A recent search for a birthday present led me to the Shoppes at Bel Air, where I walked through the front door to notice the carousel was missing. It must have been a while since my last visit, but in its place stood Happy Sushi Revolving Sushi Bar.

(Photo | facebook.com/happysushimobile)

(Photo | facebook.com/happysushimobile)

Almost unavoidable, I had to give it a whirl. A conveyor belt of sorts travels around the perimeter of the open-air facility with plates scurrying along at a decent clip, each containing two pieces. Price per plate is $2.50 and you just grab until you are full. It’s an easy total for the servers.

If you are more committed to a particular type of sushi, you may order a whole roll for $10. They do have most of the standard sushi, nigiri and deep-fried southern rolls many enjoy. Don’t take this bar as too much of a gimmick. They also have appetizers like miso soup, seaweed salad, shrimp egg rolls and more. Lunch boxes and teriyaki bowls are also crowd pleasers. Mall snacking just got better.

Bone and Barrel an overnight sensation
They have only been open a few months but Fairhope’s Bone and Barrel is the most talked-about restaurant on the Eastern Shore. Located in the former Pub building at 311 Fairhope Ave., the menu is sandwich heavy but a bit quirky. You can order bacon as an appetizer — yes, Conecuh bacon served with honey creole mustard or jalapeño ranch.

(Photos | yelp.com) Yelp reviewer Paul M. said Bone and Barrel’s grilled Rooster sandwich tasted even better than it looked.

(Photos | yelp.com) Yelp reviewer Paul M. said Bone and Barrel’s grilled Rooster sandwich tasted even better than it looked.

Fried ribs are another oddity you’ll only find here. Served with whiskey sauce, these are what many are talking about. The rest of the menu keeps it frisky with fried spinach and goat-cheese grits, bone-in rib-eye and the Rooster sandwich, a chicken breast marinated in buttermilk, grilled or fried, dressed and topped with slaw.

A nod to the Big Easy would be the debris po’boy. I hear it’s good but even better topped with fried shrimp. A Cuban sandwich should never be ignored, nor should sugar-cane skewered shrimp with Sriracha aioli.
This may be worth a trip across the bay. The fact it’s a live-music venue with much talent on the stage sweetens the pot.

Great Mardi Gras Chill-Out
Going to a Mardi Gras parade with kids has never been so relaxing! A social fundraiser organized by the parent-members of Azalea City Montessori in downtown Mobile promises parade-watching, kids’ activities and a chili cook-off this Saturday, Feb. 6, at Nina Nicks Joseph Child Development Center, 209 S. Washington Ave.

Established in 2014, ACM currently provides high-quality Montessori preschool and kindergarten programs, and aims to introduce an elementary program this fall. Awarded its 501(c)(3) nonprofit designation just last week, this event will raise money for ACM’s relocation to a larger, more central facility in Midtown. The organization’s future projects include a Montessori toddler community and an extensive parent education program.

A $10 admission provides access to a fenced-in playground on the parade route, an inviting child day-care facility with clean bathrooms and a changing area, and all the hot chili you can eat from a variety of recipes! All proceeds benefit Azalea City Montessori.