For the last several years, more than 2,000 people have congregated in DeBardeleben Park for one of the most anticipated events of the summer: the Bob Sykes BBQ & Blues Festival. There, guests can enjoy the summer sun while listening to local and national blues acts, grabbing a plate of Bob Sykes’s famous ribs, or watching kids play on the inflatable slides. Food booths, crafts, and activities draw crowds of festival-goers throughout the day, as do the face-painting booth and cool picnicking spots under the trees. Meanwhile, blues music filters through the open air like frisbees who can’t find their owners. A portion of the festival's proceeds benefit local charities.
Founded in Harahan, Louisiana, by a trio of restaurateur pals in 1997, Zea Rotisserie & Grill champions the tastes of the American South across its 11 locations. Barbecued ribs and étouffée join the restaurant's signature rotisserie entrees, which slow-roast chicken, rib eye, and a rotating selection of pork, veal, and beef slathered with herb glacés or au jus. A specialty menu takes Zea's roots-centric recipes even further, revisiting classic New Orleans meals of pasta jambalaya, fried catfish with remoulade, and battered Mardi Gras beads. Zea Rotisserie & Grill also caters special events.
Each morning, the family staff at JoJo’s Diner on Broadway grinds fresh Black Angus beef into quarter-pound patties and prepares breakfast sausage. They also create their salads, desserts, and backyard spacecraft from scratch. From 7 a.m.–3 p.m., hungry passersby can stop in for the sausages and simultaneously served breakfast and lunch staples, including eggs, pancakes, burgers, and hot dogs.
Jackson's open and airy space offers a place for nourishing American and European favorites, all featured on expansive dinner, late-night, and brunch menus. Commence evening consumption with a marinated chicken, black-bean salsa, and cheese grilled quesadilla ($6.50) or with a slider- supported stack of house-cut bologna and cheddar cheese ($5). Reminisce over a youthful dabble in French impressionism by ingesting a classic croque monsieur ($8.50), or pay homage to bilateral bicuspids with a commanding chomp into Benny F's favorite Philly cheesesteak sandwich ($9.50). The wood-burned verde pizza slathers spinach-garlic spread and artichokes radially from a crusty center ($8.50), and the brunch menu includes savories such as biscuits and gravy ($5.50), steak and eggs ($11), and a Denver omelet ($7.50).
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.
At Capt’n Morgan’s Fish & Chop House, chefs pillage tackle boxes teeming with fresh ingredients to forge a menu that pairs succulent steaks with Atlantic-style seafood. Red snapper fillets ($15.99) surf onto plates in one of six different preparations such as grilled, blackened, fried, or director's cut, sinking deep-sea cravings alongside a flotilla of fresh snow-crab legs ($18.99). Guests take up steak knives to admire the light pink center of a chopped sirloin ($11.99) or opt for a surf n’ turf dish by nuzzling a flame-grilled new york strip ($21.99) up to a fresh fillet of tilapia (an additional $4.99) or a succulent smattering of scallops (an additional $6.99). Midday diners get to peruse a number of lunch specials, such as a cut of Canadian flounder ($5.99) or an ocean-fresh octet of fried oysters ($8.99). Pintsize foodies can juggle fried nuggets of popcorn shrimp ($4.99), impressing parents and jaded circus scouts alike, before rewarding patient palates with rich slices of house-made key lime pie ($5.49).