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 Alabama and Mississippi. 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.
The Chocolate Biscuit takes its name from its signature dessert—a warm, buttered biscuit split in two and drizzled with a homemade chocolate sauce. This salty-sweet treat might be all it takes to get customers in the door, but the eatery's chefs create a host of other goodies as well, including fresh chicken salad, creative sandwiches, and sides that include broccoli salad, mandarin orange salad, and an ever-changing salad of the day. Open Tuesday through Saturday, the restaurant also features take-out casseroles, cakes, and specialty groceries.
Drawing inspiration from the more traditional Mexican cuisine and its European influences, the chefs at La Catrina Mexican Cantina create specialties that pair exotic meat choices under a layer of fine European cheeses. They fill tacos with marinated pork tossed with chunks of pineapple, shredded chicken in a drizzle of queso, or fish fillets fried in a Pacifico beer batter. Outside of street food classics, they also stuff chilies with marinated rice and beans and toss linguini in a light almond cream sauce and queso fresco.
Hacienda Mexican Grill's two locations brim with artifacts and artistic depictions of Mexico's rural estates. Carvings of horses, statues of campesinos, and murals of mountainous countryside immerse patrons in Mexico's history. Wagon wheels hang beneath brick archways, and traditional Mexican dresses decorate the walls with ancient dry-cleaning tickets still in their pockets.
Baskets of tortilla chips with freshly made salsa greet Hacienda's guests. As guests sip margaritas indoors or out on the patio, the kitchen staff tosses chicken, beef, and veggies into traditional Mexican dishes to cook up classic tamales and burritos. Combining two classics, the fajita taco salad buries morsels of grilled steak or chicken beneath a bed of cheese, bell peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, and guacamole.
When diners aren't sharing pizzas, they can instead feast on their own plate of classic veal parmigiana, shrimp pesto, baked zit, or sandwiches like the Chicken Philly, which are created with freshly baked bread that's made daily. The same goes for pasta sauces on dishes like Fettuccine Alfredo, Meat Ravioli, and eggplant parmigiana. Alfredo's Italian wedding soup—unlike Vegas wedding soup, which is traditionally served in an Elvis impersonator's boot—fills bellies with greens, savory meats, and warm, fuzzy feelings.
At seven locations, shoppers can peruse Mission Possible Bargain Centers' inventory of new and gently-used clothing, furniture, and household items. All proceeds benefit the ministries of the Jimmie Hale Mission, a nonprofit that has worked to help men, women, and children in need since 1944.