It’s football season, and that means two things: it’s time to Roll with the Tide in BDS – and it’s time to eat! Whether you’re a hungry out-of-towner or a local, everyone can agree that Tuscaloosa offers up some of the best game day eats around. Here are some of my favorite suggestions for places to grab a bite – before or after the game. RTR! 

Have you ever wanted to walk into a restaurant and feel like you were in someone’s cozy-yet-upscale kitchen? I promise you are not alone. For the residents of Tuscaloosa, Real & Rosemary provides an atmosphere that is fresh, bright, and intentionally comforting.  

Did you know that Americans consume approximately 50 billion burgers a year? On top of that, the average American eats a hamburger three times a week! To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if the average T-town resident doesn’t beat this average, week to week.  

Ever since the Pho Town Facebook page debuted earlier this year, people have been chomping at the bit, eager to get their pho on. But what exactly is pho? Pho (pronounced like “fun” without the “n”) is a Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of broth, rice noodles, herbs, and meat … typically beef or chicken.  

As a popular street food in Vietnam, owner Anhtu Bui felt that Tuscaloosa was ready for some authentic flavors in its food scene.  

Burgers, fries, and (boozy) milkshakes, oh my! That’s what Dotson’s Burger Spot has brought to the table in Temerson Square. Dotson’s has hit the ground running since opening in August, providing an assortment of high-end burgers, appetizers, and desserts that make you want to scream “yum.” 

Summertime represents many things to many different people. For many, it’s a season full of lake days, going to summer camp, or working on projects in the home. For me, it means taking advantage of the lighter daytime traffic and enjoying multiple lunch dates with my husband and my gal pals at all the restaurants that are usually packed during the fall and spring semesters.  

Perhaps I’m biased, but Tuscaloosa has it going on when it comes to the food scene. Outside of the boom with traditional brick and mortar establishments, it’s hard to ignore how Tuscaloosa and Northport have embraced the food truck movement. New to the gastronomic action-on-wheels is Say Cheese, a grilled cheese based food truck which launched just last month.  

For grilled cheese masters Chris Bostick and Collin Spradley, owners of Say Cheese, their business is all about the food and paying it forward.  

Pizza, hot wings, barbecue, and maybe even fried catfish top the list of delectable eats that most folks think of when it comes to Tuscaloosa. However, examine our eateries and food preferences closely, and you’ll find an interesting foodie revelation … Tuscaloosa loves sushi. I’m in the majority, too, but I wondered: What is it about sushi that is so special? 

“I love the fact that sushi isn’t just about raw fish anymore, but has more variety that appeals to everyone,” said Tuscaloosa resident Lauren Winters.  “Sushi always makes a fun girls night!” 

Whether it’s from a hibachi steakhouse, fine dining establishment, or the convenience of a local grocery store, any sushi lover can easily find some tasty rolls to satisfy that Asian craving. Check out a few of my favorite sushi locations quite worthy of a sushi soiree anytime this month. 

Maki Fresh 

 
As a John Cassimus founded establishment, you already know this place must be good. What makes it even better is the fresh take on sushi. As a fast-casual establishment, folks can avoid long waits at traditional sit down restaurants while still enjoying made-to-order sushi. If that isn’t enough, you can quench your sushi flavors craving in the form of a sumptuous rice bowl. 

Chuck’s Fish 

 
Chuck’s Fish are where sushi dreams are made of. Whether it’s a romantic dinner out with a loved one, or a fun and sassy girls’ night out, Chuck’s is a premiere sushi location. With specialty rolls that can be found nowhere else in Tuscaloosa, you haven’t had sushi until you’ve had Chuck’s sushi. Watch sushi chefs Brandon Hicks and Cory Johnson put on a show as they meticulously create your sushi masterpiece. And hey, if your dinner date isn’t into seafood, Chuck’s has steak and bacon lovers accounted for in their sushi creations.  

Fresh Market 

 
If you thought that there was no convenient way to get delicious sushi home ASAP to enjoy in your sweat pants, you were wrong. It almost seems too good to be true to walk down the aisles of the grocery store finding an impressive wine, ice cream, and sushi selection all in one place! Hello Friday night! Sure, they’ve got other things, but sushi quality is high on the priority list for the staff at Fresh Market. From Cajun crawfish rolls to spicy tuna rice bowls, Fresh Market offers options that allow you to nosh while watching Netflix from the comfort of your very own couch. 

Few things are as thrilling as being in BDS on an Alabama game day. But let’s face it, a lot of us don’t get season tickets, and we’re super lucky if we score tickets to one or two Bama games all season long. And these days, many of us who are lucky enough to live and work in this wonderful Druid City host friends who love coming to visit on big game weekends – whether they have tickets or not. Sure, you can host your own home tailgating party (or crash someone else’s, preferably on or around The Quad) – but what if you want to get out and watch the game? 

There are a lot of great places to watch Alabama games in Tuscaloosa and have a great experience among like-minded fans. With football season in full swing now (can we get a “Roll Tide”?!), I thought this might be the perfect time to put together this handy dandy list, so we all can have plans in place. 

One can never have too many pizza options, right? In a college town like Tuscaloosa, the answer is a sure fire, “No way!” Making a late December debut, Post Office Pies, located in downtown Tuscaloosa right behind Innisfree Irish Pub, is just shy of being two months old. Despite being here only a short time, word has traveled fast through T-Town that this is the next pizza hot spot. 

I had a chance to interview Post Office Pies’ Social Media Manager Rachel Wallace, who was kind enough to share the eatery’s history with me. “John Hall, our chef and one of our three owners, made his culinary mark in Manhattan,” Wallace said. “There, he developed a passion and love for New York-style pizza. He even ran a bike pizza delivery service out of his Brooklyn apartment.” 

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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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