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.
The River Shack hauls in grilled platefuls and fried basketfuls of eats culled from both land and sea. Bun-corralled menu options such as the double griddle burger ($8.95) to the fried oyster po' boy ($12.95) can ably occupy hands while herds of the buffalo shrimp appetizer stampede wildly by ($7.95). Fashionably flat, the grilled flounder platter arrives escorted by two down-home sides such as slaw, fried okra, baked beans, or a retired high-school quarterback ($13.95).
Cream & Sugar Cafe, which was voted as Lagniappe's best coffeehouse for the 2013 Nappie Awards, might give off the impression of just being a quaint little house from the outside, but on the inside, its a whole different story. Chefs specialize in gourmet cafe fare, such as the crabmeat and goat cheese quiche on a pecan crust or the house's seafood gumbo poured over a plate of grits. To complement these entrees, they prepare drinks with the house's manual Italian espresso machine and create unique delicacies such as their signature cake balls. They make these bite-size delicacies in numerous flavors, and even incorporate liquor for spiked sweets perfect for any adult party. The decor is bright and retro, with a rustic wood plank and marble bar, chalkboards scribbled on with colorful chalk, and vintage pastry display cases.
At Blind Mule, cooks infuse the flavors of the South into their casual menu of burgers and bar fare. They infuse extra smokiness into Cajun classics such as shrimp and grits and red beans and rice with the addition of Conecuh sausage, and they jazz up sandwiches with flavorful flourishes such as blackening spice and house-made sauces. A sudsy selection of domestic, imported, and intergalactic brews is also available to temper the spiciness of their Southern specialties.
Blind Mule also boasts an upstairs stage that hosts live blues, folk, and fusion melodies on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. As guests' toes tap, they can bask in the eye-catching splendor of the venue's vintage music memorabilia and local art, which Mobile Bay magazine described in its list of great destinations for a night on the town.
Up the steps of the1930s-era home, a wide, wraparound porch gives diners the impression they are entering a rural townhouse. And that’s the feeling Donna Rodriguez and executive chef Marc Walden want to evoke—that of a little house, which they can fill with startlingly large flavors. Chef Walden vows to use only fresh, locally sourced ingredients to craft the eatery’s southern-style dishes, which blossom beneath modern twists, including apricot compote and okra chips. As chefs introduce new york strip, filet mignon, and blackened delta catfish to flame, the contented crackle of the hot grill drifts from the kitchen. Patrons marinating to weekly live jazz music in the dining room request a savory bacon cheesecake to go, or search for Waldo in the pastel whorls of the bistro’s vibrant impressionist paintings.
Bacon, cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato, and onion crown the award-winning Butch burger, the nearly plate-sized signature item at Butch Cassidy's Cafe. Founded in April 1993 and named for Paul Newman and Robert Redford's classic film, the café tips its hat to other legends of the wild days with a menu steeped in Western references.
A reuben sandwich on rye pays homage to the Sundance Kid, a beef patty melt honors Calamity Jane, and a club sandwich name checks the Pinkertons, an agency still vying to make pink part of the rainbow. Other popular offerings include the Rio Grande nachos and Baggs Wyoming buffalo wings, and a low-carb menu highlights the kitchen's more health-conscious offerings.