Author: Andy MacDonald

Feeding the kids at an Emmet Otter party

We are all about traditions here at MacDonald Manor. Among those traditions, the ones pertaining to Christmas hold the most significance. The boys always go with their mom to Bellingrath Gardens. We only go tree shopping in Batman T-shirts. Texas Trash is the most important holiday food ever, and we always make it a point to have a screening of “Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas.” Yes, this holiday classic is my favorite kiddie movie ever. I’m actually partial to “It’s a Wonderful Life” when it comes to Christmas movies, but for children I am all in with the Jug...

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Cuban, Cajun come to Grand Bay with Ozzy’s

There’s a reason to go to Grand Bay on your next quest for food. Ozzy’s Restaurant (aka Ozzy and L.J.’s.) is creating a buzz with its marriage of Cuban and Cajun cuisine garnering hundreds of stellar reviews. Enjoy Cajun fare such as Gulf shrimp, blackened catfish, fried green tomatoes, a selection of po’boys and shrimp and grits, or follow the Cuban route with Cuban piccadillo, papas rellenas, Cuban sandwiches, crabcakes or taco salads The two chefs come together with excellent results, as Ozzy brings the Cuban influence and L.J. provides the Cajun perspective. With stuffed burgers next to soft-shell...

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Jersey Mike’s brings taste of NJ shore to Dauphin Street

I don’t get a lot of opportunities to review chain restaurants. I’m not going to just walk in and rail on something I know I will hate, but every so often a chain is worth reviewing. That’s especially the case when said chain is something your friends need to know about. This is the story of Jersey Mike’s. It starts with sandwiches. A great sandwich is the equivalent of a fancy meal to me. It’s kind of the same with wine. I’ve been really disappointed by $80 bottles of wine and wowed by more than a few $15 bottles....

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Wintzell’s Willie Brown dies at 70

“He meant so much to so many people,” said Bob Omainsky, owner of the Wintzell’s Oyster House downtown location since 1999. “He was so genuine. To know him was to love him.” Former owner Wendell Quimby placed it all on Willie’s shoulders. “Wentzell’s had been closed for about six months before I bought it in 1994. They were showing me around the building when I saw the Rolodex in the office and pulled the card with Willie’s number. I knew I couldn’t buy it without him on board. He answered on the first ring, and I told him I’d open it if he’d work for me. His only reply was, ‘When do I start?’ Great guy, super nice. He worked for me until I sold it to Bob.” This was said of longtime employee and Chief Oyster Shucker Willie Brown, who passed away Friday, Dec. 1, at the age of 70. He worked for Wintzell’s for 47 years, hired by J. Oliver Wintzell in November 1970. Of course the Wintzell family has been shaken by the news of losing what most consider its most important member. For me, growing up in Laurel, Mississippi, made Wintzell’s seem otherworldly. I was a kid almost two hours from the coast, so I didn’t get half shells very often. It may have been a part of what influenced me to move here in...

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Leftover leftovers, what is a bird to do?

It’s gone. It disappeared right before my eyes. All this buildup and Thanksgiving flew right past us at the speed of light. You’re probably thinking, “Why then, a week later, is he talking about leftovers? Those vanish in a couple of days.” If you have already run out of turkey then my heart goes out to you. We had five adults and four kids at our turkey party, and this holiday season we fried three birds and smoked one. With a little more effort we could have had one turkey per grownup. Maybe by next week I will be...

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Serda Brewing opens just in time for the holiday season

Mobile has been waiting for a brewery and taproom, and we finally have it. Serda Brewing opened its doors for a soft opening this past Saturday with plenty in attendance. The new brewery and sister-business to Serda’s Coffee features a brewery taproom, a beer garden and a food truck alley. The taproom has a private events space perfect for fantasy drafts, Christmas parties, birthdays or whatever it is you’d want to celebrate in this city that was born to do so. High speed internet and a growler station for refills — so you may take the magic home with...

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Wild Bowl and Sushi offers quick takeout

When the word is on the street, it’s usually a good idea to pay attention to the word. Some people make false claims, some keep their mouths shut and a few simply have no idea what they’re talking about. But most of the time when there is smoke, there is fire. There’s been a rumor spreading that Wild Bowl and Sushi needs to be your stop for fast, made-to-order Asian food. I heard this and certainly perked up, always looking for more sushi, yet skeptical about the idea. It wasn’t until downtown food maniac and owner of Rooster’s Latin...

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Big news from LoDa Bier Garten, Old Shell Growlers

Of course crazy burgers deserve dozens of beer taps, as do pretzels and other bar foods. That’s what we’ve come to expect with LoDa Bier Garten at the corner of Dauphin and Joachim streets. Now West Mobile is getting a taste of what made them famous. LoDa is opening its second location, at the corner of Cottage Hill and Schillinger. You’ll remember that building as the former Hungry Owl. Expect 104 taps, meat from Moseley’s Meats and the same menu as downtown’s LoDa but with the addition of a kid’s menu. The layout of the building creates a more authentic feel of a beer garden — spread out as opposed to the almost vertical feel of the Dauphin Street location. “You will be able to see the kegs and how the draft system works,” owner Matt Golden said. They are very excited about their new Corporate Chef Mark Strickland, who will oversee not only the menus of the two LoDa locations but at Old Shell Growlers as well. Speaking of Old Shell Growlers, they have started a series of monthly wine and beer dinners to showcase Strickland’s talents. “Mark is capable of so much more than what’s on the menu,” continues Golden. “We’re having these dinners so he can stretch his legs a bit.” The dinners are on a Monday, once per month, and alternate between beer pairings and...

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