Is there anything that says “Mother’s Day” quite like a mother-daughter restaurant? How about one that celebrates 26 years of business the day before!

I shudder to think what Old Shell Road would be like without Queen G’s. The fried oysters alone have secured the midtown hot spot as one of my favorite lunch destinations. Okay, I admit it may be my actual favorite. Oysters aside, we know Queen G’s as a place to secure a quality lunch special that begins with cornbread and ends with ice cream. In between those courses, you can choose from amazing veggies and meats that will blow your mind. I’m partial to the grouper but occasionally have the veggie plate with deviled eggs.

Queen G’s has never been formulaic, and a lot has changed over the quarter century (and counting) it’s been in business. Before settling on the current Tuesday through Friday plus Sundays schedule, 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. they tried a few odd hours, beginning as a breakfast and lunch joint. Gaynell (the monarch herself) isn’t partial to mornings, so they quickly found themselves open for lunch only.

They tried Saturdays for a while. Mondays are always a bore. Dinner was available for a short time, but soon was canceled so they could do what they are famous for: lunch. For a hot lunch Queen G’s can’t be beat. Seafood used to be on occasion as did the breathtaking chicken and dumplings. Now fish and oysters are mainstays and the dumplings can be found on the Wednesday special. Other newer menu items are the burgers and the award winning po’boys.

In the good old days the restaurant closed for the entire month of July in observance of Independence Day. That’s a luxury that can no longer be afforded but they still shut down for a few days around the Fourth.

Things like automatic dishwashers and such are changes that have made life a little easier for Lady C (Carolyn) and her crew and they have persisted. But she and her mom have seen a lot of businesses not be as fortunate. “None of our distributors except one have stood the test of time and that’s Southern Fish and Oyster Co. They’ve been around a lot longer than us and are a Mobile tradition,” Carolyn said.

Here’s to them keeping her well stocked with oysters and grouper. Happy anniversary, Queen!

Downtown welcomes a new grocer in Greer’s
The closest we’ve been to having a decent grocery store downtown has been Winn-Dixie on Catherine and Government streets. Shortly after I began writing this column, that supermarket went from “Crack Dixie” to “Mac Dixie,” but could hardly be considered a downtown store.

The latest buzz from the OGD to LoDa is the new Greer’s Cash Saver Downtown Market at Broad and Government. Lucas, Graham and I spent a good while in the new digs this weekend and were not disappointed. First off, I kind of like the “old school” doors that swing rather than slide. I was quite fond of the beer selection and the wine section could be worse. Produce had just what I was looking for and the meat department seemed to be well put together. All in all, it was a pleasant experience.

It was nice to see a few familiar faces, but if I had to form any complaint it would be that there isn’t much room for checkout lines. Attribute it to the fact that they are packing in a lot of goodness for such a small space. You may not get everything you need, but this place will more than do in a pinch.

Serda searches for possible West Mobile location
A Facebook announcement from downtown’s Serda’s Coffee Company says they’re considering branching out to West Mobile and want to know where fans of their beans would most like to see them expand. They’ve posted a brief, single-question survey, multiple choice with a write-in box. My favorite suggestions so far have been “Malbis” and “Daphne.” I guess if you keep going westward enough …

We‘ll let you know when and if a second location is secured. For the time being, get your gelato and fresh brew on Royal Street.  

11th annual Fairhope Rotary Steak Cook-off
Let mom do all the eating on Sunday. You may still be full from Friday night’s Fairhope Rotary Club International Steak Cook-off. May 8th the streets of Fairhope will be dotted with wood-burning grills as guests enjoy all-you-can-eat rib eyes, baked potatoes, tossed salad, beer, wine and soft drinks.

If that isn’t enough, then get ready for music by the Tip Tops and enter for a chance to win a large Primos ceramic grill. Best of all, the money goes to charity.

Tickets for this gigantic street party are $50 in advance, $60 at the gate if it doesn’t sell out. You may purchase tickets through any Fairhope Rotary member or at several Fairhope retail outlets, including Baron’s Inn, Lyons Share Custom Frame and Art Gallery, BanCorp South or the UPS Store at Plantation Pointe Center. You may also call 251-928-4000 for additional ticket information.

Happy Mother’s Day, moms! Recycle.