The Hangout, Orange Beach, AL

If there were place that summed up everything you think about when you go to the beach as a college student the Hangout is probably as close as you're going to get in the State of Alabama. Granted I've never swung through orange beach during Spring break season, but if I had to guess, it is probably the spot to be. From hourly foam parties, to drinks that don't drink specials, to awesome seafood, to the wonderful views of the gulf and the cleanest beach I've seen in the states, the Hangout is right up there. 

The burgers are just what you need after sitting in the hot sun. the slushies and daquiries help wash down all of the beach football you've been playing (one of my favorite pastimes). Oh the Po Boys... the Po Boys take the cake for me. I have to be honest, Po-Boys for me a staple in my diet (probably why the alkaline diet has never quite taken to me lol). They fry them perfectly to golden perfection, and it may have been because I was dunked from the sun, but he several times I have eaten at the Hangout I have been a fan of the Po-Boy. 

A side from the great food, the Hangout is just a great environment for fun and sun, and relaxation. its not one of those places you go if you're uptight and not looking for a good. On the flip side of things, its also no so wild that you can't bring the kids. 

Pros: Good Food. Fun Environment. 

Unfavorables: Depending where you sit, it can be hot, but sit inside you'll probably be ok.

Verdict: Yea I'll be back!

Kitchen 324 - Oklahoma City, OK

When I tell you this place made me so happy on a number of different levels. Let me rewind, when I was in Oklahoma earlier this year, I had just cut out soy from my diet, although i had been allergic for such a long time. There really weren't lot of places that I could eat and actually enjoy the meal. Earlier that morning even, I had Cracker Barrel, and all I could eat were grits without butter or cheese, and some grilled chicken tenders. I was not feeling it (AT ALL) because I enjoy food for both the flavor and the experience, and I was void of flavored.  To happen upon Kitchen 324 a completely organic kitchen, for the first time in a while there were so many options for me to eat. At Kitchen 324 there were options for days, I even got to eat dessert. I got to eat chocolate cake y'all!!!!!

I personally had the Crepe Lasgna, which tasted like heaven on a plate. I didin't really think Lasagna while eating it, but it was heaven in every bite. The Crepe Lasgna was chicken, bacon, with bites of asparagus and CHEESE. Glorious wonderful cheese melted through each bite. Every bite was thoughfully seasoned and made with what I can only descibe as love.

My friend with whom I was travelling, had these sweet potatoes that were called literally what they were, SWEET POTATO, BACON, GOAT CHEESE, BURNT HONEY. I am not even a big sweet potato fan, but the 2 bites I had from her plate, were absolutely delightful. Both bites stopped me dead in my tracks, as if they created some type of nostalgia that created favorable memories then and there. These fries summed up everything in my childhood because it mixed being s kid with being a business mogul trapped in a kid body!

Need I mention dessert time. Being allergic to soy puts quite the hampering on my love affair with chocolate. 97% of chocolate anything seems to have traces of soy in it. Did their Chocolate cake? It did not. Why not? because they make their food with love and fresh ingredients. I enjoyed that chocolate cake with my glass of milk and was in hog heaven. The cookie my friend had, looked delightful as well. She offereed me a bite, but I was so enthralled with the cake in front of me I didn't take the time to taste the cookie, maybe next time. 

Perks: Organic: Allergy Friendly, delicious, accepts reservations, fresh decor, modern atmosphere.

Disadvantages: Not sure, ask me next time (lol)

Verdict: Any day any time, its a win!

Dean's BBQ - Potts Camp, MS

A Sunday Morning flying down highway 22, coming from Oklahoma, 2 starving folks craving some good food, we came across this town called Potts Camp. Never in my life have I heard of such a place, and from the looks of it not many others had either, because there wasn't much to see, but you couldn't miss the BBQ joint, because it stood there alone. We get off the freeway sure this was a mistake, because between teh highway and the restaurant was nothing but gravel and grass. We were hungry, and traversing the backroads of Mississippi, didn't really avail too many option, it was time for a foodventure. 

It was dive, but it was dive I was willing to dive in for. I come a family who knows BBQ and appreciates it delicacy to the south. We have travelled the country in search of good barbecue. Dean's was in the middle of nowhere. As black folks driving through Mississippi I can not lie I was a little nervous to stop, but I am so happy that we did. It wasn't the absolute best barbecue I have had, but in the last 22 years I have had barbecue atleast once a week sometimes all week, and so my palette for barbecue is far more developed than most. Dean's was worth the stop. The meat was tender, the fixin's were simple and the people were polite. I mean they were incredible polite. 

Pros: Good food for the money

Unfavorables: in the absolute middle of nowhere. A total dive

Verdict: If I'm eating through Pott's Mississippi, we will be sure to stop!

 

N. A. Jones
Campagnolo Restaurant + Bar - Atlanta, GA

It was a January night, and definitely an evening I won't soon forget. After we road around missing exits and in search of a restaurant for close to 45 minutes decided on this quaint spot that my friend found on Google. The food looked promising and the reviews spoke highly of the place, and so sight unseen I trusted her, ready or not here we came. Pulled right into a great parking spot in such a quaint neighborhood.

The restaurant was the perfect ambiance for a quiet dinner. The nighting was low, and the wait staff was knowledgeable. The food, oh the food, was marvelous. I had the cornish hen, it perfectl seasoned, reminiscent of the undertones of a homemade chicken noodle soup. My friend had the salmon. It came dressed with with a tomato sauce a top it. When I think fish rarely do I think red sauce. She seemed to enjoy it, and remarked, "This incredibly well seasoned." Coming from someone who adds salt to everything, that speaks volumes. This is definitely somewhere we definitely have to return to. I even hear that they have live music on Saturday nights. 

Red Rooster - Harlem, New York, NY

So I am a fan of Marcus Samuelson, and I had no idea it was his restaurant until we arrived. I hate to admit it but I am a fan of him, for personal reasons and not quite his cooking, well until I ate at Red Rooster.  When I realized that Red Rooster was his spot, I was super-duper pumped to be there. I must say the food was was pretty good. I had been greatly disappointed with a lot of the food I had while in New York, but Red Rooster was a pleasant surprise. It was the birthplace of some great ideas I've had recently (keep your eyes peeled). The ambiance played heavily into an awesome chill night out. Red Rooster perfect for a night with friends, or even a night with that special someone. There is always music playing, and the later the night the better the music gets. They are know to have great musicians stop by and grace you with their talents, while experiencing the culinary explosions that take place in your mouth while dining in the restaurant. It was just a plus that Red Rooster was a BoBo, I'll definitely be swinging back by there sooner rather than later.

 

Highlights: Great Ambiance. Great Food. Beautiful Establishment. 

UNfavorables: 1 1/2 hour wait on a thursday night.

Final Judgement: It's a win.

Baye's - Orange Beach, AL

I was pleasantly surprised with Baye's. if you like seafood, this a place worth checking out. They specialize in oysters and I am certainky a fan. Our server was on top of her game the entire night, inspight of the fact that she was missing her family reunion. 

One of the things that sets them apart instantly is that its right there at the Wharf, and so, you are likely to dine outside at one of the yacht clubs. Beautiful views paired gourmet southern food, and you have just won my heart. Instead of dinner rolls they bring the table pork skins, and if you're not from the south you probably can't sense my excitement, but yes SKINS!!! 

If the food had not have been good, the ambiance would have made up for it. Baye's is my kind of spot. I would rank the food slightly above average, but the amibiance was fun but relaxed. 

Joel's - Trussville, Alabama

I am always surprised when I find a long standing restaurant I've never been to. Earlier this summer I went to Jimmy's, I was rather impressed. I was actually fasting meat, bread and sweets while I was there, which made my choices a little more diminished than any other time. In the midst of fasting, it was definitely still worth the trip. Was it the best, I've ever had? no. But then again this Alabama, and really all we do here is eat and shop so the bar is kind of high. Will I go back? most definitely.

 
Jimmy's