Once upon a time, I worked at the Madison Square Mall. Over the years it became a bleak, shell of what it was and the powers that be made the decision to tear it down. They built a new utopian place filled with food and entertainment. One of the first places to arrive was The Camp. The Camp is a multi-faceted place thas supports a coffee shop, seating, a stage, a bar and several food trucks including FEED Fried Chicken. So to kick off Resturant Week 2019, us food ‘influencers’ (That feels ridiculous to say)… local food lovers got together for the Huntsville Visitor’s Center to try out what FEED had to offer. It was pretty warm outside, so we killed all the waters kindly provided to us by the Huntsville Visitor’s Bureau. And we also partook in the yummy adult drinks from The Camp.FEED serves an Atlanta take on a Nashville specialty Hot Chicken. They also provide delicious southern sides and desserts. The banana pudding is made with roasted bananas and it definitely takes the dessert to the next level. So pop on over to The Camp and FEED to enjoy this tasty meal.
Foodies rejoice! Once again restaurant week is upon the city of Huntsville. From August 10 until the 19th restaurants across Madison County are offering their fare at promotional prices. Even the breweries are jumping into the fun with new brews. As part of the promotion for Restaurant Week, I got to sample some of the promotional dishes with the Resturant Week Blogger tour. This is my fourth year to participate (I missed last year because was visiting my in-laws in France! Lucky me!!) and I love it! I get to eat good food with lots of talented food bloggers. What’s not to love. Plus it’s nice because food bloggers don’t even notice the weird things I do like stand on a chair to photograph a piece of cheesecake or gush about how adorable that curl of lettuce it in a salad. Normal people just don’t understand, but food bloggers will offer to hold the reflector. Below: Bloggers doing their blog thang!But seriously how pretty is the salad below!!!! This year I got to try the special dishes at two restaurants I’d never tried before: Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Keegan’s Public House.Let’s start with Ruth’s Chris. Great restaurants, but I find the name super confusing. Nine times out of ten I call it “Chris’s Ruth” or “that Ruth Steakplace” or “Ruth Christoper’s Resturant”. I digress. As I said before I’d never been, so I let me GPS lead the way. This was a mistake because it led me straight to the Publix Loading Dock. As I walked to the back of Publix I thought, “this is a weird place for a fancy steakhouse” and I was right because there was nothing but some confused employees and dumpsters back there. I eventually got there. It wasn’t confusing, but GPS was just a jerk.I met an assortment of extremely talented bloggers and got to eating! Please check their blogs out as well. I know I will. www.diningwithdeliajo.comhappeninsintheham.comthe bitter socialiterocket city eatshvsfoodlifeWe got to try an assortment of dishes but my absolute favorite was the scallops!! I really wanted to try to Lobster Mac and Cheese, but I have an allergy, but dang it looked GOOOOOOD!!!!!Earlier in the day, I tried Keegan’s Public House. I did not get lost, so I was actually on time to this one. The restaurant itself is really fun. It is located in the AL.COM building (shout out to all my journalist besties! You rock!! May the Fourth Estate Be With You!)There were different bloggers at this event and I got to meet Love at First Bite and Ihearthsv.comWe started out with the house chips with blue cheese.I ordered the Shepard’s Pie, which was everything you want comfort food to be: warm, tasty, the vegetables hidden at the bottom. There was also a nice salad
Bloggers taking the shots of the dessert on the left. It’s amazing that it wasn’t melted by the end.
…and most importantly yummy, totally unhealthy, but oh so good dessert. It was Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding with Ice Cream and Whipped Cream on top. Yes, you read that right. It came with 4 spoons to prevent anyone from overeating and slipping into a food coma.
As you go into Restaurant Week make sure you tag all your local food pics on social media with #dinehsv to win prices and if not prices glory. There are also the most adorable gifs from your posts on Instagram. Just search for #dinehsv.
So grab your forks and see y’all out and about from Aug 10th to the 19th!
This past weekend I got the opportunity to go to the International Associate of Culinary Professional’s (IACP) annual conference in Louisville, Kentucky. (I drank SO much bourbon!). The conference is a great opportunity for people in all sectors of the culinary field to come together, learn some things, network, meet your culinary idols and of course, eat lots of amazing food. Oh yeah, and the bourbon. Of course, being at a conference with some of the world’s top food photographers/stylists/writers I wanted to be able to put a good foot forward and have some nice images of the conference, but this was not to be the case. I’m not really the most responsible of adults and last year I broke the camera on my phone. I’m not really sure how it happened, but I have a general idea. My husband couldn’t believe that such an expensive phone could break so easily, but when I went to pull my phone out of my purse and accidentally flung it 9 feet across the parking lot he pondered no more.
I did not want to lug my real camera to the conference and the selfie mode of my phone still works, so I just figured I could take lots of selfies to illustrate my experience. This let to a whole slew of really shitty photographs. I’ve been following the other conference attendee’s beautiful imagery and I’ve got to say it is pretty humbling to present you with this ugly pics. Enjoy! Yikes! That’s super rough. It is seriously hard to take a photo of food when you:
A. Can’t see the image on the screen
B. Can’t zoom in
C. And are shooting with a 1.2 mp camera that does terrible in low light and is clearly meant for portrait mode. These were the very best images. Yes, seriously. There are actually images much worse than this crap. These are not as bad, to be clear they are not good, but not as bad. You should have seen the confused looks while I was trying to take a photo with my phone facing the wrong way, while hanging over the top and putting fun shadows all over the place. People would ask why I did and when I said I was a food photographer the response was ‘Oh wow.. really?’
The conference itself was excellent. I saw a free friends, met a lot of new people and learned a lot. It was my first trip to Louisville and I throughly enjoyed it. My husband and I are already making plans to revisit. I especially want to visit Dinosaur World and the Patton Museum. They weren’t in Louisville city limits, but not far from it. Also the KFC Museum, how can that be anything less than awesome.
The other awesome thing about the conference was the swag! I’m actually not a huge fan of swag, but there was some primo stuff a this thing. Such as packages of California figs and fig BBQ sauce.I also picked up a potato doll called a Spuddy Buddy! Hilarious! Also, sad that I have the fashion sense of a potato.
I picked it up from my friend’s children, but then I realized the Spud and I had the same shoes! I might keep him now. I mean we have the same shoes! I also got an Anolon frying pan, a yogurt carrier, a cute back of chips, a nice wine opener.. There were also lots of snacks. My favorite were the kiwi berries, which are essentially mini hairless kiwis. I enjoyed the Hillshire small plates while watching Knocked Up at midnight. I party hard. I stayed at two different hotels over the 4 days there, and they were great, but my view was less than picturesque. It could be a postcard couldn’t it! Who needs a mountain view when you have a construction site or parking garage?They did make my towel into a swan, so that made up for the view.. a bit.
My husband didn’t get to come with me, so I spent much of the weekend sending him photos of the fun times I was having. On Saturday I was looking so pulled together with my scarf, make-up and Starbucks so I sent him a photo of it.
When he saw the photo he said it didn’t look a thing like me. Jeez! Why do I even bother. Later that night I sent a ‘regular’ photo with Spuddy Buddies on my head.
On the last day of the conference I went to The Palace for an awards ceremony. Swank!It was really nice and I got to finally hang out with some friends I’d been missing for most of the conference. Then I packed up all my stuff, grabbed a banana for a road snack and too one last shitty photo of myself before heading back to Alabama. I hope you enjoyed the noisy, blurry, badly cropped awful images.
We don’t often get snow in Alabama, so it is an epic event when we eventually get some. Everyone is outside, making snowmen and forts, sledding on sheet pans and cardboard, having snowball fights, and of course making snow cream. But rather than make the tradition snow cream, I made snow cream with a southern twist: sweet tea! I used Peaches and Cream Tea from the amazing Piper & Leaf and it was delicious. You can purchase it at the link above and I highly recommend that you do!The only snag I ran into was placing a bowl outside to catch clean snow and then forgetting about it. At first I thought someone had stolen my bowl, but then I realized I just had to dig it out from the snow. At least I had plenty to work with!
My bowl 5 minutes after putting it out vs my bowl 2 hours after putting it out.
To make the Sweet Tea Snow Cream I just added cold tea, heavy cream, and raw sugar to fresh snow. It was so tasted I made a second batch as soon as I ate the first one. Also check out my post for traditional Snow Cream. Includes photos of gnomes!
So for this leg of the blog tour I found myself at the delicious restaurant D’Licious Dining and Smokehouse Grill. It is housed in a really quirky building, that for some reason reminds me of the 80’s Cafe from Back the Future 2. I just aged myself there.
Cool looking building!
The inside of the building was also really cool, with lots of fun things to lot at including a pinball machine hanging from the ceiling which I of course forgot to take a photography off.
This time I parked close and remembered my camera and tripod… on the way in. On the way home I would forget my tripod, drive all the way back to my house before realizing it and have to drive back to the restaurant. sigh. I swear if my head wasn’t attached. The bloggers assembled, ready for the Jamaican Restaurant week special. We talked about the lunch from the day before and our high hopes that D’Licous Dining would be as good as Sady’s Bistro. (which it was!) We also discussed unique (for our location) foods that we had eaten. The foodies had eaten everything from jellyfish (this was the most intriguing to me) to kangaroo and alligator to a myriad of insects. No animal is safe from the food blogger!
The staff was very good: quick, nice and attentive without being pushy. As an added benefit there was live music, a talented saxophone player that added to the fun ambiance of the restaurant. The starter was the Southern staple, fried green tomatoes, which were quite delicious, or I should say d’licious. This was a risky starter since most of the bloggers are southern and know a good fried green tomato from a bad one, but the consensus was D’Licious’ tomatoes were excellent. Not only were these tasty, they were beautiful which warms a photographs heart.
Most people went for the jerk chicken. I looked up why it is called ‘jerk’ chicken, assuming it was not named after idiotic poultry. Jerk is a type of seasoning that is traditionally applied to poultry or pork, though it can be used in numerous other foods. Jamaican Jerk Spice typically made with allspice and the Scotch bonnet pepper. The term ‘jerk’ came from a native South American word ‘ch’arki’ which meant ‘dried meat’. If you don’t believe me here is the Wikipedia article: Jerk Seasoning.All you really need to know is that it is tasty. It came with nicely seasoned red beans and rice and fried plantains. Right before dessert the owner Chef Rae came out to meet us and talked about some of his philosophies on food. We finished the meal with a brownie and ice cream dessert. It was the perfect size, and a nice sweet end to a well-crafted Southern/Jamaican meal.The Restaurant Week Lunch Special was $15 and included an appetizer of fried green tomatoes, and entrée of Jerk Chicken with fried plantains and red beans and rice and a dessert of brownie and ice cream. Well worth the price.
Check out the blogs of my fellow food fanatics and get a different perspective on the experience.