting cuts of pork, beef, and chicken. In the dining room, the spicy sauce drips from ribs, drawing nervous glances from the novelist writing the last line on their 432nd napkin. Steam and the sound of clattering pots drifts from the kitchen, conjuring images of the steamed okra, collard greens, and blackberry cobbler within.
Alongside its Mediterranean platters, Jordan Valley Restaurant serves up ample hospitality. The restaurant strives to be a social space where friends and new acquaintances can mingle amongst Middle Eastern spices, or chat on the porch over hookahs. The kitchen’s staples include kebabs, gyros, and a variety of pitas filled with kafta, tandoori chicken, or meatballs.