Traveling to Huntsville, Alabama

So, I wound up on a three month work assignment in Huntsville, Alabama. When I first found out, I was about as excited as I was when I went to Oklahoma.

Because Matt is always up for an adventure (and he’s done with school for awhile), he came along with me this week.

Huntsville is home to a large US Army base and a NASA research center, so it’s actually not the sleepy southern town I first assumed it was. It’s got its fair share of chain restaurants, but there are some gems as well.

I posted to a Serious Eats message board to see if I could get any restaurant recommendations for Matt’s week here. Someone responded and recommended 1892 East, noting that they have a great vegetarian menu. I thought this would be a good break from all the barbeque I’ve been eating!

We started with the Chick Pea “Fries”. I expected them to have a gritty texture, but they were surprisingly light and creamy inside. They were served with regular ketchup and an ancho chili and apple ketchup.

I did something wild and ordered off of the vegetarian menu. It seemed like vegetarian food was something they specialized in, so I thought why not? The Grilled Rhapsody Tempeh was served the same way as the steak on the regular menu with roasted mushrooms, shallots, new potatoes, and sauce béarnaise. I had never tried tempeh before so I was intrigued. I honestly couldn’t decide how I felt about it. The dense texture was a little off-putting, but I enjoyed the nutty flavor. All of the accompaniments were beautifully cooked and well seasoned, and the béarnaise provided some much needed richness to the tempeh.

Matt ordered the Seared Marinated Tofu with fried plantains, citrus and apple slaw, and Cuban mojo sauce. The tofu was nicely browned on the outside, and the mojo sauce brightened up its flavor. The slaw and fried plantains provided the right amount of crunch to go up against the creamy tofu.

We finished our meal with the Orange and Almond Bread Pudding, which was described as house made spent grain bread pudding with fresh Florida oranges and almonds topped with crème anglaise, vanilla ice cream, and white chocolate garnish. The portion was way too big, but that’s my only complaint. It was delicious.

1892 East Restaurant & Tavern
720 Pratt Ave NE
Huntsville, AL 35801
1892 East Restaurant & Tavern on Urbanspoon
 
Matt discovered an amazing breakfast and lunch place called Three Skillets in downtown Huntsville. The menu was small, simple, and well executed.

Matt ordered the house made Veggie Burger. The bite I had was very tasty, though I have no idea what was in it. It was served with a mango salsa and homemade potato chips.

I ordered the Meat + Three with BBQ Chicken, Pickled Beets, Slaw, and Texas Caviar. The chicken was falling off the bone and the sides were all fresh and light.

We couldn’t leave without trying some of their Chocolate Pecan Pie. The filling was intensely chocolatey (maybe even a little too much so for me) and the crust was buttery and flaky.

Three Skillets
121 Northside Square
Huntsville, AL 35801
3Skillets on Urbanspoon

Another night, we tried a cute pizza place with an outdoor patio called Pane e Vino. I mostly wanted to go for the patio and wasn’t expecting much out of the pizza. We both agreed that the pizzas weren’t anything amazing, but they were certainly enjoyable.

Matt ordered the Michelangelo with mozzarella, tomato, basil, garlic, and olive oil. He liked that they didn’t go to overboard with the cheese and that it tasted balanced.

I ordered the Monet with mozzarella, proscuitto, arugula, and tomato. This one was definitely heavier on the cheese, and the proscuitto was a nice salty surprise underneath it all. Overall, very enjoyable.

Pane e Vino Pizzeria
300 Church Street
Huntsville, AL 35801
Pane e Vino Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Instead of ordering dessert at Pane e Vino, we wandered over to Cotton Row to get a cocktail and dessert.

I ordered a cocktail with Hendricks Gin, Rose Water, and Bitters. (I don’t remember what it was called.) It was a little sweet for my taste, but refreshing.

Matt ordered an Old Fashioned, which he gave two thumbs up.

We shared a Cornbread Brulee for dessert that had blueberry preserves and almond brittle. We liked that it wasn’t too sweet – I thought it would even make a good breakfast!

Cotton Row
100 South Side Square
Huntsville, AL 35801
Cotton Row on Urbanspoon

And now we’re off to Nashville for the weekend, which should be the real highlight of the trip. Let’s see if I can get Matt into country music! Have a good weekend, everyone!

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  • http://indulgeinspireimbibe.blogspot.com/ Daisy

    all this food looks amazing, you certainly ate well in Huntsville. all three desserts are really calling my name!

  • http://freefoodboston.wordpress.com/ Elizabeth

    I love this!! This is exactly how I like to explore new cities, and you found some awesome food!

  • http://www.joanne-eatswellwithothers.com/ Joanne

    Who knew Alabama had such good food?!?!? I wouldn’t have been that excited about going either but now I’m thinking maybe I should for the chickpea fries and the desserts!

  • FunandFearlessinBeantown

    The chickpea fries look awesome!  Try the ones at Alibi…they are pretty good!

  • http://www.simplylifeblog.com/ Simply Life

    wow! great reviews! I’d love to try those chickpea fries!

  • DeliciousDish

    I spent a couple weeks in Alabama many years ago and the best food I had was food off the grill. There weren’t any memorable restaurants. Too bad I didn’t know about these then!

  • Emily @ A Cambridge Story

    I’m really impressed with the food you’ve tried in Alabama! Tempeh and tofu don’t exactly scream southern to me — so it’s great you can try a little bit of everything! 

  • http://www.thecomfortofcooking.com Georgia The Comfort of Cooking

    Wow, everything looks so delicious, especially the pizza and cocktail – lovely! Thanks for sharing, Colleen! Also, I’m having a ChicWrap giveaway today that you should enter!

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  • Jenn

    There are a number of “gems” in Huntsville.  We moved here two years ago and have nothing but great things to say about this area and the local owned restaurants…and there is always Earth Fare to shop!

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