The pitmasters at Tays Barbeque have been barbecuing meats the old-fashioned way since the 1940s, when Millard Taylor opened first started serving up St. Louis-style ribs to the people of Columbia, Mississippi. What does "old fashioned way" mean? At Tays, it means hand-coating meat in a special dry rub, then letting it smoke for hours over a hickory-wood fire until the ribs are tender enough to break in half. The rest of the menu?comprised of recipes from two barbecue-loving families?gets just as much love and attention. Chefs smoke sausages and hot wings, compile pulled pork sandwiches, and carve up beef brisket for sale by the pound. All of Tays meats are served dry unless otherwise requested, and each is paired with two sides, like coleslaw or mac-n-cheese, a slice of bread, and a choice of original or spicy white barbecue sauce. Of course, man cannot live on smoked meat platters alone, which is why the chefs also serve up sweet helpings of banana pudding and peach cobbler, made fresh daily and topped with a choice of vanilla ice cream or an entire ham.
The Catfish Shack’s management team harnesses more than 40 years in restaurant experience to pack seafood, steaks, and gumbo with dense southern flavor. Entrees, including whole catfish and boneless-catfish fillets, play Marco Polo with a variety of sides, from coleslaw to mustard greens. Aged wooden tables and chairs add to the eatery's homey feeling, and a piano awaits nimble fingers and aficionados of the Silver Spoons theme song.
There are no flavor combinations that are off limits at Chill Yogurt Cafe, which fosters flavor experimentation with 27 varieties of frozen yogurt. Customers can also innovate by choosing a subset of more than 80 toppings. One might start by selecting swirls of Florida orange sorbet, Italian espresso, and cupcake batter. Each flavor contains only 20?35 calories per ounce, with most options containing no fat or added sugar. At the toppings bar, visitors customize each creation with pieces of fresh fruit, flakes of cereal, bits of candy, and drizzlings of sauce. The flavors change with the season and the availability of Oreos after milk surpluses.
In woks at Bangkok Cuisine, snow peas, shrimp, napa cabbage, and scallops snap sizzling drumrolls over the stove. Ingredients indigenous to Southeast Asia mingle in traditional Thai dishes, which also draw on the culinary traditions of the country’s neighbors. Catfish fillets marinate before chefs cover them in breading and chili sauce, and shrimp, scallops, and squid evoke Thailand’s palm-tree-sprinkled coast. Chefs tailor each dish’s spiciness to individual palates, delighting daring diners with thai peppers hotter than two astronauts hugging on Mars. Fusion dishes include Chinese staples such as sweet-and-sour sauce.
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.
In 2011, readers of Lagniappe named Zorba the Greek Mobile's best spot for ethnic food. To understand why requires only a peek at their preparation methods. They create every dish from scratch, blending all-natural garbanzo beans into savory hummus and crisp falafel, and turning fresh, organic eggplant into creamy baba ghanoush. Even their popular roasted chicken gets the full treatment, marinating in an intoxicating blend of spices before broiling over an open flame. The result is a menu of fresh and authentic Greek cuisine that ranges from pita stuffed with chicken or beef shawarma to full platters flanked by a medley of scratch-made side dishes.