Bill E’s Small Batch Bacon – serenaded locally, savored globally

IMG_4686William Bill E. Stitt’s passion for bacon began as an assignment in a college speech class where he had to develop a business model for a product. He narrowed it down to bourbon, bloody marys or bacon. Spending his career in the food and beverage industry those same interests grew over the years. Bill E. has done extensive research on bacon and the bacon making process. He has tasted every kind of bacon imaginable. Not being able to find a product that especially wowed him, he started making his own.
Finding the right breed of pig took awhile, and he tinkered with his recipe for over three years, trying out different curing methods and timing the smoking process to perfection.
His recipe was introduced to customers through the menu offerings at Stitt’s restaurant, Old 27 Grill. The demand caused him to have to produce more and more and pretty soon other local chefs and restaurants were incorporating the bacon on their menus. Bill E. started marketing his product to grocery stores and markets in the area and with the help of Lewis Communications launched the Bill E. Small Batch Bacon website last December. His participation in the World Food Championship Event in Orange Beach last November exposed his bacon brand sparking media coverage from a variety of outlets.
Scott Gold, a national bacon critic even ranked Stitt’s product in the top three of all bacons in North America. Because of the location of the smokers and their proximity to the entertainment stage, the product is exposed to the sounds of local musical talent during the eight day curing process. That gives Bill E’s bacon that added extra special flair and definitely something to brag about.
Old 27 Grill’s newly revised menu now includes more of his signature product in the restaurant’s offerings. Some of the notables are a Pork Belly Trio (pork belly bites), Bill-E’s Pork Belly Blended burger, the Meatball Sub, the Pork Belly Sandwich, Bill-E’s Bloody Mary and of course Bill-E’s BLT.
Along with Bill E’s bacon, Stitt also supports other delicious local products such as Cammie’s Old Dutch Ice Cream, Fairhope Brewing Company beers, Key’s Southern Spice, Fairhope Tire Company’s grits, LL’s Tuna Dip, Monroe Sausage and Wickles pickles. Open daily for lunch and dinner, Old 27 Grill’s eclectic and laid back atmosphere features open air and inside dining. It is also a great place to gather for drinks and regularly scheduled live music. As we gear up for football season in the deep South, keep them in mind for catering, party platters and an upcoming home/business delivery service.
Old 27 Grill & Bill E’s Bacon, 19222 Highway 181, Fairhope • (251) 281-2663 • Facebook “Old 27 Grill” •

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Daphne Dream Dinners help families nourish and nurture with great ease, variety and affordability

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Heather Chopin was initially introduced to Dream Dinners in Mobile when a friend invited her to attend a session. She immediately fell in love with the concept and after six months of being a customer, Heather decided that she needed a job with Dream Dinners of Mobile. The company’s founding mission of bringing families together around the dinner table was something that definitely resonated with Heather. She fondly remembers growing up with her family around the dinner table and realizes the importance and the need to promote that in today’s fast paced society.
It wasn’t long before she started researching franchise opportunities with Dream Dinners.  Circumstances presented themselves that provided a space for an Eastern Shore location. Heather presented the idea to her partner and got the green light. After spending three weeks at the corporate headquarters in Snowhomish, Washington, Heather and her managers, Michelle Starling and Stephanie Stringer went to work
getting everything in place for the Daphne location.
As a Dream Dinners customer, each month you choose your meals (online or in store) from a monthly menu and select a date and time to come into the store to assemble your meals. There is an attentive staff that who handles everything involved in the meal creation process. They take care of all the shopping, chopping and prep work so you can focus on assembling the meals you have chosen. Plus they take care of all the clean up! In about an hour you can easily customize a month of dinners based on your family’s tastes.
The menu offerings change each month and include grill options, heart healthy choices and meals you can bake from frozen. Side dishes and desserts are also available to complete your meal. At the end of your session you will leave with a month of meals that you will store in your freezer. Each week just thaw the meals you would like to eat and cook as directed. It’s a fabulous way to solve the “What do you want for dinner” dilemma.
If you don’t care to assemble your own meals you can have them made for you with a service fee. You can also share the fun and camaraderie of the Dream Dinners experience with your friends. Groups of 10 to 12 may reserve a private session at no extra charge. You’ll have full access to the store for a full 2 hours just for you and your invitees. If you don’t necessarily want to sponsor a group gathering, there is a “Bring a Friend” option as well.
Dream Dinners of Daphne welcomes you to pop in and see for yourself. They are hosting a tasting event on Wednesday, July 26th from 6pm until 8pm where you can prepare 3, three serving meals for just $34.99. To sign up visit and use the password: Taste – or for more information give them a call.

Dream Dinners Daphne • 1539 US Highway 98, Suite 302 • Daphne (251) 336-1673 • Facebook “Dream Dinners Daphne”

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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 • Facebook “Rootz”

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Two great tastes now under one roof

IMG_4034Jessie Patterson and his family have been fans of Fairhope’s oldest pizza restaurant since the establishment occupied it’s location at the corner of Fairhope Avenue and Church Street. The business was relocated to the 420 Fairhope Avenue several years ago and in January of 2016 Patterson purchased the operation from the Nicholsons. He was a year into a three year lease when he learned that he would have to relocate because the building had been purchased.
Patterson began looking at options in Downtown Fairhope and discovered that there weren’t many. After researching businesses that were on the market, he discovered that Old Bay Steamer was for sale. He was able to negotiate a deal and in March, Jessie became the new owner of Old Bay Steamer. During that time, Papa’s Pizza was still operating on a month to month basis. The way things played out, Jessie was able to be fully trained with a solid staff in place before he merged the two businesses.
As of June 1st patrons are able to enjoy the offerings of Fairhope’s oldest seafood restaurant and Fairhope’s oldest pizza place and a full bar – all under one roof. The Old Bay Steamer appetizer menu in itself features dips – crab, smoked tuna and spinach/artichoke, steamed royal reds, crab claws, wings and even a duck quesadilla. Homemade gumbo and a variety of oysters are available in addition to All You Can Eat
Snowcrab and Steamed seafood dinners and platters. Burgers, poboys and wraps can be customized to your liking and include such options as angus beef, chicken breast, duck, turkey patty, tuna, shrimp, mahi and oysters.
Decadent homemade desserts include key lime pie, cheesecake, brownie a la mode and bread pudding.
A New York Style Pizza can be ordered whole or by the slice. There are a variety of crusts, including gluten free, in addition to a variety of toppings and the ever popular “famous people pizzas”. Other Italian inspired eats include calzones, stromboli, meatball sandwiches, chicken parmesan, lasagna and spaghetti.
All recipes from both restaurants have and will remain the same. Look for some seafood inspired pizzas and calzones to be introduced to a combined menu in the near future.
Along with a bar and inside seating there is an accommodating outside deck that would be great for a party or just enjoying a meal al fresco.
Old Bay Steamer, home of Papa’s Pizza is open daily from 11am until 9pm, 11am-10pm on weekends and Sundays from 12pm until 8pm.”

The Original Old Bay Steamer • 14 Church Street N, Fairhope • (251) 928-1714
Facebook “The Original Old Bay Steamer” or “Papa’s Pizza Fairhope”

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The Bean & Bistro reinvents itself within Fairhope Antique Mall

TDaysREVISEDTerri Days transitioned from years in the corporate food service industry to a calmer and personal atmosphere with the opening of her cozy coffee shop and eatery, The Bean & Bistro. For three years ago she served an array of coffees and smoothies in addition to breakfast and lunch. She also made a name for herself in the catering arena. From party trays to dinner parties, baby and bridal showers to wedding receptions, the opportunities began to steadily present themselves.  With the increasing demand came a need for more flexibility in Terri’s daily schedule. She closed the shop and started focusing on catering, special events and various other food related projects.

Memorie Martinez, who owns Southern Antiques and Accents was a business neighbor whose store front is adjacent to the original location of The Bean & Bistro. Earlier this year she contacted Days with the idea of having a food offering to compliment her antique mall. 

The ladies transformed some available space to accommodate kitchen equipment and made a new and different type of home for The Bean and Bistro. Customers of both businesses now have availability to the services that Days provides. Terri prepares weekly specials that can be pre-ordered for pick up. There is a cooler stocked with meals to go, casseroles, desserts (Yes, the Raspberry Bars are a staple) and other edibles in addition to beverages.

Weekly email notifications are sent out to let folks know what is on the menu for the week. You can request to be added to the list by emailing Orders can be place through email or by just giving her a call and she will have it ready for you.

Terri is also currently working to expand her business with a mobile unit – look details to come!

Because the business is located within the antique mall, pick up hours allow customers more flexibility. They are open 10am-6pm Monday through Saturday and 1pm-5pm on Sunday. The third Tuesday of every month is Ladies Night at Southern Antiques and Accents. There is a discount offered in addition to live music and complimentary food and beverages from The Bean and Bistro.

The Bean & Bistro @ Southern Antiques and Accents • 249 Greeno Rd South, Fairhope (251) 942-2365 • Facebook “The Bean & Bistro”

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Puglies showcases a different breed of Mexican Cuisine

Puglies Mexican CuisineJennifer Welch basically grew up in Mexico. She was born and raised in Eagle Pass, Texas but spent a lot of time in Piedras Negras, Mexico where some of her mother’s family lived. Cooking was an all day event. With the number of people that had to be fed, it was a continual process. Her grandmother, great grandmother and great aunt were Jennifer’s mentors who engrained a La Frontera style of Mexican cuisine and remain the inspiration for the food that she serves.
While attending Texas A&M, Jennifer met her husband. They moved to Fort Worth, Texas where they both worked for a drilling company. After years of working in a corporate environment, the couple decided it was time for a change. They had always talked about owning a food truck but were reluctant to enter the arena in the already saturated market in which they lived. Jennifer also has family that resides in the Baldwin County area. After reports of all the family friendly activities and festivals, in addition to the limited access to mobile food units in the gulf coast area, the couple decided to take a chance on an untapped market. Jennifer moved to Baldwin County in July of 2015. She started researching, networking and making contacts to put her plan in motion. Initially she was going to purchase an existing unit but soon discovered that she would have one built to her specifications. After procuring a commissary, fulfilling all health department require and learning a lot of lessons the hard way, she was ready to roll.  Puglies Mexican Cuisine made its first debut this past April.
The name for her business was inspired by her two pet pugs, Princess Sofia and Sydney Vicious. She wanted a name that didn’t limit her offerings and also wasn’t hard to pronounce. During a brainstorming session with her husband and cousin the name “Puglies” popped out of her mouth and then she just couldn’t get it out of her head. Once the graphic designer presented her with the logo the name was confirmed. The Puglies menu is always different but it focuses on the traditional Mexican food Jennifer grew up eating. There are always two types of tacos (featuring smoked meats) offered along with the Ugly Puglie sandwich, carnitas, nachos, quesadillas. They are dressed with lettuce, onion, tomatoes, queso fresco and homemade salsa. The Puglies trailer can be found at Fairhope Brewing Company every Wednesday and Friday evening starting at 5pm and Tuesdays they can be located at Seasons Consignments on US Highway 181. Be sure to follow their Facebook page for updates on  future locations and events at which Puglies will be appearing.
Puglies Mexican Cuisine • (251) 436-9644 • Facebook “Puglies”

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Fairhope’s newest coffee shop, The Burrow, emits a familiar theme

JordanGWhile growing up, Jordan Guthrie and her family moved around quite a bit because of her father’s occupation. They chose to settle in the Fairhope area in 2005. After graduating from Fairhope High School, Jordan continued her education at Faulkner State Community College. In addition to being a business owner, she has a passion for animals and is a dog and horse trainer by trade. Guthrie, a self proclaimed book worm, originally wanted to focus the new endeavor on her fondness of all things literary. It was later decided the business would also incorporate coffee. After a series of educational coffee tastings and input from a focus group, Jordan chose to partner with a small roasting company in Minnesota. In addition to having a preferred and quality product, the coffee supplier donates a portion of their proceeds to miscellaneous charities. Fairhope’s newest coffee shop, The Burrow Coffee & Co. opened its doors this January.
At The Burrow, the staff makes it their responsibility to share their knowledge of the product in a fun manner with an emphasis of the traditional art of coffee itself. The baristas are fully trained and aware of all the ingredients that go into their recipes. In addition to regular milk, they also offer non-dairy and sugar free options with the promise of making precisely to the customer’s preference. Customer satisfaction is their utmost priority.
The name (The Burrow) pays homage to Jordan’s favorite book series and was established to provide the local youth with a comfortable, safe place to relax, study, and connect with peers. In addition to books, there are board games and electronic gaming systems available to access. There is a separate meeting area in the building that is available for reservation for larger groups that wish to gather. Local artists are permitted and encouraged to use the walls of the business as a show place for their works.
The coffee menu  consists of hot (Macchiato, Cappuccino, Espresso), hot or iced (Latte, Americano, Breve, Drip Brew, Au Lait, Hot Chocolate or Tea), Blended (Frozen, Milkshake, Floats) and Specialty Drinks. The specialty drinks are staff creations and include some very unique flavor combinations. Just a few examples: Butterbeer (butterscotch, caramel and espresso), Godric’s Hollow (caramel, praline, vanilla chai, and espresso), Wampus (caramel, butter pecan, white & dark mocha, and espresso), and Unicorn Blood (coconut, peppermint and espresso) They also have another specialty board that features their most recent favorite creations.
Loose leaf teas are also available in a variety of flavors. The Burrow features pastries and breakfast burritos from Two Sisters Bakery & Deli and a light lunch menu is soon to be added. The Burrow offers call ahead and to-go orders as well as free delivery to Thomas Hospital and surrounding areas. They are open from 6am until 9pm daily.

The Burrow Coffee & Co., 314 Greeno Road South, Fairhope
(251) 517-9338 • Facebook “The Burrow Coffee & Co.”

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