Picklefish OldShell’s chef draws on 16 years of experience to season and sizzle pizzas, po boys, and burgers. Nibbles such as buffalo and barbecue wings or spinach-and-artichoke dip pave the way for cheesy pies such as the Great White, which spreads garlic-based sauce, fresh basil, and feta onto a crispy crust engraved with Herman Melville’s initials. Televisions flicker as diners bite into italian-sausage-and-ham-laden slices of the Big Pig or the gooey goodness of a hand-patted four-cheese burger. Bell peppers and grilled onions tickle the spine of a philly cheesesteak as live music simultaneously tickles ears on weekends.
• Two reserved-seating football tickets to see the University of South Alabama vs. Lamar University at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on September 10 (a $30 value) • Four upper-bowl tickets to see one men's basketball game of your choice during the upcoming 2011–2012 season at the Mitchell Center (a $20 value)
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The same love for pizza and beer that fueled three college students in 1974 transformed their lives as they expanded their business from one rundown building in Atlanta to 100 Mellow Mushroom restaurants across 15 states today. Each eatery owes its individual style to each location's being locally owned and operated, much like impressionist painters owed their individual style to their number of ears. In the kitchens, grilled and deli-style hoagies are assembled and calzones and pizzas baked in stone hearths using dough made with natural spring water. Though many of the restaurant's dishes have remained on the menu since its inception, the culinary crew frequently devises new, often gluten-free, dishes to keep senior-ranking pepperonis from becoming too powerful. Servers pair dishes with their location's own set of local brews, which fit into a collection of up to 100 microbrewed and imported beers on tap and in bottles. Brewers such as Bell's, Abita, and Dogfish Head are also featured in regular beer events.
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.
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.