Since 1950, the family-owned Whataburger chain has served up its iconic burgers and fresh, made-to-order meals with a commitment to excellent customer service. In addition to lunch and dinner, the North Central Alabama-area restaurants' 24/7 hours and fully fledged breakfast menu have made them popular destinations for early morning and late-night dining.
Besides the classic Whataburger, the modern menu includes options such as the jalapeno and cheese Whataburger, the Whatachick'n sandwich, and the Whataburger Jr., which is a regular Whataburger that doesn't know how to tie a tie. The breakfast selections remain rooted in hearty tradition, with crispy chicken strips covered with honey butter and served atop biscuits. Additionally, signature Taquitos are warm tortillas stuffed with ingredients such as scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, potatoes, guacamole, and grilled vegetables.
Richey's BBQ, a 35-year-old Southern staple, crafts downhome fare to order, piling ribs, steaks, pork, and fish atop plates mounded with savory sides. Instead of baiting a pork-chop trap with dollops of applesauce, guests can ensnare their choice of meat within formidably sized sandwiches, including the texas-toast pork sandwich ($4.99) and smoked-sausage sandwich ($5.99). Four bones ($10.99) or a half slab ($13.99) of Richey's ribs arrive in plain or basted versions to goad jaws into gnawing frenzies, and forks pilot their eager tines through such sides as fresh-cut fries, green beans, and daily vegetable specials. Flanked by a ration of tartar sauce, a pond-raised catfish ($9.99) shimmies into the fryer or creole seasonings before it charms patrons by reading aloud from Walden. Diners on the move can also pull up to Richey's BBQ's drive-thru to procure an enviable dashboard feast.
Busy Bee Burger serves sustainable succulence in juicy burgers made from organically raised Meyer Angus beef. Ingredients are locally sourced from a farm in Indian Springs before being mounded into single ($2.79) or double burgers ($3.89), slid onto fresh-baked buns, and adorned with sliced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, sweet onions and special sauce.
Christine Boatwright of Shelby Living Magazine wrote a piece detailing the operations of self-taught baker and Wooden Spoon Bakery owner Leslie Arnold and how she specializes in surprising scone flavors?pear and fresh ginger, apricot white chocolate, and salted caramel, to name a few?but also loves one special, more familiar flavor. Her red-velvet cake, a hand-me-down recipe from her husband?s grandmother, is a popular classic: a light chocolate cake colored a vibrant red and sprinkled with icing and walnuts. As she told the magazine, ?I?m proud to say it?s the only recipe I have not tinkered with because it?s perfect the way it is.? Still, Arnold keeps a constantly rotating menu of flavors and offerings at Wooden Spoon Bakery, baking bacon-cheese biscuits, strawberry coffee cake, and blueberry-and-cream muffins one week and specialty brownie cakes the next.
In between video games, pool tournaments, karaoke, and poker hands, Patera?s Pizza Subs & Sports Bar refuels patrons with pizzas baked to a golden finish and subs crafted on freshly made bread. Chefs top circular disks with ingredients such as bacon, feta cheese, black olives, and ground beef before bidding bon voyage and popping them into the oven. Alternately, the staff assembles submarine sandwiches after bread busts out of the oven, stuffing slices with roast beef, tuna, and house-made meatballs. Spaghetti finds its way onto a plate with meat or marinara sauce, and gyros offer a quintessentially Mediterranean alternative to the quintessentially American grilled chicken sandwich. American and Greek influences share the dessert corner, where chocolate cake, cheesecake, and baklava vie for the attention of sweet teeth. Like anyone born in the ?80s and many 80-year-olds born on Leap Day, the restaurant is more than 20 years old.
Outside of swimming laps in chocolate syrup, smoothies at Smoothie King are the tastiest way to improve your health. Smoothie King smoothies combine fresh fruit, natural juices, and special nutritional enhancers into more than 90 flavors (you can customize, add, and subtract the extras), all of which focus on achieving one of seven nutritional goals. Try an antioxidant-rich Pomegranate Punch with pomegranate, bananas, blueberries, apple juice, soy protein, and Turbinado sweetener to stay healthy. Weight-conscious en-smuthiasts can trim down and float away with the Celestial Cherry High, packed with bananas, black cherry, papaya, Turbinado, and honey, and unpacked with fat. You can also customize any smoothie by adding enhancers or “make it skinny” by cutting out the honey and Turbinado.