Tag Archives: Croissant

Regina’s Kitchen Adds Some Class to Mobile’s Government Street

4 May

It was a dark and stormy Tuesday in Mobile, but things were bright and cheery inside Regina’s Kitchen. I had entered the eatery once before. That was a few weeks back. I had been there to meet the owner in hopes of discussing an advertising opportunity I was pitching. She seemed like a lot of fun and the place looked great. The building had previously housed the French Market Cafe. That restaurant offered authentic New Orleans soups and sandwiches, but ultimately succumbed to financial difficulties and the owner’s health challenges. I was sad to see them go. They made a fine Roast Beef Po-Boy.

The interior at Regina’s is not altogether different than the French Market Cafe. It’s a very comfortable, welcoming space. Plenty of dining room inside and it appears they need it all. The crowds over the restaurant’s first year in operation have been strong and consistent. The lunch rush is a equal mix of attorneys, housewives, accountants, and little old ladies dolled up for a day out. I even spotted a couple “men of the cloth” dining in black & white at a nearby table.  Regina’s actually does a steady drive-thru business too.

Regina’s Kitchen features red & white checkered table cloths and a healthy menu of soups, signature salads, and sandwiches. Finding something appealing on the oversized, double-sided cardboard menu was easily done. Final decisions were tougher. I eventually opted for the day’s lunch special: Sliced Turkey on Croissant with Brie Cheese, Granny Smith Apples and Chutney Mayo. The tipping point for my decision was the wedge of iceberg lettuce doused with a housemade blue cheese dressing. The salad came along with the sandwich at no additional charge. $7.95 for the entire package — what a deal!   

My sandwich was quite satisfying. My lettuce was really good too, although I wish I had asked for a little more blue cheese dressing. The dressing was excellent — not too goopy with large chunks of pungent cheese. Guess they were watching my waistline … Lord knows I don’t often do the same. Iceberg is often thought of as a “poor man’s lettuce,” yet it’s a nice treat once in a while. Especially if the wedge is big, cool and crunchy. A nice milky dressing is always an ideal foil.    

Not sure who John (above) is — but I gotta try his special sandwich. A “BPT” ??? A “PBT” ??? Not sure which name (if either) fits. I just love pimento cheese (I prefer homemade, not the mass produced stuff) and adding bacon to the party seems like a stroke of Dixie genius. ***Note: The only store bought pimento I can heartily recommend is Palmetto Pimento Cheese out of Pawleys Island, SC. It is nothing short of phenomenal (www.palmettocheese.com).  

My dessert (I don’t often treat myself at lunch) was Regina’s Mississippi Mud Cake. I saw it lurking in a metal serving pan behind the front register and I just could not resist it’s many delights. Glad I didn’t. It was a heavenly marriage of a dense chocolate brownie/cake topped with melted marshmallows and a rich fudge icing. It left me with a broad smile and a massive sugar buzz that lasted well into the afternoon.

Regina’s Kitchen is now on my regular weekday lunch rotation. That honor is not easily accomplished. But you just can’t beat a place that offers a clean and cheerful dining environment, a variety of fresh and healthy menu options, fair pricing, and “treat you like family” service. Well done, Regina. You are carrying on your family’s restaurant traditions with true grace and style!

Regina’s Kitchen – 2056 Government St., Mobile – (251) 476-2777

www.facebook.com/pages/ReginasKitchen/130215213681624

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A Spotty Lunch at Downtown Mobile’s “A Spot of Tea”

30 Jun

“A Spot of Tea” can be found in the shadow of beautiful live oaks at 310 Dauphin Street in Downtown Mobile, AL. I had recently picked up their menu at the Mobile Chamber of Commerce offices and I must say it looked pretty promising. I was especially intrigued by featured items such as Pecan Waffles, Bananas Foster French Toast, Seafood Omelettes, a hard to find Monte Cristo sandwich, and, by many accounts, a world-class Chicken Salad platter.

This is a shot (above) from my inside dining table looking out at the shady open-air patio. It is a really nice setting for a quiet, intimate lunch. I decided to dine inside since it was a rather humid afternoon in Old Mobile. I sat back in anticipation of a stately Southern dining experience. Boy, was I in for a surprise!

The historic building was constructed in 1836. It was once a stable for carriages in the late 1800’s. The present restaurant first opened its doors in 1994 with seating for just 29 guests. It has since expanded to accomodate much larger crowds during the lunch rush.

The plate carrying my lunch was elegant — its contents were decidedly not. For starters, the croissant was obviously not freshly baked. The “Salad from the Garden” was a sorry assortment of end clippings … some of which had started to turn the corner towards “Browntown.” The salad was accompanied by a Parmesan Peppercorn dressing that had a higher viscosity rating than Quaker State. Just stunningly thick and goopy, which was not exactly what I was seeking on such a hot, sticky summer day.

Calvert’s “gourmet” Chicken salad was pretty awful. This totally surprised me since it was said to be one of the stars of the menu. The pecan-laced chicken was overly salty and, frankly, just dripping with mayo.

The iced tea was good, but that could hardly justify a $13 (including tip) lunch. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. Let’s just say I was totally unprepared for how bad this meal turned out to be. I may give them another chance at some point, but I’ll need some time to clear my head (and palate) of this terrible first impression. My server was wonderful — so there, I’ve said something nice. Always try to end things on a positive note!

www.spotoftea.net