Photo | theoxkitchen.com
Fans of Ox Kitchen in Fairhope need not panic. The popular restaurant said farewell to the shared confines of The Mill in exchange for their own space at 365 South Greeno Road, which is already open. The new location is within spitting distance of other Fairhope favorites such as The Hope Farm, Fairhope Brewing Company and Warehouse Bakery & Donuts.
Amazingly, this is one of the few restaurants that posted a move-in date and actually kept their word, all with Mardi Gras getting in the way. None of the regulars had to go long without their favorite burgers, wings, gyros and sandwiches. They still have their popular brussels, but I’m craving Ox fries and a pimiento cheese-bacon burger.
Lunch and dinner are served Tuesday through Saturday, just lunch on Sunday, and they’re closed on Monday.
In related news, before the ink is dry on Ox’s new menus, Fairhope Burger Company should be opening in The Mill. It’s a quick turnaround, but possibly happening this month. More on that when we see a menu.
Sam’s Southern Eatery hits Dauphin Street
Though it looks like a celebration of all things fried, I’m yet to make it over to Sam’s Southern Eatery in the former Taco Bell building (only the second Taco Bell I’ve ever seen close) at Dauphin Street near Interstate 65. Claiming to be the home of the “Jumbo Shrimp,” I am ecstatic to see whole catfish on the board.
Though seafood-heavy, the menu has plenty of options for landlubbers and allergy-plagued carnivores. A handful of burgers and a couple of cheesesteaks fit the category, but there are also a lot of yardbird options. The online menu shows incredible prices, and the value is even better for family portions.
I’d have already made my way through most of this menu, but the line has always been a little long. You hear me, David Rasp? Catfish. Whole catfish!
Voodoo Wings now open next to Sam’s Southern Eatery
Dauphin and I-65 seems to be a hotbed these days. Just west of Sam’s, the former Wendy’s bit the dust months ago and is currently a brand new Voodoo Wings. Now you don’t have to go all the way to University and Old Shell for your Buffalo mac and cheese, tater tots, fried pickles and, of course, wings.
Thirteen flavors mildly start with barbecue and increase in heat until you reach “The Bomb.” The questionable sauce is in the ninth position, under the name “Spicy PB&J.” I need to know more about this one. I’m hoping for something like summer roll dipping sauce.
Leftover corned beef hash
My sister and I loved corned beef hash as kids. We thought it only came from a can, with little rehydrated chunks of potatoes. There was a stretch when my mom would let us choose dinner one night per week. A few weeks in a row, Andrea wanted the hash. We never had it for breakfast, and I don’t remember eggs, but I loved it crispy and salty. Cheap, easy, trashy and perfect.
The scratch method of hash cooking was developed as a way of making use of leftovers. It’s the food of the poor, but remember, so was shrimp and grits in the not-too-distant past. A “hash house” was a restaurant/diner that served leftovers in this way, making use of all they could, but it didn’t make it any less delicious. Hash house may have a different meaning these days, but corned beef found its way to the top of the hash chain, where it stays.
As an adult, I could still eat the canned stuff, but I don’t think my wife nor cardiologist would allow it in my house. Any leftover corned beef and potatoes from the green holiday should be used for the next day’s hash at breakfast, lunch or dinner. This is assuming you made corned beef and potatoes Thursday. If you didn’t, pre-cook some Irish potatoes until barely soft but still firm, because they’re being cooked again.
If you’re Irish, you have to get your potatoes somehow, and this is as fine a way to ingest them as any. Only a nincompoop with Mediterranean blood would have given up potatoes for Lent, making St. Patrick’s Day tuber free. No Dublin coddle, nor bangers and mash. No potato beer. No potatoes in his crawfish boil (also great for corned beef). No fish and chips, nor any fun at all. I’m not naming names, but quit ruining St. Patrick’s Day.
You can use any amount of beef or potatoes for this recipe. Have fun with it.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, divided
Leftover corned beef, chopped
Leftover potatoes, patted dry on a paper towel and diced
1 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
Black pepper to taste
Eggs, if you wish
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter in the olive oil. Add the potatoes and cook until golden brown. We are looking for a crust, so a little darker than you’re used to is good. Flip the potatoes to brown the other side. Maybe 3 or 4 minutes per side should do the trick. Remove them to drain on paper towels.
Add the rest of the butter and the corned beef. Once there is any sign of browning, add the onions and the peppers. This will help release any brown bits in the skillet left from the meat or potatoes. After 4 minutes, add the garlic and season with black pepper. In 3 or 4 more minutes the peppers and onions should be soft.
Return the potatoes to the skillet. Some like to fry an egg over easy to top their hash. I like to make nesting holes for each egg and cook them sunny side up in the hash. To each his own. Serve with different kinds of hot sauces from milder to super hot.
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