Southern Ale House continues the Tuscaloosa restaurant trend of southern-style food with a variety of local brews on tap. This “uniquely Southern pub,” described by owner Justin Holt, offers gastropub favorites with a southern-style spin. Attempting to live up to a true alehouse, this restaurant serves 15 local and standard beers on tap. All beer poured comes from local breweries in Tuscaloosa and all across the Southern states. Holt says he has a goal of “keeping it southern.”

A pleasant hostess greeted me and my husband at the door. The atmosphere was suitable for casual, family dining. Southern inspired mason jar light fixtures hang along with unique wine bottle chandlers. A large bar area demands center stage, providing ample seating for happy hour cocktails while catching a game. The restaurant extends onto a quant patio offering a relaxing setting to wine and dine with friends and family. We were immediately sat in a spacious, private booth. Paper menus were placed on the table while the server explained the evening’s specials. Involuntarily, my hand reached for the drink menu. Embracing my inner girly girl, I chose the Blue Chair Beachcomber. This refreshing sweet drink is made with Blue Chair bay rum, vodka, and a few splashes of this-and-that. It tasted like summertime, yielding an intoxicating fruity taste. The main menu was impressive and quite creative. Options include pub favorites infused with southern staples like pimento cheese. The layout is simple, making it easy to navigate. Eyes browsed over the appetizers, entrées, burgers, and salads, but then stopped at a heading named “biscuits.” A truly southern inspired section devoted to homemade biscuits ranging from fried chicken, brisket, to pork biscuits.

The evenings’ appetizer was pimento cheese bacon stuffed potato skins. Presentation was nice. The plate displayed a green bed of arugula with 6 small potato skins. Each was filled with melting pimento cheese and topped with bacon, an appetizing start to the meal. The pickle burger and shrimp po-boy hit the table within ten minutes of ordering. Both entrees came with the house specialty slap-yo-momma sauce. This creole inspired sauce complemented each bite. This shrimp po-boy was dressed with French bread, crispy fried shrimp, arugula, and tomatoes. One of the best seafood plates I have had in town. Five stars go to the pickle burger. Hands down, best burger this side of the river. This juicy burger patty is made with a blend of ground brisket, sirloin, and chuck. In addition to the specialty blend, this burger comes topped with bacon, arugula, melted cheese, and fried pickle spears. My husband knew it would be a good burger when the server asked how he would like it cooked. Medium rare, of course, leaving a bit of a pinky center. It literally tasted as if it came off the grill at a backyard cookout. Each juicy bite melted in my mouth. The toppings and sauce just complemented the burger, letting the beef be the star of the show. This burger will be soon be a fan favorite. Who do you think has the best burger in town? Tweet us @ThePlanetWeekly and let us know.

Located at 1530 McFarland Blvd. North. Southern Ale House occupies the space where Desperados Steakhouse once operated. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Cindy Huggins is a registered dietitian nutritionist and local “foodie”! Follow her on twitter @DietitianCindy.

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