Taste of Tuscaloosa: A Foodie and Restaurateur Dishes on his Favorite Foods Around Town Featured

Craig Williams is a true foodie who isn’t shy about giving kudos to all the delicious restaurants around T-Town. Craig Williams is a true foodie who isn’t shy about giving kudos to all the delicious restaurants around T-Town. Craig Williams

Ever wonder what a restaurant owner eats when they’re not at their own establishment? I’ve talked to several T-town foodies over the past few months, but I knew it was time to talk to someone that our foodies rave about. 

Tuscaloosa’s own Craig Williams was kind enough to entertain my questions despite his demanding role as owner of Avenue Pub and Central Mesa. He had some outstanding recommendations for excellent local dishes to try at restaurants in downtown Tuscaloosa. 

How would you describe your food personality?

I would describe my food personality as curious. I’m always willing to try new things and intrigued by the unknown.  

What is your favorite dish/dessert in Tuscaloosa?

This is a tough question. We have some fantastic restaurants in Tuscaloosa. I live in the downtown area, so I am more prone to eat downtown.  


Smoked Salmon Chips (River) Pickled onion, fried capers, white BBQ sauce tons of complimenting flavors served in a dark/trendy atmosphere.

Antipasti Platter (DePalmas) Grilled artichokes, aged parmesan, salami, prosciutto, grilled zucchini, red onions, and fresh mozzarella DePalmas is definitely a “go to.” 


Boiled Fish w/ Pickled Cabbage (Mr. Chen's) This flounder dish is filled with flavor and a little heat. I always encourage people to get outside their comfort zone at this restaurant. They never disappoint.  

Lil Greek Salad and a Slice of Pizza (Mellow Mushroom) – Esperanza dressing is what makes this Greek salad amazing. Happy to have this locally owned and operated Mellow return to Tuscaloosa.


Meatballs/Red Sauce, Parmesan/Mushroom Risotto, and a Caesar Salad (DePalmas) – You can usually find me at the bar on a Wednesday night with this and an Orpheus Tart Saison in hand.

Edamame, Seafood Salad (add tuna), and Fresh Salmon Nigiri (Chuck's Fish) – Chuck’s sushi is always fresh. Sit at the sushi bar upstairs and they'll take care of you.

What is your favorite home cooked item? Any special story behind it?

My favorite home cooked item is a breakfast dish that we have on a regular basis. It's essentially a breakfast scramble. Black beans, eggs, jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, salsa verde, cilantro, crispy tortilla strips, and sriracha.

Do you like to cook? If not, who is your favorite cook in your life?

Being in this industry, most of the meals I eat come from one of the restaurants. I enjoy cooking when I have the opportunity. I am not a chef. I am great at executing cooking procedures, but recipe development is definitely not my strength.  

Sheena Gregg is a registered dietitian and local “Filipino Foodie.” Follow her adventures at afilipinofoodie.com. 

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Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.



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