Cypress Inn Restaurant //A Tuscaloosa Classic

November is hands down my favorite time of the year. Sure I could attribute this to Thanksgiving, perhaps even football, but more likely the fact that my birthday falls within this month. Now well into my thirties, I’ve transitioned away from big birthday bashes to intimate dinners with close friends. I told my husband this year that I wanted to find a place that would comfortably accommodate a group of twelve, while providing great food and an atmosphere that was conducive to good conversation with everyone at the table.

The first restaurant that came to my mind was Cypress Inn. First learning of Cypress Inn as a college freshman, I remember having dinners at Cypress for honor society officer inductions and other prestigious student organizations. Fast forwarding to later in my adult life, memories have been added of celebrating friends’ engagements at Cypress, as well as taking interview candidates from campus to dinner. Cypress Inn seemed like the perfect place to enjoy a little nostalgia while celebrating turning another year wiser.

We arrived at Cypress on a Thursday evening welcomed by an extremely friendly staff. Anticipating our arrival, the hostess took us to our own private area. Not soon after we sat down, our server quickly took our drinks orders and brought out the signature spice muffins and yeast rolls. Still soft and warm like memories past, I pleased knowing that their bread quality had not changed over the years.

Looking through the menu, I had difficulty deciding what to get. I’ve traditionally been a smoked chicken with white barbecue sauce kind of diner, but thought I’d go for something a little different. Perusing the menu one last time, I decided to go with the fried jumbo Gulf shrimp with country club squash and smoked Gouda grits. Others at our table opted for the prime rib split rolls, catfish, and Cypress Inn Special.

It wasn’t long after we ordered that the food started piling on the table. It had been awhile since my last trip to Cypress, so the ample portions of my grits and squash were surprising. My jumbo shrimp lived up to their name and were colored in golden perfection.

Soon after finishing my meal, dessert started to creep on the radar. Our group couldn’t decide between the peanut butter pie, bread pudding, and cheese pie, so we decided on the Cypress Inn dessert sampler to give us a little bit of everything. Each bite of dessert was consistent perfection. I’d never had the Mississippi mud cake or the key lime pie; neither left me disappointed.

All in all, it was great to be back in a place where my first memory started 13 years ago. Despite the management and ownership changes over the years, Cypress Inn continues to be a place that Tuscaloosa loves.  It’s hard to ignore the fact that Cypress Inn will always be a signature place in Tuscaloosa. Riverfront views seem to be a highlight and complement to the tried-and-true menu that Tuscaloosa folks keep coming back for. I will be back again soon, Cypress Inn.

Cypress Inn is located at 501 Rice Mine Road North in Tuscaloosa. Tweet us @ThePlanetWeekly and let us know where you are eating!

Sheena Gregg, MS, RDN,LD is a registered dietitian and local “Thrifty Dietitian.” Follow her on Twitter

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