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.
Interview with the One and Only: Courtney Poist – 2017 Nationals Cacchione Cup Qualifier
Favorite One and Only Restaurant: Chucks Fish
Favorite One and Only Attraction: Lake Tuscaloosa
The University of Alabama is home an incredible football team, but they aren’t the only students that are championship bound this year. Courtney Poist, a 21-year-old Tuscaloosa native is competing in the 2017 Nationals Cacchione Cup today and representing the University of Alabama Equestrian Team. Courtney first got her start in Equestrian 15 years ago. Jumping from softball to basketball to gymnastics among others, she seemed to find equestrian by accident. After riding a pony at one of her friend’s birthday parties she fell in love. Her mom then took her to a farm for her first lesson. She said that “Ironically my coach now, Ashley Morrison, was the first person that got me started in this sport. When I was only 6 years old, Ashley taught me my first lesson at her farm, Westminster. Ever since then, Ashley has been my trainer, mentor, and now collegiate coach.” It seems to be working just fine for her as now she’s on one of the biggest collegiate stages for her sport! When Courtney was growing up she was quite the athlete.
The University of Alabama’s Equestrian Team has 16 horses that the athletes train on during the season. These horses are donated, leased or owned by the university. Of course, Courtney has a favorite and his name is Big. A “15-year-old, 17.2 hand bay Hanoverian gelding that was actually donated by the Auburn University’s Equestrian program.” If she has the choice, he’s her go-to pick because of his extreme athleticism, smartness, and response that allows for performing the more technical movements. The facility the University leases is located on Culver Road right past Stillman College. The University’s program has nearly doubled in size in the past two years. An incredible 80 students tried out for 30 spots which has made the program very competitive to get into compared to previous years.
I asked Courtney about a day in the life of training and it was actually quite extensive! Each practice (which is 2-3 times a week) the riders are responsible for cleaning their horses and tacking them up for their ride. This entails grooming, splinting or wrapping the horse’s legs, and putting on all tack. Courtney said, “Since a horse is basically considered an athlete too, they require optimal care and preparation for practice to reduce the risk of injury.” After prep, the riders walk the horse to the ring where their coach, Ashley Morrison, will run them through strengthening exercises (riding without stirrups), balance exercises (riding without hands or without vision), and flat and jumping exercises. After an hour to an hour and a half, practice is over, but the work is not. After dismount, “we are responsible for cooling down our houses, un-tacking, bathing and putting them back out to pasture.” Courtney said that the entire process takes about two and a half hours from start to finish.
The most common statement she gets when people come to watch them ride is “All you do is sit on the horse and tell it to go.” But in reality, equestrian is a much more complex sport. Each rider must create a bond with the horse, have proper aids, balance, and strength to keep the horse going. In addition to this, the rider must make all of their moves look effortless. She then said, “So yes, if it looks like we aren’t doing anything, then we are doing it right!” To make it even harder, when riders compete they do not get to bring their own horses. At every meet, the teams are given a brief description of each horse and are allowed to watch them warm up before the competition. Once you mount the horse you draw, you must go immediately into the ring to compete!
With the motto “Attitude is everything”, Courtney will ride fearlessly into the National Cacchione Cup with her coach. Since her coach has been her trainer since day one, Courtney says “It’s safe to say that I am very close to my coach and couldn’t be happier to have her standing by my side at (Intercollegiate Horse Show Association) Nationals.” It’s hard to believe that a University team is competing on the national level without much press, but hopefully, with the help of Tuscaloosa’s One and Only Courtney Poist, The University of Alabama’s Equestrian Team will soon have their day in the sun.
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
Because Easter is a favorite when it comes to family holidays, this Easter weekend in Tuscaloosa is packed with great things to do for the whole family!
Start your weekend tonight downtown at the Green Bar. For only $5 you can enjoy the Soul Mechanics, a unique funk band with an amazing sound that rocks stages all over the southeast! And don’t forget about Green Bar’s amazing drinks! With great cocktails and craft beer, there’s something for everyone here!
The weekend itself is packed with a ton of cultural highlights for young and old! Friday holds two amazing activities for history fans: “Remembering the Great War” is a panel including UA history professors speaking about different aspects of World War I, e.g. the American involvement in the conflict and many others. Free and open to the public, it starts at 4 pm at the 205 Gorgas Library. Or visit the History Workshop at 251 ten Hoor Hall at 3 pm and learn about works of graduate students including the Spanish-American War and others!
Kids love Easter and they will love this Friday’s event as well! Take them to Tuscaloosa Children’s Hands-On Museum and let them join the great Easter egg hunt! From 5 to 7 pm the little ones can search for over 1000 eggs, indoor and with provided bunny bags! The hunt begins at 6 pm sharp – don’t be late!
Saturday has a perfect early bird activity: The Farmer’s Market at the Rivermarket! Opening at 7 am, it provides fresh fruit, vegetables, grain and more! Accompanied by lovely live music you can stroll through the market, or grab some freshly brewed iced tea to cool off. Local food vendors like bakeries and others also offer a nice range of snacks. The Farmer’s market is the perfect place to kick off a relaxed Saturday or to buy the ingredients for your Easter meal!
Let down this fantastic weekend at a thrilling University of Alabama Women’s Tennis match! Watch the Crimson Tide fight this season’s last match against the Missouri Tigers this Sunday at 1 pm. Admission to Alabama Women’s Tennis is always free! So come out and support Seniors Erin Routliffe, Joanna Savva, and Danielle Spielmann in their final home action of the season! Roll Tide!
Also, check out our blog about the Top 5 Places to have Easter Brunch on Sunday!
Written By: Katharina Horvath – Intern
The University of Alabama’s Million Dollar Band has been thrilling spectators for years! Starting way back in 1912 with just 14 members, it’s incredible to think that they have grown to 400 strong in just a short 104 years! Every time there’s a game at Bryant-Denny Stadium, they swarm the field from all four corners of the stadium before helping the crowd erupt in “Yay Alabama” as they march down the field. At halftime, they play everything from jazz to modern pop, and even bust out the dance moves in front of millions of fans each year!
Not only does the Million Dollar Band perform on Tuscaloosa Saturdays, but they often will travel with the football team across the country. Because of this, they have become known as the most televised college band in history! It’s easy to say that Saturdays wouldn’t be the same without the one and only Million Dollar Band. From songs like Basket Case to a rousing rendition Rammer Jammer, they are a #FallLoosa staple that you can expect to see or hear anytime you’re around campus on a game day weekend!