Traditional Jamaican flavors abound in Island Paradise's casual dining room, where a predominantly Caribbean staff revs up the sense of authenticity. Amid bright red banquettes and paintings of the tropics, tables populate with coconut-dusted fish fillets, jerk chicken, and spicy marinated pork. After diners pass around entree plates of oxtail and curried goat, they can bury forks in a sweet Jamaican dessert or utilize the eatery's dangling bead curtains as guitar strings for a three-piece zydeco band.
The sandwich-smiths at Momma Goldberg's Deli populate a mouthwatering menu with stomach- and hand-filling sandwiches. The steamed Momma's Love banishes hunger boo-boos with roast beef, ham, and hickory-smoked turkey cradled within a seeded bun (a $5.09 value), and the reuben stuffs waiting mouths with corned beef, swiss cheese, and sauerkraut accouterments (a $5.09 value). Pan-roasted slices of turkey mingle with a crowd of pepperoni, american cheese, and pickles atop a honey-wheat bun to create the Gobbler (a $5.09 value), and four of Momma Goldberg's salad toppings fill the Veggie Rider's pita encasement (a $5.09 value) like unhappy thoughts of carnival games fill a sentient stuffed animal's mind. To keep meals fully customizable, customers can temporarily don a sandwich architecture cap and draft their own edible skyscraper from an assortment of meats, cheeses, and breads approved by the local zoning commission (a $5.19 value).
Roberto's appeases weekday appetites with fresh, handmade Mexican meals. The restaurant's extensive menu is teeming with a diverse selection of south-of-the-border eats, mouthwateringly bookended with the guest-favorite guacamole ($1.99 small; $3.99 large) and finishing with crispy, golden brown sopapillas ($2.99). Sink veggie-loving teeth into chilies rellenos, poblanos stuffed with melted cheese, fried in egg batter, and tastily trebucheted onto waiting taste buds ($6.50). The el matador chicken dinner dresses itself in buttery batter, Spanish sauce, and melted cheese ($8.29) and crunchy corn chapulas dream of tummy vacations under comforters of refried beans, ground beef, guacamole, and shredded cheese ($6.99).
The Tavern is a brand new establishment that takes pride in providing an all-American menu and an all-star atmosphere. The professional and attentive wait staff ensures pleasant experiences, while executive chef Mike Vinson supplies diners with heaping helpings of soups, salads, sandwiches, steaks, burgers, pastas, and more. Fickle appetites are convinced to stick around with appetizers such as the Frickle, deep-fried dill pickle slices paired with jalapeño ranch ($5), or the Foghorn Sliders, pulled, smoked chicken bathed in barbecue sauce and buried beneath cheddar cheese ($7). A black Angus burger will kick off an unforgettable meatsperience; the Tavern Monster is a prime example, with an 8-ounce patty smooshed between two grilled-cheese sandwiches with pepper bacon, a house bistro sauce, and all the fixings. Real madcaps of meat will want to attempt the Incredible Tavern Monster Double Stack, a burger as big as its name ($13), where successful, complete consumption earns diners a reward of a picture on the Wall of Fame and a pitcher of beer on the house. Less daring digestive tracts can opt for the grilled salmon dinner plate, prepared with a bourbon honey glaze and a choice of two sides ($14).
It was a bold idea—opening a restaurant in the midst of the Great Depression. But the founders were truly convinced that if they maintained a clean space with low prices and friendly service, they'd drum up more than enough business to support themselves. And on October 24, 1932, when Krystal's first customer walked out with six Krystals and a cup of coffee for 35 cents, the restaurant's remarkably successful run began.
More than 81 years later, Krystal reigns as one of the oldest fast-food brands in the country. Their namesake creation remains their biggest draw, snack-size burgers topped with diced onion, mustard, and pickle on a soft, square bun. Over the years they've added other hugely popular menu items, including breakfast scramblers and MilkQuakes made from 100% real ice cream. Even after eight decades, enthusiasm from customers has hardly cooled: Krystal gets so much fan mail, the staff have a Krystal Lovers Hall of Fame, for which inductees have their illustrated likeness printed on more than a million burger boxes.
Even though her restaurant is in the heart of Bulldog country, Melissa Powers, the owner of Bama Girlz Cafe, douses her Alabama-themed restaurant in shades of crimson and stamps an Alabama A on each piece of sandwich bread. In the kitchen, cooks prepare a menu of concession-style food, including Nathan's beef hot dogs, nachos, and polish sausages, as well as healthier options such as grilled-chicken salads and soups. Powers flips to the most popular NCAA games on her high-definition flat-screen TVs—with the caveat that Alabama games trump them all. The restaurant's crimson-and-white walls are bedecked with Alabama stickers and a quote from former coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, and fans may also opt to gather for game-watching parties stocked with complimentary popcorn and prize drawings during halftime.