1. If savory Lamb Chops topped with Blackberry Reduction and a side of Garlic Mashed Potatoes and sautéed Kale sounds like your dream dinner, then you should definitely include Evangeline’s in your T-Town itinerary. As one of the area’s premier restaurants, this divine treasure provides exceptional service for private intimate dinners, social events, and corporate parties. From a small rehearsal dinner to a lavish party for friends and family, Evangeline’s has the atmosphere to create the ideal experience.
2. Do you consider seafood, steak, & sushi three of your main food groups? If so, then Chuck’s is most definitely calling you. Offering a diverse menu in trendy surrounds with a loft & full bar, this local favorite has a well-earned reputation as a T-Town staple. It is also perfect for special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries. Crowd favorites include the crab cakes, sushi, scallops, and pizza. With attentive service and an unforgettable dining experience, you’ll always leave this happy and stuffed – and ready to come back again.
3. It would be a disservice to Tuscaloosa cuisine to discuss our incredible local dining without including Central Mesa. Established in 2017 by owner Craig Williams, this local treasure offers a Southern twist on traditional Latin-American dishes. The story of the restaurant is built upon a passion for providing fresh, great-tasting food and cocktails. Every dish is prepared in-house from scratch to ensure quality taste. The heart of the restaurant beats to provide a relaxed atmosphere and sense of community, where people can come and enjoy exceptional food and drink.
4. Ignite the creative in you and experience the Dinah Cultural Arts Center’s current exhibit, Stephanie Kirkland: “Windswept: Abstract Landscapes”. This moving collection of acrylic paintings was inspired during a road trip out West, which included hiking through Glacier, Zion, and Grand Canyon national parks. This week’s gallery hours of 1:00 p.m.to 3:00 p.m. offers the last chance to witness this captivating creation firsthand. Trust us, you don’t want to miss it!
5. Kentuck Art Center offers a unique view into the minds of the endlessly talented local artists all around Tuscaloosa. From handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry to kitchen pitchers, this gold mine is ideal for a one-stop-shop for holiday gifts. The Kentuck Gallery Shop offers an incredible shopping experience either online or in-person!
6. Fall foliage peak is on the horizon and one of the best places to take in the changing season is the Riverwalk. This first-rate paved trail sits along the southern bank of the Black Warrior River near downtown Tuscaloosa and is suited for both walkers and bikers. Along the 4.5-mile trail, there are a variety of (dog-friendly) park areas, benches, gazebos, and trees for hammocks and picnics. The pathway also provides a playground near the Public Library and a splash pad at the Bama Bell dock for the kids. For nighttime walkers, it is well-lit with street lamps along the way.
7. Get a taste of the (tamer) Tide. Take in the jaw-dropping beauty of UA’s campus in its most unique form: somewhat still and tranquil. Casually absorb the captivating architecture and elaborate landscaping that is so easy to take for granted during the football fan frenzy that accompanies one of the greatest dynasties in college football history. It offers another great place to enjoy the fall colors while viewing landmarks such as the President’s Mansion, Denny Chimes, Bryant-Denny Stadium, and historic Foster Auditorium – where Malone-Hood Plaza and the Autherine Lucy Clock Tower celebrate the spot where the University of Alabama was first integrated.
Graduation is around the corner and that means it’s about to be a topsy-turvy world in many ways! One important part of that “weekend of all weekends” is that the parents visit the kids in their college town! So, expect to see tons of proud and excited parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles here in our one and only Tuscaloosa, to celebrate the success of their Graduates!
There are some important rules when it comes to treating and feeding the family in this unique situation, and we decided to focus on the most important aspect: Taking them to dinner. Or more precisely: Them taking you to dinner! As a Tuscaloosa local, the choice of the restaurant should be yours and you should choose wisely because the parents will probably be paying! Here are our top 5 places to have a family dinner at graduation weekend in Tuscaloosa!
1. Dreamland Barbeque
Let’s begin with the perfect place to impress your family with some authentic southern food: Barbeque! It’s one of the easiest things to fall in love with when you move to Alabama, and will likely crave it after they leave! Dreamland is the local hero among the Barbeque places in Tuscaloosa. The southern chain understands the Alabama spirit like no other and is known for its delicious ribs that literally fall off the bone! Grab your parents, grandparents, siblings and anyone else that will visit you for graduation and take them out for a fun dinner with some delicious ribs and white bread along with their famous homemade Dreamland BBQ sauce!
2. Cypress Inn
Parents visit = parents pay, right? Take that chance and let them take you out for a sartorial graduation dinner at the fabulous Cypress Inn! Of course, it will be your parent’s pleasure, too, because the Cypress Inn is one of the most scenic and impressive restaurants in town: Located directly on the Black Warrior River it provides a lovely view from the elevated restaurant and even terrace to sit outside! After dining you might take a walk through the gardens or down the steps and enjoy the wooden boat dock. Or just have another drink at the terrace, celebrate and watch the boats on the river.
3. Chuck’s Fish
It might be old fashioned, but fish is still considered to be a dish for special occasions. And what occasion could be more special than your graduation! So, take your family to the heart of downtown Tuscaloosa and enjoy delicious specialties at Chuck’s Fish! Their Sushi Bar is one of the best in town, always fresh and with tailor-made creations exactly for your taste! Or sit downstairs in the main restaurant and enjoy classics as well as novel dishes with fresh fish, caught around the corner in Florida! The seafood creations are also definitely worth trying – who could say no to crab cakes, oysters, and fish tacos? Finally, end a perfect evening with your favorite cocktails from their fantastic bar!
4. Southern Ale House
If you want to give your family an authentic southern dining experience without focusing on Barbeque too much, the Southern Ale House is a great place to take them! In a warm and inviting atmosphere, it serves both classic and contemporary interpretations of Southern cuisine. Besides amazing burgers and birds, you should order their variety of homemade biscuits – the ultimate southern side! Another highlight is – as the name says – the selection of beer! Alongside local brews from Birmingham and Gadsden, American classics as well as international specialties like French and German beer, the Southern Ale House has got more than ten different ales! That makes assuredly one favorite beer for everyone in the family!
Last but not least, we can’t help but recommend Evangeline’s, another lovely casual upscale restaurant. Located right across the bridge on McFarland in Northport, it is also close to campus. A little hidden in the alleys of Tuscaloosa Galleria, you walk past a beautiful fountain and the scenic white buildings with striped awnings before entering the restaurant. The atmosphere inside is almost magical, the interior and decorations with hundreds of little lights are very unique. They serve various gourmet dishes that come in surprisingly big portions – so don’t hesitate to bring the always-hungry dads or brothers! On a warm night, you might return to the outside again and enjoy a glass of wine in the alley, covered by more lights and listening to the fountain.
Written By: Katharina Horvath – Intern