Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Eat Local’ Category

I like Big Butts of Steak 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die

Momentum was building

Read more

100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die – Chili Dog at Mrs. Story’s

Getting so close to my goal of 100 dishes, I aimed to choose something really gourmet, uber chic, the most Instagram-able food.

Read more

100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die – Johnny’s Bar-B-Q

Twas the night before Christmas...Meg was nestled all snug in her bed, while visions of BBQ danced in her head....

Read more

100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die-Athenian Grouper

Athenian Grouper at The Fish Market Restaurant in Birmingham is the 79th “dish” that I have tasted on my quest to eat all dishes listed on 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die.

Read more

100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die-Onion Rings at Lloyds

How we like our favorite deep-fried onion rings varies amongst the onion rings connoisseurs; I am not going down that rabbit hole.

Read more

I Shipp You Not-100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die

I ship you not, I am absolutely going to return for this same dish. Now I know why they say, "Once you try Shipp’s, you’re hooked!”

Read more

Never Been Earwormed by Kow-liga before? 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die

Tasty Tuesday-My #42 try or #61 on the countdown.

After my first visit to the Kowaliga Restaurant to try The Fried Alabama Shrimp Platter, my curiosity got the best of me and I needed to figure out what Gulf Shrimp, Hank Williams and a lonely wooden statue had in common?

The Kowaliga Restaurant is near Alexander City on the beautiful Lake Martin. Technically, the lake is made from a reservoir and is 44,000-acre lake with 900 acres of shoreline. This is a popular area for weekend homes (some multi-million), outdoor enthusiasts and vacationers alike.

carlislepark

Wind Creek Stat Park-view from the tower

I visited in the evening just after the New Year, when the restaurant was dressed up for the holidays.  The restaurant sits on a lakefront peninsula with two dining rooms and wonderful outdoor seating areas, all offering picturesque views of the lake.

The Gulf Shrimp Platter is served with your choice of one side dish.  I chose the coleslaw and my Mother had salad.

kowaligashrimp

I left this photo large so that you might get an idea of shrimp size. The coleslaw was super tasty and check out these warm hushpuppies.  Large and juicy gulf shrimp is delivered every three days to this restaurant. It is fried from simple ingredients of; cornmeal, flour, buttermilk and is said to have just the right amount of salt and pepper.   Always served with fresh warm hushpuppies and your choice of one side.

MEGastars ****4 I am going to give this dish a 4 star.  It is a simple platter,  yet taken up a notch with these perfect Gulf Shrimp.  If you follow my blog, you know that I am a new convert to Gulf Shrimp.  I love the taste!  These shrimp were large enough to taste, (I LOVE that) yet the batter seasoning was not overpowering, and the shrimp sauce was perfect.  Alabama food made with Alabama pride.  I couldn’t find the Kowliga recipe for coleslaw, but it had a little kick to it. Trust me, it was really tasty and crisp.

Other food tried at my table. Check out these ribs, onion rings and Caesar salad! NUM

 

What I learned from this visit.

  1. Kowliga is pronounced kaw-ly-jə
  2. Currently owned by Russell Lands Corporation. (you may have heard of Russell Athletic wear.) This company has taken time to cultivate this area into a top notch Southern destination. Although it is a business, these people seem to truly care about their product. Every aspect for the visitor experience is top notch, from the landscaping to top chefs and clean fresh décor.
  3. This restaurant has been in operation since 1953, built as a cabin in 1946, and rebuilt after a fire as a tribute to Hank Williams and his music.  You will find interesting photos and memorabilia on the walls. kowligashop
  4. Legendary country singer Hank Williams wrote a song called “Kow-liga” at his Lake Martin cabin in 1952. In 1953, this song went to the top of the charts.
  5. Legend has it that Kowaliga was a Creek Native American man, who once lived on Lake Martin. He fell deeply in love with a beautiful maiden and asked her to marry him. However, her father had already promised her to another. She had to leave, never to be seen again. Heartbroken, Kowaliga swore to stand on the edge of this lake and wait faithfully for her return. He stood on that lakeshore so long that his feet finally took root and he turned to wood.  Sad. Arranged marriages suck. kowligastatue
  6. An earworm is defined as: a catchy song or tune that runs continually through a person’s mind. I always thought the word for this state of mind was “jazzbound” and yet I couldn’t find this word in a dictionary. Who knew?

MEGatips:

  1. Bring a friend for that shrimp platter and also try the catfish taco, it was named the “tastiest taco” in Alabama by The Food Network.
  2. The website link will tell you everything that you need to know before your visit.  For hours, location and menus click here. Kowaliga
  3. Prepare to get earwormed.  Check out the song  Kowliga on You Tube

4. You too can visit Hank Williams grave and other sites in Montgomery, Alabama.hankgrave

This MEGabites and MEGastars description is found at the bottom of each post of 100 Dishes. 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 Alabamawww.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 visits based on convenience of location and they are in no particular order. I already have a few favorites and 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, finding the story and sharing my two cents on these experiences. 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 cannot get anywhere else.

A Bright Star Shines On-100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die

A late Tasty Tuesday post. Megabite # 37 or 65 on my countdown.  The Broiled Seafood Platter at Alabama’s oldest restaurant, The Bright Star Inn.

About 35 minutes or 21 miles from Birmingham I arrived in Bessemer, Alabama. I learned that this city is named the “Marvel City” for the rapid growth it once saw as a steel boomtown. Having seen steel and mining business thrive and disappear, this Bright Star has shone since 1907.

brightstarsign.jpg

Not just any restaurant, The Bright Star is a historic Alabama landmark designated as Alabama’s oldest restaurant.  Since 1925, the Greek/Greek-American Koikos family has owned this restaurant and it is said that they pride themselves with an emphasis on outstanding service and superior cuisine.

brightstarmen

From a 25 seater to 330 seat restaurant, something continues to be done very very well here.

brightstarsign

The back side of this sign -Alabama’s Oldest Restaurant

Serving surf and turf in a classic environment. Love historic preservation.

I also found several Greek dishes, which were very tempting but I was into playing my 100.  I ordered the broiled seafood platter,  a sample plate of customer seafood favorites: broiled snapper with olive oil, fresh lemon juice and oregano. Lobster and crabmeat au gratin made with parmesan cheese, a roux of butter and flour, whole milk, sherry, eggs, white pepper and paprika. Shrimp, oysters, scallops with drawn butter on the side.

Other food that I tasted.

Here are a few interesting things that I learned with my visit.

  • I learned that fresh seafood shipped from the Gulf Coast directly to this restaurant on a daily basis and that there is a fish processor on site, who for 33 years has ensured the consistency of the fish. Outstanding. I love my Gulf seafood!

 

  • In 2010, The Bright Star and Mr’s Jimmy and Nicky Koikos were awarded The James Beard Foundation Awards of Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America. That’s is like a rock star getting a Grammy Award.brightbeard
  • A few other other accolades line the walls; named as top three restaurants in Birmingham by Birmingham News readers choice, Voted as having the best steak in Alabama by The Cattleman’s Association, recognized by CNN.com as one of America’s best historic restaurants. Fried Red Snapper Throats (what even is this?) 100 Dishes to Eat Before You Die by Gun and Garden magazine.  And there are more.brightaward
  • Although there are so many prestigious awards, It is said that one of the two owners will be on the premises overseeing the staff of 90. Among the 90, many are long term employees ,with average of about 7 years. That is something to be very proud of.  I would love to work there myself!

MEGastars **** 4

Seriously, I am now Gulf seafood lover/convert, huge fan! For a very tasty seafood platter, served with Alabama pride and Alabama food in Alabama’s oldest restaurant. Right on!

MEGatips:

  1. Snoop around a bit.  I did. The restaurant is loaded with great photos, awards, magazine articles.
  2. Alabama Fan? Check out the football shrine. Badger fan/Packer fan-totally respect tradition. brighstarshrine
  3. Interested in historical preservation.  The restaurant has many interesting nods to the former days.  Such as, signs depicting the types of marble, classic ceiling fans, awesome tile and the mirrors.
  4. There is a full bar on premise.
  5. There are interesting dining alcoves and rooms for groups. brightstarcubby
  6. Of course, try this dish.  Bring a friend. I regret not trying theRed Snapper Throats picked by Gun and Garden Magazine. 

    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. From this list, I select visits based on convenience of location and they are in no particular order. I already have a few favorites and perhaps when I finish this list, I will rank my favorite dishes.

    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 cannot get anywhere else

 

A Sunshine Daydream In A Bite-100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die-Orange Pineapple Ice Cream at Trowbridge’s of Florence, AL

Two-fer Tasty Tuesday- Orange pineapple ice cream at Trowbridges MEGabite #34 or #68 on my countdown. Due to my recent schedule, I need to play some catch-up. This is my first ever two-fer Tuesday post and I thought that I should stay with an orange theme.

Trowbridge’s is a wonderful local restaurant located in downtown Florence, the classic soda fountain shop is known as the oldest operating business that is still located in it’s original location in Florence.

Every city on the whole earth should have such a happy place in their downtown!

Every city on the whole earth should have such a happy place in their downtown!

Began as a creamery in 1918, this recipe was developed right here in Alabama. Although the ice cream is no longer made on site due to demand, this dense ice cream filled with flavors of bursts of orange cream and pineapple. Not too chunky, it was deliciously smooth and perfectly blended.

A taste of sunshine in every single bite!

A taste of sunshine in every single bite!

With the classic soda fountain interior, it is a small and bright place that still brings a smile to your face. A place where they are know for quick service with a friendly smile. I found this proclamation to be true.

Awards galore!

Awards galore!

Although I am not originally from this area, nostalgia must be heartfelt for the many generations of people who have passed through these doors. Steps away from the beautiful campus of University of Northern Alabama and with grilled cheese for $1.50 and hot dog’s for $2.00, I can imagine that many locals and students alike have been making memories since 1918.

I give Trowbridge’s 5 MEGastars:

****for a very tasty dish

*The coveted fifth star for a wonderful stop in a place that serves Alabama food, meeting the criteria set forth by Tourism Alabama with Alabama recipes and truly served with a friendly smile. I really enjoyed this stop and I highly recommend a visit for a dish or cone of this ice cream. Who knew that there was a place where you could get a sunshine daydream for $1.20.

MEGatips:

  1. Stop in for a visit. Open daily from 9:00 am -5:30 it is a great place for a bite.
  2. Do not miss this ice cream!
  3. Check out the homemade soups, pimento and cheese sandwich and the olive and egg. Love it!

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 and establishments that have been chosen for 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 always a difficult write for me.
  • ** 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

Out Of This World At Cosmo’s Pizza-100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die

Tasty Tuesday, MEGabite #31/71 counting down. Gourmet Pizzza at Cosmo’s. 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die.

Cosmo’s is located in the 5 Points area of beautiful Birmingham, Alabama. Surrounded by interesting building’s,a gorgeous fountain by a renowned artist and fantastic restaurants.   Cosmo’s has a kick back, whimsical, colorful feel to the place; the kind of style that one often finds near Universities. You know the type; hipsters, artists and freethinkers. It is not surprising that the menu hold interesting and creative choices.

IMG_3529

I visited on a Sunday afternoon. It was super fun to find live music and gaze upon the great looking brunch dishes that were placed on nearby tables. There were pitchers of mimosas and bloody Mary’s flowing and a bloody Mary fixings bar. I almost had a difficult time having pizza since the gourmet brunch and sandwich dishes looked really appetizing and creative. Brunch is served from 10-3 and there seemed to be a mix of customers having brunch, pizza and other dishes.

groovy

groovy

The pizza menu is a pizza lover’s dream.  I am a pizza lover. It may be my favorite food.  I loved that there are options for all pizza lover’s tastes; red sauce, yellow sauce, pesto sauce, crusts that are hand tossed white or wheat. You may order small, medium, large and pizza by the slice. However, Cosmo’s is known for their creative pizza toppings and the toppings menu. With many fresh and interesting items that are not standard at chains and even gourmet pizza restaurants. With items such as; Cajun chicken, alligator, eggplant, zucchini, Tasso ham, smoked gouda, pine nuts, fresh garlic, fresh tomatoes, artichoke hearts, to name a few.

The “100 Dishes” is a Signature Pizza. I ordered two-signature pizzas from the menu so that I might try a few different styles. One of the pizzas was called Rock and Roll and was cooked with red sauce, cheese, black olives, mushrooms and sausage. Cheesy goodness, yum!

IMG_3530

The second pizza was also off of the signature menu and was called The Soprano. Cracker thin crust with red sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil, and a sprinkle of Parmesan. I really loved this crust. It was crispy with a buttery taste. YUM! As you can see, the toppings and especially the fresh mozzarella were a bit sparse.

IMG_3531

I enjoyed the music, the menu and liked the pizzas. However, I had one of the most unusual and worst customer service experiences that I can ever remember having. I prefer to frame my own unique opinion and never read reviews of restaurants before I visit and work on a write up. Because I was so shocked by my long wait and service experience, I read reviews after my visit and noted that other folks had the exact same experiences that our visit held. Out of peace and courtesy towards another human being, I do not want to get into great details; clearly there are issues present. What I will say is that we had to guide each step of our visit; seating, ordering, drink requests, check etc. and that we waited 70 minutes for our pizza.   Like, dude, where is my pizza? If you are interested in the other issues, you may read Yelp or Google reviews.

MEGastars: Because the meaning of cosmo’s is the sum total of everything, I give them 3 MEGastars.

** for great tasty pizza.

* for handcrafted crusts and local ingredients.

Because the service issues appear to be longstanding, I am withholding another star. I have no problem recommending trying this fun restaurant with a wonderful menu, but I might encourage you to read current reviews before you visit and practice peace, love and patience. I wish that I could make it all better in Cosmo’s land.  Aliens Perhaps? IDK

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.

MEGatips:

  1. Please do read the reviews before you go and/or go with patience and peace.
  2. They have a fantastic brunch menu.  I was nearly bewitched by those choices.  Playing “The 100” Go on a weekday so that you are not tempted. Loved that brunch menu and cool music.
  3. Post Office Pies has some awesome pizza.  Located in a historic building, they have brick ovens, are speedy, courteous and professional.  I felt the pulse of Birmingham there.
%d bloggers like this: