May is National Barbecue Month, kicking off a long (perhaps perpetual?) grilling season in South Alabama, but it appears as though Memorial Day could be a wet one this year. You can’t go without grilling on that blessed day, can you? One solution is the sensation sweeping Europe and now the United States. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the Party Grill.

Think of the fondue parties of the 1970s, bell-bottomed friends and neighbors crowded around a pot of oil, dunking meat and veggies with little skewers, all sharing the goal of not scorching each other or burning down the house. The Party Grill is reminiscent of the same idea, with an electric grill top and underside cheese broiler suited to comfortably service four to six people (eight if you’re skinny) as a next-generation indoor tabletop grill.

I am not too keen on gadget appliances that take up precious counter/cabinet space, but the Party Grill may cause me to bend a little with its relatively small footprint, double-decker grilling top and broiling underside, as well as suggestive name. The nonstick coated aluminum trays can work as a flattop for pancakes or as a grill for burgers, steaks and veggies. Most importantly, the breakdown makes cleanup a breeze.

A cool $99 gets you the base unit, two reversible grill tops, eight broiling trays for cheese and sauces, and eight plastic scrapers. Check out the video at Bell bottoms not included.

Note: Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances, Southern National is having to reschedule their MAY-25 Vision Cellars Wine Dinner. New date not set at this time.

Southern National holds wine dinner 

Ready yourself for a private dining experience this Friday, May 25, as Southern National’s Executive Chef Duane Nutter prepares a tasting menu paired with Vision Cellar wines. Winemaker and owner of Vision Cellars Mac MacDonald (no relation that we know of), known as the “Prince of Pinot Noir,” will be teaming up with Will Jones, Southern National beverage director, to present select wines for this special dinner in the dining room.

Expect a rosé of pinot noir, three more different pinot noir varieties and a blanc gris next to Nutter’s always aggressively creative menu. Price is $125 per person including tax and gratuity, and gives you the chance to mix and mingle with the winemaker and the chef.

The restaurant will be closed to the public during this event and reopen Saturday, May 26. Visit for more information and tickets, or call 251-308-2387.

Chaleur opens on Dauphin

Chaleur Method Brew and Espresso has finally opened the doors of its new location at 1714 Dauphin St. in the old Mobile Popcorn building. The opening event this past Friday, May 18, was well attended and marks the beginning of an expansion and partnership with an in-house baker.

Formerly at the corner of Airport and Glenwood, Chaleur made the move shortly after its one-year anniversary. Check out its website to receive email notifications at