Big Daddy’s Mediterranean Grill & Hookah Cafe

Over the past ten years, locals have been able to witness the expanding variety of eateries available in downtown Tuscaloosa. From burgers to sushi to the most exquisite fine dining, hungry Tuscaloosa residents have had anything imaginable to fulfill their palates. Nestled in the mix of downtown lies Big Daddy’s Mediterranean Grill & Hookah Café, serving patrons Mediterranean and American cuisine since 2009 and later expanding to a hookah café in 2010.

Boasting itself as “the little place with the big taste,” Big Daddy’s packs a variety of options in its modest location right next to Chuck’s Fish. In close proximity to the courthouse and other government offices, one can expect to see a myriad of business men and women indulge in their Mediterranean cravings during the weekday lunch hour. With business hours extending into the late night of 2:30 a.m. Thursdays through Saturday, the patron profile includes a large following of college students and area hookah lovers.

To cure my falafel cravings, I decided to enjoy Big Daddy’s on a quiet Tuesday evening with a girlfriend. Reviewing the variety of food on the menu, I started to question my falafel urge and opt for a fried green tomato BLT with chili cheese fries. After an extended look at the menu, I decided on a mixed plate entrée of falafel and chicken kabob accompanied by hummus, tabouli, and pita bread. The rainy weather that night voided any opportunity to sit in the outdoor seating area. Wanting to avoid the harsh fluorescent lighting of the midsection of the restaurant and the dark ambiance of the hookah café in the back, we found ourselves sitting at a small two person table at the front of the house. Though I didn’t plan on relaxing with a hookah pipe myself, I was curious to see the myriad of flavors that the hookah lounge had to offer. From the popular “red bull” flavor to more simple tones such as mango and grape, I was impressed with the number flavors to choose from. Taking a peek in the back, I witnessed groups of friends and couples having intimate conversation while enjoying their hookah and hummus.

Our food was quickly brought to us, and I was immediately pleased by the warmth and texture of the pita bread with my plate. I found my falafel to have the perfect consistency while having a distinct taste of parsley and garlic. Though my chicken kabob was simple, the juiciness of the chicken was a great complement to the refreshing tabouli salad. I decided to end my meal by having a piece of Big Daddy’s famous baklava which I found to be wonderfully flaky, moist, and delicious.

Overall I found Big Daddy’s to be the perfect place for dinner that night. Though seating can be limited for those not wanting to sit in the hookah section, the quality of food that Big Daddy’s provides warrants a takeout order to enjoy in the comfort of your own home.

Big Daddy’s Mediterranean Grill is located at 514 Greensboro Avenue in downtown Tuscaloosa and open daily at 11:00 a.m.  Tweet us @ThePlanetWeekly and let us know where you are eating!

Sheena Gregg, MS, RDN,LD is a registered dietitian nutritionist and local “Filipino foodie.” Follow her on Twitter @AFilipinoFoodie



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