Friday, October 21, 2016

Local Lunch Near Campus

Football is back, and school is in full swing. Most kickoffs are set for 1:00 P.M., and if you don't have time to tailgate or need a quick lunch between classes, where should you go eat? Here's our local favorite lists.

Cecil's Place has been around since 1980, serving up delicious milkshakes, mouthwatering hamburgers and our favorite Chicken Finger Snack. If you're in a hurry, just call (256) 435-8909 to place your to-go order. If you need an afternoon sugar burst, may we suggest a sundae?

Yes, Cooter Brown's is listed in Alabama's 100 dishes to eat before you die, and we've heard from some Tennessean's that Cooter Brown's Ribs beat Memphis! It looks like a true rib shack, and their food is some of the best you've eaten. You can call in the tailgate necessities to-go at 256-435-1514.

Effina's knows how to market to college students, with $5 one topping pizzas on Thursday and many other specials throughout the week. They're conveniently located near the edge of campus and serve up everything from pasta to salads and everything in between.

Java Jolt maybe a coffeehouse, brewing everything from tea, cold brew to espresso, but they also have delicious muffins and scones, mouthwatering cakes, and delectable sandwiches and salads. The Cocky Chicken Salad is our favorite, on croissant or salad.

Founded in Jacksonville in 1991, Jefferson's has multiplied across the U.S., but the original still dishes our the best fried dill pickles and wings. However, our favorite is a Mushroom & Swiss burger. It may be messy, but it's good.

You can't beat 99 cent Tacos every Taco Tuesday. Loco Mex was also recently voted best chicken for the "Pelham Chicken," but we love their chips, salsa, cheese and affordable prices.

Besides Waffle House, Struts and Yamatos, the closest things to campus is Momma Goldberg's. This  unique experience originated in Auburn, but this location still serves up the signature Momma's Love and chips.

Since 1999, Struts, which is also on Mountain Street across from campus, has served wings, burgers and more. From the delicious but messy Buffalo Chicken Quesadilla to the delectable Hamburger Steak, Struts offers to much that pairs nicely with the mouthwatering Bacon Cheese Fries.

Open since the 1950s, The Rocket has served Bar-B-Q out of the pit out back. It may look like a hole in the wall, but it serves a great cheeseburger with special sauce. It's messy, but the flavor is worth the mess.

Located along Jacksonville's quaint Square, Roma's is known for their pizzas and pastas. However, their steak and chicken tips are delicious too! Roma's is a Jacksonville staple.

One of the newest restaurants to Jacksonville is Yamato Steak House. Their salad and yum-yum sauce are amazing, and everything from hibachi vegetables, chicken or steak are delicious.

Not far from the city limits of Jacksonville, you can also find Heroes, known for their burgers. Many evenings offer both food and entertainment.

If you need a sugar boost one afternoon when you cram in school work, check out Mad Hatter Cupcakes! These cupcakes have daily varying flavors from favorites like Rocky Cocky to seasonal specialties like Key Lime.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Nothing Brings People Together Like Good Food!

It's Restaurant Week in Calhoun County, and we have some great ones (Best Pizza, Wings, etc. in the State). Calhoun County’s culinary experience includes everything from family favorite franchises to local barbecue and farm to table, and this week spotlights some signature dishes.

Traveling north on Hwy 21, you could probably follow your nose or the bus loads of people headed to Cooter Brown's Rib Shack. This week, they're featuring 2 BBQ platters and Hillbilly eggrolls for a great $20 dinner. Yes, you read that correctly, Hillbilly Eggrolls, which is like Carolina BBQ in an eggroll. Their lunch special features a regular BBQ sandwich with side and drink for $5. They didn't feature their ribs, which we and others rank higher than Memphis. (8464 AL Hwy 204, Jacksonville) 

Some, who travel I20 regularly, make a pit-stop at Garfrerick's Cafe. This week they feature their classic Farm to Table vegetable plate for $10 with dessert and drink. Their veggie plate normally offers stewed tomatoes, the best black eyed peas, mac and cheese, squash casserole, and whatever else is fresh from the garden. (655 Creekside Drive, Oxford)

In the heart of downtown historic Oxford, you'll find Hubbard's Off Main, with its beautiful exposed brick walls and mouthwatering food. This week Charlotte is featuring Shrimp and Grits and Steak for two as a $30 Dinner package and a Philly Cheesesteak for $7 at lunch. (20 Choccolocco Street E, Oxford) 

If you're in Jacksonville looking for some Mexican Cuisine, Loco Mex can cater to you. Their cheese dip is the best, and their Tacos are 99 cents every Taco Tuesday. (809 Pelham Road South, Jacksonville)

Many people think of Auburn when they think of Momma Goldberg's, but Jacksonville also has a location just across from the stadium. This week, they're featuring Sandwich and Nacho Combos, $8 for Lunch and $17 at dinner for two sandwiches and two nachos. (208 Mountain Street NW, Jacksonville)

The Peerless may be notable for its building's history, but this week, they included the kids, where 12 and under eat FREE with the purchase of one adult meal. They're lunch special features Beans & Greens for $6, and their dinner for two special features Derby Chopped Steak. (13 and 15 West 10th Street, Anniston)

Last year, the Taste of Calhoun County award for Best Pizza went to Wiseguys Pizzaria and Bar, who recently opened a second location in Oxford. This week, take a break for lunch and grab a one topping slice with salad and drink for $6.99, or take the whole family to dinner with a one topping large pizza, and appetizer and four drinks. If you want to splurge, we recommend the Wiseguy Pizza. (7113 U.S. Hwy 431, Alexandria)

Last but not least, Weaver has a crown jewel in Zoe's on the Lake, overlooking the picture perfect setting and pond at Buckhorn. Their lunch features Chicken Fettucine and salad for $9.95, and their dinner special this week features a 12 oz Ribeye with baked potato and salad for $12.95. (187 Angel Lake Drive, Weaver)

Family Favorite Franchise Features: 
Chick-fil-A Quintard Mall
700 Quintard Drive, Suite FC8, Oxford
Dinner Special:
Buy One Dessert, get one free (of same value or less)
Lunch Special:

Buy One Dessert, get one free (of same value or less)

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
1925 Quintard Avenue, Anniston
Dinner Special:
Chicken Sandwich Combo with Choice of Side and Medium Drink
Lunch Special:
Chicken Sandwich Combo with Choice of Side and Medium Drink

Friday, October 7, 2016

Hikes to Enjoy During Fall

"Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, we have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!" Humbert Wolfe

Cheaha State Park Trails
- Bald Rock- For someone wanting the view but via an easier route, Bald Rock has three paths that lead to Alabama's highest point, a boardwalk or dirt paths on either side of the boardwalk. (.3 miles)
- Pulpit Rock- This leads to a view of Alabama at its finest, the tree covered Talladega National Forest covered foothills of the Appalachians. This trail has a bit of steep terrain, and it is quite popular for rock climbing, which is only permissible with a permit from the park. (.3 miles)
- LNT Big Foot Trail- As you trek from the MOtel to the highest point, there are educational signs and bigfoot cutouts along the way. (.5 miles)
- Fisherman's Trail- The trail is known for its fishing hole, as it wraps around Cheaha Lake. (.6 miles)
- Lake Trail- Make sure you pack the right footwear for this steep and rugged trail, connecting Cheaha Lake to the Rock Garden. (1 mile)
-  Mountain Laurel- As you wander along the stream bank, take in the beauty of the National Forest with a few man made structures. (1.4 miles)
- Pinhoti Trail- This 335 mile trail connects the heart of Alabama to the Appalachian Trail as it traces the ledge of the Appalachian Foothills.
- Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge- This area protects the largest remaining refuge of Longleaf Pines on land formerly belonging to the Army's Fort McClellan, which closed in 1999. Nearby, you'll also find the Choccolocco Frog Pond and Museum Complex Trails.
- Coldwater Mountain Bike Trails - More than 30 miles of bike trails have been developed just outside Historic Downtown Anniston. We always suggest walking the trails backwards, counterclockwise, so you can see the cyclist coming and they can see you.