In today's chatter-heavy world, delicious secrets rarely last a day, let alone more than a century. Yet according to LA Teen Festival magazine, the Anaya family behind Pinches Tacos has managed to guard its coveted mole recipe for more than 120 years. The sauce's undisclosed ingredients have transferred from bough to bough of the Anaya family tree, passing through the generations alongside methods for hand making tortillas, marinating carne asada, and blindfolding tour groups that walk through the kitchen. The authentic eats have also made the trip from Mexico to California and Alabama.
The Homewood location is owned by Ty Taylor, whom befriended the Anayas while living in Hollywood and moonlighting as an actor. Running his own Pinches location brought him back home to his native Alabama after years out West in the restaurant and entertainment industry. “I love reconnecting with friends I haven’t seen in twenty years,” he told the Homewood Star last year. “Friends stop by weekly to say ‘hello’ and share a drink. It’s great to be back in a neighborhood surrounded by new and old friends.”
The Star also reports that the restaurant's name comes from the Spanish slang for cook, "pinche," which Pancho Villa would reputedly shout whenever he craved a taco meal. Today, the tacos on the Anayas’ menu would have made Pancho beg. They come cradling everything from slow-broiled and citrus-scented pork to shrimp and cactus, exploring the full possibilities of fresh ingredients and authentic Mexican combinations. Burritos, tortas, and sopes round out the list of street-food staples, carrying with them everything from Angus beef to oaxacan cheese.
Baker Jan Moon cut her teeth at kitchen stints at both Southern Living and Cooking Light before launching Dreamcakes. Her creative icing-laced confections ($3 per cupcake) are a step up from basic vanilla. Try the bananas foster, a banana cake base pounded with heavy old-fashioned caramel frosting and dripping with caramel drizzle. Coconut fans appreciate the almond joy, a white velvet cake injected with coconut crème filling, covered in coconut frosting and liberally laced in chocolate drizzle with an almond on top. Other selections including a candy-covered banana split, choc-o-cherry, and cinnamon sugar mama. See the complete menu here.
Icing on the Cookie appreciates sweet treats' ability to bring family and friends together, but everyone knows that splitting a single cookie many ways can result in some embittered bites. With today's Groupon, you will receive half a dozen custom-iced small, medium, and large cookies to be more suitably shared or enjoyed all on your own. Select your six from more than 300 cookie-cuttered shapes spanning sundry subject matters to cater to your any craving—be it animal, baby, birthday, clothing and accessories, food and drink, sports, or seasonally related. Sift through the entire online catalogue to carefully curate a box of goodies (orders must be placed at least 48 hours in advance), or stop in the storefront to select from a smaller seasonal assortment already made and fighting for your affection from the display case.
Alabama Gaslight & Grill's vast selection of barbecuing accouterments has given chefs and backyard cooks the means to harness fire's cooking powers for nearly half a century. Ensure steak flavor stays firmly in tow with Kamado Joe natural hardwood lump charcoal ($19.95), or gussy up bun-bound fare with premier grilling chef Steven Raichlen's signature meat rubs ($7.95). Slider burger sets allow gastronomes to miniaturize their meals without purchasing hors d'oeuvre-sized portions or unstable shrink rays, comprising a specialized burger press, a grill basket that clutches nine sliders at a time, and a bun slicer ($29.95). Alternatively, equip flame-licked grids with cedar grilling planks, slabs designed to lend succulent creations a smoky, woodsy flavor ($9.95). A set of four stainless steel skewers can double as meat-impalers for building kabobs and crochet needles for knitting beef tenderloin scarves ($14.95).
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.
For more than 50 years, Michael’s Restaurants have been sating foodies with a tantalizing menu of hand-cut, Prime Angus beef aged for at least 30 days and fresh aquatic fare. Diners can start a culinary journey through the Deep South with fried green tomatoes topped with lump blue crab in lemon-herb cream ($12). A 13-oounce bone-in filet ($37) satisfies the primal urge to gnaw, and the 24-ounce porterhouse, which combines a tender filet mignon and New York strip ($39), is suitable for sharing or consuming solo to impress a werewolf paramour. Guests can unite the immortal lovers surf 'n' turf by adding a Maine lobster tail ($16) or three grilled scallops ($6) to any steak. Wood-fire-grilled salmon over wild rice ($18) or grilled-chicken caesar salad ($12) appease lighter nibblers, and nonmeat eaters may savor the fettuccine alfredo ($12) or combine pan-seared pecan green beans ($4) with a wood-fire-grilled vegetable kabob ($4) to create a diverse epicurean garden.