Debuting in the old Maki Fresh location back in May, owner Jennifer Mims says that Tuscaloosa seemed to be the next big step for the restaurant, after she opened the original Homewood location two years ago.
“We took a look at the market of Tuscaloosa and realized it was a good fit for us. We wanted to bring something to the natives of Tuscaloosa while also recognizing the college scene that was available too,” said Mims.
In fact, Tuscaloosa has been so attractive to the Real & Rosemary family that two locations now exist: the McFarland Boulevard location and the new downtown location on University Boulevard opening this month.
“We’ll be next to Steel City Pops in the former Which Wich location, and we’re excited about the proximity to campus,” Mims said.
If you’re wondering how the restaurant’s name came about, Mims says the “real” indicates the restaurant’s intentions to bring food to the table without preservatives, additives, or dyes.
“I’ve never heard anyone tell me they were craving yellow number 5,” Mims joked.
And as far as “rosemary” goes, Mims considers this an homage to her mother and grandmother cooking with rosemary frequently when she was younger. She said it also signifies the restaurant’s commitment to relying on the natural flavors of food, herbs, and spices, versus overly salting food.
Take one look at the Real & Rosemary’s menu, and you’ll grasp the wide variety of dishes the restaurant has to offer. About 20-25 percent of the menu changes throughout the year to reflect the local produce that’s in season.
“I’m originally from Chilton county, so getting to use produce from that area is special to me,” said Mims.
If you’re not already convinced to give Real & Rosemary a try, perhaps a little dessert can entice you. With lemon rosemary cookies made by Birmingham-based bakery Pastry Art, and a Mexican vanilla ice cream free of preservatives from Austin, Texas, the ice cream sandwich bites will be sure to make you an R&R regular. And if that’s still not enough, keep in mind that Real & Rosemary has a full bar with beer and wine served all day, and special curated cocktails available after 4 p.m.
For more information on Real & Rosemary, including directions and to order online, visit realandrosemary.com.