Warm Springs Ga to Montgomery Al (moved from Southeast)
Taking a road trip from Warm Springs to Montgomery. I would appreciate any suggestions for BBQ or regional food in the area, I am willing to go off the route for worthwhile food adventure. I do know of Chuck's BBQ and Mrs.Story's Dairy Bar in Opelika.
Suggestions based on recent experiences very much appreciated.
Sam's in Montgomery - an institution to say the least. The "large combo plate" is my go to - amazing pulled pork with slices of smoked sausage on top and some of their warm homemade sauce, fries, beans, and slow...and don't forget the piece of white bread. I love this place, if I want BBQ it's always by go to without question.
Off the beaten Path:
Tin Top Cafe - located in Grady, AL, a few miles past Sikes & Kohn's on HW-231. It takes about 20 minutes to get there from Montgomery...now the food...His fried chicken is AMAZING. He receives it fresh several times a week, keeps them at a special temperature, never freezes them, and has a special cooking/frying recipe. The vegetables are always good, especially collards and turnips, squash casserole, and mac n cheese. Biscuits & cornbread too!! The gentleman who owns the place is great and will sit down with you and talk about how much he loves this little restaurant. If you want fried chicken and true southern 'meat n three' skip martins, daisy's, farmhouse, and the like and visit Tin Top...be warned they close at 1:30 and the later you go the less food they'll have, they usually run out of white meat around 1pm.
Tin Top Cafe
24319 Troy Hwy, Grady, AL 36036
I don't know what sort of BBQ you are into, but I am a spare ribs type of person. I still think the best spare ribs around are at Smokin' S' BBQ in Wetumpka. They have a great rib lunch special. As far as bbq that is specific to the region, I'd have to suggest Alabama White BBQ sauce, and black bbq sauce. The only place I know to get White BBQ sauce in town is by ordering the "beer joints" from the shack (love shack) on the atlanta highway. It comes out with wings that are spiced like a jamaican jerk, and the sauce itself is basically horse radish and mayo. The black bbq sauce I haven't had anywhere else but at Chris's BBQ in prattville. It's not really my thing- heavy on cloves, but since you asked for regional I had to bring it up. As far as good down-home southern cooking, I have to recommend Chicken Shack in Wetumpka- typically a lunchtime place- basically the same description as tin top above- but some amazing character from the large lady that is charge there. I always enjoy davis cafe in downtown montgomery as well for meat and three.
One of my favorite BBQ places in town is Arrirang for Korean BBQ on the table. Amazing meat quality and authenticity- It's great with some soju and some karaoke on weekend nights- I realize this isn't southern bbq, but we have a large korean population in montgomery because of the hundai plant so it is part of the regional flavor in my opinion, and this place would stand up in bigger cities so I had to recommend it.
I think the best way to experience local flavors are in some of the fine dining southern fusion places around. There are a couple of restaurants in the area that try to pull it off- the vintage year for instance does a truffled mac and cheese that I like- but that's really about the extent of their fusion stuff on the menu. Ted does some amazing things down at nobles if you get a chance to have him make you some tapas. Michael's table does great interpretations of world dishes, and is one of my favorite restaurants in town, but I wouldn't really say it is southern fusion- they do use local ingredients from farms such as Red Root farm in Banks Alabama- a farm you may be interested in checking out if you are in to a community supported agriculture box delivered full of veggies weekly. I think spring house restaurant at Russel Crossroads does a great job of using local ingredients combined with worldly influences. It's a little bit of a ride up towards lake martin, but worth checking out.
Other regional deliciousness includes gulf coast seafood. I don't recommend any restaurants in town that serve it, but I do recommend a seafood shop called destin connection that has a great fresh selection- and they do sammies and stuff for lunch.
let me know if you need more info about any of these places, or have any other questions
Thanks for your suggestions. Unfortunately we will be arriving in Montgomery on a Sunday (and will be leaving the next day). The restaurants suggested appear to be closed on Sunday evening. This appears to be the case with most restaurants in Montgomery. I will report back if we uncover any interesting prospects.