Best in Huntsville, AL...........
Where are you from?
We've had good food at Grille 29 in Providence. The food is always good although the place could use some sprucing up at Pauli's in Madison. There is a Ruth Chris in the Embassy Suites downtown or Connor's Steak in Bridge Street. Phoenix and Cotton Row are also good. Well, Cotton Row was great the first time I went and not as good the second time. Do you want ethnic? If so, what type? Sushi and other Japanese is good at Mikawa, a block off University Drive. The following are not "fine dining", but for southern BBQ Big Bob Gibson's in Decatur is good, try the BBQ chicken with white sauce and get peanut butter pie if they have it (this is a VERY casual place). If you want fried catfish and hushpuppies Greenbrier is good on I-565 between Madison and Decatur (also very casual). Some think the ribs at Dreamland BBQ are the best.
475 Providence Main St NW, Huntsville, AL 35806
Cotton Row Restaurant
100 Southside Sq, Huntsville, AL 35801
670 Verdae Blvd, Greenville, SC 29607
I've only been to D & L Bistro at lunch recently, but it was good. I had the fish special there a few weeks ago. I haven't been to 801 Franklin in a long time. It used to be good, so maybe it's still a good choice. GIve Cotton Row on the square a try. Once I went and it was great. I took 10 people there for lunch because I liked it the first time. The second time we had trouble with both the service and food. Maybe they were short-handed. Try Phoenix as well. Not open every night though, so you would need to check before you go. I think they are open at lunch. It's a couple of blocks from the square downtown. Paulis has beer tastings with the new "high gravity" beers on Thursdays with oysters and usually something else special. This week it was king crab. If your son is in Madison you've probably been to Paulis.
Not sure if you've had your trip yet or not...but thought that I would throw in my two cents. I have not been to 801 Franklin in a while, but it has always been good. I would definitely say it would be a safe bet. Have not been to D & L Bistro yet...but, have been wanting to check it out, so please pass along the feedback if you eat there. Have friends that have said it is their favorite.
We live close to Grille 29 and eat there a lot. Although, it is a safe bet, I think it is a little overrated. Always good, but never great. I definitely agree with glecroy that you should try Cotton Row...I have only eaten there once and had a good experience. But, the atmosphere is uniquely Huntsville, so is a good experience for a visitor. I personally do not care for Pauli's in Madison for dinner. Fine for drinks and apps on the patio occasionally but not great for dinner.
Must try Papa Gyro's while in town if you like Greek Food. It is definitely nothing fancy, but the food is delicious!! I also like Charm Thai in Madison. Small little place that is very personal, with good food.
Let me know where you end up and what you think!! Enjoy your trip!!
If you haven't yet made your trip, here are our favorite local eateries (some are chains but still very good):
Tim's Cajun Kitchen, Jordan Lane near I-565 overpass
Greenbrier, NOT the one directly on 565 -- the other one at the 4-way stop further down Greenbrier Road
Another Broken Egg
Thai Garden on Andrew Jackson -- not fancy, but cheap and tasty
Mezza Luna (1/2 price wine by the bottle on Thursday nights)
And if you want a great steak or burger delivered -- SteakOut!
I've just recently moved back to the Huntsville area after being gone almost 10 years so I'm having to rediscover the food scene there.
Big Bob Gibson's BBQ is pretty good...I usually go for the brisket. They have a location in Huntsville but I prefer the orginal (at least I THINK it's the original) location on US31 in Decatur.
Viet Huong in Huntsville or Saigon in Madison for Vietnamese. I love the Pho (beef soup) on a cold day and any variation of Bun (rice noodle dish) is good. I think the food is a little better at Viet Huong but they are super busy during lunch time so go early and just seat yourself.
Thai Garden on Andrew Jackson is good but parking there is a total nightmare. They are right on the corner with only a few spots on either of the two intersecting streets.
Another Broken Egg Cafe is a nice change of pace for b'fast or brunch...they are out in Jones Valley betwen Target and Dick's Sporting Goods. It's a little pricey for a breakfast place but it's well worth it.
Had to laugh when I read "out in Jones Valley". It's only a couple of miles from us. I say "out in" when referring to Madison or Providence.
I do second Another Broken Egg Café. They close at 2:00. My daughter and her group of college friends go for brunch most every Sunday. I've been invited to join them, but typically go at other times. My fav on their menu is the New Orleans take-off on Eggs Benedict that subs crab cakes for the Canadian bacon.
Thai Garden is quite good. I've never had trouble parking there and there is a parking lot along the shopping centre on the north side.
One of our favourite places is Mezza Luna off Jones Valley near the Target. It's a kind of New South meets Mediterranean. The chefs trained under Frank Stitt in Birmingham before coming here. Always great service and great food.
For German either Café Berlin on Airport Road or Ol' Heidlberg on University.
Tim's Cajun Kitchen on Jordan Lane.
Luciano's (Italian), also on Airport Road a couple of doors down from Café Berlin
Surin (I haven't been to the one in Madison, only the Airport Road location).
Ido in Madison used to be good for sushi. I haven't been there in a couple of years though.
I like the old Greenbriar better than the one on 565 for catfish, but I haven't been there in several years. A lot of people also like their fried chicken.
Phoenix Bistro on Fountain Row always pleases.
Haven't been yet, but Wintzell's Oyster House has opened in the old Green Hills Grill location off Wynn & University. I've heard some great things about it.
re: Sid Post
Well the Vietnamese ladies who do my nails like one on South Parkway near the Kroger. I haven't been to it yet, nor do I know the name, but they tell me it's where they do all their shopping and that I can't miss it. They also assure me it has quail eggs, which I am wanting to try.
For baby bok choy, I typically get that at Garden Cove at Pratt and Meridian. They often have bean sprouts and other ethnic veggies. The owners are 7th Day Adventist and emphasize fresh organic produce. They close at 3:00p on Friday and are closed all day Saturday, so plan accordingly if going there.
re: Sid Post
I have three in mind that I go to myself. Two of them are on Jordan Lane, Choi's and Shinsegae, kind of close to each other. The third one is International supermarket on Old Madison Pike. That one is my favorite. They have everything you might want. The good rice (I know what you are talking about) bean sprouts, Korean noodles, rice noodles, bok choy, korean pears, everything.
What's the crossing street near the market on Old Madison Pike? I missed Choi's this past weekend but, I found Shinsegae in the Holiday Plaza on Jordan and an Indian Pakistani place that has some good tea by the University.
Thanks to Shinsegae I got some good Sushi rice and Korean noodles ... ymmm. The staff there was real helpful as well.