Something Sweet is always a treat!

IMG-7212Something Sweet Bake Shop in Daphne has a new owner. Fairhope native, Renee Maradik has had an variety of different jobs from teaching to banking to administration. With all of her experience, in addition to an MBA she decided it was time for her to make a go of it on her own. She happened upon a local business opportunity online that intrigued her. After the initial inquiry, and within weeks, the transfer was complete and she held the keys to the quaint cupcake shop on Main Street. She added some fixtures to the existing setup and began baking, adding to the variety of offerings of each line of product.
In addition to cupcakes in a multitude of flavors that include wedding cake, peanut butter, smores, cream cheese pound cake, coconut, red velvet, carrot cake and other traditional flavors. Renee offers brownie and cookie bars in over fifteen flavors similar to the cupcake flavors with the addition of ooey gooey butter bars, white chocolate toffee, mint brownie, pecan pie, caramel and Mississippi mud. Renee’s custom cakes are available in a six inch, three layer or a nine inch, three layer and can be made in any of the flavors that the cupcakes come in. She also offers four inch smash cakes that can be personalized for any event. Her Italian creme cake and Hershey chocolate cake are even offered by the slice. Banana nut bread, pound cake and a blueberry crumble are also sold at the shop. Everything is made in house and the icing is whipped with real butter.
Renee has an assortment of cake and cupcake stands that can be rented and party supplies that enhance her delicious goodies. With summer upon us, ice cream is on hand. You can choose from a scoop of your favorite flavor or enjoy a push up or other frozen treat. Be sure to stop by Monday through Friday between 10am and 5pm. Welcome Renee to the neighborhood and enjoy Something Sweet!
Something Sweet Bake Shop • 1712 Main Street, Daphne • (251) 621-2253
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What’s a Yinzer, you ask?

YinzerMarkPittsburgh native Mark Bentz began his career in the food service industry at a famous burger restaurant by the name of Tessaro’s Hardwood Grill in Pittsburgh. Like many, he started out washing dishes and then worked his way up to a kitchen position. He was a loyal employee of Tessaro’s for 14 years before he transitioned into cooking in a private country club north of Pittsburgh. He learned a lot from the chefs that he was surrounded by and benefitted from their knowledge. In 2004, Mark landed on the the Eastern Shore and settled in Daphne. He went to work part-time for Kris Konlon at Cousin Vinny’s. He fit right in and gained a lot of experience from working at the pizzeria. Mark, being a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan and missing the comradery of like individuals, decided to open a place of his own and pay homage to his home city and favorite team. His first restaurant, Bentz’s Pizza Pub opened in 2006. The establishment was nestled right beside Daphne’s largest subdivision and was decorated with all things  Pittsburgh.  Mark was pleasantly surprised and delighted to find that he just so happened to be among a great number of fellow Steeler fans in the area. In 2014, Bentz was involved in opening a second restaurant in Spanish Fort. And now, just this past weekend, Mark has just embarked upon his third and largest operation in the area. He named his new venture YINZERS BREW & GRILL. The term “yinzer” is used to describe a native or inhabitant of the city of Pittsburgh. Bentz and his managing partner, Kim Paige, are most thankful for the host of friends and family that have been supportive of their efforts. They invite you to come out and enjoy the great view overlooking Mobile Bay, entertainment and opening celebration of Daphne’s newest eatery.
Yinzers specializes in Pittsburgh pies (pizza) and sandwiches and brew! There are sixteen taps that will feature a variety of domestic and craft beers – some of which will rotate based on seasonality. The current menu features appetizers that include soft pretzels, wings, pub chips and various cheesy breads and cheesy fries in addition to fried pickle spears, onion rings, and fried mozzarella. Sandwich options include Philly Steak, Italian, Italian Steak and Muffaletta. The side items are coleslaw, french fries, pub chips, onion rings, fried okra, mac & cheese or pasta salad. Their Yinzer-style specialty salads are uniquely enhanced with fries or fried okra unless you specify your greens without such. The pizza pies are offered in cheese or a variety of combinations that are available in a 12 inch or 16 inch size. The current menu is an abbreviated one. There will soon be a lineup of handmade burgers added to the food lineup. Yinzers is open daily.
Yinzers Brew & Grill, 28850 Highway 98, Suite 200, Daphne • (251) 621-6990
Facebook “Yinzers Brew and Grill” • www.YinzersDaphne.com

Photography courtesy of Dawn Gorman (217) 737-7565

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

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
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Manci’s Antique Club introduces new enhancement and welcomes Managing Partner

GarrettDeLuca-1Garrett DeLuca is excited to embark on a new chapter in his career within the food and beverage industry. This Daphne native was initiated at the ripe old age of thirteen. He worked at restaurants throughout high school and college and graduated from the University of South Alabama with a degree in Marketing. He tried his hand at sales and “hated it”.
For those of you who know the industry, there is no easy escape, so you just make the best of it. And that is exactly what DeLuca is doing.
In 2015, Manci’s Antique Club in the heart of Olde Towne Daphne was reopened under new ownership. The historical Daphne landmark was rejuvenated by two very talented, restaurant/bar owners from both sides of the bay, Harry Johnson and John Thompson.
With Thompson’s business model (Callahan’s Irish Social Club) as the blueprint, Manci’s was reformatted as an entertainment venue with a great bar. Burgers and other eats were introduced following an extensive kitchen renovation.
Thompson has hosted some of the South’s most talented musicians at his Mobile establishment and for the past two years has included the Eastern Shore venue in his bookings.
The latest renovation began in May when a portion of the business began yet another transformation. Within the wall’s of Manci’s there was an overflow area that was revamped as Buster’s. It is an offshoot of the original bar and touts a more upscale, yet cozy feel. Behind the bar is a wood and gas fired brick pizza oven that cranks out gourmet pizzas that compliment an extensive list of wines and craft beers. There is also a full bar which features a separate cocktail list and includes high end scotch and bourbons. You can still enjoy the music that streams in from the original bar area but it is more of a background accent allowing you to simultaneously enjoy conversation.
Garrett capitalized on this opportunity to personally expand within the industry and now holds a vested interest. He is still managing, but now as a partner. With all the finishing touches now in place, DeLuca, Johnson and Thompson can now service clientele with options within the same facility.
Make plans to stop by and peruse the list of wines that are available by the glass or by the bottle, the craft beers and the specialty cocktail menu. All of which can be enjoyed with appetizers, a charcuterie board, salads, gourmet pizzas and even desserts. Whatever you are in the mood for, Manci’s has you covered!
Manci’s is open Monday through Thursday from 3:30 until and Friday through Sunday from 11am until. Buster’s hours are Wednesday through Sunday starting at 5pm.
Manci’s Antique Club and Buster’s

1715 Main Street, Daphne • (251) 375-0543 www.mancisantiqueclub.com
Facebook “Manci’s Antique Club BusterBar-1

 

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 http://dreamdinners.com/taste/719212 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
www.dreamdinners.com • Facebook “Dream Dinners Daphne”

The Pigeon Hole makes its debut on Main Street, Daphne

CindyPigeon-1Cindy Nicholson grew up in Mississippi surrounded by a family who enjoyed, appreciated and instilled in her the importance of a great Southern meal. She learned the good old fashioned way – from Mamaw and Papaw – and it is reflected in the recipes and techniques that she uses in her offerings that are now available to the public at her newly opened restaurant, The Pigeon Hole, located on Main Street in Daphne. Cindy loves to feed people and has always wanted to share her passion for Southern comfort food.

After working in restaurants for the past twelve years, her opportunity arose. Because of the variety of things she loves to cook she didn’t want to be pigeon holed into a limited menu. The terminology that she used to describe her predicament actually became the inspiration for the name that she chose for the restaurant. Cindy had actually managed the business that occupied the actual location that she now leases. The former tenant hired her to oversee the restaurant operation while he was of the country. She offered to purchase the business upon the owners return but was initially rejected. After a few months, Cindy was approached and offered the opportunity that she initially sought out. Cindy and her husband, Dan acquired the space and started the process of transforming the surroundings to their likings. Cindy desired to have a yellow awning in the front of the building and permission was granted to take down the existing overhang to accommodate her awning. Upon removal, there was structural damage that was uncovered that required some extensive work. That prevented customers from being able to enter the business through the front entrance. Cindy was determined that this was not going to hinder progress. She started promoting and serving a limited take out menu that was available through a side entrance and dubbed them her “side door specials”. Cindy looks at the process as a “blessing in disguise”. She has been able to make a gradual progression, building her staff and menu, working the kinks out along the way. The dining room officially opened the first time the night of one of Daphne’s Mardi Gras parades. The following Monday was the implementation of her full menu, Southern Cooking and Then Some. Daily specials, every day entrees with an extensive list of side items, burgers, brisket and sandwiches, soups, salads and even a squabs (kids) menu.

The full lunch menu is served from 11am until 2pm Monday through Wednesday and from 11am until 8pm on Thursday and Friday. A breakfast menu is the most recent addition. The Pigeon Hole is now serving breakfast from 7am until 10:30am. The menu for the most important meal of the day includes breakfast meals that include pork chops, brisket and eggs, country ham, biscuits and gravy, a breakfast casserole, french toast and pancakes. You can build your own omelette, sammich or stuffer or choose from the a la carte menu. Mimosas and wine cocktails are also available. Current business hours are Monday through Friday 7am-10:30am for breakfast and 11am until 2pm for lunch Monday through Wednesday. On Thursdays and Fridays the lunch menu is available until 8pm. Look for weekend hours to be announced soon. Call-in/pick-up orders are welcome and delivery is even available through DapperDeliveries.com for a small fee (charged by the delivery company).

The Pigeon Hole, 1716 Main Street, Daphne • (251) 222-4120 • Facebook “The Pigeon Hole” • www.pigeonholedaphne.com