The Brick Pit’s owner, Bill Armbrecht, firmly believes that great barbecue can't be rushed. Open the red doors of his massive smoker—"Big Red"— and you’ll uncover juicy slabs of ribs, chicken, and pork that have been roasting anywhere from 6 to 30 hours. Bill coats each cut of meat in his legendary spicy barbecue sauce, which was lauded by reporters from Southern Living and relished by Adam Richman on Man v. Food. For a sweet finish, Bill and his chefs whip up housemade banana pudding each day from scratch.
After ordering barbecue platters from the back window, guests retreat into the lively dining room. The walls are decorated in the doodles, praise, and thesis papers of the hundreds of guests who've passed through the restaurant's doors along with framed awards and glowing news articles.
As first-time visitors to Fiddlefish Seafood Cafe swallow forkfuls of deftly prepared seafood, they might detect the taste of déjà vu. That's because the eatery's cooks recreate recipes from Nan Seas, a former Mobile restaurant known for its oceanic cuisine. Since opening for business in December 2012, Fiddlefish Seafood Cafe has gained loyal fans with celebrated dishes such as gumbo, chargrilled oysters on the half-shell, and shrimp-stuffed baked potatoes. Diners can round out meals with sides such as cornbread salad or cheese grits or sweeten palates with a bowl of bread pudding or wedge of Key lime pie.
BGR The Burger Joint’s burgers start with high-quality ingredients—most importantly, all-natural beef from grain-fed cattle, free to run in the fields and given zero hormones, fillers, or antibiotics. The prime beef is dry-aged, blended, and ground fresh to form patties that are grilled over an open flame, and then placed atop buttery, locally made brioche buns delivered fresh each day. The menu focuses on the Legendary Burger, which includes gourmet toppings such as avocado, applewood bacon, and grilled jalapenos. For nonbeef eaters, the menu's selection of burgers also includes turkey and veggie varieties, as well as The Greek, a seasoned lamb patty topped with tzatziki and feta. Burgers are also available in a lettuce wrap or on a salad in a healthy salad bowl.
Diners can request all of BGR The Burger Joint's freshly made fries—from thick-cut yukon gold potatoes to asparagus fries—be topped with parmesan, rosemary, roasted garlic, or a tiny tiara. The staff hand-spins shakes with Gifford's or Breyers ice cream to create extra-thick treats for finishing off meals, and some shops curate their own selection of bottled vintage sodas and offer beer and wine.
Launched in the early 1990s, Write Impressions has since swelled to a 3,500 sq. ft. paper and gift emporium with a comprehensive collection encompassing all facets of the gift-giving trade. Crabtree and Evelyn beauty products ($50 and under) share shelf real estate with Trapp candles and Trollbeads' build-your-own jewelry, while Vera Bradley accessories ($30 to $50 per item) form their own gaggle of quilted gear. Paper enthusiasts can find a wide variety of invitations and stationary, including wedding invitations born from the unbridled minds of designers like Crane and Co., Carlson Craft, and Stylart. Customers can also take advantage of on-site printing to create personalized note cards, stationary, or invitations to a holiday toupee swap, which generally range from $10 to $26 plus printing fees for a set of ten cards. Write Impressions' reservoir of goods is updated regularly, giving clients new items to admire and ceremoniously curtsey to on every visit.
Baseball gloves, football helmets, and training apparel for a host of sports hang from the racks and fill the shelves at Rick's Sporting Goods. In addition to regulation sporting goods, Rick's provides custom screen-printing services. Customers can even submit specific hand-drawn designs, allowing local teams to take to the court, field, or diamond in style.