801 Franklin celebrates local artisanal foods and elevated techniques—two factors which garnished the restaurant the award of 2010's Best Fine Dining restaurant in Valley Planet magazine. Small plates grace tables with miniature silverware meant for devouring braised beef short rib with creamy polenta, haricot verts, and port onion jam ($17) as well as the apple-braised pork tenderloin with squash bread pudding and sweet onion marmalade ($12). Entrees throw taste buds into the deep end of the flavor well with the Ashley Farms free-range chicken, which chefs pan sear and accessorize with parmesan risotto, haricot verts, and a mushroom- and bacon-laden cream sauce ($25). No matter which plate gets the nod, all servers courteously inquire about diners’ dietary concerns to ensure that the chefs keep meats, wheats, and cheeses on the simmering sidelines whenever necessary.
In 1971, Glenn Watson opened Stanlieo’s Sub Villa to bring Boston-style subs down South, topping them with cubed onions, pickles, and tomatoes, as well as salt and pepper, oregano, and oil. More than four decades later, the Watson family is still running the casual eatery, but today, they pile their freshly baked buns high at two locations. Fried pickles, mushrooms, and green tomatoes accompany steak subs out of the kitchen, and sandwich-smiths load up vegetarian subs with one of four vegetarian soy meats, as opposed to the Hormel meats they use for their regular subs and sculptures of Teddy Roosevelt. For those up to the challenge, the staff stuffs their famous Kitchen Sink sub with genoa and cotta salami, ham, turkey, roast beef, capicola, and pepperoni, as well as swiss, american, and provolone cheese in order to burst belts.
For more than two decades, mealtime maestros at Clementine's Restaurant & Catering have compiled a lunch menu of southern fare, scattering ingredients onto 22 different salads and 12 specialty sandwiches. Guests can preserve lettuce leaves for future rainforest dioramas by scooping up white-meat chicken, egg, onion, and celery from the Pedestrian chicken-salad plate ($6.50 for one scoop). Borrowing the family dentist, eaters can keep mouths open long enough to demolish the crab-cake sandwich's croissant foundation and Cajun-tartar-sauce roof ($5.95), and the chef's daily lunch special fuels Fridays with chicken marsala served over pasta ($7.50). Desserts cap off meals and barren heads on graduation day with bites of cookie ($1.50) or slices of caramel-fudge-pecan cake ($4.50).
Happy Tummy's chefs combine homemade bread and unexpected ingredients to create gourmet sandwiches, wraps, and burgers, spurring CityVoter and the Huntsville Times to laud their handhelds as some of the best in the area. The menu changes weekly to ensure that customers never tire of the same sandwich or font, and past concoctions showcased fillings such as craisin-studded chicken salad, chipotle pork, and korean beef barbecue. Happy Tummy also accommodates vegetarians and vegans with an ample selection of meatless sandwiches featuring black-bean burgers, spicy tofu, and fresh vegetables.
On any night of the week, customers at The Foyer might hear a standup comedy show, live music performance, or poetry slam. The café strives to stay plugged into the community by posting local artwork and hosting open-mic nights. This way, it encourages community members to showcase their musical or verbal gifts or a talent most people never discover in themselves: balancing on one leg for 45—maybe even 50—minutes. It’s also a casual place for friends to relax with a Kaffeeklatsch specialty coffee or chai tea and a slice of housemade cheesecake.
Sitar Indian Cuisine’s chefs populate the eatery's menu with traditional Indian favorites baked in a clay oven. Diners can satisfy herbivorous cravings with the potato- and cauliflower-laden allo gobhi ($8.95) or scarf down morsels of petite seafood with the chef's specialty karahai shrimp ($14.95), marinated with spices and tossed in an iron skillet or an iron baseball glove. Ease the weight burdens on plates by opting for the boneless goodness of the chicken tikka masala ($10.95) or carve into the lamb mango seasoned with aromatic herbs ($10.95). Patrons can cap off the meal with kheer ($2.50), a rice pudding as sweet as Shirley Temple pursuing a career in beekeeping.
Hibachi Express's chefs fry up popular Asian dishes using authentic Japanese cooking techniques. On piping-hot hibachi grills, they sauté scallops, pork chops, and crisp veggies while firing up noodles to create savory yaki-soba dishes or wigs for self-conscious shumai dumplings. They also whip up Japanese barbecue and lemon sauces to punch up the flavor of their crispy chicken and pork katsu and keep spoons gainfully employed in bowls of miso or hot-and-sour soup.