Foodie
 
[foo-dee] noun
 
A person who lives and breathes the art of eating food. “Phone eats first” most definitely applies here. 
It’s a big world out there, with big flavors and big portion sizes! We know that Tuscaloosa fully embodies all things fun and football so it should come as no surprise that the food scene here is highly appreciated and curated for everyone’s taste buds. There is no better way to embrace the Tuscaloosa food scene than listening to the advice of local fans/ foodies! After all, word of mouth is the best form of advertising, so here is what we have heard about the tastes of T-Town! 
 
Heat Pizza Bar
Anyone who says money can’t buy you happiness clearly has not spent enough money on pizza! Heat Pizza, located in Government Plaza, serves up artisan pizzas and salads from the freshest ingredients in the area. Not only are the pizzas perfect, but Heat also makes some mean cocktails as well. Let’s take a dive into one particular foodie favorite pizza- the Meat Lovers. Made with house red sauce, pepperoni, Italian sausage, bacon, ham, and fresh mozzarella, this pizza hits almost all of the points on the Food Pyramid. Thin crust, thick crust, or crispy, Heat isn’t picky! Foodie secret, they put the pepperoni under the cheese to ensure the pizza is fully baked and the cheese is melted for you to eat properly. Highly acclaimed and famed- just check the Yelp reviews- Heat Pizza is a foodie’s pizza paradise! 
 
Ingram Farms Crawfish
Our friends at Ingram Farms link with its Cajun connections every Spring to ship the best live crawfish, straight from the bayou, right here to Tuscaloosa. While you might be thinking, how much does a foodie love crawfish? The answer is a lot, especially if we have a southern foodie on our hands. A crawfish tastes like a mix between crab and lobster, but with an extra kick! Most orders come covered in garlic powder, paprika, and Old Bay (plus other spices) so be ready to defeat the heat! Tuscaloosa loves its crawfish so much that Ingram Farms hurries every year to keep its inventory stocked! A real foodie knows you get your order boiled and ready to eat for maximum enjoyment. Pro tip: Do NOT touch your eyes while or after eating crawfish and make sure to wash your hands thoroughly! Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
 
The Avenue Pub
You might be saying to yourself, “TTS, yall talk a lot about Avenue Pub, what’s the deal?” Avenue Pub is a foodie favorite here in Tuscaloosa and, as always, for some great reasons! Locals typically flock to Avenue Pub to get their burger and beer fix, but a true foodie knows there are big flavors beyond the burger. Foodie favorites include the Bacon Burger- no shock there- Thai Nachos, and its Fried Green Tomato BLT. The Thai Nachos are a twist on your normal version, with a spicy switch-up covered in peanut sauce and shredded chicken. Now if you’re from Alabama, you’re no stranger to fried green tomatoes and you’ve probably also seen the movie a handful of times. Avenue Pub’s Fried Green Tomato BLT comes prepared extra crispy in between all of the fixings and rye bread. With delicious food to treat everyone’s cravings and a fun atmosphere, it’s no wonder why foodies flock to Avenue Pub!
 
Waysider Restaurant
Every foodie must get started with the most important meal of the day- breakfast! The Waysider has been serving Tuscaloosa for 70 years and is the oldest continuously serving restaurant in West Alabama. The atmosphere of this little old red house will make you feel at home or even like you’re sitting at your grandma’s table as you wait for your hot stack of pancakes to be served. Foodie to foodie, let’s talk biscuits and gravy. The Waysider is known for its red-eye gravy- a true southern classic! The sweet and salty flavors pair perfectly with its buttery, flakey biscuits. While a keen foodie does love the eats, they also are looking for a great atmosphere! Here, guests feel at ease and taken care of. I mean, with 70 years in the business, The Waysider knows how to keep its audience happy!
 
We know there are so many foodie-approved hot spots here in Tuscaloosa, but we can’t write the novel for you! Go out and explore the tastes of Tuscaloosa on your own! Chat with us @visittuscaloosa on Instagram and Facebook to share your foodie stories!

While the beginning of the week was dreary and wet, this weekend calls for dry grounds and a surprise appearance from the sun! This week in events is all about the spring season, art, and live music! See what’s going on in T-Town:

 

Kentuck Exhibition

We can’t forget about Kentuck Art Center’s newest exhibition! Kentuck’s premiere 2021 exhibition, aptly titled “Good Trouble”, spans the Museum, Teer, and SoNo Galleries and features the work of at least seven Alabama Black artists. It is the hope of Kentuck Art Center that “Good Trouble” achieves several goals: to highlight Black voices, to provide a space for these artists’ works to continue the conversation about the Civil Rights Movement past and present, and to inspire empathy and the desire for change through the visual storytelling of these Black artists. “Good Trouble” will be available on March 16-26th. Go and check it out for yourself, you won’t be disappointed! Visit Kentuck’s website for hours and details.

 

Thursday Concerts

We love Live Music Thursday’s at the Lookout Rooftop Bar and this week’s performer plays all of your favorite hits! Check out Chase Evan kick it off this Thursday, March 18th, and get a head start on your weekend happy hour! Just remember, the Lookout Rooftop is smoke-free and pet friendly, and practicing all social distancing protocols to offer you a night of great food and good fun! For more information, visit the Lookout’s website!

 

Mason Horne and Druid City Social 

Did you catch that groove bug and can’t get enough live music? Keep the party going this Friday, March 19th, at Druid City Social! Straight out of the Carolina pines, the singer-songwriter from Jefferson, SC, Mason Horne brings a youthful, but timeless voice to country music. Grab your friends and head to Druid City Social to catch the performance! Don’t forget to check out some of their fresh starters, salads, or bowls when you need to reenergize.

 

Spring at CHOM

Spring has sprung and this Children’s Hands-on Museum is kicking into full gear with its festivities! March into Spring at CHOM this Saturday, March 20th, from 9:30 – 4 pm. Learn about the Water Cycle, help a butterfly fly using static electricity, and make a flower! All activities are included in admission. Wear your best spring outfit and mask!

Growing up, we all ordered chicken fingers off the kid’s menu- this is probably where our adult obsession with the meal still resides. Fear not, there’s nothing to be ashamed of! Fried chicken fingers are more than a childhood staple, they are a pick-me-up food, a “remind me of home” food, and of course a good option for some after drinks food with your buddies! Have you ever wondered about which chicken fingers in Tuscaloosa hold the ultra-exclusive title of being the best? Well look no further my friends, we have three options here that will make you wonder: Which is worth it?

 

Guthrie’s – $5.76

Alabama loves Guthrie’s. Like, I mean LOVES Guthrie’s to an unhealthy obsession. Fast-food chicken fingers can be iffy, but Guthrie’s does it right every single time and for only around $5. The golden fried chicken fingers are incredibly tender and have the perfect amount of fried crispiness on the outside. Plus, they have their “secret sauce” which sounds mysterious as always but is sheer perfection. It is not too sweet or too salty and tastes like a mixture of mayo, ketchup, and garlic- which initially doesn’t sound prize-winning, but obviously, they are doing something right if people rant and rave about it! Being around for over 50 years has gained Guthrie’s a notable presence in the whole state of Alabama. Pro tip: The workers in the back make sure you are getting the fried tenders straight out of the fryer, so be extremely careful before biting into one of these, or else you might accidentally hurt yourself. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

 

Hoos Q – $7

Yes, Hoos Q is known for its barbeque but they also have some seriously delicious chicken fingers! The Chicken Finger Plate is served with five hand-breaded tenders and served with their version of a “special sauce”. With 5 large chicken tenders, you will probably have enough to take home! The breaded tenders are juicy and perfectly cooked with a soft, easily tearable inside. Not too greasy, not too dry and the sauce is the perfect additive. This option is slightly more than Guthries, but you do get five big and flakey tenders. Any place with a “special sauce” seems to be a breadwinner so it’s no question why Hoos Q is a contender!

 

Southern Ale House – $8

Weighing in only slightly more than the other two is Southern Ale House’s chicken tenders. Of course, we are keeping up the theme with hand-breaded yumminess in our blog but there is a twist on these. Southern Ale House buttermilk brines their tenders before frying to add that extra punch of tenderness to the average chicken tender. Can you guess what else these are served with? If you thought of a special sauce, you’re a winner! The “Slap ‘Yo Mamma” sauce is a light tangy take on the average condiment choices. These tenders are perfectly fried, but definitely not dry. If you’re looking for a good crunch to chicken ratio, Southern Ale House might be in your cards!

 

Quite honestly, we all love chicken and would probably eat chicken fingers on Thanksgiving if it were socially acceptable! All of these restaurants are well known for their takes on classic chicken tenders. Guthrie’s is a long-time classic in the state of Alabama and has a history of serving up good meals and deals. Hoos Q shows us that it’s not all about barbeque and that they can serve up a mean chicken tender basket. Southern Ale House serves up a marinated, crunchy chicken tender that seems to be a fan favorite as well. We know there cannot simply be one “best” of anything in this town, but we are thankful to have so many options within our community!

 

Agree with any of our three? Let us know! Have a rebuttal? Share with us your top chicken tender spot in Tuscaloosa!

Arts and Entertainment

Thursday Concerts on the Rooftop is featuring One Horrible Family this week! Originally a larger band formed two years ago, this group preferred a more intimate trio. All music students at the University of Alabama (one a former student), the group is capable of really any genre but performs mostly R&B, 80s music, and jazz. With most of their experience being in larger bars in Tuscaloosa, they are excited to relax at the Lookout for a night of rhythm and soul. The fun starts at 6 pm, and you do not want to miss this! 

 

Jump into the holiday spirit with the arts at the exclusive Christmas Open House at Kentuck’s Gallery Shop! Enjoy 10% OFF IN-STORE AND ONLINE! Join the holiday fun at Kentuck’s Christmas Kickoff Open House from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday, November 7, and from 12 to 4 pm on Sunday, November 8. Support local artists this holiday season and find unique gifts for all of your loved ones! Use code CHRISTMASOPEN2020 for 10% off our online shop!

 

Fun for the Youngsters

On Friday Para will be hosting Kids Night Out at 5:30 pm at the McDonald Hughes Community Center! The Kids Night Out event will keep the kiddos busy for 3 hours of educational and recreational fun! Pizza, juice, and dessert will be available for all participants to enjoy throughout the event. There will be swimming so make sure to pack swimwear, dry clothes, and a towel. Life jackets will be provided when needed. Registration for this fall fling is available here.

 

The Children’s Hands-On Museum of Tuscaloosa is hosting Sweater Weather on Saturday from 9:30 am- 4 pm. CHOM is a beloved local gem where children explore, create, and discover every time they visit. When they say “hands-on” they really mean it! Learning through play is what our exhibits are all about. This special seasonal extravaganza will include autumn weather science, leaf color experiments, and fantastic fall wreaths! All of these engaging activities are included in admission.

 

Uniquely Local

At 7 am this Saturday the farmers market will be open and ready to safely serve you! Handmade treasures galore awaits at the Rivermarket until 12 pm. From scented bath bombs to handmade woodwork you are bound to find something that piques your interest at the farmers market. Face coverings are required for all who wish to go inside and shop and social distancing will be in effect. 

 

Also available on Saturday is an Intro to Vinyasa Workshop at the Yoga Bliss Studio. Vinyasa is a form of active yoga that involves different postures in consecutive succession to offer a more balanced bodily effect. Yoga is an activity that is diverse in its styles and Vinyasa yoga is considered to be one of the most dynamic styles you can enjoy! Yoga Bliss is located on Queen City Avenue and hosts several classes a week, including many similar introduction classes for all yoga beginners! For more information about the Vinyasa Workshop, visit the Yoga Bliss Facebook event page.

 

The House Plant Collective bus will be making a special appearance at Druid City Brewing on Sunday from 2- 5 pm. At House Plant Collective the mission is to create Birmingham’s first mobile plant store while providing the community education needed for the plants to thrive. Shop plants, grab a beer, and enjoy your serene Sunday supporting local!

 

Written By:

Will Baggett & Jamie Hoven

Great Grub

 

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.

 

Awesome Arts

 

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!

 

Scenic Views 

 

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.

Oh, 2020… There’s not much to say about this hot mess express of a year. During the past dreadfully long several months, COVID-19 has managed to do one thing right: prioritize health as a nation. I’m not talking about physical health alone, I’m referring to mental health as well. Despite the obvious physical health risks brought on by COVID, social isolation and quarantine can also deeply affect one’s mood and mentality. Although we wished farewell to Self-Care Month when Spooky Season arrived, this upcoming Saturday marks World Mental Health Day! That’s why we have taken the time to dive into some of the many ways to nourish your mental health in T-Town!

Body

It is so important to take care of your physical health while working on your mental health as they are deeply intertwined. Contrary to popular belief, taking good care of your body doesn’t have to feel like a chore! There are endless ways to get moving and enjoy yourself in T-Town. Don’t believe us? Check out some of our suggestions below to get the inside scoop on local products and services to improve one’s mental health!

For beginners and pros alike yoga can help manage mental health by keeping your mind at ease and body engaged. There are a few awesome different yoga studios available with enjoyment! Yoga Bliss is a yoga studio just down the street from The Strip that offers a great variety of classes. The selection ranges from entry-level Beginner Fundamentals, specialized classes like Yoga Nidra, and classes like EveryBODY, which is designed to be useful for all who attend. Visit the Yoga Bliss website above for more information on pricing and registration! There are many other nice studios around the city as well including Painted Lotus Yoga and Wellness! For a slightly more intense workout, check out The Barre CodePure Barre, and HotWorx.

Regular exercise and fresh air have the dual benefit of improving your physical health and encouraging growth in your mental state as well. By staying active and keeping your blood flowing, you’re allowing the brain to relax a bit while it is fully engaged in the actions. This kind of mindfulness has been proven to improve focus, mood, and overall mentality throughout the day! Although attending a local gym or taking specialized exercise classes are incredible ways to boost your mental health, there are a plethora of other places around the city to stay active as well.

The Riverwalk along the Black Warrior River is not only a delightful spot to relax, but it is also a prime location for a light jog, intense running session, or quick outdoor workout! Lake Tuscaloosa and Lake Nicol are a great outdoor choice, too, offering a number of activities like hiking, swimming, or even paddleboarding! All of these spots not only offer somewhere to get your blood flowing but also make the perfect setting to relax and meditate by the water. A little fresh air and peace and quiet can help calm the senses.

Spirit 

Another helpful way to manage and monitor your mental health is to treat yourself to a local spa or salon on occasion. By prioritizing self-care in your routine your self-worth and psyche can improve significantly. It is important to know what specific activities help you feel as relaxed as possible, so don’t hesitate to explore all the many local options available! Treat yourself to a day of pampering to commemorate World Mental Health Day at one of the following locations around Tuscaloosa!

For those that enjoy relaxation in a traditional sense, there is nothing better than a classic spa day to show yourself a little TLC. Not only would a massage ease the nerves, but a manicure and a pedicure couldn’t hurt either! In Tuscaloosa, Spa Belle La Vie and Nancy Taylor Day Spa are just a few of the many serene locations where visitors can enjoy massage therapy, beauty treatments, and even salon services. For the guys out there who respect the power of proper pampering, visit Greasy Hands Barbershop for hot shaves, clean cuts, and a relaxing atmosphere!

If pampering is the way to go for you, what better way than discovering a responsible and fun way to clean yourself: soap! The Left Hand Soap Company is a local soap workshop in Downtown Tuscaloosa that produces specialized soaps, shampoos, and other natural cleaning products since 1999. Due to COVID-19, visitors are not allowed to inside the workshop, but products are available for purchase online for pick-up! Visit the Left-Hand Soap Company website to view the various products and swag available.

Mind

Staying focused on a calming and/or mentally-stimulating activity can be an exceptional tool to properly manage your mental health. This includes listening to music, reading a new book, or learning something new! Whether or not you are already passionate about music or books, these activities are widely available for anyone to pick up and enjoy on the daily. Music and books come in a number of different genres and subjects, so there are endless ways to enjoy both activities! Additionally, learning something new stimulates the mind and creates a sense of accomplishment, like learning to ride a bike or finishing a good book!

Stop by the Tuscaloosa Public Library or Ernest & Hadley’s to get lost between the pages of a new book! Both of these spots are home to a wide collection of titles, familiar or new, and are available for all to enjoy. In addition to books, both the library and the bookstore host events/virtual events where patrons can learn more about authors and other literary greats related to the titles they have checked out or would like to explore. Sit back, relax, and keep your mind sharp with a great book!

For those that enjoy turning their records on and sitting idle on their couch for a blissful afternoon, Oz Music is a must-visit shop in Tuscaloosa. Oz Music has all anyone could need to become a major album collector and listener, from record players and cleaning supplies to throwback vinyl and brand new records! CDs are still available for those who prefer that method of jamming their favorite tunes.

Learning is a great way to exercise and stimulate the mind if you are needing a break from your everyday troubles. Learning about something new opens up your mind to new experiences and emotions, which has the dual benefit of improving your mental health and expanding your knowledge base! Three special destinations in town, the Paul R. Jones Gallery, Harrison Galleries, and the Paul W. Bryant Museum,  provide a safe haven to learn about new perspectives and stories you’ve have yet to discover. All of these museums are exciting places to dive deeper into the diverse history and art of this area.

Mental health remains a significant topic in our nation as the unexpected isolation that came with COVID-19 continues to affect mental health. This meaningful topic affects millions and deserves extensive evaluation. Before this can happen, we must not be afraid to seek or offer help. If you or anyone you know is suffering from mental health distress, contact your medical provider for more information on services to help treat these challenges, or learn more at MentalHealth.gov.

Written by: Jamie Hoven & Will Baggett

Safety is the top priority for returning to campus, but that does not mean sacrificing the ability to enjoy yourself and to enjoy new experiences, especially in the City of Tuscaloosa. There are plenty of ways to maintain a safe, physical distance while also enjoying what Tuscaloosa has to offer, whether it be the scenic views, rich history, or the one-of-a-kind businesses and restaurant culture of this city. Below, we have compiled a list of ways to stay socially active while also being socially distanced!

Lake Trips

The different lakes located around Tuscaloosa have been a regular relaxation spot for students over the years. In order to have a fun and peaceful time, visiting one of the nearby lakes is a modern time twist on a classic activity for UA students. These lakes are not only wonderful places to swim and rent kayaks for, but they are also a peaceful spot to read a book and enjoy the nature of the Tuscaloosa area. What better way to substitute a library table or a lakeside picnic table? These lakes offer services that allow you to either rent paddleboards for the day, paddle your own kayak around to the different scenic spots along the lakefront, or layout at the beach to continue working on your summer tan! The most popular lakes around the City of Tuscaloosa to check out are Lake Lurleen, Lake Nicol, and Lake Tuscaloosa.

Civil Rights Walk

The City of Tuscaloosa has a history intertwined with the Civil Rights movement, and there is a presence of that history all around Downtown Tuscaloosa. Traveling through history along the Civil Rights Walk is a way to stay active outdoors and be proactive about the history and importance of the Civil Rights Movement to our city. Visit (website) to locate the markers located around Downtown Tuscaloosa and learn more about the lasting impact that the Civil Rights Movement has made on the history and people of the City of Tuscaloosa. Visit here to learn more about the Civil Rights Trail of Tuscaloosa and how you can find more and more resources regarding the Civil Rights Movement in Tuscaloosa.

Historic Downtown Tuscaloosa

Downtown Tuscaloosa is a relaxing area of town where anyone is free to walk around and wander from door to door to find something they feel drawn to. There are numerous boutique stores and businesses where eclectic finds are inevitable. If you’re looking for a new wardrobe, or maybe just some refreshing new pieces, check out Pause Boutique, Effie’s Inc., or Pants Store!  Walking around Downtown Tuscaloosa is a peaceful yet adventurous activity for all to find unique local while staying active after months of quarantine. However, Downtown Tuscaloosa does feature a lot of locations that would require entering a building, so be sure to pack a mask and be safe when visiting indoor storefronts and shops.

Self-Guided UA Tour

The University of Alabama has a rich history that every student and resident of Tuscaloosa ought to learn and become familiar with. At the heart of it all is The Quad, which is filled to the brim with its own history but also offers one of the most picturesque areas of campus. A refreshing way to stay connected to the culture of the university while maintaining physical distancing outdoors is to take a stroll around the University of Alabama campus and soaking in the history of the many buildings and locations. Many locations, including the ones located on the Quad, include historical markers that indicate the historic significance of their existence (or previous existence) and offer a glimpse into what truly defines this university.

Riverwalk

Enjoy the scenic nature of the Black Warrior River from the comfort of a relaxing hammock or a light jog along the riverfront. The Riverwalk is 4.2 miles of a paved trail that offers visitors a place to enjoy the outdoors in a way that is safe and distanced from others, and versatile enough that anyone can find themselves enjoying an afternoon out and about. The Riverwalk is a great place to go on a quick run, exercise on a bike, and walk your dog, plus offers serene and scenic spots for reading a nice book or enjoying a delicious picnic. Whether you are wanting to stay physically active through exercise and movement or if you are wanting to simply sit outdoors and soak in the sunlight and fresh air, the Riverwalk is a must-do.

Golf and Disc Golf

In order to stay distanced while remaining active, certain sports offer more distanced situations than others, like golf or disc golf. There are several public golf course options located near Tuscaloosa including Ol’ Colony, North River Yacht Club, The Links at Tuscaloosa, Indian Hills Country Club, Tall Pines, and Hidden Meadows. Each of these courses is available on weekends and offers a variety of offerings to satisfy the most serious players and to welcome the more introductory players. If you are more of a disc golfer than a traditional golfer, Bower’s Park is the place to be, thanks to a full 18-hole course primarily located on wooded terrain and featuring beginner and professional tees for players of all skill ranges! Whether you are driving a golf ball or a disc, these activities are a safe way to get back into the swing of things!

Food Trucks

A staple of campus life is enjoying the food trucks that make their way onto campus or throughout Tuscaloosa. These days, food trucks are a great way to stay outdoors and distanced while also supporting local businesses of Tuscaloosa. Not only are you able to be smart about what you are eating, but you may discover a new favorite dish or new favorite dining destination! We offer a phenomenal variety with options like  Catch a Taste, Aces Tuscaloosa, Cheese Louise Tuscaloosa, and Urban Cookhouse. Food trucks appear in various locations around the city, so be sure to plan ahead of time to be aware of where certain trucks will be located and what their menu will look like! Remember to wear a mask at all times except when you are eating in order to maximize caution and ensure the safety of yourselves and those around you.

Local Farmers Markets

A health-conscious and locally-oriented outdoor activity that everyone can take advantage of is enjoying a farmers market. In Tuscaloosa, a few wonderful options for outdoor farmers markets are Homegrown Alabama Farmers Market, Ingram Farms, Northport Farmers Market, and the Curbside Farmers Market. Shopping at a farmers market can expose you to new flavors to up your cooking game, and they support the local farmers that stock the markets. Be sure to wear a mask while visiting local farmers markets for the health and safety of yourself and the vendors working the markets!

 

Written by: Will Baggett

Evangeline’s hit the local restaurant scene by storm, and for good reason! The restaurant is considered to be one of the city’s premier fine dining establishments. Best of all, Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports is giving a $50 Evangeline’s gift card to one lucky winner next week on Instagram or Facebook! Join us as we show you everything that Evangeline’s has to offer.

Evangeline’s has a wide selection of dinner options that are sure to satisfy any visitor. The restaurant offers one of the best filet mignons in Tuscaloosa. Served with a garlic-infused potato puree, sautéed broccolini, and jumbo lump crab mornay sauce, the dish is both sophisticated and delicious. If you’re in the mood for lighter fare, try the summer peach salad. A bed of romaine and organic mixed greens is topped with peaches, strawberries, blueberries, candied pecans, goat cheese, and a house-made peach and poppy seed dressing to create this delightful and summery salad. Craving seafood? Evangeline’s has that too! Their phenomenal crab cakes are a must, so much so that al.com included them in 100 dishes to eat in Alabama before you die. If you’re looking for a nice dinner in Tuscaloosa, Evangeline’s is one of the perfect places in town!

Evangeline’s also serves dessert to ensure that you finish your meal on a sweet note. There are a few classic options on the menu, including chocolate cake and peanut butter pie, but Evangeline’s offers so much more than classic treats! Lemon sorbet is the perfect option for those looking for something to complement the Tuscaloosa summer heat. There are even a couple of cheesecake options! Try blueberry cheesecake to get that summer feeling that accompanies fresh berries, or choose the praline pecan cheesecake for an irresistibly sweet crunch. No matter what you choose, rest easy knowing that each option is fresh and delicious.

There’s a lot that goes into making Evangeline’s the pinnacle of high class, including its atmosphere and high-quality ingredients. White tablecloths paired with a black ceiling emanate big-city sophistication, while the shot glass votives that sit on each table bring back the warmth that’s expected in southern towns like Tuscaloosa. Make sure you dress up to match that comfortable classiness, whether that means your Sunday best or your finest eveningwear. Keeping with the high-quality vibe, Evangeline’s also uses local produce in all of their dishes. Their fresh fruits and veggies are sourced from Katie Farms in Coker, Alabama. The atmosphere and high-quality dishes at Evangeline’s combine to make something totally unique, making the restaurant a must-visit!

 

Tuscaloosa Mural

The Tuscaloosa mural on The Strip is the perfect backdrop for your next photo! Its vibrant colors spell out the city’s name, but there’s more than meets the eye! Jason Tetlak, the mural’s artist, created a technique he calls “red reveal.” When the mural is viewed through a red lens, the word “Tuscaloosa” changes into the phrase “Druid City.” The mural is painted on the side of Egan’s Bar, a Tuscaloosa favorite for over 40 years. If you’re feeling hot after taking your pictures, stop in and cool off with one of their mixed drinks or local craft brews!

The Riverwalk

The Riverwalk is a paved trail that offers captivating views of the Black Warrior River. With multiple park spots, including benches and outdoor tables, it’s the perfect place for a photo session or a picnic! The Riverwalk is only a short drive from downtown, making it easy to grab a bite from a restaurant like Reggae Flava on the way! Reggae Flava offers a variety of gourmet Jamaican cuisine options, including jerk chicken, curry shrimp, and fish tacos. After filling up on amazing food, make sure you take some beautiful photos!

Hurricane Creek Park

Hurricane Creek Park is a local favorite that makes for a gorgeous setting spending time outdoors and capturing the splendor of nature! The scenery is breathtaking, making this park the ideal place to practice your portrait or nature photography. While you’re there, make sure you enjoy everything the great outdoors has to offer! Take a dip in the creek, walk along one of the park’s hiking and bike trails, or simply sit on the creek bank and take in the tremendous surroundings.

Brown’s Greenhouses

While it may seem out of the ordinary, greenhouses can make for a striking backdrop that brings personality and pop in to all of your photos! In 1984 Tuscaloosa was blessed with Brown’s Greenhouses, a local plant nursery with an expansive selection of indoor plants, shrubs, flowers, and vegetables. Pose with some hanging baskets, stand among the rows of luscious flowers, and explore all 16 of the greenhouses to discover your absolute favorite herb! When it comes to purchasing plants, Brown’s Greenhouses not only has stellar quality but outstanding prices as well.

Black Warrior Railroad Bridge

The railroad bridge that crosses the Black Warrior River would be a fantastic area for your next photoshoot! Located a short drive from downtown behind the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, the wooden and steel truss bridge dates back to 1898. While you’re near downtown, be sure to stop by Alcove International Tavern and grab a drink to find sweet relief from the sizzling summer heat! Alcove offers a wide variety of local craft beers and mixed drinks at reasonable prices, and visitors have raved about the bar’s laid-back and unique atmosphere!

Capitol Park

Capitol Park is a historic park in Tuscaloosa that’s perfect for taking photos while learning about the city’s history! Capitol Park is the first stop on Tuscaloosa’s 18-stop Civil Rights History Trail. When Tuscaloosa was the capital of Alabama, Capitol Park was the home of the city’s leading governmental buildings. Only two columns and a foundation remain, and the location is a favorite of many photographers in the area. If you find yourself drained snapping photo after photo, you’re in luck! Nearby is Babe’s Doughnuts, a coffee shop and bakery that serves homemade doughnuts, breakfast bowls and sandwiches, and specialty coffees. Stop in for a sweet treat and a pick-me-up on your way to or from Capitol Park!

The University of Alabama

The University of Alabama has countless iconic spots throughout campus for breathtaking photographs! The Quad, President’s Mansion, Bryant-Denny Stadium, Denny Chimes, and many more Capstone classics make this an ideal photography destination. While you’re visiting campus, take the short walk down to The Strip and grab a bite to eat from one of the local restaurants. If you’re looking for Thai food and sushi, grab a to-go meal from Surin of Thailand! From California rolls to fried rice, they have something for everyone to enjoy. College students love it for its reasonable prices and expansive menu. If you’re in the mood for a drink, stop by Gallettes! Known for their famous Yellowhammer cocktail, Gallettes offers specials on wells along with mixed drinks and more!

Van de Graaff Arboretum and Historic Bridge Park

Van de Graff Arboretum and Historic Bridge Park is a beautiful outdoor setting for your next photo session! Located a short drive from Tuscaloosa in Northport, the park’s King Bowstring Bridge is the perfect backdrop. The park prides itself on this historic feature, as the bridge is one of the four spans that crossed the Black Warrior River from 1882 to 1896. Van De Graaff park also has a variety of outdoor activities to enjoy! Hiking, fishing, and camping are just a few of the many amenities that are offered.

7 Ways to Conquer your Child’s Boredom in Tuscaloosa

Create a lifetime of unforgettable memories right here in Tuscaloosa this summer. Kids are out of school, so the pressure is all on the parents to entertain the little ones! Lucky for you, we have an abundance of engaging activities for the whole family to enjoy- especially the young ones! Whether you end up crafting with a take-home pottery kit or indulging in a sweet treat like yogurt and fruit popsicles you (and your kids) are bound to have a wonderful time in the one and only Tuscaloosa!

SWEET TREATS

1. Summer Snow

Cool down with some shaved ice at this local hot spot. Kids will love the vast variety of flavors to choose from, and you will too! From dreamsicle to butterscotch, Summer Snow has a little something for everyone to enjoy in this phenomenal summer weather.

2. La Real Michoacana

This hidden gem is of Tuscaloosa’s best-kept secrets! La Real Michoacana has a wide variety of popsicles and is always working on new flavors! Try flavors like Key Lime Pie, or refreshing Peach. They also have chips and tamales if you are looking to snack on something a little more filling.

3. Steel City Pops

Get something fruity, creamy, or cookie-based, the choice is yours! All pops are gluten-free and made with natural ingredients. Steel City Pops rotates flavors based on the season, so you are guaranteed satisfaction with a light and refreshing treat that pairs perfectly with the toasty summer weather in Ttown!

4. Babes Doughnuts

This sweet spot has so many options to please the entire family! Babe’s doughnut flavors range from Fruity Pebbles to Maple Bacon. They also serve wraps, cold brew coffee, and signature lattes! If you’re avoiding lines, they are still taking orders over the phone. Give them a call and enjoy a delicious doughnut to kick start your day the right way.

CRAFTY/LEARNING ACTIVITIES

5. All Fired Up

This paint your own pottery studio in Tuscaloosa is the perfect place to spend some getting creative with your loved ones. If you’re not ready for a public outing, All Fired Up also has a wide variety of take-home pottery kits that includes a guide with tips and tricks to create the best final product. Whether you make a Dunder Mifflin Coffee mug or a set of 2 teardrop bud vases to decorate your home, All Fired Up has options to reflect any personality and style!

6. Children’s Hands-On Museum

The Children’s Hands-On Museum has something for every day of the week to make learning an interactive and enjoyable experience. Under new social distancing guidelines, CHOM has come up with CHOM at Home to keep your kiddo’s entertained and learning. Visit their website to see what interesting topics they have planned for this week and fun facts that will have the entire family entertained!

GET ACTIVE

7. Ice Cream Run Remote Run

Get rid of that cabin fever and get the whole family out for the Ice Cream Remote Run. This run Is taking place during the entire month of June and can be completed wherever you please, on your own time. This is the perfect opportunity to promote a healthy and active lifestyle and to create a bonding family group activity. What are you waiting for? Grab the whole family and head to the Riverwalk, UA campus, or visit one of the many trails Tuscaloosa has to offer. If that’s not enough, all participants will also receive a medal at the end of the month.

Tuscaloosa is slowly beginning the process of reopening its doors! Throughout the painfully long and rather bizarre weeks of quarantine, the city of Tuscaloosa has continued to show resilience through these trying times. Several retail and service businesses are back open at 50% capacity. Some hours will be altered, and safety precautions will slightly differ from place to place. Our local businesses are ecstatic to welcome you back and to safely begin interacting with you when the time is right.

 

Due to the fluidity of the situation, many businesses have new operating hours for the time being. It’s always a good idea to call ahead and double-check their hours and safety guidelines before driving directly there. You also have access to the business’s social media platforms to stay informed of all sanitary precautions, new business hours, and other adjustments that might need to be made due to the pandemic.

 

There are several restaurants opening back up that have been taking the necessary precautions to protect their employees and customers throughout these past several weeks. For example, Buffalo Phil’s is now open, just in time to kick off your weekend with some amazing wings. The staff has been working diligently to provide a safe space to serve their customers while abiding by social distancing guidelines. If you are looking to steer clear of the college crowd, Buddy’s Rib & Steak in Northport is now open at 50% capacity. Another excellent restaurant that has reopened its doors is Central Mesa! Check them out to try some of their new menu items, like the pan-seared salmon with Spanish rice (pictured).

 

Bars are also taking appropriate steps to slowly adjust to the new normal. Loosa, for instance, is not allowing customers to sit at the bar or move around tables. There is plenty of outdoor and indoor seating to provide a safe place to enjoy one of their 63 taps, packaged beers, and wines. If getting out to have a drink doesn’t appeal to you, that’s alright because Loosa still has fantastic to-go options. Black Warrior Brewery is enforcing similar guidelines as well. The bar service has been replaced by table service. Additionally, they are following all CDC and state guidelines to operate safely! If you are comfortable going out at this time, please wear a mask and respect social distancing guidelines.

 

If the restaurants, bars, and breweries aren’t calling your name just yet, there is plenty more to get into this Memorial Day weekend! We have some phenomenal places here in T-town where you can spend time with friends and family while enjoying the great outdoors. With Lake Tuscaloosa, Lake Nicol, Lake Harris, the Riverwalk, Snow Hinton Park, and Capitol Park, just to name a few, you have no excuse to binge-watch your weekend away.

 

This is the light at the end of the tunnel for the community of Tuscaloosa as we begin to navigate our way through these unprecedented times. It is important to remember that each and every one of us are coping with COVID-19 in a different way. Respect how others are choosing to protect themselves and their loved ones. Ironically enough, social distancing is an opportunity for us to come together, while apart, and unite as a community.

The City of Tuscaloosa has been very proactive to protect the community against the threat of COVID-19. While traveling may be on hold for some, our residents have the perfect opportunity for a staycation! SEC opening weekend for UA baseball has been canceled, but there are still plenty of other things to do this weekend for a Tuscaloosa staycation!

 

Friday 3/13

Don’t let Friday the 13th get in your way of a good night! Rhythm and Brews is hosting cover band, ‘Get Sideways’ Friday night. Come rock out and get a little sideways! If you’re looking for something to do with the entire family, Victory Blessing Christain Center is hosting Family Fun Night at 6:30 p.m. Come out and enjoy food, board games, and fellowship.

 

Saturday 3/14

It’s Pi Day and you don’t have to be a math wiz to take advantage of sweet deals. All Fired Up is a paint pottery studio that is fun for all ages. Get creative, and a free slice of pie while supplies last when you spend $20 or more.

 

Sunday 3/15

Drop into All Fired Up anytime from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday to create an Easter clay imprint. Imprints are $18 and for children 3 and under.UA students are officially on spring break, take advantage of the stillness of the city and take back your favorite restaurants. Visit Buffalo Phil’s on Sunday, where you can get a $2 mimosa, $3 bloody mary, $3 champagne, or $5.50 Philibuster.