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Displaying items by tag: Taste of Tuscaloosa - Druid City Living, Tuscaloosa's premier community newspaper. - Druid City Living, Tuscaloosa's premier community newspaper. Wed, 15 Aug 2018 15:13:51 -0500 MYOB en-gb Taste of Tuscaloosa: Beat the Heat with the Best Cold Sweet Treats in Town Waffle cone bits, caramel, a little pistachio, and a homemade sweet cream base make this Frost Bite creation worthy of your taste buds.

Nearly 100 years ago, the “I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream” novelty song was born. And all these years later, ice cream continues to be a staple dessert for joyful celebrations or a potential late-night snack. There’s no doubt it’s been hot in Tuscaloosa this summer, but once again, fear not my friends, the businesses of Tuscaloosa and Northport have heard our screams for ice cream, and they deliver big. Here are a few of my favorites this summer… 

Frost Bite Tuscaloosa 

Food Network videos have nothing on Tuscaloosa. T-Town now has its very own amazing rolled ice cream store – and it’s just a stroll away, in downtown Tuscaloosa. Next to Ajian sushi restaurant, Frost Bite Tuscaloosa’s debut this summer not only features the beauty of rolled ice cream worthy of a social media viral video, but also the “wow” factor of liquid nitrogen ice cream. Patrons can watch in wonder as shop staff conduct the most delicious science experiment ever right before their eyes. Frost Bite Tuscaloosa staff are quick to tell you that the liquid ice cream base is made in house, giving your ice cream creation the extra “yum” factor. Trust me, I’ve tasted, and my “yum” factor was full throttle. 

Frost Bite Tuscaloosa is located at 1914 University Blvd. Suite C in downtown Tuscaloosa. 

Athena’s Bakery and Boutique 

Who says you have to go out of town to get a milkshake in a mason jar with a piece of cheese cake hanging off the side? Since 2017, Northport-based bakery Athena’s has been offering up monster milkshakes to customers. With flavors like chocolate explosion, cookie monster, strawberry cheesecake, and salted caramel (just to name a few), you know that this dessert is worth the time and space in your tummy. My personal fav is cookies n’ cream, because who doesn’t love ice cream, Oreos, cake balls, and massive amounts of whipped cream? Want to know a secret? Athena’s monster milkshakes are only served on certain nights of the week, so check their Facebook page to find out when they’re up for grabs. The staff tells me it takes four hours to prep for monster milkshake night with the baking of extra cupcakes, cheesecakes, and brownies that top each creation. Sounds like time spent well! 

Athena's milkshakes include full-sized bakery treat items, like a tasty cake ball, a slice of cheese cake, a cookie, or a full-sized cupcake.

Athena’s Bakery and Boutique is located at 16820 Highway 43 North in the Winn Dixie shopping center.  

The Baked Bear Tuscaloosa 

Do you ever crave ice cream sandwiches so messy you need a spoon, and so big you need a bowl? Me too. The opening of The Baked Bear in Midtown Village created a line around (and around) the building, and the crowds haven’t stopped. Patrons can make an ice cream sandwich with cookie flavors of their choice, brownies, and even doughnuts. If that wasn’t enough, you can choose from 13 different ice cream flavors for your sandwich, and they have tons of fun toppings to finish off your creation. If you’re not in the mood for something so intense, a scoop of ice cream in a cookie bowl, or a nostalgic root beer float, could be in your future. If you are in the mood for something extra sweet, The Baked Bear has you covered. Sheena’s tip for success is to always include sprinkles… because who doesn’t love sprinkles?! 

There's no doubt why The Baked Bear is popular... a warmed-up cookie, brownie, or doughnut is the perfect ingredient for the most perfect ice cream sandwich.

The Baked Bear is located at 1800 McFarland Boulevard in the Midtown Village shopping center.  

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

Food Tue, 24 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0500
Taste of Tuscaloosa: The Great Burger Bonanza, Part Two Hearty and simple. Those are the adjectives that best describe Hooligan's burger – one of the best in town. As a no-frills burger with all the regular fixings, you can expect deliciousness in each bite.

And the burger bash continues! Last month, I shared a few of my favorite burgers with you, but now I’ve got more. Don’t think for a minute that this next batch isn’t worthy of being celebrated. To be honest, this pregnant foodie has had a selfish agenda of meticulously tasting all the best burgers that Tuscaloosa has to offer… you can thank me later. 

FIVE Restaurant 

I’d like to think of the burger at FIVE as the “date night” burger. Despite the obvious ambience that makes FIVE a desirable place to take your sweetie, the food is pretty awesome as well. Is it the fancy bacon relish that makes the burger great? Perhaps. What about the double patty? That’s a definite possibility. Though I can’t give you a definite answer, I can tell you that my taste buds scream “YES” once I get that first bite of a FIVE burger. No matter what your reasons are for choosing the burger at FIVE, we can all agree that it’s delicious. Complemented by fries and FIVE’s signature house salad of mixed greens, fruit, almonds, goat cheese, and house vinaigrette, FIVE’s burger aims to give you that all-American experience worthy of “date night.”  

FIVE is located at 2324 6th Street in downtown Tuscaloosa.

Hooligan’s Mediterranean Restaurant 

Who says you can’t get a great burger at a Mediterranean joint? Cruise down University Boulevard, or visit any other Hooligan’s location for lunch or dinner, and I guarantee that at least half the patrons have opted for Hooligan’s cheeseburger. Dressed in a sesame seed bun and nestled in an iconic red basket, Hooligan’s burger should be in your regular lunch rotation… it is for me! The portions are generous, and the quality of the meat is obvious in each bite. To add to the diner authenticity, crinkle cut fries with Hooligan’s dash of seasoning makes your meal complete. If you want to go extra special with your burger experience, consider choosing cheese fries, fried okra, cheese sticks, or a stuffed baked potato as a side to satisfy your hearty appetite.   

Hooligan’s Mediterranean restaurant has locations on Hargrove Road, University Boulevard, and McFarland Boulevard.  

Oasis Bar and Grill 

Consider yourself incredibly lucky if a Tuscaloosa native whispers in your ear to try a cheeseburger from Oasis Bar and Grill in Cottondale. Ultra-foodies love the appeal of Oasis being a hole in the wall experience, but no matter what, the food speaks for itself. Sure, you may not find Oasis listed if you do a quick burger search on Google, but I promise that if you talk to the foodie elites of T-town, they’ll steer you to Cottondale to get the burger of your life. While my hubby loves the cheeseburger, I’ll let you in on a secret: My go-to choice is the Oasis patty melt on Texas toast with cheese, sautéed mushrooms, onions, and homemade brown gravy on the side. 

Oasis Bar and Grill is located at 6720 University Boulevard East in Cottondale.
Food Wed, 20 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0500
Taste of Tuscaloosa: The Great Burger Bonanza, Part One The large cheeseburger is a fan favorite at Rama Jama's. After stuffing my face with this burger, I can see this is the thing dreams are made of.

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.  

I know I rave about pizza quite frequently, but frankly, burgers just put me in a happy place. Maybe it’s that wonderful, char-grilled taste, or the nostalgia of outdoor cookouts with my family, but burgers just get me feeling good. If you haven’t already noticed, Tuscaloosa has a LOT of burger options. But don’t fret my friends, I’m sharing a few of my favorite burgers this month – and next month – so you don’t feel too overwhelmed with burger goodness all at once.  

Rama Jama’s  

For a joint located right next to Bryant Denny Stadium, you’ve got to expect the food is going to be good. Trust me when I say it is worth the extra little bit to upgrade from the regular cheeseburger to a large cheeseburger. The portions at Rama Jama’s are amazing, and the Alabama memorabilia in every nook and cranny of the restaurant just puts a little extra pep in your step. The crinkle cut fries add even more magic to the handmade patty. If you needed more to convince you, live life to the fullest, and order the National Championship Burger – which features 17 ounces of double meat and cheese. Rama Jama’s is located at 1000 Paul W. Bryant Drive. 

Avenue Pub 

You didn’t think I was going to talk burgers without mentioning Avenue Pub, did you? Who doesn’t love a burger served on a cutting board with an actual bucket of fries? I can’t put my finger, or my taste buds, on what makes the burgers at Avenue Pub so amazing, but it’s likely the freshness of the ingredients, and the innovation of burger flavors that just work – all the time. The standard bacon burger on Avenue Pub’s menu, featuring provolone cheese and your typical accompaniments, won’t let you down. An added bonus? How about the adorable $5 Happy Hour burger and some fries? This is a slightly smaller version of the monstrous, traditional bacon burger offered throughout the week. Avenue Pub is located at 405 23rd Avenue in downtown Tuscaloosa. 

How can you go wrong with a bucket of fries to accompany your bacon burger from Avenue Pub?

Dotson’s Burger Spot 

I like to think of Dotson’s Burger Spot as the place to get a fancy, delicious burger. Where else could you get a burger with a wagyu patty, Thai BBQ, and kimchi slaw? Probably the same place you can get a burger with a chuck-chorizo blend and pickled jalapenos on Texas toast. Talk about things that make you say, “Yum!” What else could make this place great? How about some boozy adult milkshakes and loaded waffle fries? Is your mouth watering yet? It should be. Dotson’s Burger Spot is located in Temerson Square in downtown Tuscaloosa. 

The '57 Chevy, with an 8 oz. wagyu patty and blue cheese on a garlic herb bun, washes down quite nicely with one of Dotson's famous adult milkshakes.
Food Tue, 01 May 2018 00:00:00 -0500
Taste of Tuscaloosa: Romance and Good Eats Await this Valentine’s Day Taste of Tuscaloosa: Romance and Good Eats Await this Valentine’s Day

Who doesn’t love a romantic dinner with your sweetie on Valentine’s Day? With food appealing to many of our senses, it’s no surprise that our meals can have an aphrodisiac effect. 

If you ask my coworkers, they’ll tell you that there’s something romantic about going out to a special restaurant on the Designated Day of Love.  If I’m being honest, though, the biggest appeal to me is not having to do the dishes after a delicious meal. 

Fortunately, Tuscaloosa has a wide variety of dining atmospheres to match the mood of you and your sweetheart. Here are a few of my favorite spots around town for setting the mood this Valentine’s Day:

301 Bistro, Bar, and Beer Garden

If your couple personality thrives on movies like The Great Gatsby and other period pieces, 301 Bistro’s mood of Art Deco and Art Nouveau reminiscent of the 1920’s might be your style. Once home to the historic L&N train station, 301 Bistro’s vintage offers up a vintage, romantic atmosphere perfect for Valentine’s Day – while providing a sense of refined casualness for you and your beau to get comfortable.  

House cocktails and a special Valentine’s Day menu await couples spending a dinner of love at 301 Bistro. The restaurant’s cuisine includes a “Tuscaloosa fusion” of Americana, German, and a little bit of Cajun flair.  

If you ask general manager Chris Lloyd what sets 301 Bistro apart from other eateries, he’s quick to rave on his staff.  

“My staff, from the front of house to the back of house, constantly impress me. There is an atmosphere of support and helpfulness that is extraordinarily rare in the hospitality industry,” said Lloyd. “Even the busiest night, with the staff I have on now, will go by without so much as a single hiccup, and I have my staff to thank for that.”  

301 Bistro, Bar, and Beer Garden will be taking reservations for Valentine’s Day, with limited space for walk-in seating.  


Are you and your sweetie in love with life on the water? Perhaps River is the place for you. Opened in June 2016, riverfront dining with an intimate atmosphere give River the romantic coziness you crave on Valentine’s Day. Chefs Cory Bolton and Evan Clark embrace the seasons, and patrons on Valentine’s Day can expect nothing less than a romantic menu driven by local produce. Outdoor fire pits are ready to be lit, as you and your love snuggle with your favorite glass of wine enjoying the sights and sounds of the river.  

Dining room manager Lauren Jones boasts over 16 years in the service industry and strives to provide an atmosphere like none other in Tuscaloosa.  

“We like guests to know that although we are perceived as upscale, we are casual, fun, and accept walk-ins. While we tend to have visits for special occasions, we love our regulars’ frequent stops to grab a bite and a drink, and hope others think of us other than special occasions also,” said Jones.  

If you’re the kind of couple that likes to defer your Valentine’s Day celebrations, River invites you to give their Sunday brunch a try to extend your holiday festivities. 

River will be taking limited reservations for Valentine’s Day, and will also accept walk-in patrons.  

Central Mesa

Feeling like some ethnic flair this Valentine’s Day? Central Mesa has you covered. If your foodie love language involves hand-made tortillas, braised meats, fresh peppers, and bold flavors with a side of awesome atmosphere, Central Mesa will give you the best Valentine’s Day ever.  

Exposed brick, sliding barn doors, and distressed lumber throughout the restaurant will make you think Chip and Joanna Gaines came to double date with you and your beau.  

Owner Craig Williams wants Valentine’s visitors to know they can expect the signature dishes that has made Central Mesa the popular kid on the street.  

“We won’t have a special menu for Valentine’s Day, but patrons will expect all their Central Mesa favorites. We're having a lot of fun pushing the boundaries of this kitchen.  You can have anything from Nashville style hot chicken, pimento cheese/Conecuh sausage empanadas, braised pork belly tacos, fresh guacamole, and more,” said Williams.   

A bonus to Central Mesa is the ample accommodations for groups, so whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day with that special someone, or Singles Awareness Day with a group of your best friends, Central Mesa will no doubt deliver a spectacular night of dining.  

Central Mesa will not be taking reservations, so walk-in patrons are welcome and invited with open arms.  

]]> (Sheena Gregg) Food Wed, 07 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0600
Taste of Tuscaloosa: Coffee Shop UPerk Cultivates Community Downtown Jamey Hamm serves as UPerk's community manager and has overseen operations since the shop's opening in August.

UPerk officially opened its doors in August 2017, but community manager Jamey Hamm says it was established in 2016.  

“Though we opened just this August, we have 2016 on the wall, because that’s when Pastor James Goodlet had the UPerk idea,” said Hamm.  

Though connected to First Presbyterian Church and its college ministry, UKirk, the coffee shop aims to be a place of community and fellowship for everyone.  

“We want people to know we’re more than a coffee shop. We want to provide a place of community and be plugged into the community. Part of our proceeds every month go to different charities and other local efforts,” said Hamm.   

UPerk believes its partnership with Birmingham-based Seeds Coffee brings a high-quality coffee product to its consumers.  

“We had a two-day training with the folks from Seeds and they spent an extensive amount of time making sure each barista knew how to make the perfect espresso shot,” said UPerk barista Maggie White. “I never knew how intricate the process was, but it’s worth it.”  

UPerk barista Maggie White works on creating the perfect espresso shot for a customer.

And it’s not just about the coffee, either. The staff of UPerk claim that much of the word of mouth about the shop is due to the food, including a popular vegan burger that sells out weekly. Accompanied with apple slaw, and root veggie chips, the pea protein-based burger patty comes on a whole wheat bun with watermelon pickle relish and baby kale.   

“Our food items are offered all day long,” said Hamm.  

Whether it’s the made in-house pastry items, the diverse meal selection, or the coffee beans from around the world, UPerk aims to be a place that fosters community.  

One sip of Ethiopian coffee and an espresso shot (made by White) has me convinced that UPerk will be a regular stop in my routine. Word of mouth is definitely strong, with many customers raving that UPerk has the best espresso in Tuscaloosa.  

 “We want our coffee shop to be an incubator for ideas for folks to go out in the community and give back. While doing that, we want to give a high-quality product that we’re proud of and people will come back for,” Hamm said. 

For more information on UPerk Coffee, visit  

]]> (Sheena Gregg) Food Wed, 27 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0600
Taste of Tuscaloosa: Pho Town Brings the Flavor to Midtown Business partners Truc Dinh and Anhtu Bui are from Huntsville. They’ve been looking forward to bringing Vietnamese flavor to T-town.

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.  

“I’ve seen a lot of restaurants in Tuscaloosa but hadn’t seen anything like Pho Town yet. This restaurant features many of my family’s recipes,” said Bui. 

Though Pho Town is not part of a franchise, it will draw inspiration from the other Vietnamese restaurants that Bui owns in the Memphis and Houston areas. Aside from pho, Pho Town will also feature other authentic Vietnamese dishes, including Com Tay Cam (hot clay pot entrees), Banh Mi (Vietnamese subs), Bun (vermicelli dishes), and other various entrees and desserts.  

In addition to the authentic Vietnamese food offerings, patrons will also be able to enjoy a variety of Asian beverages, including spicy fruit slushes and various bubble teas, made with boba pearls, little chewy tapioca balls that float through the beverage.  

Overall, Bui’s goal has been to bring the flavors of his childhood to customers in Tuscaloosa who are looking for authentic Vietnamese cuisine.  

“People will know our restaurant is different based on the seasonings and the flavors they are tasting. Our food is high quality, and I consider it healthy, because we use minimal oil and salt. Our food speaks for itself,” Bui said.  

For more information on Pho Town, including hours of operation and full menu, please visit  

]]> (Sheena Gregg) Food Tue, 28 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0600
Taste of Tuscaloosa: Dotson’s Hits the Spot Dotson's Burger Spot is located in Temerson Square, between Edelweiss Germany Bakery and Velocity Pro Cycle.

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.” 

For Tuscaloosa folk, the family behind Dotson’s Burger Spot is a familiar one. As owners of both Southern Ale House and Dotson’s, Justin Holt and his father, Cal Holt, are no strangers to running a successful restaurant business locally. And keeping it in the family even further, the homemade pies are Justin’s great grandmother’s recipes – her partnership with Clara Dotson in Franklin, Tennessee, provides the restaurant namesake (Dotson’s in Franklin was an institution for decades). 

Hearing the raves from co-workers about the generously-sized appetizers and flavorful burgers, I knew I had to make my way over to Dotson’s Burger Spot to try everything out. Walking into the restaurant, I was immediately struck by nostalgia by the red booths and diner feel of the space, once home to The Cajun Kitchen. 

Hopping up to the bar area as a single diner, I immediately noticed the assortment of gourmet burgers on the menu. Wagyu, ground chuck with pork belly, and a chorizo blend made my mouth water. I finally landed on the ’53 Chevy burger, featuring a wagyu patty with bleu cheese, red onion, pickle, and mustard on a garlic herb bun. 

The '53 Chevy burger features a wagyu burger patty with bleu cheese, red onion, pickle, and mustard on a garlic herb bun.

Knowing this was a “go big or go home” dining moment, I went all out with the loaded waffle fries topped with cheese sauce, chopped bacon, sour cream, and shredded cheddar. As my order arrived, complete with my burger and a massive tray of loaded waffle fries, I knew I was in deep when a diner beside me casually asked if I was pregnant. Sure, I probably ordered way too much food for one person – but hey, I’m reviewing! By the end of my meal, I should have confirmed to the neighbor beside me that I was indeed pregnant – with a food baby!

Overall, there’s no doubt that Dotson’s Burger Spot has set the stage for a long term stay in Temerson Square. Homemade pies, signature cocktails, and adult milkshakes add to the growing food scene in downtown Tuscaloosa. For more information, including the restaurant’s hours, visit @dotsonsburgerspot on Facebook. 

]]> (Sheena Gregg) Food Tue, 03 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0500
Taste of Tuscaloosa: New Downtown Restaurant Central Mesa Keeps It Fresh As the owner of both Central Mesa and The Avenue Pub, Craig Williams is no stranger to the Tuscaloosa restaurant scene.

Fresh tortillas, flavorful charred vegetables, and made-from-scratch sauces are the types of things that make my mouth water. Luckily for all of us “foodies” in Tuscaloosa, there’s a new place in town that offers these delights.  

On July 5, Central Mesa opened its doors. The Latin American-inspired eatery, located in the old Epiphany Farm-to-Fork Cuisine location on Greensboro Avenue in downtown Tuscaloosa, boasts much more than your typical burrito.  

Central Mesa and Avenue Pub owner Craig Williams believes that Tuscaloosa is ready for something like this.  

“I saw this type of restaurant concept working really well in the Nashville, Birmingham, and Atlanta markets, and I knew it could work well here too,” said Williams.  

As someone who understands the value of the overall restaurant experience, Williams says he continues to work with his staff each day to improve what they can offer patrons.  

“We just want to do it right and be proud of what we’re doing,” he said. 

Central Mesa’s street corn appetizer has become an early customer favorite with fresh flavors from corn, jalapenos, cotija and crema.


Williams adds that he hopes Tuscaloosa will consider Central Mesa as part of its regular food scene – and not just as a special occasion place. 

 “We’re currently working on happy hour specials for our cocktails and menu items,” he said. “We’re in a perfect spot downtown with all the retail space.”  

Some of Williams’ favorite menu items include the spicy chicken tostadas featuring oven roasted chicken in a spicy tinga sauce topped with avocado, cotija, and cilantro, as well as the street corn appetizer, which features fresh corn off the cob, white onion, jalapenos, cotija and house-made crema.  

“Just like Avenue Pub, we don’t have freezers. We’re doing everything fresh, and we want customers to enjoy what we’ve got to offer.”   

For more information on Central Mesa, including a menu and restaurant hours, visit Central Mesa on Facebook. 

]]> (Sheena Gregg) Food Tue, 19 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0500
Taste of Tuscaloosa: T-Town Market Brings Convenience Downtown Eric Hull serves as co-owner of both Black Warrior Brewing Company and T-Town Market.

Convenience and community: These are the two things that drove Black Warrior Brewing Company Co-Owner Eric Hull to create the concept of T-Town Market. The store opened in May, and Hull said he’s blown away by the community’s response.  

“So far, we have had a great reception from all our neighbors and have loved getting to know many of the people working at City Hall and the other businesses in the area,” said Hull.  

As a convenience store touting an array of products, patrons can expect to find anything from ranch dressing to charcoal for the next barbecue. One could also consider T-Town Market a convenient place to grab a fountain drink, gummy worms, and bag of Doritos for that extra lift of comfort during a stressful day in the office.   

“Our inventory is constantly evolving as we learn the preferences and needs of our great customers, however you can expect to grab all your favorite snack foods, drinks, candies, tobacco products, as well as a grocery section carrying all your essential items,” Hull said.   

One of the newest additions to the market includes a rack dedicated exclusively to Tuscaloosa-made products. Tea-Town Tea products, Left Hand Soap Company, and The Nut Shop are just a few of the featured vendors on the Tuscaloosa-specific shelf.  

Hull’s primary goals are to provide a wide variety of products, and to maintain excellent customer service. 

“As a locally owned business, we strive to be a great community partner with those in the downtown area and beyond. You'll always be greeted with a smile, and if there is anything you weren't able to find we do our best to get it introduced into our inventory. Make plans to stop on in next time you're supporting the other great businesses downtown and let us know what you think.” 

For more information on T-Town Market, including daily store hours, visit  

]]> (Sheena Gregg) Food Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0500
Taste of Tuscaloosa: Urban Cookhouse Offers Fresh, Local Fare Urban Cookhouse’s Berry Good salad features seasonal berries, tomatoes, spiced pecans, feta, and the restaurant’s signature vinaigrette, along with a choice of optional proteins such as chicken salad, lime-marinated steak, and grilled chicken.

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.  

My newest hot spot in town has become Urban Cookhouse, which offers everything from lite and flavorful salads to hearty and delicious steak and pork. No matter what you choose, Urban Cookhouse uses its motto of “Buy Local, Eat Urban” to fuel the restaurant’s ingredient choices and entrée concepts, using locally grown produce in its kitchen and supporting area farmers and farmers markets.  

The first Urban Cookhouse opened in Homewood in 2010, and the Tuscaloosa restaurant is one of 13 current or upcoming locations. Tuscaloosa is the restaurant franchise’s first location with a drive-thru window.  

Urban Cookhouse Catering Manager Brittany Gentry says Tuscaloosa’s been quick to embrace the restaurant, and locals definitely have favorite menu items.  

“The white barbecue chicken sandwich is our most popular item, with buffalo chicken wraps coming in a close second,” Gentry said. “As far as sides go, the hot cheddar pasta and broccoli salad are clear favorites here in west Alabama.”  

Urban Cookhouse Tuscaloosa’s staff includes (L to R): Manager Vincent Hunter, Catering Manager Brittany Gentry, Assistant Manager Emmie Sanders, and Kitchen Manager Miguel Zacarias.

Meats are prepared on the Big Green Egg for extra flavor and tenderness. Urban Cookhouse patrons can also expect a signature orange roll with every entrée. A product of Homewood native Millie Ray, Urban Cookhouse became the first customer to partner with Ray – and they haven’t looked back since.   

With a mission to provide excellence to all customers, Urban Cookhouse has also teamed up with KultureCity Birmingham to be a sensory inclusive restaurant. It’s a way to help families living with autism and sensory processing disorders enjoy a stress-free dining experience. 

“We are truly a ‘fast casual’ restaurant that focuses on customer service and making things easy for you when you come in,” said Gentry.  

Whether it’s the impressive menu line, the atmosphere, or the customer service, Urban Cookhouse complements the Tuscaloosa restaurant scene with all that it offers. As a frequent patron myself, let me be the first to tell you that Urban Cookhouse also has that “good ice” – you know, the kind that’s perfect for crunching during the hottest Druid City days.  

Urban Cookhouse Tuscaloosa is located in the Village at Northbank off of Rice Mine Road. For more information, including a detailed menu and hours, visit  

]]> (Sheena Gregg) Food Wed, 05 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0500