Date Night crosses state lines, traveling to Alabama for Florence Restaurant Week. We are here at the kind invitation of Florence Main Street, which is in charge of the event. Fifteen restaurants are participating this year and we are going to visit five in the days to come. Join us as your favorite restaurant blog throws in a little bonus travel coverage.
You might come to Florence to visit the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, a Frank Lloyd Wright house, or W.C. Handy’s birthplace. We come for the tandem bicycling.
There’s cotton and cattle as far as you can see.
On today’s 34-mile ride in Lauderdale County, we saw less than ten cars. The terrain is hilly enough to make things interesting, but not so hilly as to cause your legs to hurt. And cycling is a great way to burn off the calories we are going to eat this week.
Restaurant Week does not officially start until May 8, but tonight we are invited to an exclusive preview party at the Singin’ River Brewery, near the historic downtown area.
Singin’ river has been open for about a year. Their tasting room has been here for around six months. Here’s the beer menu:
We tasted many. Our favorites were the porter, the gold and the doppelmaibock.
Here’s how restaurant week works: fifteen or so restaurants have ballots that have the names of five charities. As people eat out in Florence starting on May 8, they get to vote for a charity. The winning charity gets $5000. It’s simple, and one of the participating charities is a big winner.
The restaurants are all here tonight. We taste something from every table. Here are some of the things we like, beginning with this plate of eggs from Odette.
There’s pimiento cheese in the eggs as well as a sliver of bacon on top. Delicious.
Creativity abounds in the dessert selections. Ever have a butter beer blondie?
These are from Bookmarks, which is a cafe in the public library. These are derived from the Harry Potter novels. Kids must love them as they are very sweet.
Imagine That gives us a taste of France with lavender honey cupcakes.
Each bite reminds us of Provence, where Date Night will be visiting in just a few weeks. They make a heck of a chicken salad here too.
We like the large chunks of chicken. And there’s no onions. And speaking of chicken salad, here’s Trowbridge’s take on the classic, complete with white bread.
The restaurant itself is a classic. It’s been here since 1918. Mr. Trowbridge himself is here. This third-generation restauranteur is 78 and has no plans to retire, even though his son wants him to.
We make a Tastemade video while we are at the brewery. Watch the food come alive, and see how cute Eve looks by clicking here.
A nice crowd attends the kickoff, even though it’s Cinco de Mayo and there’s no Mexican food here.
It’s going to be fun three days for us in Florence. Stay tuned as Date Night brings you restaurant reviews from all over the city.
Disclosure time: Since we are guests of Florence Main Street, we did not pay for this event or for our hotel room in Florence. Thanks to Christina for the invite and to the Marriott at the Shoals for the excellent hotel accommodations.