Archive | 5:31 pm

Be Sweet. Visit Mrs. Wheat’s Treats Today!

9 Apr

Mrs. Wheat’s Treats has been around since the late 1980s. This is no overnight success story. It’s never been easy. But it’s a family recipe and a family business. Always has been. They have survived through good times and bad and now they need your support. A combination of road construction, theft, and the sluggish, post BP spill economy has caused Julie Wheat to tighten the proverbial belt. She makes a mighty fine New Orleans-style praline and deserves our loyal support.   

The window sign at Mrs. Wheat’s Treats in Mobile, Alabama

Pralines on the cooling trays at Mrs. Wheat’s Treats

The company was founded by Marguerite Busch Wheat. She was a whiz in the kitchen who made hundreds of pralines each year for her closest friends and beloved family members. Her praline recipe was a treasured heirloom passed down through 4 generations of the Wheat family. She was said to be quite particular about the pecans used in her recipe. Marguerite gathered pecans from her own family trees and was known to crack and shell each nut by hand. Talk about your TLC!

Chocolate Fudge from Mrs. Wheat’s kitchens

The original Mrs. Wheat passed away in 1987, but her family was determined to keep this most Southern of cooking traditions alive. Mrs. Wheat’s Treats retail location on South Florida Street first opened its doors two years later in 1989. Fast forward more than two decades later and the Wheat family is still at it. They continue to incorporate top of the line sugar, fresh butter and cream, pure vanilla, and meaty hand picked pecan halves. Each batch of pralines is hand dropped and hand wrapped. No mechanized, mass production here, folks.  

Mrs. Wheat’s also offers delicious Cheese Straws & homemade candies

Chocolate Pralines — ready to be devoured

Mrs. Wheats Treats has a great history here in Mobile. It is our hope and prayer that they have a bright future too. That is ultimately up to the public. They may be a little out of your way, but we urge you to go the extra mile to purchase these legendary Dixie delights. Mrs. Wheat’s has always gone that extra mile for you.

Mrs. Wheat’s Treats – 154 S. Florida St., Mobile, AL – 251 478-0709

www.mrswheatstreats.net

www.facebook.com/pages/Mrs-Wheats-Treats

Two Sisters Bakery & Deli Arrives in Fairhope, Alabama

9 Apr

Two Sisters Bakery has only been open a few short weeks now. They are located right next door to Wintzell’s Oyster House on Scenic Highway 98 in Fairhope, AL. Nice looking place, huh? I made my first visit this past week and my first impression was quite positive. The owner was welcoming and quick to tell me his story. As he talked, my eyes were constantly wandering. So many delicious treats to take in.

Two Sisters’ signature Pumpkin Roll (above) was soon calling my name. I could hear it. Really! It looked incredible — fresh and fluffy, peppered with chopped nuts and laced with a sumptuous cream cheese filling. They even dusted the exterior with powdered sugar. Are you kidding me??? I just had to have one for my own. 

So was it really that good, you ask? Let’s just say it was one of the best things I’ve eaten since I landed in Fairhope two years ago. Don’t miss it! I also ordered a Cinnamon Nutmeg muffin and it too was the real deal. The cinnamon, nutmeg, granulated sugar mixture gave the outside a nice crunch, while the inside remained fresh and moist. The overall flavor reminded me of a really good cinnamon cake doughnut. And the hint of nutmeg was a thoughtful (and winning) touch.  

Fresh Cinnamon Rolls at Two Sisters Bakery & Deli

Look for this sign (above) along Scenic Highway 98 in Fairhope. Two Sisters also serves lunch and they proudly feature Boars Head deli meats and cheeses. That should tell you something about their commitment to quality. All the breads (try their homemade focaccia) are baked fresh daily. Their bacon & egg breakfast biscuits look terrific and the sandwich menu is highlighted by an oddly named creation called “Hen Pecked.” Chicken breast with Havarti cheese, jalapeno, spinach, mango chutney, hot pickled peppers and mayo on house baked flat bread. Oh yes, come to Papa! For dessert, grab a chocolate whoopie pie or a Coca Cola cupcake.

You will be treated to some gorgeous scenery along the bayfront in Fairhope. I might suggest you carry out your sandwich or bakery treats and find yourself a shady spot along the banks of the Mobile Bay. Our parks (as you can see above) are well-maintained and safe. The dolphin sculpture pictured here is just one of many artistic creations that you will discover during your time here in Fairhope.

Business at Two Sisters Bakery and Deli is off to a pretty positive start. Ownership is confident that their lunch crowd will continue to grow. Fairhope apparently has a prominent sweet tooth and is, in the owner’s words, a real “cookie town.” I reside here and am found guilty as charged. But you don’t have to have a big sweet tooth to become a regular at Two Sisters. Just being a lover of tasty eats prepared with love and attention to detail will get the job done. However, if you do have a sweet tooth, they will fix it. And it’s a lot more fun than a trip to the dentist.

Two Sisters Bakery – 19452 Scenic Highway 98, Fairhope – 251 517 0622

Queen G’s Fries ‘Em Up Fresh

9 Apr

State-of-the-art fried oysters can be hard to find — even here on the Gulf Coast. We found them this week at Queen G’s Cafe on Mobile’s Old Shell Road. They open at 11 am. I arrived about 11:40 am. Just in time to beat the lunch rush. It’s a tiny little place with a limited indoor seating capacity. There are some additional seats outside, but that can be hit or miss depending on our rather fickle coastal weather patterns. I grabbed a small indoor table and shared the dining room with a single middle-aged couple. Their conversation was spirited and their food looked appealing.

Queen G’s is housed in an old circa 1950s drive-in. It used to be called “The Rebel Queen” back in the day and they have the photos inside to prove it. The bright teal paint job would have looked right at home on a 1957 Chevy. The black and white exterior awning preserved some of the retro vibe.  

I was tempted when I read about the Chicken & Dumplings special, but ultimately stayed strong and ordered a small plate of fried local oysters. I say small only because they call it that at Queen G’s. It’s actually pretty substantial with about 10 meaty cornmeal-coated oysters on each platter. The market price for this dish (with 2 sides) was $12. Order the large oyster plate and you may be ready for a mid-day siesta. Be forewarned.

The menu at Queen G’s is very cool looking. I’m a sucker for that old meets new look. Each meal (as you can see above) comes with a poofy square of cornbread and more than a couple of pats of real creamy butter. None of that greasy margarine or Country Crock crap. I notice these little things, so restaurateurs take note. The cornbread was just fine. Not really noteworthy in any way, but OK.

The fresh oysters are fried up to order at Queen G’s. Nice. A cornmeal coating really makes a difference. So much better than flour (if you ask me). They are prettied up on the plate with a few flecks of chopped green onion. I had my cocktail sauce and Tabasco at the ready and the oysters magically disappeared in just a matter of seconds. What a treat — especially on a weekday afternoon. For just a brief moment, I felt like royalty. I asked my server about the oysters point of origin. She informed me that they are farm raised in nearby Coden, AL. That explained their amazing sweetness. The local waters have been chilly due to some cool nights. That, from what I’ve been told, helps to deliver those sweet flavor notes.

My side of deviled eggs seemed like a good idea, but they could have been a little more devilish in my opinion. The presentation was nice – gussied up with paprika and parsley. The lime green serving bowl gave it a true elementary school cafeteria feel. I could tell the eggs had been sitting in the fridge for a while and the flavor was, well, just  a tad on the bland side. Nice effort, but they fell a little short this time. Not a big deal though.

My second side was rough chopped rutabagas. People love ’em or hate ’em. I dig ’em. Really! They look unadorned in the above image, yet I am happy to report that they tasted fresh and well-seasoned. I only wish the portion size was larger. You don’t find rutabaga on many menues these days — even in the Heart of Dixie. They can be tedious to prepare and the canned variety just aren’t near as delicious.

Clean your plate at Queen G’s and you’ll be rewarded with a free scoop of ice cream. Pretty good incentive, for sure. But you probably won’t require any additional motivation here. The food is good and fresh and the surroundings cozy, yet comfy. I’ll be back and I hope to rub elbows with you at Queen G’s one day soon.

QUEEN G’S CAFE – 2518 Old Shell Road, Mobile, AL – 251 471 3361