100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die-Limeade at Gilchrist Drug
Fresh-squeezed Limeade is the 77th “dish” that I have tasted on my quest to eat all dishes listed on 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die. (Or 24th on my countdown.)
Gilchrist Drug is an institution in Mountain Brook, Alabama. Established in 1928 as a drug store with a soda fountain is said to be serving their fourth generation of customers. Like most small drug stores in this setting, the drug store has now closed and the new owners run the soda fountain to their loyal customers and offer an old-time lunch experience to be discovered in this upscale boutique shopping area.
Before I get to this dish, I have twice written on the subject, in the spirit of not repeating myself, here is an excerpt from my visit to Carlisle Drug (while reading simply insert Gilchrist Drug.) A Nod To The Five And Dime-100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die
“…….The moment that I stepped into Carlisle Drug to play “My 100,” I had an unexpected visit to my childhood My experience with trying these two dishes reminded me of a time when I was a pre-teen living in Appleton, Wisconsin. I would save my allowance and take the bus downtown to the Kresge’s store, sit on the counter stool, and order a sandwich and malt. I would usually be goofing off with a friend, yet we knew our neighbors were present, we behaved. This was my wanderlust in its pre-puberty stage.
In this era of Wal-Mart and Target, the five and dime with the soda fountain are much like finding a wheat penny, very few exist. I had not visited those memories in some time and it makes me smile to know that there is a little girl in Alexander City, Alabama who will someday have the same memory……”
The Dish: As it has been for years, the Limeade is made from freshly squeezed limes at the soda fountain counter and a squirt of simple syrup is added to balance the tartness with a kiss of sweetness. Served in a Styrofoam cup in a small or large size to fit your thirst, I’ll spare that photo and show you the area where it is made to order.
MEGastars: 2 ** MEGastars – Styrofoam cup for an adult in a boutique shopping area? Had this been served in a glass with less ice, I would have given a 3 star. I also found the price of the sandwiches just a bit high, but this is one of the wealthiest areas in the state of Alabama.
I could not put my standard pamphlet with that styrofoam cup photo on this blog.
What I love about this visit. I love discovering my new home state of Alabama. I enjoy this type of diner and love basic sandwiches on really non-nutritious white bread. I can’t explain this. I no longer eat this way 99% of the time but if not on a fresh bakery bread, this is how I like my chicken salad sandwich. The menu has basic old school drug store/soda fountain foods such as chicken salad, pimento cheese,BLT, and egg salad sandwiches. They also serve what is said to be a customer, a beef sandwich and a beef sandwich with pimento cheese. For the kids and the kids at heart, there are hot dogs, peanut butter, and jelly, and other kid-friendly foods not to mention the root beer floats and malts! I was there after school and this place is after schools treat for Moms’ and Grandma’s with the kids. (Not being sexist, it was my observation on that day.)
Also located nearby the Zoo and Botanical Garden, the location of this type of eatery is a great stop for a family lunch. I noticed that many of the customers were eating a wrap and saw on the menu that any sandwich can be made into a wrap.
- For the not so faint of heart, I would try the Tomato Aspic. This dish is an old school gelatenous substance that can not be found just anywhere. I did not try it but this is not on your average menu. Here is a great read on Tomato Aspic including the old school method of making gelatin out of hooves and animal parts. Tomato Aspic
- Located a few blocks from the entrance to the Zoo, 2805 Cahaba Rd, Mountain Brook.
- Although they do not have a website, there is a Facebook page with everything that you need to know. Closed on Sundays, M-F open at 8:45 A.M. Mon-Close 4PM Tues-Friday Closes at 4:45 PM and Saturdays close at 4:30 PM
- Picky kid? Don’t worry, they sell candy.
- Do visit the nearby Birmingham Botanical Gardens. The admission and parking are FREE, it is a fantastic representation of Alabama gardens and a really wonderful place to walk along the wooded trails. Birmingham Botanical Gardens
- One of my favorite breakfast places is Another Broken Egg, is located just around the corner. Although I have not been to this location, I have written about this fantastic breakfast stop while visiting Louisiana. You know, handmade biscuits beignet and six types of Benedict. YUM! Another Broken Egg Mountain Brook, AL
- Reviews and menus may be found on Zomato and Trip Advisor.
Sources  City of Mountain Brook AL and Wikipedia Mountain Brook AL.
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.
ABOUT: *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 food fun while making my way like Ms. Pacman, in yet another state that I call home. From the little old diner to the white cloth setting, this journey is an opportunity for me to explore my new state and experience pride in food from restaurateurs who are dedicated to local food, with some Alabama style. From the local BBQ smoker to James Beard recipients, you too will take a culinary trip across scenic and historical Alabama. From this list, I select stops based upon convenience of location and 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. You too may pick up the brochure at Alabama Tourism stops or download the alphabetical brochure that begins in Abbeville and ends in York.
I use a 5 MEGastar system. For the most part, I am traveling a distance to try these dishes and these places get one shot at how I view the food and experience. I will not be taking an average of three visit experiences and I factor this in when I give my star rating. That said, I’m very easy to please, I can overlook quite a bit and have worked in the food service industry. 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? or, 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 is a difficult write.
- ** passable – the food was “ok” but the place was not “ok” 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 truly highlights Alabama Pride.
- ***** I actually died, went to heaven and came back when I ate the dish. And/Or, something is very unique, something you cannot get anywhere else.