Fred's Small Time Bar-B-Q fills its charmingly diminutive storefront with charcoal and wood-smoked meats flavored with a special-recipe rub. Texas toast envelops chicken and pork sandwiches, and sides such as housemade fried okra and sweet-potato cobbler are served with plates of ribs and brisket. Patrons can place their orders at a walk-up window before settling down at an outdoor table or whisk their entrees away to eat at home or in a vacationing neighbor's dining room.
The Patrick family first dabbled in wine-making on their 24-acre estate back in 2001, when only one other vineyard operated in Shelby County. After a few seasons of practice and success, they decided to officially dedicate a portion of their land to cultivating grapes, and formally established Ozan Vineyard & Cellars in 2005. In 2013, they expanded with additional vineyard viewing areas, event space, and a winery boutique.
Using a combination of grapes grown on their own land and sourced from the East Coast, Ozan currently produces a series of varietals, including chardonnay, Chilton County peach, norton, and petit syrah. Conceived of traditional winemaking methods in small lots of French and American barrels, the vinos develop multifaceted flavors and complexity before being poured in Ozan’s tasting room or into glasses on the picturesque outdoor patio.
Voted to have the best milkshakes by Birmingham News’ readers, Eclipse Coffee & Books boasts an eclectic selection of hot and cold beverages, as well as a menu that brims with sandwiches and delectable breakfast options. Literary theorists can interpret the poetry of pastries with the pecan pie milkshake ($6), or nurse a cup of chocolate turtle latte ($4.50) as they thumb through a novel from one of Eclipse's three book rooms. A bite from the avocado melt ($5.50) with red onion and provolone will satiate hungry bookworms, while Eclipse's selection of beers and liquor is as ever-changing as Abe Lincoln's facial expressions on Mount Rushmore. In addition to its laid-back vibe and stacks of intriguing literature, Eclipse hosts several events each month, including palate-pleasing wine tastings, trivia nights, poetry slams, and soothing musical performances.
The Heart Stopper, one of the signature sandwiches at Charlie’s Taphouse, is the centerpiece on a menu of pub food. A beef patty, cheese, and bacon nestled between two grilled-cheese sandwiches, the burger romps through bar-cuisine traditions. Shrimp crackle in fryers, waiting to crown po’ boys, and hot sauce cloaks wings. Thirty-three taps spill forth beers during football games on the bar’s televisions, and karaoke nights give patrons a chance to belt out favorite ballads or fix the grammatical mistakes of Hall and Oates.
Butchers slice through aged steaks as patrons wait at the counter at DJ's Fine Meats. Each steak, whether rib eye, filet, or strip, is carved from certified Hereford beef, and the lean ground beef hails from Painted Hills Angus ranchers. Customers tuck free-range hens and house-made dry rub into bags, and sashimi-grade tuna perches like a gleaming ruby on a plate, giving sushi cooks a reason to sharpen their chopsticks. Ten variations of sausage, including a jalapeño variety and two types of boudin, fill cases alongside ready-to-heat side dishes from St. Clair Gourmet.
The sterling-silver double-heart pendant necklace updates a classic jewelry design to reflect the sentiments of Mother's Day. Affixed to a delicate 18-inch silver chain, a heart-shaped pendant reads Mom in elegant script. A .01-carat brilliant-cut diamond adds a touch of sparkle to the lettering, like the rubies set in every o in the Constitution. The diamond is rated for H/I color and I1 clarity. The necklace's timeless style can transition seamlessly between casual and dressy occasions.