A little bit of cold weather never deters me from grabbing ice cream from Cammie’s Old Dutch, especially right before Mardi Gras. It seems she has come up with a new flavor every year getting ready for the season, and this year is no different.

We have all tried the chocolate moon pie and banana moon pie, but this year’s latest Mardi Gras-themed flavor is salted caramel moon pie. I think I could have predicted it. Salted caramel is the hottest trend right now.

She didn’t stop there. It may interest sugar lovers to know there is also the truly decadent new Krispy Kreme donut flavor with Cammie’s own glaze mixed in! I’m not sure just how seasonal these flavors are, so get them while it’s cold.

Italian Fisherman closing after Valentines Day

It is with a heavy heart that we bring word of a scheduled closure of the Italian Fisherman. Old Shell Road will be a little less bright after the final meal on Valentine’s night of this year.

Chef John Weichman has been involved with the Mobile restaurant industry for over 36 years, beginning with his wife’s family restaurant Constantine’s, formerly at 1500 Government St. Many of you will also remember the prime rib and other favorites from Weichman’s All Seasons on the beltline, the Old Shell Road Grill and the final incarnation we enjoy today at the Italian Fisherman.

The restaurant will be open Wednesday through Saturday through Feb. 14 from 5:30 p.m. until 9 p.m.

One of the things I will miss the most is his wine dinner series. I have learned a great deal and met a lot of new friends at these. Fortunately he has one more ready to go. Though details are still being worked out with the distributor, the date will either be Jan. 28 or 29, featuring wines of Oregon and California along with a four-course meal of what Chef John says are, “exceptional offerings fitting for a final act.” We will notify you of a solid date in an upcoming issue.

“I am grateful for the many fine Mobilians and the guests they brought to the restaurant for their support and regular words of ‘delicious,’ ‘great service,’ and ‘thanks for a great dining experience.’ Thank you, thank you!” Weichman said.

Not one to rest on his laurels, Weichman is entertaining ideas for the future. He’s considering having some of his most popular dishes, frozen and fresh selections, available for advanced order takeout. He’s also offering services as a personal chef for in-home cooking and a consulting service for up-and-coming restaurateurs.

For the time being let’s celebrate a three decades long (and then some) restaurant career by visiting the Italian Fisherman at 2503 Old Shell Road as many special meals at special prices are sure to be had over the next two months. Thank you for everything, John. We will miss your restaurants.

Lupita’s on Broad out of business

I have no idea where to get my cabesa tacos now. Lupitas on Broad Street has closed its doors and moved out all of the tables. It was a favorite of mine for a non-alcoholic Cinco de Mayo as I once experienced a surreal meal complete with a screening of “The Karate Kid” from a VHS machine on a tube television. The combination of “soul food” and Mexican was perhaps fusion at its lowest common denominator, but I was fond of the place, especially the tacos. Buenos noches, Lupitas.

Hungry Owl readies the food truck and new menu

Winter is coming on and the temps are low today, but Mardi Gras is just around the corner and the Hungry Owl is bustling with new practices and menu items.

Within the next week or two we should be seeing the new Hungry Owl food truck terrorizing the streets. In recent weeks we saw a social media contest to name the stainless steel monster and the winning name was Hoot Wheels. I like it.

New winter hours at the restaurant at Cottage Hill and Schillinger roads are Tuesday through Saturday opening at 11 a.m. They will be closed Sunday and Monday. There is also a new menu rolling out Jan. 13 featuring oysters along with some of Chef Tony’s recent fried additions.

Virginia’s takes over spot on Dauphin

Virginia’s Health Foods has a new home on Dauphin Street.

Virginia’s Health Foods has a new home on Dauphin Street.

With the upcoming Whole Foods moving into the Pinebrook shopping center on Airport Boulevard (the one with the deer, as my son calls it) Virginia’s Health Food is preparing to move. The new location will be in the shopping center at the corner of Dauphin Street and Sage Avenue. They will be in good company with Smoothie King, Rite Aid, Krystal and Tuesday Morning.

The new façade on that whole building looks nice, and the place looks ready to move in. While in transition, the Pinebrook location is looking to lighten its load before they cross I-65. According to Virginia’s Facebook page all freezer items are now 40 percent off regular price! Everything must go.

Welcome to Mid(ish)town Virginia’s. Recycle!