Author: Andy MacDonald

P.F. Chang’s stands the test of time

It’s rare that I’m afforded the opportunity to review a restaurant that can be deemed “a chain,” but that’s exactly what happened this week. There was a toss-up over which of the two higher-end eateries that recently found footing in our Shoppes at Bel Air to review. Neither are your typical “mom and pop” stores. It was either going to be Grimaldi’s Pizza or P.F. Chang’s. I was up for either. My dining companions, however, enjoyed pizza for lunch so we limped the 30 or so feet westward to our Asian option. It’s been so long since I visited...

Read More

Turnover at Rosie’s Grill, Gumbo Shack

Harry and Alissa Johnson, owners of Rosie’s Grill on Highway 98 in Daphne, are closing the doors June 30. The building has been leased to Jeremiah Matthews, executive chef of Jesse’s in Magnolia Springs. If you’re familiar with Jesse’s, you know we have something to look forward to. Called South Wood Kitchen, this will be Matthews’ first restaurant and quickly replace Rosie’s, with plans to open in August. But the Johnsons are not resting on their laurels. They are purchasing the Gumbo Shack in downtown Fairhope and replacing it with their own El Camino Taco Shack, which will feature...

Read More

Mixed with soda, blackberry acid is perfect pick-me-up

Blackberry acid. It’s nothing like the dreaded brown stuff you were warned to avoid at Woodstock. It’s a Prohibition-era recipe (from what we can tell) that was a soda fountain mainstay as well as a home treat, usually kept under lock and key until the preacher or other important visitors made their way to your doorstep. This neat little charm is actually fermented and a touch fizzy but remains alcohol free. Think of Italian sodas. I love those things. This is a great way to have a DIY soda shop in your own kitchen, at a party or on...

Read More

Cheryl’s Café expands, bolsters menu

Spanish Fort is fortunate to have one of my favorite lunch spots, and if you haven’t experienced Cheryl’s Café you should make arrangements to do so. Cheryl’s draws a dining crowd from Daphne, Fairhope, Stapleton, Loxley and downtown Mobile. Nestled atop the hill where the causeway becomes Highway 31, our groups of professionals on this side of the bay make the quick drive for incredible lunch items such as Parmesan-encrusted pork chops, fresh veggies and the ultimate Dream Pie. Often they find a packed house with no place to sit. Have no fear, young lawyers and business folk, you...

Read More

O’Daly’s Hole in the Wall serves creative ‘drunk food’

Let’s talk about drunk food. There is a difference between bar food and drunk food. Bar food could be anything you serve in a bar, but drunk food is what you need after all that beer, wine and liquor gets the appetite rolling and that brain thinking it’s a great idea to power down chili cheese fries after midnight. We’ve all been there. A light dinner before a concert followed by one too many Andygators and you’re convincing yourself and your ride-hailing driver that a Big Buford and fries will right the listing ship, so to speak. Maybe Taco...

Read More