Violet vidalia onions tumble into deep wooden bins alongside brown bulbs of sweet potatoes, heads of lettuce, bell peppers, and tomatoes still wet with dew. Owner and general manager Margaret Wood fills The Grove Farmers Market & Bistro with a locally sourced spread of produce, but her mission to support Alabama farmers goes beyond retail. Wood has embraced European food concepts by putting a market and farm-fresh bistro under one roof and topping that roof with a satin beret. Head chef Thad Gerrell sifts through the same organic produce brought in daily to create rustic dishes seasoned with gourmet olive oil, grapeseed oil, sea salts, and raw sugars. Seasonally fresh herbs elevate traditional gyros, souvlaki, and cholesterol-free pastas, many of which are available as take 'n' bake for home preparation.
Royal Waffle King's chefs crank out comfort-food staples such as belgium waffles, biscuits, and burgers 24 hours a day. Breakfast platters team waffles up with eggs, sausage, and hash browns, while Royal burger platters pile juicy beef patties with cheese, bacon, and onions. Omelets, country fried steaks, and grilled-chicken clubs are served at all hours at Royal Waffle King's more than a dozen locations in four states. Each restaurant is conveniently situated near major highways, ideal for a rest stop on a long road trip or a vacation beneath diner booths.
Touting itself as northern Alabama’s sole Puerto Rican restaurant, My Old San Juan pairs the Isle of Enchantment’s regional cuisine with imported sodas and sudsy drafts from a full-service bar. Chefs specialize in Puerto Rico's signature dish of mofongos, an appetizing amalgamation of mashed plantains stuffed with seafood, meat, or vegetables. The restaurant entertains guests' other senses with salsa classes on Saturday, dancing on Friday, and karaoke croon-offs on days prophesized by a mystical oracle.
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 the state. 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.
Featured in the Huntsville Times, Philly Connection constructs 7-inch authentic cheesesteaks with classic italian-roll bases and extra-lean steak fillings, both imported from Philadelphia. The make-your-own cheesesteak satisfies hive-mind abstainers by stacking a choice of three cheeses—white american, provolone, or pepper jack—and an edible armada of more than 10 toppings, including sweet peppers, pepperoni, and pizza sauce, atop the tenderized, steak-filled italian rolls. Traditional taste buds may awe at the original cheesesteak, a classic congregation of grilled onions, tenderized steak, and white american cheese, while the chicken cheesesteak plumps the philly rolls with somersaulting bites of grilled poultry, onions, and cheese. Dining duos give their jaws a break from sandwich aerobics and chew on french fries while sipping ice-cold soft drinks and arguing about which famous physicist would make the best sandwich.
For more than 50 years, the Berzett family has owned Greenbrier Bar-B-Que, while serving hickory-smoked barbecue chicken, pork barbecue, fried-catfish fillets, hushpuppies, and seafood—their specialties. After spending more than 30 years at its original location, the restaurant now resides in a different building located right off 565 near the Harley Davidson store. In this convenient new location, they broil catfish filets, batter and deep-fry shrimp, bake southern pecan pies, and more. Their southern-themed menu also features a roster of classic sides—fried okra, baked beans, and slaw.
Gleaning her baking skills from her mother and grandmother, Gigi's Cupcakes' eponymous owner opened her first cupcake hub in 2008, drawing upon her entrepreneurial spirit and gift for crafting beautifully topped cupcakes. The franchised cupcakery now has 50 locations, each of which churns out 12 daily-rotating flavors that are made fresh every morning. The shop's selection of more than 40 flavors includes Canadian Maple, Southern Comfort, and Champagne—a bubbly-flavored base topped with an edible pearl. Patrons can pick out sweet treats from the daily selection or preorder them at least one day in advance online, by phone, or via singing telegram.