I am addicted to Tripadvisor. When we travel, even if it is only an hour from home, I check out the reviews of restaurants and if it is an overnight, the hotels and the listed "things to do". We love to find restaurants that feature local foods or something unique and if we can avoid the chain restaurants you find in every city in the country, we do so. We took our time on the way home from my daughter's wedding. We wanted a little post wedding down time, so after staying a couple more days in Florida on the beach, we headed north. Our first stop was in Prattville, Alabama. We stay here often on our way to and from Florida, but we always grab dinner someplace very close to the hotel. We had read on Tripadvisor that the number one restaurant was Uncle Mick's Cajun Café, so we decided to give it a try. It was located in historic downtown Prattville, just a short drive from the area with all the hotels. We knew it wasn't going to be fancy, but everyone claimed the food was fabulous and it was!
The Cajun food is authentic and served cafeteria style, on Styrofoam plates. "Uncle Mick" greets you and asks if you have been there before...if you say "no", you are suddenly given sample bites of everything and anything you want to try. I walked in thinking I was going to have one thing, but after my sample bites...my mind was completely changed. The plate above is mine. The Shrimp a'La Crème was the best thing I ever tasted (and I usually hate fish in a cream sauce). What you see is a half order of the shrimp and a half order of Crab Meat au Gratin, which was also delicious. My meal came with 2 sides and you can see I selected the deviled eggs and tomatoes with feta.
My husband had the Shrimp Piquant over rice with the Tomato and Feta and Corn Maque Choux and he loved every bite. Our dinners were both about $9.00 each. We took their Bread Pudding back to our hotel for later and it too was delicious. It was just like eating in New Orleans only we were in a small restaurant in Alabama!
Our second night on the way home we spent in the Franklin/Nashville area. We have always loved Nashville, there is so much to see and do there. We met for dinner with a dear friend we hadn't seen in almost 30 years, it was wonderful. If you get the chance to reconnect with someone, take it!
We stopped by The Mall at Green Hills in Nashville and we were greeted with the World of Wicked museum display. Wicked the musical was in town and this display was so much fun. We saw Wicked several years ago in St. Louis and it is one of my favorite shows. It was a small exhibit but there were original costumes and the soundtrack was playing, so fun!
Our last night was in Paducah, KY. It isn't a long drive to our home from there, but we just had to make the short drive from there to Metropolis, IL to blow $20 at the Casino (we love Casinos, but only play the penny slots and only spend $20, doubt we will ever get rich). We did not love this Casino, it felt dirty to me. We won't go back. We also stopped to see the famous Superman statue.
Once again I turned to Tripadvisor to find an interesting place to have dinner in Paducah. We would never have found this place without reading about it, it is in town, but down a road that appears to lead to nothing and there isn't a sign. Flamingo Row is a Caribbean restaurant and as we were driving to it, I wondered what we were getting into.
The outside was very colorful and the inside...was just fun!
My husband had the Baja Bash, grilled chicken breast topped with Caribbean Mango Vinaigrette on a bed of coconut lime rice, with black bean salsa, avocados, salsa and topped with toasted pumpkin seeds. It was $10.89 and much prettier than my phone picture shows.
I had the Coconut Grove, fried coconut chicken tenders, bananas, pineapple, spring mix, toasted coconut, almonds, and Pina Colada yogurt dressing for $11.99. I couldn't eat it all, it was so big. Our food was interesting and great. We would definitely go back.
I think it is much more fun to find those hidden spots, not the tourist spots. The food is usually delicious and the prices are often much less. The next time you have a road trip, check out Tripadvisor, Yelp or just ask the locals in your hotel or a store where they eat...you may find a new favorite place!
I wasn't compensated by any of the above websites/locations, just sharing my opinions.