I remember when Dunkin’ Donuts was only a dream for Mobilians. Fans of the chain couldn’t wait for them to grace the Port City. Now we have three too choose from in Mobile alone! Whether it’s Schillinger Road, Michigan Avenue, or Airport Boulevard. the doughnut giant is ready to sweeten your Valentine’s Day with some killer specials.

Nothing quite says “I love you” like a donut.

Nothing quite says “I love you” like a donut.

Though they are known for their flavorful coffee and wonderful doughnuts the fine folks at Double D have some holiday specials that are out of this world. Two heart-shaped doughnuts temporarily top the list of sweet treats, and you can see why. One is filled with brownie batter flavored butter cream and topped with chocolate icing and heart-shaped sprinkles. The second is filled with cookie dough flavored buttercream and is topped with chocolate chips. You can get these now, but they will be available throughout the month of February.

The coffee lovers will be impressed with the latest white chocolate and raspberry coffee and/or latte. The flavors were made for each other. And for a nice romantic touch they are adding red, pink and white heart sprinkles to top off the lattes.

Cammie’s Old Dutch expands to grocery stores
After a hard day of yard work the kids needed a treat, and I had to look no further than the Old Dutch Ice Cream Parlor. The place is going gangbusters with king cake ice cream flying out the door. We sampled a cup of the latest salted caramel moon pie ice cream and were blown away.

So where is one to go when the Old Shell Road and Florida Street hotspot runs out of your favorite flavor or if you happen to be a little far away? Now you can find Old Dutch in select grocery stores! What started as a test run of peppermint ice cream has turned into a regular stock of five flavors.

Cain’s Grocery in Fairhope and Foley are your new Baldwin County connections. Mobilians can find the good stuff at B & H on Halls Mill Road. Save the pistachio for me.

Valentine’s at Grand Hotel a mystery
Point Clear’s Grand Hotel is the place to go for a Valentine’s dinner that is a bit out of the ordinary, or shall we say mysterious. There is still room for you and your sweetheart to make reservations for the Dinner Mystery Package.

Check into your deluxe room with that special someone and get ready for the hilarious mystery theater performance of “When Cletus Met Elisabeth” in the Grand Ballroom. It’s a play about a socialite who hosts a Valentine’s party with a few unexpected guests. The only mystery is whether it ends in love or disaster.

The dinner consists of shrimp cocktail pipettes, roasted tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons, a roasted winter vegetable salad with Alabama goat cheese and Satsuma vinaigrette. The entrée is medallions of beef with roasted fingerling potatoes, succotash, and a dessert called “Cupid’s Chocolate Symphony.”

I’ve never been disappointed at the Grand. Book it today before time runs out. The package for two includes room, dinner and the play for $345. Where to go for a Valentine’s without the hassle of Mardi Gras? Mystery solved.

Hurricane Grill and Wings opens
Airport Boulevard has a new wing restaurant now open and slinging the yardbird. Hurricane Grill and Wings is a chain with locations that span from the less likely areas to experience a hurricane like Arizona to the guaranteed places such as Florida. Our location is at the fairly safe 7721 Airport Blvd. near Hobby Lobby at Schillinger Road.

The menu is heavy on the wing flavors with 36 variations and counting for your flappers, drumettes and boneless. You’ll also find conch fritters and Manhattan-style conch chowder, burgers, tons of appetizers and even a steak or two. Our Orange Beach friends already know this menu by heart from visiting the Perdido Beach Boulevard location. Open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday until 11 p.m., this one sounds worth a try.

Aerofest announces inclusion of LA Gumbo Festival
Aerofest is quickly approaching and the music lineup they’re promising is huge! Now get ready for the big food announcement. Bob Baumhower is teaming up with the iconic John Folse for the third edition of the Wind Creek Casino LA Gumbo Festival.

Chefs from LA (Louisiana) to L.A. (Lower Alabama) are going head-to-head to see who has the roux and all the good stuff for a $5,000 cash prize.

“Our two regions have a shared history that dates back to the 1700s and we have a lot in common. Not the least of which is our love of gumbo. Our aim with this festival is to pay homage to the Gulf Coast’s signature dish in all its attendant forms,” says Baumhower.

Another highlight will be Chef Folse, Baumhower and Baumhower’s head Chef Steve Zucker manning the “big pot” that holds nearly 4,000 pounds of gumbo, and it’s not just for show.

If you think you have the winning recipe visit www.AeroFest.org. The registration fee is only $100, but be prepared to commit to 15 gallons of your best original gumbo.

Happy Valentine’s. Happy Mardi Gras. Recycle!