Author: Andy MacDonald

Citrus ideas to ring in the rung in

We are but a couple of days away from saying adieu to 2017, so it’s time to break out the cookware and ready ourselves for those New Year traditions. Usually we are concerned about good luck and fortune, with my favorite Hoppin’ John and greens. No doubt those will make appearances as the games begin, but the menu will be augmented this year with wonderful citrus flavors in the form of hangover cures and pickled shrimp. Eating for the season is the way to go, and despite a recent climb in temps after a much-welcomed snow, our citrus is...

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Celebrate the Eve with KOG

No New Year’s Eve plans? Kitchen on George has you covered with a special menu for the evening. Chef Bryan Cates has crafted a celebratory prix-fixe offering before the MoonPie drops, running 4-9 p.m. This farm-to-table meal is full of choices such as charcuterie with pork and chicken terrine, pickles or apple salad with Panagia Farms greens, chevre, pepitas and strawberry vinaigrette. Second course is either seared scallops with grits, vegetable risotto or braised Wagyu beef. Finish the meal with chocolate cake with peppermint white chocolate, cocoa crumb and beet puree versus citrus tart with candied rind, lavender meringue...

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Nostalgia in a marshmallow cookie

It’s an iconic emblem of our carnival culture. We are suckers for an RC Cola and a MoonPie here in the Port City, adopting what made Chattanooga famous as our own. We even ring in the New Year with a MoonPie drop, so how fitting is it isthat we have our own MoonPie General Store. It’s part of a small chain with most of them in Tennessee cities such as Chattanooga, Franklin, Lynchburg and Pigeon Forge, but there’s also a MoonPie General Store in culinary-heavy Charleston, South Carolina. Mobile is the latest in the group. You’ll find ours in...

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Brick Pit calling it quits in early January

“It is with heavy heart to announce that The Brick Pit will be closing, probably in early January. The exact date is to be announced because we have a few obligations we are committed to. “Thank you for the years of support and be sure to get by and see us and say goodbye.” That was the Facebook post of Brick Pit’s Mike Bailey last weekend, the one who started (and since ended) a GoFundMe page to purchase the restaurant from owner Bill Armbrecht, who has dealt with major health issues over the past year. The popular restaurant has...

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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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