Pittsburgh 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
Sonny 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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Gabriella Gambino, Michael McConnell, Gina Gambino, Christian Miller
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”