Rae’s Kitchen now offers a variety of tasty and convenient “Naturally Strong” nutrition

JessNoniePersistence is just part of Nonie Taul’s personality. When this mom’s oldest child, Annie started complaining of frequent stomach aches, Nonie did what any mom would do. After several doctors visits and a noticeable weight loss, Taul’s daughter was referred to a gastroenterologist. Annie was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, an autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten can lead to the damage in the small intestine. The dietary changes that took place in the Taul household were also adopted by Nonie. After the omission of all things gluten, Nonie began to notice how much better she felt.

Nonie has always led an active lifestyle, from youth sports  through her college years as a dance major. She is a certified yoga, pilates and group fitness instructor. As Nonie’s students became inquisitive about her personal diet and nutrition she started a Facebook Page as a support site. As her followers grew in number, so did her passion to help others with their quest for better health through diet and exercise. In 2015 she started her business, Naturally Strong Nonie. She teaches classes that are designed to help women look and feel great in addition to providing meal plans and even grocery lists to help with meal preparation. Taul has also taken it a step further by visiting and inquiring with local restaurant owners about menu items that fall in line with the nutrition plan she promotes. Healthy choices are most certainly available when dining out and can be found “Nonie Approved” at Moe’s Southwestern, The Ox Kitchen, Sage, Two Sisters Bakery & Deli and Locals.

When 2018 rolled around, Taul’s persistence again came into play with the gals at Rae’s Kitchen. She had approached Jessica Guthrie and Nancy Dupree about preparing some of her healthy recipes that would be easy to grab and go. After the Christmas Holiday season Guthrie agreed to give it a try. The response has been amazing and the kitchen’s
business has increased such that they had to hire friends to help out a couple of days a week just to keep up with the demand for the “Naturally Strong/Nonie Approved” items that occupy the cooler shelves. “We have moms that come and stock up for themselves and also grab a different dinner casserole for the husband and kids” says Guthrie, “It’s a win – win!” Some of the current healthy choices endorsed by Nonie and prepared by Rae’s Kitchen include an extremely popular Egg Roll Bowl, an Edamame Quinoa Salad, Chicken Lettuce Wrap Stuffing, a GLOW (gluten free, low carb, organic) Bowl, a Green Quinoa Bowl, Cauliflower Detox Salad, Vegetable Detox Soup and a Turkey Sausage & Cabbage Soup. The offerings vary and are seasonal but there are typically approximately ten different choices available at all times.

For more information on Nonie Taul and the services she offers visit her website at www.naturallystrongnonie.com or visit her Facebook Page “Naturally Strong Nonie”.  To get a taste of what Taul is advocating (and more) visit Rae’s Kitchen at 460 N. Section Street, Fairhope (251) 210-6135 www.raeskitchenandcatering.com • Facebook “Rae’s Kitchen”




Long time friends reunite sparking culinary creativity in the kitchen at Fairhope’s Camellia Cafe

ChrisRyanWebPicIt’s been over twenty years since this duo worked together near the beginning of both of their culinary journeys. Ryan Glass met Chris Litts during his final stage of training after culinary school. Glass did his externship under Litts at the Martini House in St. Helena, Napa County, California.
Before the upstate New York native arrived at the Martini House, he served as the Executive Sous Chef for the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley.
Litts left the Martini House to partner with three others to open Kitchen Door where he is still a partner. After numerous invitations from Glass to come to South Alabama and the need for a change of pace, Litts finally landed on the Eastern Shore last July.
The long time friends picked up where they left off and are back together again in the kitchen at Camellia Cafe. Chris and Ryan have revamped the menu at Camellia Cafe and now offer three to four nightly specials.
They have an incredible line up of appetizers that include truffle fries, smoked salmon bruschetta, a wagyu beef carpaccio, grilled artichoke and a crispy Georgia quail. Some of the regular entrees feature hickory grilled fish, filet of beef, pan roasted duck a Kobe
beef burger. There are also an assortment of other dishes that together showcase a variety of proteins accompanied by complementary sides in an elegant presentation.
Handcrafted cocktails and martinis in addition to the exclusive wine list, pair perfectly with the menu that the cafe presents. All of their desserts are house made and go hand in hand with a French pressed coffee to finish off an incredible experience.
Camellia Cafe is open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner service. Reservations are recommended.
Camellia Cafe • 61 Section Street, Fairhope (251) 928-4321

Daphne’s Southwood Kitchen presents upscale cuisine in an approachable atmosphere

IMG_6615Chef Jeremiah Matthews’ education, culinary travels and experiences have allowed him to cultivate the kind of food experience that he not only shares with his customers but also with his entire staff. The creativity that flows through his kitchen embraces a philosophy of continuing education, ingredient appreciation and a never ending quest of progression.
Early last year, Matthews was presented with the opportunity to build a legacy of his own. It was an offer that he couldn’t pass up and the timing was right. He opened his restaurant, Southwood Kitchen, in August of 2017.
His back of the house team includes his son, Noah Matthews and Sous Chef Tyler Ales, both who are well seasoned and industry trained. General Manager, Steven Hall and Bar Manager, Robbie Dozier engage with customers front of the house with a professional hospitality, well stocked bar and a wine list that is constantly evolving.
Although there are no white tablecloths, that doesn’t mean the food is undeserving. Matthews strives for upscale cuisine in an unpretentious atmosphere. Fresh, local ingredients are used – seasonal vegetables, fresh fish, hand ground beef, hand cut fries, house made salad dressings and even pickles.
The menu descriptions share credit with the farms and purveyors of the ingredients allowing  the diner to recognize quality and appreciate the communities they represent.
The lunch menu is more constant but the dinner menu changes daily based on what Chef Matthews is able to procure.
Snacks/Starters are known to include buttermilk onion straws, hot crab dip, pimento cheese with house made pork rinds, fresh soup, oysters and pork belly. Salads are made of local greens, tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, in addition to other seasonal items. Seafood/Fish entrees come from local gulf waters in addition to other fresh catches from
around the world. There are a variety of tenderloins, filets and high end beef cuts that fall into the meat category.
Southwood Kitchen is open for lunch Monday through Saturday from 11am until 3pm with dinner service beginning at 5pm. Reservations have recently become an option for guests. Although they are accepted, they are not mandatory to enjoy a delightful dining experience.
Southwood Kitchen •  1203 US Highway 98, Suite 3D, Daphne • (251) 626-6676
Facebook “Southwood Kitchen” •  www.southwoodkitchen.com

New Owners of Ed’s Seafood Shed will continue the tradition of fun Southern Classics


Ed and Barbara Bridges created a loyal customer base during the seventeen years they owned Ed’s Seafood Shed on the Causeway. With no prior restaurant experience, the rookie restaurateurs did an incredible job serving their family recipes cooked the ‘Old Mobile’way.
This past October the Bridges were able to comfortably pass the torch to a group of new owners. They know that the business is in good hands and have been assured that what they built will always have a an “Ed” in it.
Pete Blohme, Nick Dimario and Robert Kabakoff partnered to refresh and relaunch the restaurant and offer their customers Southern coastal classics. Gumbo, fried oysters, fried gulf shrimp, a variety of fish, scallops, crab claws,  turnip greens, garlic cheese grits and the famous cole slaw with crackers are just some of what Ed’s Shed has offered and will continue to offer. They are dedicated to improve and enhance without changing what Ed’s is all about.
The gorgeous view of Mobile Bay could not be improved upon but some of the building’s features have. The spacious back patios have been redecked and freshly painted, new windows and state of the art heaters have been installed. An outdoor kid’s zone is in the works and lots of great live music is being scheduled.
Neal Hollingshead is the General Manager of Ed’s Seafood Shed and preceeded the purchase of the business. His commitment and dedication to this location and the industry is just one of the reasons that the PP Restaurant Group successful.  The passion that this group of guys displays is more than evident, not only in words but in actions
“Everything that Pete has talked about has happened” says Dimario “and more!”
The company’s brands (Panini Pete’s, Sunset Pointe and now Ed’s Shed) not only serve the public with great food they also share a commitment to develop and mentor their employees. “Food is a great way to make friends.” says Blohme, “Develop them, enhance their skills and launch them onto something that makes them better.”
In conjunction with helping others, the PP Group has created the PR Foundation. Through fundraisers, volunteer efforts and donations the foundation’s purpose is to do very special things for very special people giving back to individuals with special needs, Veterans of the Armed Forces, no kill animal shelters and other community causes.
Ed’s Seafood Shed • 3382 Battleship Parkway, Spanish Fort • (251) 625-1947
Facebook “Ed’s Seafood Shed” •  www.edsshed.com

Rootz – Fairhope’s new Nutrition Kitchen is giving people what they want and need

IMG_4335Tony Tkac is a medical professional who truly understands the process of disease. On a daily basis he specializes in emergency medicine and witnesses how diet and lifestyle contribute to one’s health. That along with his personal goals, spurred Tony’s desire to delve into the world of nutrition. All the research he did subsequently ignited his passion to not only further educate himself but others as well. His findings unveiled how food affects our bodies on a cellular level and that we as a people are basically nutrient starved.

Initially, Tkac began with the idea of a food truck but he knew he was going to need physical help with the day to day operation of such. With the help of Fairhope Fitness owner, Eddie Henry, Tony was connected with Ms. Sofia Fly and that set the wheels in motion for what is now in place.

Sofia grew up in this area and started cooking as a child when her Guatemalan mother presented her with a microwave cookbook. She perfected her egg making skills, then moved on to fudge and taffy in her own “kid kitchen”. Her first paying gig included learning how to roll sushi at Doug Kerr’s Dragonfly Cafe. “He really opened my eyes to a lot of cool culinary skills” says Fly. Sofia moved to Birmingham and was able to get her foot in the door with Frank Stitt at Chez Fonfon where she worked for five years. As an employee, she had access to his other restaurants, Highlands Bar & Grill and Botega. She immersed herself in learning French cuisine and enjoyed recreating dishes at home that incorporated her own touch. Sofia lived and worked on and off in Birmingham for thirteen years which included time spent learning Thai cuisine from Nepali owners at Surin West and a two year stint in Hawaii. When Sofia started working for Whole Foods her interest and attitude about food and nutrition shifted. She has always wanted her own business. When she moved back to Fairhope, she started teaching cooking classes on an individual basis and by word of mouth became quite busy as a private instructor and chef.

As soon as Sofia and Tony met they became fast friends. For the past 18 months Tony has been physically building out the space and everything else for their concept, Rootz – Fresh Local Eats. Their recently opened Nutrition Kitchen in Fairhope has been designed to get people back to their roots. In addition to educating the public, these two individuals wish to provide the healthiest food in the most convenient manner.

Rootz uses local farms, sustainably grown produce and Sofia can accommodate any special dietary need. The foods and beverages contain no processed sugar and everything that is prepared contains ten ingredients or less.

The menu varies from week to week but Rootz offers a variety of prepared eggs, muffins, bowls, wraps, parfaits, burgers, salads and soups. Protein choices include fish, shrimp, grass finished beef, pasture raised chicken and pasture raised eggs. They also prepare
sides, sweets and snacks from the freshest ingredients possible. You can drink your nutrients with a variety of cold pressed juices, nut milks, Kombucha on tap, coffee, tea and flavored water.

The hours of operation are Monday and Tuesday, 7am until 5pm and Wednesday and Thursday, 9am until 7pm. Tony and Sofia invite you to open your mind and your stomach and join them in the quest to choose a healthier lifestyle for a better quality of life and longevity.

Rootz • 209 A South Section Street • Fairhope • (251) 270-7120
www.EatRootz.com • Facebook “Rootz”

Daphne Coffee House focuses on building community

SCC-Web-About-GroupPhoto.jpgTwo couples – same dream, the dream of one day opening a coffee shop. What ultimately brought the Lynne and Gabe Holloway and Mallory and Eric Friese together could best be described as divine intervention. Both husbands were at crossroads with their career futures. Gabe, an Associate Pastor, was contemplating ordination. Eric had a successful career with Hewlett Packard. When Eric quit his job and started volunteering at church, the couples discovered their commonalities. Now the these two families are not only accomplishing business goals but spiritual goals as well.

Soul Caffeine is just as serious about coffee as it is about building community. Their method is simple, its genuine and focused and caring. Their business is a vehicle to allow people to come together. They promote personal value and serve as a “third space” with their unique take on customer service and conversation. Soul Caffeine also serves as a non-denominational networking facility where organizations and churches can gather and be truly ecumenical, not just in word but in deed.

The comfortable set up and friendly staff is welcoming to all. Stay as long as you would like, write on their chalkboard walls, use their wi-fi, play the piano, bring the kids and let them play while you catch up with friends over coffee. Soul Caffeine offers a wide variety of reasonably priced, freshly roasted coffee including expresso, cold brew, french press, pour overs, frappes and their own signature coffee drinks. Non coffee options include tea, hot chocolate and smoothies. An assortment of pastries are also available.  All gratuities are donated to local ministries, mission organizations and non-profits that benefit and build community. Soul Caffeine Coffee House is open Monday through Saturday, 6am until 5pm. Soul Caffeine Coffee House, 2004 Highway 98, Set B, Daphne (251) 345-4156 • http://www.soulcaffeine.net • Facebook “Soul Caffeine”

Spanish Fort’s Beef ‘O’ Brady’s celebrates their new look with a Re-Grand Opening on May 28th

IMG_9229Not only is Beef ‘O’ Brady’s a Family Sports Bar, it is owned and operated by a local family, The Kesslers. Linda and Larry Kessler often frequented a Florida Beef ‘O’ Brady’s while raising their two sons. They really enjoyed the kid friendly atmosphere, sports focus and the fact that the company was vested in supporting local youth sports and various community events. Larry and sons, Nick and Joel, always talked about opening a restaurant and with such fond memories of the times they spent at “Beef’s” they decided to invest in their very own franchise. It was almost ten years ago when the first Beef ‘O’ Brady’s opened in Spanish Fort.
Recently the Kesslers completed an expansion and remodel of the restaurant that added 1,200 square feet to the existing 3,000 square feet. The enhancements include a private meeting area/party room, a bigger game room and an enlarged bar area. Twenty taps are now host to a variety of domestic, imports, craft beers and even some local ales from area breweries. There are 34 HD TVs for the best game time TV viewing on the Eastern Shore. On May 28th the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s team will celebrate with a Re-Grand Opening Celebration. Join them for all day specials, a bounce house for the kids and live music.
Beef’s expansive menu is sure to have something for everyone. Appetizers include savory shareables, flatbreads and dips. Award winning wings come in boneless or traditional with several different flavors and degrees of heat. Beef’s burgers are made from fresh Angus beef and cooked to order. Entrees include ribs, fajitas, fish, grilled shrimp and grilled chicken. Baskets can be host to a multitude of different tacos (steak, chicken or fish), fried shrimp, chicken tenders or beer-battered fish ‘n’ chips. Featured sandwiches are a Roast Beef Garlic Melt, Prime Rib Sandwich, California Turkey Melt, a Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, Philly Cheesesteak, a Reuben, a Cuban, Southern Fried Chicken Tender Sliders and their trademarked Watterson Sandwich. There is even a pizza menu that is available after 5pm, Monday through Friday. Kids ages 12 and younger have a nice selection from which to choose and there is even a Weekday Value Menu featuring a different entree at a special price Monday through Friday. Be sure to stop in and see what’s new! Open daily from 11am until 9pm, a and 11am until 10pm on Friday and Saturday.         Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, 6450 U.S. Highway 90, Spanish Fort  •  (251) 447-0660  •  Facebook “Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Spanish Fort”