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.
From vine-ripened tomatoes to juicy strawberries to sunny marigolds, Farm House of Homewood–affiliated with The Alabama Farmers Market–fills plates with flavorful nutrients and gardens with colorful flowers in their ongoing quest to bring local produce to the people. Because of its commitment to selling high-quality produce, James Beard award-winning chef Chris Hastings has used Farm House okra at his eatery, Hot and Hot Fish Club. Whenever possible, the family behind Farm House makes sure their produce is fresh, crisp, and local. They demonstrate their dedication to the community by donating to Jessie's Place, a shelter for battered women and children. They also curb wastefulness by not throwing away produce or forgetting it in the attic.
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.
Salsarita's swiftly serves a spicy sea of Mexican dishes, with a myriad of fresh ingredients available to customize any meal. Peruse the menu in search of an ideal south-of-the-border entree, such as a bodacious burrito ($4.59–$5.59 for a small or $5.99–$6.99 for a large) or a tantalizing taco ($1.99–$2.49). Fusion-minded food-lovers can try one of Salsarita's pizzas ($5.49) of the taco, vegetarian, white, or BBQ variety. Sides such as chips and guacamole ($2.59) sidle up to non-tortilla options such as nachos ($5.99–$6.99) or taco salads ($4.99–$6.99), a dish born when a claustrophobic bunch of lettuce refused to climb into the overcrowded taco shell.
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).
Demetri’s BBQ has been serving the Homewood community with scrumptious recipes for barbeque staples for fifty years. Its menu of savory barbecue fare stands open for grazing like the most delicious field of grass ever to be put on a bun. Sidle up to a starter of hickory wings ($3.95 for 5, $6.95 for 10) or add wings to the rings ($7.25) to set your taste buds stretching. Splendidly steaming plates of warm pork ($8.70), half slabs of ribs ($12.50), or hamburger steaks ($8.70) are served with a choice of two veggies or sides—southern staples such as green beans, baked beans, potato salad, and slaw run rampant like children at a burst fire-hydrant filled with chocolate milk. Vegetarians are also welcome at Demetri’s BBQ and can enjoy a veggie plate ($5.95) or a greek salad ($4.60–$5.90). Pies are also available to end each meal sweetly, baked from scratch in varieties such as lemon meringue and coconut cream ($3.35).