Photo | Colonel’s Tavern.facebook
For any confused, the owners of Colonel’s Tavern, the first of the modern versions of Mobile’s formerly famous Colonel Dixie chain of fast-food restaurants, located at 4940 Government Blvd., were originally going to partner with the Semmes/Moffett Road location, but that faltered out before the grand opening.
The new owners in Semmes ran into some financial hardships in the early stages of the restaurant’s life, and with unpaid employees and outstanding debts, the owners of the Colonel’s Tavern are stepping in to take over the flailing business. The addressed the matter on Facebook:
“We are excited to say that the Colonel’s Tavern is now the proud new owner of Colonel Dixie Moffett!!! With that being said, our first concern on the agenda is to get the back pay paid to the employees that have been patiently waiting. Please understand I am taking on some things that were out of my control and I am going to make them all good but I can’t overnight.”
The lengthy Facebook post from last week also revealed they will be bringing the loaded baked potatoes and barbecue sandwiches to the new location, as well as food cooked the original Colonel Dixie way.
By the end of the week, they were open. Semmes is watching ….
Butch Cassidy’s celebrates 29 years
Butch Cassidy’s is oft celebrated by Midtown folk, but April is Butch Cassidy’s month. The Florida Street hotspot is celebrating its 29th anniversary, quietly sliding through another successful year as a favorite. They still hand me a menu and I still blankly stare at it, but they know I don’t wander too far.
Healthy Andy gets the shrimp salad. Bad Andy gets the Butch Burger with cheese on his fries. Daddy Andy gets a round of nachos (for the kids, of course). Buzzed or sober Andy will add wings to any of these orders.
With a lack of any real celebration this year, I expect Roy and his crew to pull out all of the stops for the big three-zero. I’ll be there. Again. Congratulations.
Bistro St. Emanuel goes full service
The Fort Conde Inn has been the anchor for a series of building renovations by the father and son team of Lawrence and David Posner. The beautiful cobblestone streets run between the renovations just south of the Colonial Fort Conde replica in downtown Mobile where this past year we saw the opening of Bistro St. Emanuel.
The new restaurant was needed once the guests outgrew the inn’s original kitchen, and who doesn’t want a gorgeous bar and good food, right? This upped the ante for parties and wedding receptions, and once opened to the public, a classy breakfast. That turned into brunch, and now it’s turning into dinner.
Clint Delaney (formerly of the Grand Hotel) comes in as executive chef with a new menu that appears to be a game-changer. With hearty small plates from blue crab cakes and calamari to mussels with house fries, they already have their hooks in me, but the poutine with a bourbon brown gravy is what I’m coming for.
There are a handful of sandwiches (I’ll let you know if the muffuletta passes inspection), just as many salads, charcuterie boards by our friend Mike Lane, and entrees that highlight Corsican cuisine, a nod to Charles Antomarchi, who built the original restaurant in 1850.
Expect French Island and Northern Italian influences.
Bagels and smoked salmon are flown in from New York, and the bar features craft beer and four or five varieties of real absinthe. Buckle up.
Starting May 2, dinner is seven days a week from 5-9 p.m., with brunch from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday. Saturday and Sunday brunch runs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Vidalia onions infiltrate shelves
The most sought-after onion with the shortest season is here! We only have Vidalia onions from April to August, so eat for the season. These beauties have been with us since the Great Depression, and what was once a true Southern secret has spread throughout all 50 states and Canada!
I’ll bet you thought peaches were the best thing to come out of Georgia. They are a distant second in this household, pushing the Allman Brothers to third. This onion terroir has something to do with the low amounts of sulfur in the soil, but for all the skinny on this sweet Georgian delicacy, visit vidaliaonion.org.
This is what I did with my first of the year. It turned out better than I’d hoped. Notice I didn’t add any salt. There is plenty of sodium in the bacon grease and butter. If you need more salt, consider making a lifestyle change.
1 spaghetti squash, halved and seeded
3 strips of bacon
1/2 stick salted butter
1 large Vidalia onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan
5 sprigs fresh thyme
3 turns fresh ground black pepper
Bake spaghetti squash face down on a parchment-lined cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 35 minutes or until soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool enough to handle.
While it is cooling, fry the bacon in a medium to large skillet over medium heat. Remove the bacon, saving the grease. Add to the grease the butter and onions. Stir occasionally for 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
Scrape the insides of the squash and get as much of the stringy flesh as you can. Add to the skillet and stir until well-coated. If it came out chewy or underdone in the oven, here is your chance to soften it up a little more.
Strip the thyme from the sprig and add it with the Parmesan and black pepper. Cook just long enough for the cheese to begin melting. Overcooking is not a problem here. Crumble in the bacon and give it one final stir.
Serve as a side with a good steak or add shrimp or chicken for a one-pot entrée.
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