Serda’s Coffee on Royal Street has garnered plenty of Nappies over the years. Just recently they accumulated their first national prize from the Golden Bean Awards of Portland, Oregon. John Serda and the gang brought home a bronze medal in the immersion filter category with their Ethiopian Tchembe.

It is great seeing hometown boys do so well, and I know they have worked hard, roasting away, to get there.

Local art, 24 gelato flavors, smoothies, sandwiches, wraps and a bar full of liquor and craft beer are but a few reasons to visit our downtown coffee shop. Add this roast to the list.
Congratulations, Serda’s.

Fair fare is almost here
It’s that time of year when The Grounds hosts the 61st annual Greater Gulf State Fair Oct. 30 through Nov. 8. This year’s theme is “Lions, Tigers, the Fair, Oh My!” You guessed it’s a tip of the hat to the Wizard of Oz.

You may wish to visit the 30 adult and 30 kiddie rides or see the lions, bears, tiger shows, owls, monkeys (not the flying ones) and petting zoo, but I am going to follow the interactive yellow brick road to the Chomping Grounds. This is 30,000 square feet of carnival favorites not limited to Italian and Polish sausages, corndogs, chicken and waffles and funnel cakes. There is also Dippin Dots, the ice cream of the future from our past, along with tons of desserts.

If you are looking for something a little more restaurant oriented they have that, too. Local favorites such as the Hungry Owl, Bamboo Hibachi and Sushi, and La Cocina are but a few that will be on hand to serve you.
Last year I won the donut-eating contest. Pro tip: Ride the Zipper BEFORE you eat.

Crooked Martini reopens on Cottage Hill
Remember the Crooked Martini? Fans of the 7939 Cottage Hill location will be pleased to know this past Friday was the grand reopening of the West Mobile hot spot. It’s a family-friendly restaurant/bar atmosphere with an updated menu.

Build-your-own burgers seem to be the thing they are most proud of, and I hear the chicken wings aren’t too shabby. The appetizers look to be strong with deep-fried ravioli topped with marinara, hot crab and spinach dip, fried dill pickle chips, applewood bacon tater tots, and a monster plate of nachos with pulled pork and the normal trimmings topped with a lime-cilantro cream sauce.

Besides sandwiches, burgers and wings, there is a “meat and two” option that could almost be a “build your own Thanksgiving” dinner with sides that include dressing, sweet potato casserole and more of your favorites. It all sounds like comfort food to me.

Did I mention they have martinis? Check out the full menu at www.thecrookedmartini.com.

Yuengling introduces the seasonal IPL
Boasting the title of America’s oldest brewery, D.G.Yuengling and Son has been family owned and operated since 1829. Based in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, Yuengling is one of the largest American-owned breweries but does not specialize in wide varieties of beer. They keep it pretty simple with lager, Black and Tan, the Lord Chesterfield Ale and seasonal beers such as Summer Wheat and Octoberfest.

Rounding out the year’s seasonal brews, the final one hits shelves Oct. 28 when Yuengling introduces its latest India Pale Lager (IPL). It has been called a well-balanced lager with an unexpected mix of hops. “With its hop-forward style, Yuengling IPL is redefining the limits of what a lager can be,” Jennifer Yuengling said.

Beer nerds may wish to know just what kinds of hops were selected for their new groundbreaking beer. Pennsylvania brewery manager John Callahan answers, “We took a lot of time trying over 12 different hop varieties prior to selecting Belma, Bravo, Cascade and Citra hops for this new brew.”

You may remember me mentioning I get a little bit hoppy as the weather cools down. This may be a happy in-between for those warm fall days when an IPA is a little much. Be on the lookout at a beer store near you.

Pizzeria Delfina slinging slices
It took a while to get the doors open but the much-anticipated Pizzeria Delfina is finally open at 107 Dauphin St. They posted their first sliced pie on Facebook Oct. 10 and have been steadily growing since. If you want to find out why it’s crowded, visit 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, or until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. They are closed Sundays.

One week until oyster heaven at Hangout
I’m trying to contain my excitement but just have to let a little out. This year’s Hangout Oyster Cook Off and Craft Beer Weekend begins Friday, Nov. 6, at 6 p.m. This is your chance to sample more than 60 craft beers and enjoy live music as well as brewmaster demos. The ticket price is $41.99 for a whole evening’s worth of entertainment and beer offerings. I’ve spent that much in a cheap sleazy bar plenty of times.

All of this is just the preliminary round for my favorite Gulf Coast delicacy, the almighty oyster. For more information on the event, visit www.hangoutcookoff.com.

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