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May 2, 2009 09:40 PM

Montgomery AL

What's good for a foodie in Montgomery?

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  1. I would also be interested to hear the answers to this one... especially places that are good to stop at while driving through the area!!!

    1. Check out "El Rey" ( in the Cloverdale neighborhood (to say that it is a Mexican restaurant does it no justice. It is owned and operated by Americans. I have nothing to compare it to but it's what I imagine Rick Bayliss' food to be like...


      Also in Cloverdale, check out "Filet & Vine" ( -- most locals will know it as "Dirk's"). It's an above-average meat & three...(but) the thing I miss the most from their is their bacon. Go in for breakfast and get it with some eggs...or order a B.L.T. or something (even better, a Grilled Pimento Cheese sandwich ADD BACON). It is the best I've ever had.

      The Capitol Inn Hotel's Four Seasons Restaurant's ( Lunch Buffet is Old South-Quaint, and has the best banana pudding I've ever tasted. (Warm, with meringue.) The buffet menu rotates daily and is posted on their website.

      There was also a soul-food'd have to do some asking around to find out the name (I stopped and asked a meter maid where a good place to grab this kind of food was...and that's how I discovered it.) It was on the "other side of the tracks" side of Downtown (somewhat near Old Alabama Town but closer to the jail and several bail bonds places.) It was in a run-down place several blocks from the beaten path. That's all I really know about it, but they had great "fish fry"-type dinners and (as I remember) great potato salad and stovetop-style mac & cheese.

      The Farmer's Market operates a meat-and-three-type place...believe it's called the "Farmer's Market Cafe". I don't remember the entree being too exciting, but the vegetables were incredibly fresh and there was a variety not seen at most other restaurants of this type.

      Last but not least, quickly -- barbeque. Locals will be split between Dreamland ( and Jim and Nick's ( Both are now regional chains. I wasn't impressed with Dreamland, but it does have a long history in Alabama with its styrofoam and Pepsi plastic punch-letter menu boards. Jim and Nick's, for my money, was much better. It is perhaps the most "polished" BBQ joint I've ever been to...but despite it's chain-like tendencies has, IMHO, excellent BBQ. Most servers will allow you to ask for inside or outside meat (so if you like that crunchy tasty outer crust like I do, ask for extra outside!) They also have excellent homemade smoked sausage.

      I don't know what's bringing you to Montgomery, but might I add that the aforementioned establishments are really about the ONLY things I miss about the place. Just saying...

      8 Replies
      1. re: adamdm

        The soul food place you speak of may be Martha's Place. I have not eaten there in the 15 years since I left Montgomery, but it used to be very good.

        The web site is:

        1. re: pinotboy

          Martha's Place is definitely not "run-down" nor "off the beaten path", as it's in the very well-maintained Somerset Plaza off Atlanta Hwy. The only down home eatery I can think of fitting that description downtown has to be Davis Cafe off Decatur.

        2. re: adamdm

          Jacobsessoms, Adamdm listed some places- not sure if you did a search but you might have seen this post with more, & a detailed map:

          Everyone has their own definition for what might be a foodie place and what might not, but here's more of an ethnic approach:

          1. Arrirang- Most authentic Korean food in town, and there are lots of places for a small town like this. They have table top grills, and karaoke on friday nights. This place could stand up in nyc- they have to be good because we have a large Korean population here due to the Hundai plant.

          2. India Palace- North indian food with some south indian options. Buffet at lunch, but go at night to experience the full spectrum of their menu. Bring lots of people so you can try different things.

          3. Island Delight- The one west indian place in town- good for lunch. Call ahead for veggie patties, or to make sure if they have roti. Meat patties and coco bread are normally available. Sometimes they get in aki and breadfruit. Different things on different days- I usually try and go for the oxtails or goat.

          4. Kabuki or Satsuki. Kabuki is owned by a nice chinese family, and Satsuki is owned by a group of young koreans, and has more of a korean influenced menu- i.e. bulgogi and kimchi- but really nice green tea. Both are great places for fish, although I think Kabuki gets in more special items- ie. toro, etc. The same chinese family that owns east china owns kabuki- so I try and patronize them often.

          5. East China- Only real chinese place in town. Call ahead for special items such as whole fish, chinese long(rope) beans, asian eggplant, and ho fun thick noodle. I would go here as often as possible.

          6. Esperanza Taquaria- Favorite little taco house. Go here for sopas and lengua, or tripe. Good home-made horchata & other drinks.

          7. Los Cabos Cantina- Favorite tex/mex- good chili poblanos and 99c margarita tuesdays.

          8. Taquaria Hacienda Prattville- Similar menu to esperanza.

          9. Number 16- Spanish Style Tapas- pallela, flatbreads, great wine selection- ports.. live music..

          10. Green Papaya- Best Laos food in town. Usually will get the green papaya salad, lard na, larb, etc. They have laos mango with coconut milk for dessert sometimes. Make sure to order everything Laos style- (as opposed to thai style)

          1. re: araess

            Kabuki is great for sushi...about the best and freshest you can get around here. I've yet to have a bad meal and always get great service at Green Papaya, even if it's not authentic Thai. Lek's can be good but is usually over priced for the quality IMO. I've heard great things about Arrirang as well, but have yet to eat there.

            Thanks for the Olive Room shout out on a previous post araess...I've been the Sous Chef there for the past 4 years now.

            1. re: KitchenTechnician76

              Cool yeah, I love olive room- wins hands down in ambiance against the competition like garrett's, number 16, la jolla, and city grill- and the scene next door at nobles is fun. When Ted gets imaginative with the food it sure is an awesome trip- reminds me of some of the stuff on the menu at Yellowhammer in Waverly- worth the drive from Montgomery if you haven't checked it out.

              - oh and pinotboy I think the soul food place might actually be Davis Cafe. It's right by the train tracks, bonds places, and low income housing- good too.

              1. re: araess

                Just heard the yellowhammer in waverly's chef is moving to nancy patterson's here in montgomery. I don't know what is going to have to happen to keep yellowhammer's menu and food as high of quality as it has been, but I hope it happens. I hope the chef gets to do everything he has done in waverly at nancy patterson's times 10- but to loose yellowhammer as a culinary destination would be horrible.

                1. re: araess

                  I might have to check them out...I've been looking for a place where I can get a lot more creative than the O-Room is allowing me to be. Maybe he'll be able to last at Nancy P's-they can be a bit hard to work for at times.

            2. re: araess

              I just noticed that oriental market, the market on coliseum near the atl hwy, has fresh sapotes(naseberry) and lychee in if anyone is interested.

          2. We'll be in Alabama in early June for BamaJam--flying into Montgomery and driving down to Enterprise/Troy. Any places along that route worth stopping? (Any recommendations in Troy or Enterprise?)

            5 Replies
            1. re: KurtW

              These looked interesting..


              The Pines Restaurant
              1044 Elm St
              Troy, AL 36081
              not amazing but dependable
              lunch specials.

              Sweet and Savory
              218 E Academy St
              Troy, AL 36081
              (334) 566-0331‎

              Hooks BBQ
              103 Highway 231 S
              Troy, AL 36081
              (334) 808-8008‎
              Full bbq place with all of the fixings.
              have a pickup window if you want to call ahead.

              Crowes Fried Chicken (& home made sauce
              )904 N 3 Notch St
              Troy, AL 36081
              Highway 231 Byp
              Troy, AL 36079

              Fishbones of Troy
              600 S Brundidge St # A
              Troy, AL 36081
              (334) 566-5662

              Fishbones Seafood Market & Cafe
              60 S Court Sq, Troy, AL, 36081

              Mossy Grove School House Restaurant
              Elba Hwy, Troy, AL, 36079

              Half Shell Oyster Bar & Grill
              119 Southland Vlg Ste C, Troy, AL, 36079

              3855 county road 308, Troy, AL, 36079
              pecans,cake,cookies,candy,bread,pralines,heavenly hash,pecan picker,gift baskets

              1208 University Hwy, Troy, AL, 36079
              334-566-8800 Reservations Are Not Accepted, Ribs, Sandwiches, Seafood, Specializing In, Steaks

              Campus Deli & Subs
              812 S George Wallace Dr, Troy, AL, 36081

              Daylight Donuts
              1009 Highway 231 S, Troy, AL, 36081

              Ingram Curb Mkt
              101 W Fairview St, Troy, AL, 36081

              Sisters Restaurant (buffet- saturday lunch is supposed to be special)
              13153 Us Highway 231
              Troy, AL 36081


              German Schnitzel Haus
              3 W Pointe Ct # F
              Enterprise, AL 36330
              (334) 393-4343‎

              Brasas Brazil
              8 North Pointe Pkwy.
              Enterprise, AL 36330
              (334) 393-6500‎

              501 Plaza Dr # 109
              Enterprise, AL 36330
              (334) 308-3200
              490 N Daleville Ave
              Daleville, AL 36322
              (334) 598-3333‎

              Rawl's Hotel (check out the belvino gourmet shop in back for wines, cheese, beer)
              116 South Main Street Enterprise, AL 36330
              ( 334) 347-7612
              Hotel Restaurant

              1. re: KurtW

                Hooks BBQ- the best BBQ in Troy, but that's only because Country's BBQ is the only other choice that I know of & they seriously suck.

                I lived in Troy for 5-6 years during college and can recomend you try

                1)- Crowes Chicken-get the fingers w/ 3-4 extra sides of sauce,

                2)-The Half Shell- Straight up greasy bar food, but the foods normally good and the beer is always ice cold.

                On your way back through, Sisters would be a great choice, if you're like me and need some good 'ol country food to shake off a hangover after 3 days at Bama Jam.

                1. re: KitchenTechnician76

                  That's true. I would put a disclaimer here saying that these places aren't the best in the world, just the best in the area.

                  1. re: araess

                    Really appreciate all the suggestions--can't believe you had so many for Troy and Enterprise! Am definitely curious to try Crowes and could very well wind up at Hooks and/or Sisters at some point. Again...thanks!

                    1. re: KurtW

                      Hope you have fun at Bama Jam and they did have some pretty tasty carnival food last year too.

              2. I really like some of the replies here so far, but no one has mentioned my favorite place in town, Jubilee Seafood. Located in the quirky but fun Cloverdale neighborhood, it consistently serves the best, freshest seafood in the area. It's not fancy by any stretch of the imagination, but the food is excellent, the service always great, and the beer ice cold.

                Preparations vary from simple grilled fish, to a daily changing menu of more elaborately prepared dishes. I am partial to the grilled triggerfish (when on the menu) but everything I have had there has been very good.

                It has an atmosphere that you would expect to find at a "locals" place in a beach community. We are, IMO, lucky to have it here in Montgomery.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Andrew in Alabama

                  You're right, the seafood is fresh at Jubilee, and you pay for it. For more economical options that are still fresh I like aw shucks(still in montgomery county) or if you need to stick to the area check out capitol oyster bar- I noticed a bigger bill at capitol also though. The price of food must be going up everywhere. I think jubilee gets the seafood from destin connection- who has seafood sandwiches that sell at lunch if you get the chance to try them out.

                  1. re: araess

                    You are right that Jubilee is priced higher than some, but IMO it is a good value for the quality. Destin Connection is great... I may head there today to get some fresh fish for dinner.

                2. For Korean, I really like Shilla, which is located off the Atlanta Highway, in a shopping center surrounding Eastdale Mall.

                  It is family run, very friendly, and the food is great. At lunch, my wife and I both order Bi Bim Bap, and share a large tofu soup. The bill comes out to around $20, and the little side dishes are the best and most generous I have seen in town.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Andrew in Alabama

                    I noticed at arrirang they have Bibim naeng myeon and Mul naeng myon!
                    A cold noodle perfect for summertime.

                    Can you describe the side dishes more at Shilla? I haven't been. Also, do they have grills on the table there? I notice the side dishes change depending on what you order at arirang, but they are almost always good.

                    1. re: araess

                      Let's see if I can remember what we had last time at Shilla. My knowledge of the names of items is limited, so I will do my best to describe them:

                      Eponymous marinated bean sprouts

                      Starchy chunked potato-like vegetable with spicy red sauce

                      English cucumbers with sesame and spicy marinade (this was great!)

                      Squid strips with red spicy sauce

                      Kim Chee

                      Green vegetable (taste similar to asparagus) in a sesame marinade

                      Tofu cakes with onions, green onions, garlic in an amazing sauce (this was the show-stopper.)

                      In addition, the Bi Bim Bap was amazing. Hard to beat for $7 per person.

                      I think they do have some tables with the BBQ grills, but only in the private rooms. It seems to be popular with Korean ladies, who always seem to be there in large groups at lunchtime.

                      1. re: Andrew in Alabama

                        Thanks for writing back Andrew! I'll check it out and report back!

                        1. re: araess

                          I'd be interested to hear your impressions. We ate at Arirang a couple of times when they first opened and were turned off by the disorganization of the service. Nothing wrong with the food, but Shilla has become our go-to place.

                          Hope you like it.

                          1. re: Andrew in Alabama

                            I might go back to arrirang anyways because I love the ladies that work there so much. It's usually a couple of guys back in the kitchen, one older lady, two medium aged ladies, a younger lady, and a girl that are there pretty much all the time. If you go when it's slower the service is great (sometimes they will cook for you on the grills at the table, which is an honor). If it's busy you better not have any events scheduled for later in the evening. It's especially busy on friday and saturday nights, but I enjoy the atmosphere of not being in a hurry and drinking lots of soju- then slipping back into the karaoke room and making a fool of myself. I wonder what effect the partial closure of the hundai plant will have on the business of the place and the special items they get in. :(