Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes

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Davwud
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Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Sat, 04/23/11 11:33 PM
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Howdy
 
Not sure how many of you know about this but al.com posted a list of Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes.
 
I've started to wade through the list and will post pictures and reviews as I do. If there are contradictions on some of them from other posts I've made it's because your opinion tends to change as time passes. Forgive me.
 
Stay tuned
 
DT
<message edited by Davwud on Sat, 04/23/11 11:37 PM>

Davwud
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Sat, 04/23/11 11:44 PM
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Not in Huntsville but right next door in Decatur is Big Bob Gibson's and the Chicken with White BBQ Sauce.
 
The birthplace of Alabama White Sauce Big Bob's is an institution and part of BBQ royalty. The chicken is dipped in the white sauce before serving and is not to be missed.
 
DT

Davwud
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Sat, 04/23/11 11:47 PM
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G's Country Kitchen's Fried Chicken is legendary 'round these parts

 
Crispy and encasing the simply seasoned bird this fried chicken is all about the bird flavour. Very good. (crappy photo)
 
DT

Foodbme
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Sun, 04/24/11 4:44 AM
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Davwud


G's Country Kitchen's Fried Chicken is legendary 'round these parts 
Crispy and encasing the simply seasoned bird this fried chicken is all about the bird flavour. Very good. (crappy photo)
DT

Any place that serves Cornbread along with;
Cabbage
Fried Corn
Turnip Greens
Black-eyed Peas
Fried Green Tomatoes
Yams
Fried Okra

Potato Salad

Mashed Potatoes

Great Northern Beans

Slaw

Pinto Beans

Green Beans

Collard Greens

Macaroni & Cheese

Is OK in my book!
<message edited by Foodbme on Sun, 04/24/11 4:50 AM>

Davwud
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Sun, 04/24/11 10:39 AM
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The Hot Damn Sauce at the Po Boy Factory is a mayonnaise based, tangy sauce they put on the po boys.
Unfortunately not damned hot but very tasty. The owner Marie assures me that the longer the sauce lasts, the hotter it gets. Ours was made only a few hours ealier. The next day it's at it's peak she says.
 
DT

Davwud
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Thu, 04/28/11 1:40 PM
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It's not a cheeseburger. It's a hamburger with cheese. You can find it at Big Spring Cafe. The small burger or large slider is cooked on a flat top and then held in an au jus 'til serving. Very tasty.

 
DT

EdSails
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Thu, 04/28/11 2:32 PM
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Interesting list. I keep telling myself that the next time I go to Fairhope I will spend a day or two in Huntsville to see the space Center. Now I've got some places to eat at. Looking forward to your observations on them.

SassyGritsAL
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Tue, 05/3/11 4:49 PM
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Big Springs is one of my fav. places for burgers. They are the "Home of the Greasy Burgers" and I crave them.
 
I am a big white sauce fan, not only do I use it for chicken but I put it on my bbq and dip my hushpuppies in it.
 
Glad you enjoy the restaurants in Huntsville and if you get a chance try one of my fav. - Dallas Mill Deli (they are on FB) and Greenbrier BBQ restaurant (there are two - one right off the interstate and the other about 2 miles from the Greenbrier Exit off I-565. Their hushpuppies are to die for.

Davwud
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Tue, 05/3/11 10:00 PM
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SassyGritsAL


Big Springs is one of my fav. places for burgers. They are the "Home of the Greasy Burgers" and I crave them.

I am a big white sauce fan, not only do I use it for chicken but I put it on my bbq and dip my hushpuppies in it.

Glad you enjoy the restaurants in Huntsville and if you get a chance try one of my fav. - Dallas Mill Deli (they are on FB) and Greenbrier BBQ restaurant (there are two - one right off the interstate and the other about 2 miles from the Greenbrier Exit off I-565. Their hushpuppies are to die for.

The last time I made slaw at home I used vinegar and white sauce for the dressing. Really good.
 
DT

Foodbme
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Wed, 05/4/11 2:32 AM
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EdSails


Interesting list. I keep telling myself that the next time I go to Fairhope I will spend a day or two in Huntsville to see the space Center. Now I've got some places to eat at. Looking forward to your observations on them.

It's a pretty good hike from Fairhope to Huntsville. About 5 hours Plus at 75 MPH with 1 potty stop!
<message edited by Foodbme on Wed, 05/4/11 2:37 AM>

Davwud
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Wed, 05/4/11 9:13 AM
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Foodbme


EdSails


Interesting list. I keep telling myself that the next time I go to Fairhope I will spend a day or two in Huntsville to see the space Center. Now I've got some places to eat at. Looking forward to your observations on them.

It's a pretty good hike from Fairhope to Huntsville. About 5 hours Plus at 75 MPH with 1 potty stop!

1??
 
DT

buffetbuster
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Wed, 05/4/11 1:02 PM
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Davwud-
Just to let you know, I am following this thread with great interest.  Last Fall, I spent a weekend in the Huntsville area and came away disappointed with the food.  The only place that really grabbed me was Big Bob Gibson's.  Hopefully, it was just poor choices on my part and not a dearth of good Roadfood in the area.
 
BTW, despite the food, I thought the area was full of lots to see and do and really nice people. 
<message edited by buffetbuster on Wed, 05/4/11 1:03 PM>

Davwud
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Wed, 05/4/11 1:12 PM
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buffetbuster


Davwud-
Just to let you know, I am following this thread with great interest.  Last Fall, I spent a weekend in the Huntsville area and came away disappointed with the food.  The only place that really grabbed me was Big Bob Gibson's.  Hopefully, it was just poor choices on my part and not a dearth of good Roadfood in the area.

BTW, despite the food, I thought the area was full of lots to see and do and really nice people. 

It's not exactly NYC when it comes to RF. All in all though, you can do well. There's a new place in Meridianville (10 mi north) named Taters n Dawgs that we visited a couple weeks ago and was very impressed. Great dogs, burgers, fries. All old school stuff.
 
Definately hit Poboy Factory and Big Spring. Great places with good to great food.
 
Where did you go last fall.
 
DT

Davwud
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Thu, 05/5/11 11:34 AM
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Okay, last one until we're back in the summer.
 
#13 on the list is "Hot Wings" at Beauregards. They have a few locations in and around HSV. The hot wings are done Buffalo style (hot sauce/margarine sauce).
 

 
As for a true Buffalo wing these are a little small but the flavour of the sauce is spot on. I haven't had a lot of wings in town but these are certainly the best.
 
DT
 
 
<message edited by Davwud on Thu, 05/5/11 11:35 AM>

SassyGritsAL
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Mon, 05/16/11 6:26 PM
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Beauregar's is another great place in H'ville. My son worked there when they opened their first location (Jordan Lane) for five years. Their cheese fries and awesome and a good bologna sandwich. I do agree that they have the best wings in town and I like that you can order all flats if you want (which I do).

Davwud
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Mon, 05/16/11 8:30 PM
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SassyGritsAL


Beauregar's is another great place in H'ville. My son worked there when they opened their first location (Jordan Lane) for five years. Their cheese fries and awesome and a good bologna sandwich. I do agree that they have the best wings in town and I like that you can order all flats if you want (which I do).

Nice. Most people would go drummies but I like the flats. Less meat and more work but better, juicier taste.
 
Mrs. Sippi hasn't warmed to Beauregards yet. We've been twice and she's been less than impressed both times.
 
DT

SassyGritsAL
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Mon, 06/20/11 6:28 PM
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Davwud, ate at Beauregards last week - haven't been in awhile (due to a bag broken leg and hip bone). We ate at the one on Airport Road and it was very good. The cheese fries were the best I've had in a long time. They were so fresh, hot, and cheesy - of course I ordered all flats and was not disappointed.
 
Hope we can get a few together for eating out when you visit H'vill this summer. Any ideas on what to try - I'll keep my nose and ears open for options.

Davwud
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Tue, 07/26/11 9:31 PM
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Alrighty, chiming in at #18 on the list is the 3 - Way fajitas at Rosie's Mexican Cantina.
 
Shrimp, steak and chicken sauteed in onions and peppers served up sizzling hot on a skillet.

 
They tasted about how you'd think. A cumin rich seasoning on the chicken especially. All in all it was good. The shrimp were above average most likely because a) they were shrimp and b) they were perfectly cooked.
The metal bowl contained some sort of "Au jus" that was very tasty. Especially on the rice.
 
A garnish plate accompanied it.

 
Rice, guac, pico, sour cream and cheese accompany the 3 flour tortillas.
 
BTW, 3 tortillas is perfect. One for each meat and the rice after made for a rather large meal.
 
DT

sk bob
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Tue, 07/26/11 10:12 PM
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so far the best looking & tastiest looking was the shrimp, steak, & chicken at Rosie's
Great looking trip so far Davwud.

Davwud
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Wed, 11/23/11 11:51 PM
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Okay food fans, my quest continues. The #10 taste of Huntsville is the Big 8 pizza at Big Ed's Pizza.
The description on al.com lists banana peppers as one of the toppings but they weren't on ours. Also, if you count the number of toppings on the list it totals 9. So they probably weren't supposed to be on there anyway.
 
Anyway, Big Ed's pizza is really good but the Big 8 really isn't one of his best. First of all there was too much water that leeched out of the vegetation. Secondly, they make a thin crust pizza and too many toppings + thin crust make for pizza disaster.
However, the other pizza we ordered, simply pepperoni and black olives was fantastic. So go easy on the toppings.
 
DT

Davwud
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Sat, 11/26/11 9:22 AM
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Okay, #12 on the list is the Kitchen Sink sub at Stanlieos Sub Villa.
Two locations in Huntsville and a pretty large menu for this place. One thing I like is they buy bread dough and cook it on site. So the bread was very fresh.
We had 3 different subs between us. The Pizza was really good. As was the Steak and Cheese.

The Kitchen Sink sub on the list is really, really good. I love genoa and it had a very prominent taste on this baby. I'd skip the diced pickles next time.
BTW, the pickles were good too.
 
DT
<message edited by Davwud on Sat, 01/5/13 10:58 PM>

Davwud
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Wed, 12/21/11 9:26 AM
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#2 on the list but #1 in many locals hearts is the hush puppies at Greenbrier Restaurant. Usually deep fried cornmeal batter balls these finger shaped specimens have a great onion note to them. Perfect if you love onions. Like me.
Either the red or white BBQ sauce are perfect for dipping. The best part is though, they're complimentary.
 
Just a note to people. There are two Greenbriers within a mile or so of each other. They are in no way related. These come from Greenbrier RESTAURANT right in the speck of a town of Greenbrier. Do not confuse it with Greenbrier BBQ just off I-565.
 
DT
 
<message edited by Davwud on Wed, 12/21/11 9:32 AM>

Davwud
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Thu, 12/22/11 10:10 AM
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The number 14 item on the list is Terry's (pepperoni) Pizza. Terry's was a pizza place on Memorial Parkway (The main highway 'round these parts) that closed up shop a few years ago. The owner of a small local grocery store chain named Star Market bought the recipe and now sells them uncooked in the store. Take and bake.
My BIL said they used to have it a lot when he was a kid and hadn't had it since then. He was actually pretty interested to see how well it survived.
Lemmie tell ya, I really didn't want to like this stuff. Super thin crust and let's face it, it's grocery store pizza. The funny thing is, it's pretty damned good. Sure you can get better pizza at Big Ed's. But this had a good cracker thin crust. A bit tasteless but better than the carboard I thought it would taste like. The sauce was pretty zippy and they use a fair bit. The pepperoni was good and it was loaded with cheese. All in all a well above average pizza from a grocery store. My BIL said the crust was better back in the day since it was cooked in a pizza oven but all in all, it brang back great memories for him. We all enjoyed it.
 
DT

Davwud
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Wed, 07/11/12 5:09 PM
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Well it's Summer time and that means a trip back to the inlaws. What trip would be complete without knocking a item or two of the list of 20. With that in mind I present to you #7 on the list and quite possibly, so far, #1 on my list. The Fish Tacos from Bandito Burrito Company.
They come 2 to an order with Mexican Rice and Refried beans. I'll dispense with the sides, both were very tasty. Now the main. A piece of tilapia for each, lightly seasoned and topped with cabbage, tomato, onions, cilantro and a white sauce made of dill, lime juice and Mexican crema. They were utterly delicous. The sauce is what really made them. It just added so much depth to the dish IMHO.
 
Stay tuned
DT
<message edited by Davwud on Wed, 07/11/12 5:25 PM>

plb
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Wed, 07/11/12 9:02 PM
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Funny that this should pop up today, I just got back from Huntsville yesterday.  Using the official list of Roadfood places under the Restaurants tab above I hit the first three on the list.  And I made it to David Gibson's, an official Roadfood place founded by the son of Big Bob Gibson the founder of the fourth place on the list.

Davwud
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Sat, 07/14/12 9:34 AM
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Moving right along at #9 we have Chicken Berlin at Cafe Berlin.
Chicken schnitzel with sauteed onions, Jarlsberg cheese and apple.
This is a good dish but not one of my favourites on this list. I found it to be under seasoned and entirely unlike the Fish Tacos lacking depth. It's not a good thing when the Red Cabbage was the best thing on my plate. Understanding the cabbage was delicious.
 
DT

carlton pierre
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Sat, 07/14/12 10:15 AM
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I used to go to Huntsville/Decatur and all of AL a few years ago for work.  I no longet get there but I loved all the roadfood that was everywhere.

callmebruce
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Sat, 07/14/12 11:22 AM
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Darn! It looks like it's time to visit The Space Museum again, then head out for some good food.

Davwud
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Thu, 07/19/12 7:32 AM
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One last installment from our Summer trip.
At #8 is Jalapeno Cheddar Bread from FredBread.
This dense bread is sold in a couple "Tree Hugger" stores as well as the old Harrison Brother's Hardware store down on the square. It's really good. Definite flavours of jalapenos and cheddar and with a bit of bite. It's great on it's own with butter but really does well when made into a grilled cheese.
 
DT

Davwud
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Sat, 01/5/13 10:54 PM
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Well it's that time again. We're just wrapping up our Christmas trip to Dixieland and time to report back again on my little quest here
 
Number 1 on the list and quite possibly #1 in my tummy is the White (Bean) Chili from Duffy's Deli. The little diner in an over 100 YO house.

It has a really nice delicate flavour. Not weighed down with a lot of ingredients or cumin. More or less tastes like chicken and beans. The simplicity is really nice and then what really ties the whole thing together is the generous amount of Jack cheese. It's truly fabulous.
You need to hurry though, Duffy's is soon to be no more. The building is in probate right now and will be sold. The owner are ready to retire. They figure at most, 2 more years.
<message edited by Davwud on Mon, 01/14/13 8:42 AM>

Davwud
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Sun, 01/6/13 10:50 PM
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Number 17 on the list is the Gyro from Papa Gyros. I read some reviews and people hailed it as the best Greek food in Huntsville. Others mentioned it was one of the best things to eat in Huntsville. Well, I suppose if you had no other benchmark for Greek, it may be.

Needless to say, I thought it was terrible. First off, as you can see, it's mostly tzaziki. And not good tzaziki either. It seemed like grocery store quality. The meat wasn't very flavourful either. It was just plain not good.
I honestly can't believe it was included on the list.
 
DT
<message edited by Davwud on Mon, 01/14/13 8:43 AM>

soozycue520
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Mon, 01/7/13 6:07 PM
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Wow!! Believe it or not, we have some good gyros in Cincinnati. And, some good tzatziki. That does not look good at all. 

Davwud
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Thu, 05/2/13 12:02 PM
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Okay gang, back in town for a funeral and had breakfast at Blue Plate Cafe. Here are my thoughts on item #16, Pancakes with a side of Cheesy Browns.
 
 
First off, the pancakes. In and of themselves are quite good. They hit all the proper buttons with taste, texture and size. I do however have to deduct points for using table syrup, not maple syrup. I'm told it was Log Cabin and I have to admit, it wasn't bad. It actually tasted like maple. Just very mildly and without all the bad flavours you usually get with crappy syrups. So BYOMS and you're good to go with these.

The Cheesy Browns are a hash brown casserole with cheese. Lots of cheese it seems. Or at the very least, very strong cheese. It's what really makes the dish. It would appear to be an old cheddar. Pungent and able to stand up to the potato nicely. Maybe the best thing I've ever eaten at BPC.

BTW, the Country Ham was excellent. The perfect balance of salty, porky, tender and chewy.
 
More to come

DT
<message edited by Davwud on Mon, 09/2/13 9:53 AM>

ScreamingChicken
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Thu, 05/2/13 12:22 PM
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The Cheesy Browns look and sound really good!

agnesrob
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Thu, 05/2/13 10:20 PM
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Those cheesy browns do look so good!

myterry2
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Fri, 05/3/13 10:40 PM
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Great report with quality pics...thanx.

Davwud
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Sun, 07/7/13 4:35 PM
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Last on the list and perhaps least as well is Mullin's Restaurant's Slaw Dog.

A simple hot dog covered in the house made slaw. The slaw is where this goes wildly off the rails. I had no inclination that I'd like this and I certainly wasn't disappointed. The thought of a ketchup based dressing for slaw just did not sound appealing. Couple that with the addition of sugar to the mix, it was just god awful. Unlike the Gyro I won't say that this is poorly executed. Just not to my liking. You mileage may differ. As I'm sure it's on this list for a reason.
 
DT

leethebard
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Sun, 07/7/13 5:18 PM
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.....oooooooo, that slaw looks terrible!!!

Wintahaba
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Sun, 07/7/13 6:06 PM
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...like raw ground meat.

CajunKing
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Sun, 07/7/13 6:56 PM
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Wintahaba


...like raw ground meat.

 
That was what i thought it was on first glance. and on second glance and third...

Davwud
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Fri, 08/30/13 10:43 AM
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Okay, back at this. With our recent visit I was able to sample more of the goodies on the list.
 
Coming in at #3 on the list is the Coconut Pie from Gibson's BBQ on Memorial Pkwy. While I think they've got some of the worst BBQ I've had their pies still do the family name proud Not the least of which is the coconut version. Made with real coconut. Certainly one of the best things on this list.


CajunKing
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Fri, 08/30/13 6:59 PM
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It is amazing that the same family can produce totally different results when it comes to BBQ.  The family pie recipes they ALL have down, but the BBQ is the difference tween night and day.
 
Big Bob's BBQ is much better, but Velma and Paul have a good place too.

Davwud
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Fri, 08/30/13 7:08 PM
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CajunKing


It is amazing that the same family can produce totally different results when it comes to BBQ.  The family pie recipes they ALL have down, but the BBQ is the difference tween night and day.

Big Bob's BBQ is much better, but Velma and Paul have a good place too.

I fully agree. I think Big Bob's is the best followed by Little Paul's then David Gibson's. I won't even bother with Gibson's. Heck you practically drive by Paul's on the way there.
 
DT

Davwud
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Sat, 08/31/13 1:25 PM
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At #19 on this list and perhaps 19th best as well is the Pad Thai at Thai Garden. As pad thai's go, this one is really quite serviceable. It's more a case of having had so much better elsewhere. One of the big problems I had was it was too sweet. Not sure from where that sweetness came. It also lacked personality and I found tasted somewhat homogenous.

 
DT
 
<message edited by Davwud on Mon, 09/2/13 9:49 AM>

Davwud
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Mon, 09/2/13 10:04 AM
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At number 8 on the list is Jalapeno Cheddar bread from FredBread. This bakery sells their bread a various locations throughout the city instead of at their own bakery.

This incarnation had really good yet still somewhat subtle chili and cheese flavours that worked really well in a grilled ham and cheese sandwich.
I think I need to give it a go in a Pimento Cheese sandwich.
 
One more to go.
 
DT

JRPfeff
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Mon, 09/2/13 11:07 AM
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I think the best Thai food I ever had was in Toronto, so the place in Huntsville has some high standards to shoot for. 
 
Great report and great idea!

ScreamingChicken
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Mon, 09/2/13 2:51 PM
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Davwud


At number 8 on the list is Jalapeno Cheddar bread from FredBread.
I love bread like this.  Here in Madison Stella's Bakery makes a version and it's good plain or toasted.
<message edited by ScreamingChicken on Mon, 09/2/13 2:52 PM>

Davwud
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Re:Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes - Sun, 09/8/13 11:22 AM
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Okay, last one.
 
Number 6 on the list is Local Beer. Olde Town Brewing Co and Straight to Ale. Sadly OTB Co. didn't survive. Having folded up their tent a few years ago.
Straight to Ale is still going strong and can be found in a number of locations in and around town.
My sample turned out to be Monkeynaught. Honouring the space heritage of Huntsville and monkeys that were used as "Test pilots" in the early years of the space race.

This is a very fruity, citrusy ale that has orange and grapefruit flavours leap out at you. You can't really tell from the pictures but it's a gorgeous aged copper colour. It leaves a very pleasant aftertaste is you're into grapefruit and is rather light considering it's colour and alcohol content (7.4%)
 
So that's all folks. Some fantastic stuff, some dreadfull stuff and a taste of what Huntsville has to offer.
 
DT