It would be easy for me to place that oft-misquoted Ben Franklin line right at the head of this paragraph, but I will happily refrain from doing so. Save that one for the T-shirt. Truth is beer is far more important than a quip from a founding father. It is so much more important that our very own Exlporeum is kicking off a new educational series with the Science of Beer.

The first in a series of three, “Science of Beer” hits the Exploreum Aug. 22, from 6-9 p.m. The rest of the series rounds out with the gastronomical wonders of the “Science of Taste” Sept. 23 and the red and white “Science of Wine” Nov. 12. As you can see, the series pretty much focuses on food and booze so it is right up my alley.

Partnering for this year’s event is Budweiser Busch, Gulf Distributing and Haberdasher – so you know you’re in good hands. Roy Clark is writing up some food pairings and beer descriptions as we speak.

Attendees should expect a home brewing demonstration for those DIYers out there. Craft breweries will showcase a range of brewing styles from the United States, Belgium, England, Germany, and Scotland. There will be plenty of food on hand and a panel discussion with regional experts followed by an “anything goes” Q&A.

Get your tickets soon, as I am certain this will sell out. Prices are $40 for non-members, $32 for Exploreum members, and $20 for designated drivers. The latter will partake in food only, and will possibly be monitored by ankle bracelets. They are still ironing out those details. The one rule is you must be 21 or older to get through the door. I sure hope they have a gruff looking bouncer. Be sure to purchase your tickets by 5 p.m. Aug. 17 by contacting http://exploreum.com. We will save the Franklin quote for Nov. 12.

Mellow Mushroom Way Back Wednesday

Mellow Mushroom is turning 40 and is celebrating its birthday in a special way. Wednesday, Aug. 20 is deemed “Way Back Wednesday” in honor of the landmark celebration. For this special day each of the 170 locations that spawned from the single Atlanta hippie pizza joint will be offering items at prices not seen since 1974.

I bet you can’t wait to get your hands on a small cheese pizza for $2.50 or $.75 Michelob, Budweiser and PBRs or $.30 soft drinks.

It just so happens that Fat Man Squeeze will be playing at the Airport Boulevard location in midtown. I may don the ‘70s gear. There is also a photo contest to win a trip to Amsterdam for two! Groovy! We shall see you there.

Hungry Owl frying it up!

I am a big fan of the Southern, Cajun, and Creole cuisine at Cottage Hill Road’s Hungry Owl. The one thing West Mobile’s favorite eatery has shied away from for the past few years is the deep fryer. That era has ended!

Hungry Owl held a Facebook poll and the people have spoken. Fryers are installed and you’ll be able to get fries with that Ultimate Stuffed Tony burger in no time. Not that you’ll be able to eat the potatoes after you finish that monster, but you could take them home and have hash browns for breakfast. A new menu is developing nicely and should be out by late August or early September.

Until it’s finalized, you can expect fried specials daily. Spoiler alert: I have begged and pleaded for whole catfish and hush puppies with Rotel cheese dip to make an appearance. Chef Tony says he’s already working on it. I will hold him to it.

If the barbecue shrimp are that good then imagine what heaven the fried shrimp could bring down. I’ll be at the Growler Bar finding out.

La Pizzeria cancels brunch but expands nights

In a recent social media blast Monroe Street’s La Pizzeria announced the cancellation of Sunday brunch due to the large operating cost. Their final Sunday brunch will be Aug. 17.

Sad as that may be, every cloud has a silver lining. Starting Aug. 26 the new hours will be Tuesday through Saturday 5-10 p.m. and a Friday lunch from 11 a.m. through 2:30 p.m.

Even more good news is La Pizzeria’s fall plans. Imagine a once a month, reservation only, prix fixe dinner, each with a culinary theme and a guest chef, bartender, winemaker, etc. It’s called Sunday Supper @ La Pizzeria. Sign up for the Sunday Supper email notification by including your email address in a private Facebook message. When the announcement is made respond as soon as you can with your reservation. They will take no more than 25 guests per dinner.

It’s a shame the brunch is gone, but the future still looks bright.

Island Wing Company in old Ruby Tuesday

They are working feverishly at the former Ruby Tuesday building adjacent to the train tracks at 2617 Dauphin St., getting it ready for the latest tenant, Island Wing Company. The company already has locations in Auburn, Gulf Shores, and Destin but its “coming soon” listing on its website for the 36606 midtown zip code is teasing us.
The franchise prides itself on being a little healthier by baking their wings as opposed to frying, but claims their cooking methods are so honed that you still get the crispy outside you’d find in a more traditional wings. Along with at least 20 sauces and a full service bar with plenty of craft beers on tap, I would say it’s a recipe for success.

The menu isn’t all wings. Think burgers, seafood, tacos – you know the drill. We will keep you posted on a hard opening date. Until then check out http://islandwing.com.

Recycle!