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Claunch’s Cafe Is One Class Act-100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die

Tasty Tuesday #27-Pecan chicken salad plate at Claunch’s Cafe.  MEGabite #27/75 counting down.

What a gorgeous setting

What a gorgeous setting

Last week on a whim, I had the delight of popping into Claunch’s Café in beautiful Tuscumbia, Alabama.  On this stop, I had the privilege and pleasure of meeting the owners, and eating the most wonderful café meal that I have ever had in my life. I left a huge fan of the Claunch Café!

It must have been extremely difficult for the folks at #TourismAlabama to decide on which Claunch Cafe dish to feature. Although, I have listed some of the items on the menu, my words do not do justice to the art of their craft.   If you are curious, link below to photos on their facebook page. You WILL drool!

The menu is magnificent with home style and southern dishes and daily specials. A few examples:

  • meatloaf
  • fried chicken, fried okra, fried green tomatoes
  • dressing with gravy
  • squash casserole
  • country fried steak
  • salmon patties
  • chicken stew
  • banana pudding (according to Chris, this is one of their most loved desserts)

One of the most pleasant surprises of this visit, (aside from meeting Chris and David,) was that I did not find a “typical Southern Diner.” The creative menu, presentation and perfection of the food and home baked goodness contributed to my experience.  Here are just a few menu examples;

  • Spinach Quiche with frozen fruit delight, fresh fruit, a roll
  • Balsamic pear Salad with grilled chicken and balsamic vinaigrette.
  • Hibiscus Nectar cake.
  • Home-made caramel cake
  • tomato pie
  • Homemade cheese straws.

Pete and Lucille Claunch owned Pete’s Café in Tuscumbia. Lucille Claunch was a baker and did some catering for people in the community. Of course, her wonderful recipes are carried on through her son David. David grew up around fine cooking and in 1997 along with his wife Barbara, they opened this café in the beautiful Spring Park location. David is now passing down the business to his son Chris.  I could feel the pride that these men take in carrying on the traditions of their family business. A beautiful setting, outstanding food and wonderful people, a dining experience I will never forget.

IMG_3750

Perfection on plate with a surprise.

Everything about this dish was perfect. The fruit was beautiful and fresh, the chicken salad was really delicious and extra creamy with just the right crunch.  This delectable lemon bread.could be a dish on the 100, it was that outstanding.  I felt like I was getting a present with the oh so delectable frozen fruit delight.  It also could have been a dish on The 100.  It is served in the foil muffin liner.  I thought it was going to be a sweet fluff served at room temperature.  However, to my delight, it was frozen and tasted both sweet and creamy.  I absolutely LOVED it!

OOPs I forgot to take photo before I took a bite.

OOPs I forgot to take photo before I took a bite.

If this was not treat enough, Chris brought me some of their banana puddin saying that it was one of their best selling and loved desserts.  Now, I have a thing for this stuff, I make mine from scratch. Even though I was stuffed, I dug in and oh my, fantastic and perfect.  Thanks to Chris and Dave for making me feel so very welcome!

Due to distance, I regret that I can not visit more often.   There is not one dish on this menu that I would not want to eat. When I return to Tuscumbia, I will definitely eat here.   Stop in and please say hello to Chris and David from Meg.

MEGastars: 5 of 5 *****

**** For a really delicious dish  AND  for meeting one of the definitions set forth by Alabama Foods/Tourism, of local food and/OR highlights Alabama Pride.  This family exemplifies Alabama food and pride.

The 5th star ***** because I actually died, went to heaven and came back when I ate the dish. OR, something is very unique, something you can not get anywhere else.  I want to make note that David and Chris both took time out of their busy day to make sure that I had a fantastic experience.  Thank you Gentlemen.

MEGatips:

  1. If you are anywhere near the Shoals around lunchtime the Claunch Cafe is a must place to eat. The food is OUTSTANDING and the staff is very friendly.
  2. Buy their recipe books. Although I own several Southern food cookbooks, I picked up a few tips from their recipes. They are found at the café.
  3. The Frozen Fruit Delight recipe is found here; http://www.food.com/recipe/frozen-fruit-delight-from-the-claunch-cafe-216356
  4. Go their facebook page. YOU will drool. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Claunch-Cafe/189929087693432
  5. Know that the cafe is open 11 am-2 p.m. Mon-Thursday and on Sunday.
  6. Visit with an empty stomach so that you can try as many things as possible.
  7. Let em know I said hello!

This MEGabites and MEGastars description is found at the bottom of each post. If you are new to my 100 Dishes in Alabama escapade, this may be helpful.  

*100 Dishes to eat in Alabama before you die is a compilation of food to chow down on Bama style. Thanks to Tourism Alabama, www.alabama.travel my Alabama bucket list just became a little easier. I am going to have some fun while making my way like Ms. Pacman, in yet another state that I call home.   You too may pick up the brochure at Alabama Tourism stops or download the alphabetical brochure that begins in Abbeville and ends in York. From the little old diner to the white cloth joint, it is an opportunity to explore and experience pride in the food from restaurateurs who are dedicated to local food with some Alabama style. From the local BBQ cook to James Beard recipients, you too will take a culinary trip across scenic and historical Alabama.

I use a 5 MEGastar system. I am not a food critic, just Meg, a curious traveler, with an interest in trying different foods and sharing my two cents on my experience. I try to follow my star system so that I may be fair to the wonderful dishes on this list.

  • *meh food. Just wasn’t good. Maybe the food came from a can. The place was not one that I would want to send someone to show pride in Alabama.   This has happened to me a few times and it is a difficult write.
  • ** passable – the food was ok and above happened but the place or vice versa
  • *** good but not outstanding or unique
  • **** Very tasty dish AND meets one of the definitions set forth by Alabama Foods/Tourism, of local food and/OR highlights Alabama Pride.
  • ***** I actually died, went to heaven and came back when I ate the dish. OR, something is very unique, something you can not get anywhere else.
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