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.
Naji’s Pita Gourmet stocks and cooks Middle Eastern foods of all kinds in their combination bakery, grocery store, and restaurant. The bakery is populated by warm and soft preservative-free pita bread, which bakers ship all across the country or turn into crunchy pita chips. In the restaurant, that same pita cradles tender slices of shawarma and gyro meat, dives into plates of hummus, and wraps up crunchy falafel. Patrons can try to mimic Naji’s fare at home after a stop at the grocery store to pick up olives, grape leaves, spice bends, and cardboard cut-outs of the cooks.
To craft the signature Momma's Love sandwich, chefs begin with a freshly steamed hoagie bun. They layer on slices of roast beef, ham, hickory-smoked turkey, and muenster cheese before topping the tower off with spicy brown mustard. The chefs also extend their culinary expertise toward a variety of other hearty hot and cold sandwiches, as well as their specialty nachos—crispy Dorito chips showered in creamy pepper jack cheese.
The chefs at Matthew's Bar & Grill fire up a sizzling menu of barbecue classics amid an energetic sports bar. Diners can swap crispy appetizers to head off the meal, whether tearing into fried butterfly shrimp or heating up gums with breaded jalapeños stuffed with cream cheese. Similarly, sauces—from hot barbecue to tangy lemon pepper—douse flocks of chicken wings to paint a gustatory rainbow when shared between dual or quadruple orders. As pulled barbecue sandwiches and entrees emerge, smoky aromas spark palate salivation like a Fourth of July cookout at Pavlov's laboratory. Grilled chicken slathered in barbecue sauce and cheddar cheese crowns crunchy nachos, and sides, such as sweet-potato fries and onion rings, score Tetris wins in near-full bellies.
It's amazing that Central Park BBQ's pristinely white exterior isn't covered in reddish-brown fingerprints, especially since most of the food inside is slathered in a generous helping of barbecue sauce. The restaurant's cooks fill the menu with plenty of Southern charm, which can be tasted in specialties including thick seafood gumbo and Memphis-style ribs that are twice as long as the plate they arrive on. Each BBQ plate comes with a drink to wash down the mountain of meat, bread to sop up sauce, and two sides, such as coleslaw and macaroni and cheese.
Fat Sam's Sub Station, a local eatery neighboring UAB, doles out submarine sandwiches piled high with fresh meats, veggies, and cheeses. At sunup, chefs fold omelets, flip pancakes, and drizzle syrup on alarm clocks, crafting diner-style breakfast entrees. As lunchtime rolls around, foodsmiths shift their attention to preparing hot and cold sandwiches on pita, wheat, and rye bread or hoagies. Customers applaud the restaurant's namesake cook, noting Sam's boisterous personality and passion for sandwich artistry. Catering services are available.