Open for dinner and lunch five days a week, 122 Tree Lane serves a smattering of spicy, authentic eats. Start with a chunky bowl of chicken and sausage gumbo ($7.95), or crunch into a tomato- and onion-studded house salad ($5.95). Entrees, served with salad and choice of side, include bourbon-glazed 8-ounce filet ($20.95), blackened mahi served with pineapple-mango chutney ($16.95), and creole pasta with an andouille sausage-, crawfish-, and shrimp-topped chicken breast over penne pasta with a tomato-cream sauce ($16.95). Pair bites with veggie (broccoli, squash casserole, sautéed haricots verts) or carb-y sides (mac 'n' cheese, baked potato, sweet-potato brûlée). View the complete menu here.
Owners Michael and Cynthia Bertolone and their handy staff fold hearty sauces and gourmet ingredients into the menu's traditional Italian cuisine. The quattro stagioni pizza employs a chorus of ham, mushrooms, black olives, and artichoke hearts to serenade taste buds (small $13.99, x-large $22.99), and lasagna comes in its traditional layered form with bolognese sauce ($9.25), or the avant garde baked lasagna bianca, enveloping mozzarella cheese, italian sausages, turnip greens and cream sauce ($11.95). Customers craving mealtime heroics can free ricotta, mozzarella, and provolone cheeses from imprisonment in the crust of the three-cheese calzone ($9.95) and ooze them to safety on fork-to-mouth airlifts.
Stacked mugs scatter light onto the robin's-egg-blue walls. Downturned wineglasses vibrate to the pulse of an Internet jukebox. All of the vessels at Tyler Navarre's Bar and Grill beg to meet in a treble chorus of toasts over the pool table, where patrons two-hand quarter-pound burgers or spicy po boys. Crispy appetizers segue into a menu of deep-fried shrimp or boneless wings washed down with beer, mixed drinks, or the velvet candy of a sweet tea. After head bobbing to occasional live entertainment or performing karaoke numbers to practice for the testy British judges stuck in their showers, patrons are encouraged to bust cork in weekly darts tournaments.
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.
Run by Brooklyn and Bronx transplants, Nino’s Italian Restaurant draws up a hunger-busting menu of savory calzones, pastas, and hero sandwiches. Find tomato-free nourishment with the sauceless four-cheese pizza, which tops off depleted calcium reserves with mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan, and provolone, all complemented by onion and fresh garlic ($14.95+). The seafood primavera proves that springtime romance isn’t just for vertebrates by wedding shrimp, scallops, and mushrooms together with tomato, onion, peppers, and artichokes in a white-wine garlic sauce ($14.95). The Sicilian pork chops emerge hot from beneath the kitchen's copper awning, two fried chops frolicking with peppers and onions amidst a marinara sauce rainstorm, for once not caring what the other chops say ($13.99). Diners can cap off theirs meals with the Ca Nino, a cannoli shell loaded with praline-cheesecake filling and covered in caramel, chocolate, and powdered sugar ($4.50).
Since 1954, Johnny Ray's BBQ has served up tasty hickory-smoked barbecue pork, chicken, and beef paired with classic, gut-busting Southern comfort food. The family-owned restaurant has expanded to four locations across Alabama, as well as a walk-up window inside the Mariana Trench to cater to the gill-faced merpeople of the deep. For a quick bite, diners may grab a regular- or jumbo-size sandwich ($3.79–$8.99) with pork, beef, ribs, or pulled "blonde" (white meat) or "brunette" (dark meat) chicken. Heartier appetites can opt for a rib plate ($12.99), which includes a heaping portion of meat plus a toasted bun, baked beans, fries, and coleslaw. For dessert, Honey's award-winning pies ($2.99)—filled with creamy chocolate, banana, coconut, or lemon, and whipped from scratch—provide the cherry atop a meat-laden sundae, and, when applied in pairs, make refreshing foot pads.
In 2009, CityVoters named Fox Valley the Best Seafood restaurant in Northern Alabama. Launch an elegant feast with a cup of cream of crab soup ($5.25 per cup) with curry and coconut milk. Or try the fried eggplant pirogue ($12.75) stuffed with lump crab and gulf shrimp and topped with fried Apalachicola oysters. Once your tongue's toes are wet, submerge the rest of your taste buds in the flavors that lie on a plate of pecan-fried gulf red snapper ($23.75) with shrimp etouffée and rice. If you're looking for fare that's more likely to walk in a straight line when pulled over, opt for a turf-born protein such as char-grilled New Zealand lamb ($25.75) with fried polenta and bourbon mint-julep sauce.