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Sippin Lemonade At The Scene Of The Crime-100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die

Tasty Tuesday-Lemonade at Toomer’s Drugs. This is my 49th MEGabite (or MEGadrink) or #54 as I count down on 100 Dishes To Eat in Alabama Before You Die.

As a Badger fan, this experience could have been about stopping in for a taste of lemonade at a former corner pharmacy that is full of Auburn kitsch. What I learned helped me to understand why this dish/drink is uniquely Alabama.

Every University has a favorite hang out, a food or food place and unique traditions. This lemonade is so intertwined with Auburn University that for me, the lemonade simply tasted better with the story. In other words? not a football fan? let Meg translate.

Toomers Drug’s is located at the intersection of Magnolia Avenue and College Street, kitty-corner to the store sits the main gate to Auburn University. This corner is beloved to Auburn fans and alumni.

toomerscorner

Mascot Auburn Tiger left his paw print!

Fondly known as Toomer’s Corners, so named after a former Auburn football halfback. This jock was also an Auburn agricultural and pharmacy graduate, and in 1896, the founder of Toomer’s Drugs. He later would be known as State Senator Sheldon Toomer.

toomers

This corner has been the epicenter of celebration since the beginning of Auburn football in 1892. The main gate looks much like it did when the corner was erected in 1917. Between 1937 and 1939 two famous trees were planted inside the main gate. The tree story goes on to a time when Toomer’s Drugs had the only telegraph in the city, and it is said that upon learning of an Auburn win, the employees threw their ticker tape from the telegraph up and onto the power lines. In 1972, a halfback by the name of Terry Heley proclaimed,  “We’re going to beat the No. 2 out of Alabama.”  After they wiped up, they threw the wipes. “Rolling the trees was on.”

This fun tradition ended after the iron bowl of 2010, a fan of the rival Alabama football team murdered the Oak trees with poison. By March of 2013, all life saving measures failed and the live Oaks were removed.   This was the day that the music died on the corner.

This video show “one last roll” before the trees were removed.  The headlines made U.S. National News One last roll

The trees have been replanted and it is predicted that by the fall of 2016 the tradition of rolling the trees can resume.

toomerscounter

The lemonade is made fresh to order. The lemons are squeezed; the secret ingredient is added from a pitcher and poured over crushed ice. Poured into a Toomer’s Mason jar glass if you dine in, where you are able to have an old fashioned sandwich  complete with a pickle and chips.

toomersglass

Tart and sweet

 

You are also able to get the lemonade to go. Available in a 16 or 32 oz cup.

toomerstogolemon

 

Bringing my lemonade outside to soak up sunshine on a bench overlooking Toomer’s corners, was the perfect way to  reflect upon my experience, visit a murder scene, taste this lemonade while watching the young oaks grow.

toomersbottle

I’m pretty sure the kids are just drinking lemonade on game day!

MEGastars **** Tasty drink with Alabama pride and a good story.

MEGatips:

  1. Lemonade is also sold by the gallon.
  2. You too may make this at home. Lemonade recipe
  3. Auburn now has a webcam where you are literally able to watch the trees growing.Watching Oaks grown
  4. Interested in what happened to the man who poisoned the trees? Tree Crime
  5. Toomer’s Drug website.Toomer’s website
  6. Do no harm.

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 information.  *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. From this list, I select stops based on convenience of location. They are in no particular order but I already have a few favorites. Perhaps when I finish this list, I will rank my favorite dishes.

I use a 5 MEGastar system. I am not a paid food critic, just Meg, a curious traveler, with an interest in trying different foods and sharing my two cents on the experience. I try to follow my own 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 cannot get anywhere else.

 

 

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