You just can’t keep a good place down. It was only a couple of weeks ago we let you know the Ollie’s Mediterranean in Midtown had closed, but that intersection of Old Government and Airport certainly wasn’t shuttered for long. It reopened this past Saturday under the same ownership but with a new name and a completely different take for this location.

Signs are up and renovations have been made. The Gulf Coast Wing House has hit the ground running with a large menu and fans going bonkers for the food. Think sports bar atmosphere, wings, all-beef hot dogs, pizza and more. I have heard tales of a burger weighing in at a pound of meat, but the owner is saying the Philly cheese steak is as real as it gets.

Plenty of televisions and a full-service bar may make this the new place to watch the game in Midtown. I’ll be visiting sooner rather than later.

MPD Chili Cook-Off to take a bite out of crime
The location is Cathedral Square. The date is Saturday, Dec. 12, 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. It will be a battle to end all battles as six teams, in this case cop against cop, take to The Grounds to see who has the best chili recipe and execution, all from our boys and girls in blue. This holiday event is to raise funds in support of the Mobile Police Foundation by the Mobile Police Department Crime Prevention unit.

Attendees should expect live music, family fun and a sampling of what they’re calling (and I won’t argue with them) the best chili in the city. Admission is only $5 per person and tickets can be purchased at precincts 1-4, headquarters, Central Events and Community Services.
A panel of judges will determine the winning team and present the trophy, along with bragging rights, at 1 p.m. Support our local police and get a bellyful of goodness.  

New Newk’s
Monday, Dec. 7, marked the opening of Newk’s Eatery at the Westgate Pavilion location. If you failed to make the grand opening, you missed out. The first 50 guests received a bag of goodies and VIP cards that entitle the diner to one free meal per week for an entire year! There were more giveaways for the next 50 customers as well. Pay attention to their social media pages and we’ll also alert you as their next locations open. It should be soon.  

Pat’s Downtown getting into the food biz
A favorite downtown watering hole has entered the food arena. Pat’s Downtown has been around for quite a while but only recently began serving late-night grub to Mobile’s drinking crowd. The menu specializes in hand-breaded chicken tenders with homemade sauces along with hand-crafted burgers.

Until now the restaurant has served dinner only, but a spokesperson from Pat’s let me know the lunch crowd will have been fed their first meal by the time you read this. The soft lunch opening was Dec. 8, with specials and sandwich options. The plan to open for lunch only on Monday, for both lunch and dinner Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. until late night and opening at 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Breakfast is also an idea they have not taken off the table. I’d love more downtown breakfast places. This area keeps getting more delicious.

New menu items at Montego’s
You know them for their island slaw, jerk chicken and ahi tuna tacos. But Montego’s Caribbean Café and Bar in LoDa is more than just island food. Their fried green tomatoes and fancy burgers (including the 10-lb. Kracken Burger) are the tip of the iceberg for the more Southern side of the menu.

(Photo/ facebook/montegosdowntown) Soft-shell crab and cheese grits are among the new items on Montego’s brunch menu.

(Photo/ facebook/montegosdowntown) Soft-shell crab and cheese grits are among the new items on Montego’s brunch menu.

The New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp are head-on and sautéed in a rich wine and garlic butter reduction. Not only is this dish part of the regular menu, but you will also find it as a favorite of the Saturday and Sunday brunch served from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., along with Conecuh breakfast hash and a “to die for” soft-shell crab and grits dish. There is also a bloody Mary bar and the option for bottomless mimosas. The best part of this brunch is that it isn’t one of those $40 all-you-can-eat deals. You simply pay for what you get. The corner of Dauphin and Joachim is really flourishing.

Holiday Night Market at Mobile Museum of Art
It’s time for the quarterly Night Market at the Mobile Museum of Art, showcasing artists, artisans and craftsmen who bring you locally sourced handmade goods. Shopping local for Christmas presents can be tough, but this is your chance to find many local vendors in one place. The last event like this I attended there were plenty of food and food-related items to keep me coming back. Plus, the Geaux Boy food truck will be there. You realize he is a sandwich craftsman, right?

Be sure and say hello to Molly from M2 Ceramics. She’s the one who let me know about this shindig.

Until next time, recycle!