Spanish Fort’s Fresh Healthy Cafe focuses on wholesome, good food that promotes optimal health

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Photography by Travon Gibbs

Everything that Nicole Shipman has encountered in her life has prepared her for this most recent journey that she has embarked upon.

This Georgia girl was born and raised in Atlanta. After graduating from college she taught kindergarten and married Jason Shipman. The newlyweds relocated to Dothan, Alabama where they started their family and lived for eight years. With a longing to be closer to water, the couple began researching potential places to call home. They found the Eastern Shore and after a weekend visit, were sold. “Everything about the area was attractive”, says Nicole, “it’s a little country and a little cutting edge.”
After their second child was born, Nicole began working out. She became a certified Zumba instructor and also a certified personal trainer. These accomplishments are what began preparing her for what was just around the corner.

After a family trip to California, Nicole personally witnessed the abundant amount of quick-casual, healthy dining options available on the west coast, She began investigating business opportunities related to healthy eating. She was in search of a proven business model that was small but yet customizable. On the “up and coming” list she discovered FRESH, a Canadian based company that appealed to her personal requirements concerning nutrition.

She chose to support the local business community by using other local business folks when it came to needed services. She also personalized the interior to reflect the characteristics of our area describing the feel as “Southern Coastal Industrial Chic”. After the 19 month process, Nicole, with the support of her family, were thrilled to share her passion with the public.

Fresh Healthy Cafe opened this October in Spanish Fort. The restaurant sources and serves the freshest, highest-quality ingredients they can procure. All menu items completely customizable and include paninis, wraps, salads, power and protein bowls and even seasonal specials. An extensive line of freshly squeezed juices and pure and super smoothies are also offered. Their menu is quite extensive and includes vegetarian, vegan, dairy and gluten free options. Proteins include chicken breast, turkey breast, un’chicken, tofu and hummus. There are no beef products on the menu nor will you find mayonnaise, ketchup or mustard. They will also do their best to accommodate individuals with food allergies. With the start of the new year you might want to consider “reFRESH” – a fresh juice program designed to reset eating habits, support the body’s natural detoxification and kick start a healthy diet. More details are available in-store. Catering, platters and big salads are available for parties and special events. Make
plans to stop by and experience Fresh and see what every ”body” has been missing!

Fresh Healthy Cafe • 10184 Eastern Shore Blvd.• Spanish Fort • (251) 444-7170
www.freshrestaurants.com
Facebook “Fresh Spanish Fort” • Instagram “FreshHealthyCafe”

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Southern Italy meets Lower Alabama at Spanish Fort’s La Dolce Vita Italian Bistro

BarrettThis is a tale of two Guisseppes who initially met years ago in Rome, Italy. Guisseppe Formica and Guisseppe Spadaccini were more recently reunited, strictly by coincidence, while they were both in New York.
In 2015, Spadaccini opened an Italian Restaurant in Downtown Miami that has since become incredibly popular. With an interest in expanding his footprint because of his success in Miami, Guisseppe Spadaccini suggested to his long time pal, Guisseppe Formica, that he spearhead the new location that was chosen and slated to open in Spanish Fort, Alabama. He agreed and around this same time last year, a former restaurant space in Spanish Fort’s Eastern Shore Centre was transformed into La Dolce Vita Italian Bistro.
Barrett Thompson, a Mobile native, joined the family not long after the restaurant opened as a server and has since moved into management.
This authentic offering of classic Italian dishes is a celebration of many regions in Italy. Homemade pasta is featured in classic dishes such as spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine, gnocchi, ravioli, lasagna and risotto. There is a variety of antipasto/appetizer and salads that are offered. You may also order a piccata, marsala, cacciatore or parmigiana with your choice of chicken or veal. Their gourmet pizzas are a popular choice and several combinations are highlighted on the menu. You can also choose the “build your own” option and design one to your liking. Daily specials are offered and there is also a
childrens menu. Top off your meal with dessert and coffee. They offer a homemade tiramisu and are equipped with an espresso machine and a staff that knows how to use it! A full bar is available with an expansive wine list that was compiled to compliment each and every menu item. La Dolce Vita is open daily for lunch and dinner. Take a break from Holiday shopping and treat yourself to some authentic Italian while you are out and about. Gift certificates are also a idea for the foodies on your list.

 

La Dolce Vita Italian Bistro • Eastern Shore Shopping Centre
30500 US Highway 181, Suite 710, Spanish Fort • (251) 929-9333
Facebook “La Dolce Vita – Spanish Fort” •  www.ladolcevitabistro.com

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Lartigue’s Seafood now available at Fairhope Piggly Wiggly

IMG_5940Lartigue has been a name synonymous with seafood in the Mobile/Baldwin Counties for almost 40 years. The family business started in Mobile in 1978 and nine years later put down roots in Baldwin County when a second location was opened in Gulf Shores. The west beach location eventually outgrew its original location and the business was moved to Orange Beach. In addition to selling seafood to the public, Roger Lartigue’s focus includes calling on retailers and restaurants in a wholesale capacity supplying businesses throughout the southeast, from Mississippi to Panama City, Florida and as far north as Nashville.
Lartigue prides himself in going straight to the sources – from the boats, to the docks and seafood houses and even seeking international outlets to expose customers to a variety of seafoods. His enthusiasm for the industry comes from being born and raised in the business and witnessing the evolution and the unexpected attrition that occurred after the Deepwater Horizon incident.
Years of relationships with family fishing and shrimping businesses have continue to fuel Lartigue’s passion for seafood and provided him with a recent opportunity to showcase his talents within a local Baldwin county grocery chain. Manning’s Piggly Wiggly approached Lartigue about operating a seafood market within their Fairhope
location. Roger and his staff on now on hand daily to offer their expertise and suggestions on an expansive offering of fresh seafood with plans to duplicate the seafood market in Manning’s other locations.
The cases and freezers at Lartigue’s Seafood Market are stocked with shrimp, royal reds, oysters, crabmeat, grouper, catfish, snapper, tilapia, pompano, salmon, sea scallops, sushi grade ahi tuna, poke cubes, suku blocks and so much more. Specialty items include gumbo, jalapeño stuffed peppers, crab pie, crawfish boudin, oyster dressing, seafood stuffed potatoes, etouffee, crabmeat stuffing, tuna dip, salmon dip and homemade cocktail sauce. They will also steam your seafood purchase with their original seasoning that is available in spicy or mild.
As a purveyor of international imports, Lartigue’s will continually be seeking and adding new and different products. Be sure to stop by and see what products are available for sample.

Lartigue’s Seafood Market • 100 Plantation Pointe Shopping Center, Fairhope
(251) 928-0239 • Facebook “Lartigue’s Seafood Market at The Pig”
www.myshrimpcompany.com

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El Camino Taco Shack arrives in Downtown Fairhope

AlissaAlissa Johnson has been in and exposed to the restaurant industry for the majority of her adult life. She and her husband Harry, opened Rosie’s Grill in 2010 as a joint venture. They enjoyed being part of the Daphne community for a number of years. The menu highlighted a few favorites from previous restaurants that are no longer in existence in
addition to paying homage to two, very special, long time employees.
Mama Rosie and her daughter Little Rosie infused their Mexican influence and created some of the dishes that carried over and were a favorite among patrons who dined at previous restaurants under Johnson ownership.
When a relocation opportunity presented itself, Alissa chose to take part of the Rosie’s menu (including the fish and shrimp tacos) and transition into what is now El Camino Taco Shack in Fairhope.
Fresh, simple and fun is the focus with an emphasis on authentic. Tacos, burritos, quesadillas, bowls and salads serve as a vehicle to feature proteins that include beef, chicken, barbacoa and chorizo.
They are enhanced by various combinations of street corn, pico, black beans, poblano rice, cilantro, chipotle and other related ingredients that Alissa refers to as “fresh Mex”
El Camino hosts a full bar that includes a variety of tequilas, Mexican beers and specialty margaritas in addition to the domestic beers and other libations.
The restaurant now occupies the dwelling that was formerly The Gumbo Shack, which was part of Fairhope’s restaurant scene for many years. This was a popular spot for a crawfish throw down during the ever popular season and still will be according to Johnson.
El Camino Taco Shack is a little off the beaten path but yet still right in the middle of it all providing a great family atmosphere with inside and outside seating.
Alissa and her staff are looking forward to being a part of all the upcoming events for which Downtown Fairhope is known.
Join them for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Happy Hour is Monday through Friday from 4pm until 6pm with daily specials in addition to live music every Friday evening.
El Camino Taco Shack • 212 Fairhope Ave, Downtown Fairhope • (251) 928-8108
Facebook “El Camino Taco Shack” • www.elcaminotacoshack.com

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Joy and David Davis vow to sustain the legacy of Ms. D and her Belforest restaurant

MsDSonny Davis laid the foundation and erected the building in which his wife, Diane built not only a business but her legacy. In 1970, Ms. D opened the doors to the public as a bar. She enjoyed providing the locals with a gathering place to relax and unwind after a long day. She started making pizzas for her patrons and before she knew it, the word was out. Her “Southern Italian style pizzas” were in such demand she had to recruit friends to help fulfill all the orders that were coming in. Her pizzas were sold and delivered to businesses and individuals from the Causeway to North Baldwin to Gulf Shores. It was not uncommon for Ms. D and her crew to pump out 200-300 ready-to-bake pizzas before the bar opened at 10am.
Diane’s focus eventually shifted. Her desire was to expand her food business and prepare more than pizza. A full kitchen menu was introduced bringing folks to her tables to enjoy, not only pizza, but burgers, crab claws, shrimp loafs, hot dogs and even fried bologna sandwiches!
This past August, after a brief illness Ms. D passed away. The restaurant was her baby and she made it clear that her wish was to “keep the business going”. Her son and daughter-in-law, David and Joy Davis inherited Ms. D’s Restaurant and they are now in charge of the day to day operations and honoring Diane’s wish to continue the enterprise. They have been humbled by the support of the community, loyal customers and wonderful employees who have stood by them during such a difficult time. The
legacy of Ms. D will continue through those who knew and loved her. They look forward to sharing her place with the public for many years to come.
There is something for everyone on the menu. Appetizers, salads, chicken wings and tenders, burgers, BLTs, chicken sandwiches and seafood – shrimp, oyster or fish loaf/po-boy and even a crab burger. And don’t forget about the pizzas and the full bar!
The Davises are most excited to announce to the public that Ms. D’s Restaurant is now officially smoke free. You can bring the kids and enjoy a great meal and on weekends, live, local entertainment. (There will be a outdoor deck added soon to accommodate those who wish to smoke or just to enjoy the outdoors.) Ms. D’s Restaurant opens Monday
through Saturday at 10am. Lunch is served from 11am until 2pm and on Friday and Saturday evenings dinner is served from 6pm-10pm.
Ms. D’s Restaurant • 25714 Highway 181, Daphne/Belforest • (251) 626-9918
Facebook “Ms. D’s Restaurant”

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Bay House Bistro’s Chef Karadimos describes himself as “a little Greek, a little Chesapeake”

BrianKphotoWhen Chef Brian Karadimos began his career path and he enrolled in culinary school and started out in the kitchen at Olive Garden. He decided to be in the top one percent in his profession, so he approached his culinary teachers and inquired about finding a Chef mentor. This is how Karadimos encountered Chef Christopher Hastings.
Chef Hastings owned and operated Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Alabama. Chef Hastings took Brian under his wing and trained him as a father would a son. Karadimos would come to retain the position of Sous Chef at the age of 20. Karadimos left the Hot and Hot to join the team at Chez Fonfon owned by Chef Frank Stitt. He learned many things from Chef Stitt pertaining to technique of preparing food.
Chef Karadimos made the decision to get back to his roots and move back to Baltimore Maryland, where he was born and lived until he was fourteen. While there, Brian worked as the Executive Chef at The Black Olive, which was a Greek restaurant that focused on the tradition of cooking in the most simplistic way while using the finest ingredients.
After this, Chef Karadimos was looking more to find the philosophy of food as an art rather than a technique. This led him to Chef Chris Dupont and Café Dupont. Chef Dupont led by example and showed him how it was just as important to be a good man as it was to be a chef.
There he also learned the “art” of cooking. Since moving to Fairhope in 2006, Brian spent time as chef of Camp Beckwith and working with great teams in local fine dining restaurants as well as guest cheffing.
Most recently, Brian was approached by local investors who have remodeled a quaint cottage on Mobile Street with an incredible view of the bay. This new culinary endeavor is the blending of two families that love to eat and the desire to give that experience to the community. Fairhope’s newest addition to the dining scene is Bay House Bistro.
Chef Karadimos labels himself as “a little Greek, a little Chesapeake”. He enjoys blending cuisines from different countries with a Mediterranean flair. Brian works with his wife, Lenore, who contributes her talents as a pastry chef to the operation. They share seven children who have all helped in making the family dream possible.
Bay House Bistro’s lunch menu currently features gumbo, a dip platter, a variety of salads and solid sandwiches (crab cake, burger, gyro, shrimp po-boy). Lunch entrees include shrimp & grits and a duck & andouille etouffee in addition to a vegetable plate.
Dinners entrees offered are fresh gulf fish, a pan seared filet, braised lamb shank, shrimp creole and a vegetable plate. Chef Brian supports local vendors and the menus will always be reflective of seasonal ingredients.
Sundays are for Brunching! The brunch menu ranges from brioche french toast to an omelette to their own version of a crab cake benedict. There is a grilled filet and grit cake as well as shrimp & grits, a bay house burger and a gyro.
Lunch is served Wednesday through Saturday from 11am until 2pm, Dinner is Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30pm until 9pm and you can enjoy brunch on Sunday from 10:30am until 2pm. There is a fabulous wine list to choose from and you can be seated
indoor or out.
Bay House Bistro • 151 South Mobile Street, Fairhope • (251) 978-2125
Facebook “Bay House Bistro”

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Tee up for fun at Fairways Indoor Golf Club in Spanish Fort

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What started out as fun and games in the garage turned in to a viable business model for Kirsten and Mike and Lautenslager, owners of Fairways Indoor Golf Club in Spanish Fort.
Their feasibility study spurred a business plan which lead to funding and ultimately a site search. The demographics led them in the direction of Baldwin County and an Eastern Shore location with close proximity to the interstate. Fairways Indoor Golf Club opened its doors to the public in January of 2016 and is the only indoor golf facility in the Mobile/Baldwin County area.

Fairways houses high end golf simulators with 15 foot high definition screens. Each bay has a four camera system that sees launch angle, ball speed, deviation left and right and also takes a picture of the club at moment of impact. There are over 100 different courses along with practice driving and chipping applications and mini games. Real clubs and actual balls are used and up to eight people can play per simulator. Whether you are looking to try you hand at the sport, improve your game or some competitive fun with friends the facilities at Fairways can accommodate. You are welcome to bring your own clubs or you can rent a set for a nominal fee.

Fairways is a great venue for corporate or private events, birthday parties or even date night. If you don’t want to hit the links without drinks, that is not a problem. There is a full service bar with a large selection of craft and domestic beers, wine and a variety of spirits. Happy Hour is Monday through Saturday from 4pm until 7pm with $1 off beer, $5
pitchers, $4 well drinks and $2 off wine. They are not currently offering food but you are welcome to bring your own or have some delivered.

Fairways is always offering specials so make sure you like their Facebook page to keep up with the latest incentives. Every Wednesdays ladies play free from 6pm until 9pm. Sundays are 18 holes for $18 with $4 Bloody Marys and their newest special is offered on Monday – play 9 holes for $10 all day on Monday. There are also fun range games for younger players. Fairways opens at noon 6 days a week (closed on Tuesdays). Make plans to “swing” by and check them out!

Fairways Indoor Golf Club • 25000 Bass Pro Dr, St 104, Spanish Fort • (251) 621-5277 www.fairwaysindoorgolfclub.com • Facebook “Fairways Indoor Golf Club”

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