Meet Chip Reed, award winning Chef, writer & cooking show host and recently named General Manager of Bill-E’s Restaurant.
Many noticeable changes have been made in the last six months to Bill-E’s, the iconic roadside attraction, known fondly as ‘Old 27 Grill’, on Hwy 181 and Windmill Rd in Fairhope. The internationally recognized Bill-E’s Small Batch Bacon has gained a cult following to the point that its creator and producer, William “Bill-E” Stitt, decided to rebrand his restaurant to showcase the highly acclaimed bacon. “Hungry for a good time? I opened my restaurant (some call it a dive, but whatever) back in 2011 for two reasons. I wanted the good people of Fairhope, Alabama to have a no-frills place where they could kick back and enjoy an afternoon or evening of live music, lively conversation, and killer grub. Also, I needed a place to smoke and serenade my delicious bacon. Located on Highway 181—formerly Highway 27, hence my original name, Old 27 Grill—Bill-E’s is where locals and vacationers alike come to throw their cares and their diets to the wind. I welcome you to do the same.” Bill E
After a full menu rewrite, new signage, even increased power supply, Stitt looked to add an operator that could bring it all together to grow his brand and deliver great service to his hungry guests.
Chef Chip Reed and Stitt met in 2016 at the Orange Beach World Food Championships. Chef Reed was managing one of the world’s largest food trucks for country singer, Zac Brown. “I immediately became a fan of Bill-E’s Small Batch Bacon. It was absolutely the cleanest, best tasting bacon I’d ever experienced,” says Reed. Once they began talking, Chip & William discovered that, although a few years apart, they both had begun their restaurant careers in Oxford Mississippi. Stitt studied Hospitality Management, whereas Reed was in the Southern Studies program. After Ole Miss Chip went to Miami and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Johnson & Wales University. From there, he cooked around Italy, South America & The South before settling in Savannah, GA. While in Savannah, Chef Reed built a successful local produce distribution house & a boutique seafood company. With a continued emphasis on promoting local foodways, Chip received the Flavor of Georgia award in 2010. Following that recognition, he continues to develop Southern brands and takes them to the national market. Most recently, Chef has been featured on the cover of Southern Flavor magazine. He is also the host of “The Dirty Dish”, a cooking show currently being filmed in Baldwin County. Chef Reed is also a World Food Championship & Culinary Fight Club Judge.
Bill-E’s fabulous fare starts out featuring “Big Little Bites” such as smoked tuna dip, pimento cheese, boiled peanuts, fried green beans, a bacon taster and a pork belly bite trio in addition to chicken wings and tenders. It moves on to boast of shrimp gumbo, chili, a Comeback Salad and a grilled Wedge Salad.
All of Bill-E’s burgers are served with lettuce, tomato and caramelized onions with your choice of house-made chips or rough cut fries. The Burgers include the Old 27 Burger served with dill pickle and Comeback sauce, a Black and Blue Burger, Bill-E’s Signature Holy Cow burger, Ole Texas Burger, Mushroom Burger, a Blended Burger (pork belly and Certified Angus Beef) which is topped with a soft fried egg, a Waygu Burger and even a Veggie Burger.
Their sandwiches have all the bases covered. The Dixie Chic Sandwich features their house made Pimento cheese, Bill-E’s bacon goes on the BLT and proceeds to go a bit thicker with his Pork Belly Sandwich. The Comeback Sandwich comes in chicken or shrimp and you can get a fish sandwich either blackened or fried!
If you need a sweet treat, try their Hot Chocolate & Caramel Brownie served with ice cream, one of their seasonal fruit pies or Bill-E’s Chocolate Belly – sweet & salted caramel pork belly bites covered with a bourbon brown sugar glaze topped with a smoked cherry.
There’s a lot going on at Bill-E’s and we haven’t even addressed the beer and libations at the bar. You can check those out for yourself! Bill-E’s is open daily and you can check out their music schedule in The Eat Beat or online at www.eat-beat.com