The pop-up dinner concept is still a hot trend across the United States and Fairhope’s Windmill Market is getting into the game with its latest “Plate + Gather” series. The inaugural event will be held Thursday, Sept. 28, at 6:30 p.m. with Chef Wade Price, sous-chef at Ox Kitchen.

The Mobile native will bring a wealth of Asian influence to this dinner stemming from his time spent living in China from age 8, when he moved there with his family, the youngest of a team exploring the ancient form of kung fu known as gor chor. All grown up and back in the Port City, Price has honed his skills in the kitchens of our very own Von’s Bistro, NoJa and The Battle House Hotel.

Diners can expect six courses of Modern Asian cuisine with cocktail pairings by Fairhope’s Kyle Kinder of Tongue & Groove.

Price for the event is $125 per person, tax and gratuity included. Tickets are limited to just 100 attendees so order yours today via EventBrite or www.windmillmarket.org. See you there.

Tropical Smoothie unleashes new menu items
Tropical Smoothie in Legacy Village has long been a quick stop for me. Of course the smoothies get a lot of the buzz, but their sandwiches shine the most, in my opinion. The latest news from Tropical Smoothie is a menu change that includes really good bowls, such as the Baja Chicken. Lose the bread and go crazy on the good stuff.

There are also several new smoothie varieties that fall into the “better for you” category. With all sorts of great hippie-dippy ingredients such as fresh spinach, kale, basil, ginger and green apple, there is sure to be a combination you’ll love. Check them out at 9 Du Rhu Drive if you haven’t already.

Bailey’s sauce a local hit
It’s been around for a while, but Bailey’s Original Root Beer BBQ and Dippin’ Sauce recently made its way to my test kitchen lab. The squared-off bottle looks like a pint of snake oil, and the label boasts it “cures lame grilling and fatigued meats.”

This local sauce is the creation of Mike Bailey, a man you may know as half of the radio duo on the program “Sip and Chew with Mike and Stu.” It’s definitely a sweet sauce but not as sweet as you’d expect with a root beer base.
Actually, I found this sauce has a moderate amount of heat. It’s great with chicken but really excels with ribs.

I tried a bit as a dipping sauce with sausage and had excellent results. I even created a dip by mixing it with a bit of mayonnaise that toned down the cayenne enough that the kids loved it with chicken nuggets. Look for it on grocers’ shelves, or better yet call in to the radio program Sunday morning and get Mike to tell you all about it. You need this in your fridge.

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