Summer 2012 in and Around Huntsville, Al
Part two of my trilogy in two parts for the Summer of 2012 is our stay in Huntsville plus day trips to Nashville and Lynchburg.
First things first, I was able to knock off 3 more items on the list of Huntsville's 20 Most Distinctive Dishes. Fish Tacos from Bandito Burrito Co. (more on that later), Chicken Berlin from Cafe Berlin and Jalapeno Cheese Bread from FredBread. You can read about them here
if you haven't been following along at home.
We of course at some meals at my SIL's. We kinda split the cooking duties and ate well there. The good stuff is as follows.
Bandito Burrito Company came as a huge surprise. I've passed by it a few times and knew I needed to test drive the fish tacos. What I wasn't prepared for is downright great Mexican food. Everything, outside of the tortillas, is made in house.
Mrs Sippi's combo (beef and refried beans) burrito was fantastic. Nicely, cumin heavy seasoned beef with the beans wrapped in a tortilla. Both our meals came with sides of refried beans and Mexican rice. Both of which were far above the usual you get in Mexican places.
If you read the other thread you'll already know that I loved fish tacos.
Tim's Cajun Kitchen has some seriously good Cajun food. As I'm given to believe, it's not as good as what you'll get in New Orleans but it's still a fine example. Tim must be doing something right since he's been in business for quite a while now.
I thought their red beans and rice were very tasty and had home made smoked sausage. I thought there was a little too much rice for the sauce but not too bad. When I make it at home it's got more gravy which, as a sauce lover, I prefer.
Speaking of sauce, Tim makes his own hot sauce as well.
A quick bite for dinner (since the place we wanted to go was closed for vacation) ended up being Casa Blanca. This Mexican place is not the best but certainly very serviceable. I had a medley of burritos with beef, chicken and pork being the stars.
They have a few locations. This one was in Madison, Al.
It's been a while but we really like little Paul's BBQ beside the Huntsville Hospital. This place owned and operated by Big Bob Gibson's grandson Paul Sanford churns out well above Q. Their smoked turkey breast if incredible.
Mrs. Sippi almost always goes for the BBQ sandwich and it's always a good solid hit.
We took my FIL out for dinner one night and the catfish restaurant we had been anticipating had closed. A quick redirect landed us at the Greenbrier in Greenbrier. Home of the best hushpuppies around. (see the 20 tastes of Huntsville thread for more on those)
I was in the mood for a burger so I bit the bullet ordered a burger at a BBQ restaurant. I will say it was a good burger.
Nothing special but there's nothing wrong with that. A good burger is always welcome.
We also had a family meal at Outback Steakhouse. It was so good I don't remember what I ordered.
I took my FIL out for breakfast one morning without Mrs. Sippi. We ended up at a place called Waffle King and I was pleasantly surprised. The food was good solid breakfast fare at a good price.
Day trip #1 was to Belvediere, Tn and the Fall's Mill. This 19th century grist mill has been restored and is full operational. There is a museum and store inside.
I couldn't resist a bag of stone ground grits. I haven't had any yet but I foresee some in my near future.
For those who've had grits at Cotton Row on the square will have had these. This is where they come from.
From the mill it was only a hop, skip and jump to Lynchburg and a visit to the fine folks at Jack Daniels.
Leaving there it was dinner time and a new Q joint has opened just off the square. Barrel House BBQ is the newest JD centric business serving the area. Chicken, ribs, pulled pork, sides and desserts are all on the menu.
I had a rack of (dry) ribs that were good. I've had better but also worse. They had a bit of an odd taste (cocoa powder??). It didn't ruin them but didn't really do much for me.
We were told that the locals love the meat but not so much the sauces. I found both sauces to be excellent. A thin, vinegar sauce with some kick and a thick, slightly chunky sweet sauce. The two combined were outstanding. The different personalities nicely balanced each other out. The rib meat with the sauce was certainly above average.
Our second trip was to Nashville with a stop (FINALLY) at Prince's Hot Chicken. Every Christmas and Summer I tell Mrs. Sippi we're going there and something comes up and we don't make it to Nashville. Not this time. We met some friends who were equally stoked about Prince's. DENIED!! We were too early. An hour and a half too early. I had checked the hours but got confused. They open at 2 on Saturdays and noon on Fridays. Not verse vicea.
Anyway, our friend called and audible and we ended up at Pancake Pantry for a very late breakfast.
Adam Richman and the Man v. Food crew stopped in while filming in the area and sampled the sweet potato pancakes. He loved them. So did Mrs. Sippi.
They have maple syrup on the table and they bring you this other syrup. Cinnamon cream syrup which they say goes best with the sweet tater pancakes. IT. WAS. AWESOME. Never mind the pancakes. You could put this on a baseball glove and it would taste great.
We paid a visit to the Parthenon while we were there. Built for the Tennessee centennial it's an exact replica although not made from marble obviously. Nashville, the state capitol was known as the Athens of the South for it's focus on education.
From there we visited Bellmont.
This mansion was once outside the city but has been swallowed up. It's the largest house museum in the state.
The Cool Springs Brewery would wind up our visit to Nashville. This brew pub makes about a half dozen or so beers at a time and has above average food coming out of the kitchen.
While the wings were excellent we thought they could use a bit more heat. That would be icing on the cake too. They also advertise out front that they make New York Style Pizzas which were really quite terrific.
This one was a meat lovers that walked the fine line between lots of toppings but not overly weighed down. A good solid pie.
Well there you have it folks. Some of the sites, sounds (okay no sound) and tastes of the south.