Sugar, spice & everything nice

Rachel and Eric Knoll moved to Fairhope from Atlanta four years ago. They have always wanted to own a business of their own and spent quite a while researching options. Their results presented them the opportunity to visit St. Augustine, Florida and the headquarters of a company called The Spice & Tea Exchange. After some due diligence and conversation with other franchise owners across the country, the Knoll’s procured the rights to the territory that is now home to their cozy location in the heart of Downtown Fairhope.

A little more than a year ago Rachel and Eric opened The Spice and Tea Exchange on De La Mare Avenue. It is an extensive showcase of exquisite teas, spices, herbs, salts, peppers, sugars and more that are sourced from all over the world.

If you are a tea aficionado or foodie you will be impressed and amazed at everything that this shop has to offer. A high-quality, diverse assortment of products are offered in a sensory shopping experience. All of their blends are mixed and packaged on site by a knowledgeable staff that is eager to help customers find easy ways to create unique and flavorful food through the use of teas, spice blends, and various culinary techniques.

A variety of tea cups/mugs and accessories, salt blocks and spice sampler sets are available along with other prepackaged gift bundles and candles. You can browse their selection of complimentary recipe cards that highlight popular dishes using spices, herbs, salts and other ingredients that are available. They even have rice and pasta mixes. While browsing, go ahead and choose a tea to enjoy while you’re there. Freshly brewed in 12, 16 and 24 ounce sizes – hot or iced.

Whether you are entertaining, meal prepping or just need some quick flavor tips to add some diversity to your own recipes – The Spice and Tea Exchange of Fairhope has you covered. Stop by and see how they can kick it up a notch!

The Spice & Tea Exchange • 323 De La Mare Avenue, Fairhope • (251) 219-0339

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
www.camelliacafefairhope.com

Local restauranteur re-emerges as the “Place to Meat”

IMG-6676When the staff at Buck’s Diner learned of the impending sale of the building that housed Fairhope’s beloved breakfast/meat and three spot, they spent the final few weeks celebrating the longevity and success of the restaurant with friends, loyal patrons that had become like family, vendors, and all of the regular supporters that made this Fairhope icon a popular dining spot for more than eleven years.
This notification necessitated the rethinking of future employment options for everyone affected.  Formerly the manager of Buck’s Diner, Daneen Buck, knew she wanted to remain in the restaurant business, but in what capacity? After taking a few months off, Daneen began pondering her options.
What frequently came to mind was an old “hole in the wall” eatery from days long ago known as Boo-Boo’s. Wildly popular with the locals, this bar and grill was family owned and operated and featured very simplistic dining options.  “If I remember correctly, the menu consisted of a ribeye steak, a hamburger, West Indies salad, and gumbo” says Buck, “Oh, and Marie Higginbotham’s peanut butter pie!”
After meeting with the owners of the Point Clear Tennis Club, Daneen knew that this would be the perfect venue for her next adventure in the restaurant business.  The building is considerably larger than Boo-Boo’s was, and she knew a heartier menu offering would be necessary. She decided on a classic steakhouse style menu.
The name of the new game in town is CHAR 32 – “The Place to Meat”.  The menu is still evolving but currently consists of smaller plates, or appetizers, such as a classic shrimp cocktail, sautéed crab claws, shrimp remoulade, stuffed mushrooms, South Indies salad (Daneen’s special version of the local classic), roasted pork belly over braised collard greens, and a petite Chateau with horseradish cream sauce. Entree choices include filet mignon, bone-in ribeye, boneless ribeye, and a strip steak.  The menu also includes fresh, wild caught salmon, and the Char burger is to die for!  All entrees are served with a baked potato or fries, and a house salad. Desserts are homemade and include her mother’s famous banana pudding.
CHAR 32 also has a full bar offering beer, libations and fine wines, and “local celebrity” bartenders to enhance your dining experience. In addition to the spectacular dining room, there is a comfortable lounging area with a fireplace adjacent to the main dining room, and also a beautiful patio area for outdoor dining as the weather permits.
Although the restaurant is located inside the Point Clear Tennis Club, CHAR 32 is open to the public, so make plans to experience CHAR 32 – “The Place to Meat”. The hours of operation are Monday through Saturday 5:30pm until 9pm.
Char 32 at Point Clear Tennis Club • 17107 Tennis Club Dr.  Fairhope • 251-517-7700

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Lickin Good Donuts adds a new Fairhope location

IMG_4362When Cambodian born Saran Ing arrived in Houston, Texas he established himself in the fried confectionary arena and learned the ins and outs of perfecting the pastries that we refer to as doughnuts (or donuts).
In 2001, he purchased a donut shop in Kilgore, Texas. A couple of years later he set up several shops in east Texas and spread the knowledge to family members so they could  have jobs and in turn help him operate his businesses. He made his way east and established operations in Shreveport and Winnsboro, Louisiana before settling in lower Alabama. With the purchase or an existing business, Lickin Good Donuts, Ing acquired locations in Mobile, Saraland, Bay Minette and Foley and has most recently opened his newest shop in Fairhope.
The day starts incredibly early for Saran and his crew. They start the process at 2am making everything in house and fresh daily. When the doors open at 5am the display case is filled with a fabulous variety of donuts including glazed, iced, cake, filled, powdered, topped and the fun favorite – holes (you can’t eat just one!). They also make
eclairs and apple fritters in addition to their savory kolaches that showcase  such items as Conecuh sausage, boudin, cream cheese and jalapenos. Lickin Good Donuts also has a variety of biscuits and croissants that are great for a grab and go breakfast. Stop by and
grab an assortment and you’ll see why they often have a line out the door! Lickin Good’s hours are 5am until 2pm daily.

Lickin Good Donuts • 110 Eastern Shore Shopping Center, Fairhope • (251) 270-8990
Facebook “Lickin Good Donuts”

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
www.Old27Grill.com • Facebook “Old 27 Grill” • www.billesbacon.com

PLOW’s new owner will continue to promote Fairhope’s home grown hot spot as originally intended

chrisplowChris Capps was just being inquisitive when he thought he would investigate businesses that were for sale in the area. This New Jersey guy migrated to Baldwin County in 2009 after living in Georgia, North Carolina and serving the the US Coast Guard. At one time he managed a bar in New York City and since then has always thought about owning such an establishment. Capps had never darkened the doors of PLOW before he started doing his research. When he finally did, he knew he loved the feel of this neighborhood watering hole.  After patronizing the bar as a customer for several months he then became an employee. Just a couple of weeks before all the papers were signed he made his reveal and announced his intentions of ownership before the official closing of the sale of the business. Chris is excited to have an opportunity to host a venue with such a warm feel and is always open to suggestions. He wants his customers to have a comfortable good time. The bar is fully stocked with all the essentials and they also have a premium wine selection to accommodate the wine lovers. It has always been and will continue to be a smoke free environment. The pool tables are just for fun and live music is on the schedule for every Friday and Saturday night. Thursday night is Ladies Night and there is a daily Happy Hour from 3pm until 7pm and all day on Sunday.  A Bloody Mary Bar is featured on Sundays with an early opening time of 11am. Plans also include a monthly comedy night and look for crawfish on Mondays when the season kicks in. For your viewing pleasure there are a multitude of televisions including one on the patio. Patrons can also enjoy a game of darts and Golden Tee. Chris updates the FaceBook page on a regular basis so be sure to follow them for additional specials and entertainment.

PLOW, 96 Plantation Pointe, Fairhope • (251) 410-7569 • Facebook “Plow”

Local family operated Pizzeria still getting “Rave” reviews on food and entertainment

Now in its fifteenth year, The Ravenite has made a name for itself in Downtown Fairhope. This family owned and operated pizzeria was named after the original Ravenite, a club in the Little Italy section of Brooklyn which no longer exists. The skyline of New York City wraps around the interior of the Ravenite and the kitchen is bricked in a manner depicting a fire station. Their pizzas are hand tossed with dough that is made fresh daily.  The sauces are homemade and they blend their cheeses. The Ravenite serves traditional New York style pizza. There are several ingredient combinations to choose from in addition to specialty and gourmet pizzas. There is also a gluten free crust option. Pasta Dishes include Spaghetti and Meatballs, Spaghetti Puttanesca, Manicotti, Chicken Parmesan and Spaghetti Pomodoro. Calzones, Stromboli and specialty sandwiches. Hearty sized chicken wings come in buffalo, Thai, honey garlic BBQ, Buff-a-Que and Jamacian jerk flavors. Chicken fingers are also an option along with salads and appetizers. The menu is in the process of being expanded to include cannelloni, buffalo chicken bacon cheese fries and a few more  specialty pizzas.

There is a full bar featuring a large beer selection. The Ravenite provides entertainment in the form of live trivia and rock and roll bingo. It is also a great late night option providing live music and karaoke. The Ravenite is open 7 days a week, Sunday and Monday they open at 4pm, Tuesday thru Saturday for lunch and dinner. Several nights a week, the kitchen has extended hours and serves until midnight.

The Ravenite Pizzeria, 102 North Section Street, Fairhope (251) 929-2525 • www.theravenite.net • Facebook “The Ravenite Pizzeria”

It’s a family affair at Bay Breeze Cafe

Julie Tew is now in IMG_0714her 9th year of operation at Church Street’s Bay Breeze Cafe in Downtown Fairhope. This Fairhope native’s inspiration comes from her “needing to get a job” while she was in school. Throughout her college career, Julie was fortunate to have worked with some food service folks that were well trained and passionate about the profession. She took that opportunity to learn all she could. After obtaining her Masters Degree in Athletic Training, Julie worked for Troy University. She returned to Fairhope to be closer to family.
Julie and her mother, Liz, began working on a plan to figure out something that they could do together. Since then, it has become a family affair with Dad, Jerry, just as involved.
The menu is a combination of some of the foods that Julie has prepared in kitchens she has worked in, recipes from family and friends, and things she just enjoys herself. You will always find Julie in or near the kitchen during lunch hours. She is very systematic and wants to make sure everything is done to her satisfaction. Cold sandwiches are not something that appeals to Julie so just about every logical menu item is warmed on the panini press. The scampied shrimp is a favorite and can be found atop baby greens, as a pita pizza topping or contained in a wrap or panini. Their signature soup is the roasted corn and tomato bisque and never disappoints.  Bay Breeze has just revamped their menu of salads, wraps, paninis, pita pizzas, and hot dogs and added more tasty options. They include a Mediterranean Eggplant Flatbread, a Bacon & Pimento Grilled Cheese Sandwich, a Havarti, Bacon and Tomato Sandwich on focaccia, a BBQ Bacon & Cheddar Dog, a Conecuh Dog, a Chicken Marinara Hoagie and a Shrimp and Conecuh Hoagie.
And it would be just wrong to leave without dessert! Julie’s mom Liz is the master of the desserts. She makes all of the sweet deliciousness that is served at the cafe with occasional help from Dad/Jerry. He is actually the creator of one of their best selling desserts – Southern Pecan Delight.
Cafe Hours are Monday through Saturday from 11 am until 2:30pm and if you aren’t in a hurry, Liz offers her Friday and Saturday morning breakfast menu from 8am until 10am. Indoor and outdoor seating is available and Bay Breeze Cafe also caters and offers free delivery to Downtown Fairhope Merchants.  Bay Breeze Cafe, 50 S. Church Street, Fairhope (251) 990-0294 • Facebook “Bay Breeze Cafe

The much anticipated Another Broken Egg Cafe set to open Monday, March 7th in Fairhope

 

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General Manager, Kelly Kaiser

Baldwin County native Kelly Kaiser has been working in the restaurant industry since he was 15 years old.  He attended the University of South Alabama where he pursued a degree in Graphic Design but has always found opportunity and satisfaction in the food and beverage industry. Kaiser worked for Ruby Tuesday for 19 years and was aware that Another Broken Egg Cafe was planning to open in Fairhope. With a young family, he was searching for an opportunity that would allow him a bit more flexibility. He expressed his interest in a leadership position with Another Broken Egg Cafe and left Ruby Tuesday last June. As of October of 2015, Kaiser has been traveling and training in the company’s existing cafes that are located in Jacksonville, Panama City and Orange Beach.
During that time, Kelly stated that he has “fallen in love with the company”.  The philosophy is to take care of people so they can better serve the guests. That is one of the reasons that their hours of operation are 7am until 2pm. “The staff works hard but they are happy, rested and ready to put out a quality product seven days a week.”
Kelly has been busy networking within the Fairhope community and will be training his staff with three fundraising events prior to the Monday, March 7th opening of the restaurant. The public has been invited to make reservations for a dining experience to benefit Eastern Shore Art Center, Ecumenical Ministries of Baldwin County and Baldwin County Humane Society. The Cafe will provide the meals for a donation to the charity in order to introduce the new concept to the community. With the cafe being open on Sundays, there are several surrounding retail shops that are now altering their hours of operation to include Sundays to capture some of the traffic that the restaurant will bring.
The menu is designed for foodies. Sweet and savory with a little Cajun accent. Appetizers for Sharing include Biscuit Beignets, Blackberry Grits, City Grits, Gourmet Muffins, a Baked Brie Delight and Fried Green Tomatoes. You can go Healthy with Steel Cut Oats, Granola, Fruit & Quinoa, a Gluten-Free Jumbo Pancake or a Skinny (egg white) omelet. Traditional breakfast items such as eggs, bacon, country potatoes, English muffins, sausage patties, pancakes, Belgian waffles and French Toast. Go Egg-Straordinary with omelette and Scramblers that include cream cheese, crabmeat, crawfish, shrimp, Andouille sausage, breakfast chorizo, spinach, goat cheese, roasted red peppers, lobster, bacon, mushrooms, caramelized onions and so much more!
Specialty Brunch dishes are the Southern Crabstack that features seasoned grit cakes and jumbo lump crab cakes, Shrimp & Grits, Classic Biscuit & Gravy and Huevos Rancheros.
Signature Benedicts include a traditional Eggs Benedict, a Smoked Salmon Benedict, Benedict Oscar (with grilled flatiron steak, sauted crabmeat and asparagus), a Black Bean Benedict, Crabcakes Cavallo and Eggs Blackstone.
The entree Salad Creations to choose from are Chicken Caesar, Southern Shrimp, Kale & Salmon, Southwest Chop, Spinach, Quinoa & Chicken and Chicken Salad. All of the dressings are gourmet and house made.
A Classic Bacon Burger, Cafe Burger, Sante Fe Burger and Veggie Burger are served on artisan bread and you can add an egg to your burger – cooked any style – for only 99 cents.
Featured sandwiches include a Fried Green Tomato BLT, King Edward Club, a Roasted portobello Wrap, Lobster & Shrimp Roll Sliders, Waffle Sliders and a several others.
All menu items are served all day long so you can get any thing that is offered at any time.
Coffee, teas, milk, juices, Coca-cola products, hot chocolate and specialty coffees are available in addition to Bloody Marys and Mimosas. The new Fairhope location will be the first location in the company to feature a specialty beverage menu so make sure to check it out. Look for Another Broken Egg Cafe to be participating in many local community events in the area including First Friday Artwalk. You can also contact Kelly Kaiser if you are interested in Another Broken Egg Cafe to host an after hours event or private party.   Another Broken Egg Cafe, 300 Fairhope Ave., Fairhope (251) 209-9875 • www.AnotherBrokenEgg.com