My favorite restaurants have definitely changed over the years.
First it was Chuck e Cheese. My 4th birthday was there, along with Sarah’s 7th birthday. (We’re only three years and one day apart!) So of course, it was my childhood fav.
Then it was Olive Garden, because, well, they have tiramisu. And giant salads. And the Tour of Italy. All of which I can eat in one sitting. I simply must have Italian roots–that’s the only explanation for my Italian obsession.
Next came Maggiano’s in Nashville a few years ago. When Sarah and I visited with our Aunt Debbie, I was in heaven. Lots of bread (half of which I stuck in my purse when we left) and so much pasta. And the best part? With some of the menu options you get a FREE MEAL TO TAKE HOME. We were all over that. Hence, my favorite for years.
In high school I was a member of the Interact club which is involved with the Rotary Club of Foley. Every Friday we were invited to attend their meetings at the Gift Horse Restaurant. Let me put it to you simply: If you live in Southern Alabama and haven’t been there to eat, you are missing out. The second you walk in you’re transported back in time. And the food. Oh, the food.
The grand buffet holds everything from pasta salads and deviled eggs to hot entrees including fried chicken, sweet potato casserole, seafood gumbo, macaroni and cheese, famous fried biscuits, and, my all-time favorite: apple cheese.
Scared at the thought of such a side dish? Don’t be. I can’t keep track of how many times I have insisted that my friends and family try it. It is just that good.
Needless to say, The Gift Horse will always hold a special place in my heart, and will always be considered one of my favorites.
This past semester has caused me to add to my list.
Enter SpringHouse in Alexander City, AL (aka Lake Martin).
Let me just walk you through our meal from last week.
We ordered for appetizers lima beans with buttermilk aioli, cornbread crumbled over the top, and fresh dill along with an oven roasted tomato topped with goat cheese and crispy breadcrumbs. Unfortunately we were too hungry to even think about taking pictures.
For our entrees I ordered this fresh, beautiful, vibrant dish of vegetables (which is so unlike me–I usually prefer meat with my dinner), but I knew that it would be perfect.
And it was.
I don’t know what my favorite component was…possibly the zucchini gratin, creamed corn, carrots, crowder peas, lightly pickled cucumbers, cornbread…such a hard decision.
Have you ever considered the thought of eating stingray?
We hadn’t, either.
Our waiter was pretty convincing, so Matthew ordered it.
No kidding, it was the best fish I’ve ever tasted.
And that squash was perfection.
I need to stop writing about this…my mouth is watering.
Next came dessert, which did not disappoint.
Matthew ordered the blueberry handpie with lemon curd ice cream.
He stuck his fork in it and I yelled, “STOP! I have to take a picture of it!”
It’s just so beautiful. The crust was flaky and the blueberry filling was warm and sweet and tart.
And to finish, one of the best desserts I’ve ever ordered–ever–was the ice cream sandwich.
This isn’t your ordinary ice cream sandwich.
Butter pecan cookies (thin, sweet and salty, slightly chewy) held together a thick layer of peach ice cream. That was the best ice cream I’ve ever had, as well. It tasted like I was eating a peach. The freshness was unbelievable.
Yes, I ate every bit of it.
We were too eager to take a picture beforehand, so this is the “happy tummy” picture in the car.
Luckily, we went with our friends Kathryn and Chris back in May and managed to capture the beautiful views.
The rolling hills make my heart happy.
We’re SpringHouse believers! Are you?