Southern Ale House // Biscuits, Burgers & Booze

Monday nights in Tuscaloosa are a little bit of a struggle for me when it comes to finding some tasty for dinner. With many restaurants in Tuscaloosa using Monday as an off day from full service the rest of the week, eatery options are a bit more limited come Monday lunch and dinner. This past Monday was no exception as I hunted with my friend Charlotte for some hearty dinner options on a cold Monday night. Leaving work and meetings that evening, we decided to extend our Monday with a little dinner and catch up chat. We both agreed we weren’t interested in a cold deli sandwich and decided that something warm and substantial would be the best thing to hit the spot. Checking through our Hooked Deals app for current restaurant specials, we finally decided on Southern Ale House after realizing it had been a hot minute since either of us had been there.

Getting to the restaurant around 7 p.m., I first noticed the entrance changes that had been made to the front of the restaurant to accommodate more outdoor dining while also increasing a bit of the indoor space. Having driving by Southern Ale House many times and seeing the crowded array of folks consistently at SAH, I was relieved that Charlotte and I were able to be accommodated so quickly with a table while the restaurant still maintained a good number of folks dining and at the bar on a Monday night. Judging by a new menu format in my hand, I knew right off the bat it had been quite some time since my last visit to this restaurant. Despite the menu layout change, I was happy to see some familiar items on board including the various biscuit sandwiches and sides such as the sweet potato tots and hashbrown casserole.

Though extremely tempted to get something solid and classic like chicken tenders, I went against my better judgement and decided to have the Bama Chicken biscuit sandwich with a side of pimento mac and cheese. For Charlotte, her heart was set on the Yard Bird sandwich featuring grilled chicken breast, bacon, cheese, arugula, and Slap ‘Yo Mamma sauce with a side of sweet potato tots. After taking our order, our server noticed the wobble of our table. Without us making any additional comments, he quickly got on the floor, adjusted some bolts and did some magic re-stabilize our table. As he walked away from our table after apologizing for our unsteady eating surface, my mouth dropped to the floor impressed with how helpful he was adjusting our table. Sure I’ve had wobbly tables before, but I’ve never had a server so quickly willing to help us and also actually fix the table.

It was too long before our food was set before us. My biscuit sandwich looked promising being plated with a small separate bowl of pimento mac and cheese. Charlotte’s sandwich looked great with the server indicated that her tots would be out shortly. Taking an initial bite of my mac and cheese, I was disheartened to find several relatively cold spots in my side dish. Moving on to my biscuit, I appreciated how well the chicken breast was cooked with the ratio of white barbecue sauce, but felt out of sorts with a room temperature biscuit providing a texture of being baked 8 hours ago. A few moments later, the sweet potato tots made it out… a little more tan than would be expected out of the deep fryer but Charlotte seemed to enjoy them. Our server also diligently provided us with a dessert menu to consider before we reached a high level of fullness. Quickly glancing at the menu, I was relieved to see the famous cheesecake by Tammy Smith still on the list of desserts.

Overall, our Monday night dinner experience was pleasant. Good conversation and a good server made up for the fact that the food was less than impressive on that cold Monday night. Driving by SAH many times and noticing the unwavering crowds it brings night after night, my hope is that our dinner was just an “off” night for the kitchen.

Southern Ale House is located at 1530 McFarland Boulevard North. Tweet us @ThePlanetWeekly and let us know where you are eating!

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



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