The first Golden Rule Bar-B-Q and Grill?a roadside joint frequented by locals and travelers alike?served its first heaping plate of lovingly smoked barbecue in 1891. The restaurant has since adapted with the times, acquiring a car-repair garage, neon signs, and a hovercar dock, in addition to nearly a dozen saucy outposts across Alabama and Mississippi. Now the various locations serve slow-cooked, hickory-smoked meats served with a variety of secret-recipe sauces and sides such as collards or mac 'n' cheese. Guests can also forgo the sauce and order surf 'n' turf dishes such as a hand-cut charbroiled steak or a creole grilled fresh catfish fillet.
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.
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.
One might not expect to find an authentic Cajun seafood restaurant on the outskirts of Birmingham, but it's hard to question Jubilee Joe's credentials. Owner Kash Siddiqui sources much of the restaurant's shellfish, fish, and alligator from Troy Landry and his son Jacob, fishermen extraordinaire and stars of History Channel's "Swamp People". As chronicled on ABC 33/40, the duo sometimes visits the restaurant: an upscale seafood shack with tiled floors, modern hanging lights, and framed illustrations and photographs of seafood.
Though there's a chance the Landrys are just dropping by to say hello, they might also be stopping in to sample the chef's authentic Cajun cuisine. Jubilee Joe's menu features pots of seasoned low-boil shrimp, crawfish, and crabs, as well as Southern staples such as fried green tomatoes, grouper, and bayou oysters. The culinary team stacks po' boy sandwiches with catfish, lump crab, and gator tail, and crafts entrees such as blackened tilapia, New Orleans–style blackened chicken, and crawfish alfredo. Once a year, they bring the food out of the restaurant and into the Oak Mountain Amphitheatre for the Crawfish Boil. The event highlights the chef's signature dish amid live music and family-friendly activities designed to appease the angry Lord Crawfish, sending him back into the ocean depths for one more year.