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.
Inspired by Southern-cooking traditions and flavors found right on its owners' Harpersville farm, The Pantry by Stone Hollow Farmstead designs "eat clean" cafe menus that transform local produce into fresh, sustainable, seasonal farm foods. Each day, its charming cottage-style Crestline Village home fills with the aromas of hearty soups as well as "one-pot" meals, which are simmered in traditional cast-iron cookware. These meals celebrate the work of Stone Hollow's farmers while highlighting the diversity of Southern agriculture. This eatery also doubles as a specialty food boutique, serving artisan products such as goat cheeses, preserves, and honeys that are made in small batches at the Farmstead. Onsite events such as recreational cooking classes and twice-monthly food and drink tastings give visitors even more ways to interact with local food that are easier than trying to speak fluent "cow" so they can finally ask where all that milk really comes from. The Pantry also moonlights as a one-of-a-kind venue for parties and events.
While customers waiting for Dyar's Daylight Donuts to open at 6 a.m. may consider themselves early birds, the Dyars have already been up for hours. On the job seven days a week they bake a full menu of yeast-raised, cake, and specialty donuts, rising incredibly early to ensure that every doughy treat is ready by opening time. With even more advanced preparation—at least 24 hours’ notice—the Dyars can also prepare a custom menu of donuts, muffins, and sausage rolls for catered breakfasts of 10 or more people, or one voracious clone of William Howard Taft.
In keeping with the rest of the Plum Restaurants family, Plum Burgers food truck has no meat products on board. Its burgers are entirely beef-free, organic, and vegan?but within these restrictions, the cooks have gotten more than a little creative. The Jerk + Yam burger piles yam and Jamaican-spiced grilled tofu with caramelized onions, whereas the 8-ounce Mediterranean burger layers mint-kissed seitan with pickled figs. Other patties incorporate lentils, portobello mushrooms, and panko-crusted tempeh as meat substitutes.
Also on the menu are a variety of sandwiches and sides, including the popular Mac & Yease, which is a vegan version of mac and cheese that can also go gluten-free upon request. Milkshakes made with vanilla coconut ice cream conclude meals with cool, sweet sips. To track the truck's location, customers can refer to its homepage. It even takes pickup orders via phone call, text, or really loud yelling from across town.
Christine Boatwright of Shelby Living Magazine wrote a piece detailing the operations of self-taught baker and Wooden Spoon Bakery owner Leslie Arnold and how she specializes in surprising scone flavors—pear and fresh ginger, apricot white chocolate, and salted caramel, to name a few—but also loves one special, more familiar flavor. Her red-velvet cake, a hand-me-down recipe from her husband’s grandmother, is a popular classic: a light chocolate cake colored a vibrant red and sprinkled with icing and walnuts. As she told the magazine, “I’m proud to say it’s the only recipe I have not tinkered with because it’s perfect the way it is.” Still, Arnold keeps a constantly rotating menu of flavors and offerings at Wooden Spoon Bakery, baking bacon-cheese biscuits, strawberry coffee cake, and blueberry-and-cream muffins one week and specialty brownie cakes the next.
"This Boot was a lone house of public entertainment," Charles Dickens wrote in his novel Barnaby Rudge, with "several people drinking there, and a great merriment going on." The Boot at Preserve Village works to channel this homey vibe into its spacious dining room, where a pecan-wood fire burns inside a brick hearth. Made with organic chicken, beef, and veggies, their fast-casual American menu includes salads topped with homemade dressings, slow-cooked beef-brisket sandwiches, char-grilled smoky pimento burgers, and homemade brownies. Guests can wash down each flavorful bite with cocktails, wine, or craft beers from local Alabama and southeastern breweries such as Back Forty Beer Company and Terrapin Brewing Company. The Boot at Preserve Village recently won the 2013 Best of Birmingham - Best New Restaurant award.