"What we love most about our community is the variety of great food from locally-owned and operated establishments," comments Libby Webb, owner/partner of New Market BBQ
in New Market, Ala. "Events like the annual Huntsville/Alabama Restaurant Week is an amazing opportunity for small locally-owned businesses like ours to get a little extra visibility. It encourages folks to get out and explore new places, try new dishes from place they frequent or introduce their friends to their favorite restaurants."
Alabama Restaurant Week
kicks off Friday and runs through August 24. Over 200 restaurants in 53 cities are offering prix fixe lunch and dinner menus.
Greg Glass, owner of The Office Break Room and Bar
in downtown Huntsville, says the community is starting to embrace new food and food culture.
"There was a time when I thought this town was all chains, but the hunger for variety and local establishments have spearheaded a welcome change in the way we dine. The best is yet to come."
In addition to the prix fixe menus, Huntsville, who leads the state in participating restaurants
, is hosting various events throughout the week. One of them is "10 Days of Giveaways
," where you are encouraged to tweet or post to social media using their official Restaurant Week hashtag #DineHSV. One winner will be chosen each day and wins a gift certificate to a participating restaurant.
Organized by Rev Birmingham, Birmingham Restaurant Week
(BRW) features over 25 participating restaurants. Patrons can enjoy ordering off of prix fixe menus from such places like Eagle's Restaurant
(featured on Andrew Zimmern's Travel Channel show " Bizarre Foods America" in July 2013), Bottega
(one of chef Frank Stitt's restaurants), and Melt Avondale
“Birmingham is increasingly known for its outstanding restaurants, and the food culture here has played a vital role in the city’s ongoing revival,” says James Little, BRW director and REV Birmingham district manager. “This year marks the fifth consecutive year that restaurants and foodies in and around Birmingham will come together to showcase and celebrate the city’s award-winning culinary scene."
"With more than 50 restaurants participating this year, Restaurant Week provides a great opportunity for people in Birmingham to discover the culinary treasures that are right here in our backyard. This is also a chance for visitors to experience unique offerings that set Birmingham apart.”
Birmingham Restaurant week is also bringing back their “Free Food Friday” contest on Facebook. It's an opportunity for Facebook fans to receive gift certificates to a BRW participating restaurant each Friday.
For those on go, be sure to check out the mobile site, which provides an easier way to access information. It also features a GPS navigation option, a reservation tool, a tip calculator and more.
"The culinary scene has definitely improved," comments Tres Jackson, owner and executive chef of Epiphany Cafe.
In a town known best for college football, Tuscaloosa is making a name for itself among foodies with places like the Epiphany
, Five Bar
and Southern Ale House
. Jackson credits this growth due to the town's more diverse clientele. Even with that growth, he finds that Restaurant Week
is a good event to be a part of because it gets the name out to even more.
Focusing on local and regional ingredients, Jackson is preparing to serve McEwen & Son's Panzella, North Carolina rainbow trout and olive oil cake for $30.
For information about other towns and cities, check out Alabama Restaurant Week
photo: Vino Anti Pasta, courtesy of REV Birmingham and Style Advertising