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>>> R E S T A U R A N T R E V I E W | C I N D Y H U G G I N S

A BITE OF PERFECTION // BROTHERS EXPRESS PIZZA

The 2014 Bacon & Brewfest people’s choice winner for the Best Bacon Dish was Brothers Express Pizza Café. It wasn’t the “Carnivore” red pie, slathered in red sauce, topped with mozzarella, pepperoni, bacon, Italian sausage, and Italian meatballs that took the prize. Imagine the tastes and textures of creamy cold gelato with a rich caramel flavor followed by the comforting taste of salty, fatty bacon. Yes, it was the Caramel Bacon Gelato that took the win. Brothers Express Pizza Café is creating a name for itself and quickly. Owners Robbie Sickler and wife hosted a grand opening only 5 weeks ago. The vision for this restaurant is in its name. Sickler wants the focus to be on family and food. Not just any food, fresh and fast food. Their pies take a turn on a revolving deck inside a massive brick oven reaching 750 degrees in little time. The oven possesses world record holding technology having produced 200 pizzas in one hour. So, if you need a couple hundred pies made you know where to turn. This new pizzeria can be found in Midtown Village across from Az Well. The space is sleek and modern with plenty of family seating. The menu is well designed with a simple format making it easy to navigate. Offers include pizza pies, calzones, salads, bread sticks and gelato. Little Brother, Middle Brother, and Big Brother, is used to distinguish pizza sizes. The menu makes it easy for a whole family to eat together or choose individual options. When I reached the counter I was immediately greeted by a friendly employee and Mr. Sickler, who was diligently cooking while holding a polite conversation with me. The evening’s meal was carryout, so my order was promptly brought to

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me nice and hot. My eyes hit the colorful gelato and curiosity got the best of me. Along with my order I opted for two scoops to-go. The first scoop, cookies-n-cream with blood orange sorbet plopped on top. Random, yes but oh so good! During my conversation I was invited to browse the walls which displayed beautiful black and white family pictures. The lasting family memories were captured in the beautiful country of Italy. My drive home was accompanied by the intoxicating smell of melted mozzarella, spicy sausage, and hints of herbs. The aroma was escaping from two delicious calzones. My choice was the “Keep it Simple” calzone. What can I say? I’m a simple kind of girl. Garlic, pepperoni, ricotta, and Mozzarella filled a thin layer of crust topped with parmesan cheese and an herb blend. Like most calzones, the portion was generous. But, this handcrafted calzone was rather flat. The ingredients were evenly distributed promising a consistent savory bite. The ricotta cheese was a nice addition rendering a somewhat tangy, sweet taste. Marinara sauce sat lonely beside my plate. The well-seasoned crust complemented the ingredients so well didn’t crave the need for sauce. Though, my husband felt the portion of the sauce was a little stingy. His calzone, “Mighty Meaty”, was full of garlic, ricotta, Mozzarella, pepperoni, hand-pinched Italian sausage, and bacon engulfed in parmesan and herb covered crust. The crust was something special. It was soft but not undercooked or doughy. It allowed for the softest bites not taking away from the ingredients and adding a little more. Hungry yet? Brothers Express Pizza Café is serving up hot pies Monday – Saturday from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm and Sunday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Let us know where you are eating! Tweet us @ ThePlanetWeekly. Cindy Huggins, RDN, LD is a registered dietitian nutritionist and local “foodie” Follow her on twitter @DietitianCindy for more foodie news.

>>> RESTAURANTS |

W H E R E TO E AT I N T U S C A LO O S A (CO N T.)

Tuscaloosa Burger & Seafood Company 1014 7th Ave. | Tuscaloosa // 764.1976 Over 160 craft beers. Tue. - Thu 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Fri - Sat 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sun 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Large selection of decadent desserts. Wintzell’s Oyster House 1 Bridge Ave | Northport // 247.7772 Casual riverfront dining Sun–Thurs 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Fri–Sat 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.

CHINESE

Buffet City 1747 Skyland Blvd E // 553.3308 All you can eat buffet. Open 7 days a week. Chang’s Chinese Restaurant 1825 McFarland Blvd N // 391.9131 China Fun 2600 University Blvd | Alberta City // 553.2435 China Garden Hwy 69 S | Hillcrest Center // 758.0148 Hot Wok Express 6751 Alabama 69, Tuscaloosa // 758.0148 Lee Palace 6521 Highway 69 S // 391.9990 Open daily 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Mr. Chen's Authentic Chinese Cooking & Oriental Market 514 14th St. | In the Oz Music shopping center // 343.6889 // Open Sun - Thu 11am - 9pm, Fri & Sat 11am - 9:30pm Pearl Garden 2719 Lurleen Wallace Blvd | Northport // 339.0880 Peking Chinese Restaurant 1816 McFarland | Northport // 333.0361 Open 7 days a week. Super lunch and dinner buffet. Hours: Sun–Thurs 11 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. | Fri & Sat 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Swen Chinese Restaurant 1130 University Blvd | The Strip // 391.9887 Trey Yuen 4200 McFarland Blvd E // 752.0088

ASIAN CUISINE

Fax: 752.6193 // www.jasonsdeli.com Located in the Meadowbrook Shopping Center. Jimmy John’s (3 locations) 1400 University Blvd | The Strip // 366.3699 1875 McFarland Blvd N | Northport // 752.7714 815 Lurleen B. Wallace S | Tuscaloosa // 722.2268 Delivery 7 days a week. www.jimmyjohns.com Manna Grocery & Deli 2300 McFarland Blvd E | Tuscaloosa // 752.9955 McAlister’s Deli (2 locations) 101 15th St | Tuscaloosa // 758.0039 3021 Tyler Dr | Northport // 330.7940 Sandwiches, salads and spuds www.mcalistersdeli.com Momma Goldberg’s Deli 409 23rd Ave // 345.5501 www.mommagoldbergs.com Newk's 205 University Blvd E | Tuscaloosa // 758.2455 Schlotsky’s Deli 405 15th St. E // 759.1975 schlotskys.com Which Wich University Blvd.// Downtown Tuscaloosa // Mon – Sat 10:30 – 9 // Sunday 11 – 7 // Fun atmosphere,fresh ingredients, great sandwiches. 764.1673

COFFEE SHOP

Barnes & Noble 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Tuscaloosa 349.6366 Chloe's Cup 2117 University Blvd.| Tuscaloosa // 764.0218 Crimson Cafe International Coffee House & Gourmet Deli 1301 University Blvd | The Strip // 750.0203 Mon–Fri 7 a.m. - 11 p.m. | Sat & Sun 8 a.m. - 11 p.m. thecrimsoncafe.com Five Java Coffee, fresh juices, smoothies and treats from Mary's Cakes. Open Monday - Saturday at 7am; 9am on Sundays

Ruan Thai 1407 University Blvd // 391.9973 | ruanthaituscaloosa.com Exotic Thai cuisine. Offers vegetarian options, outdoor dining, and a full bar. Sushi on Thursdays. Lunch: Mon–Sat 11 a.m. -2 p.m. | Dinner: Mon–Thurs 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. Fri & Sat 5 p.m. -10pm | Sun 11 a.m. -3 p.m.

Heritage House 18 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 758.0042

Surin of Thailand 1402 University Blvd // 752.7970 Authentic Thai restaurant and sushi bar. Open daily. Lunch: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Dinner: 5 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. www.surinofthailand.com

Starbucks (2 locations) 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 343.2468 1901 13th Ave East | inside Super Target // 462.1064 starbucks.com

PIZZA AND SUBS

A Taste Of Chicago 1700 Greensboro Avenue 205-342-DOGS Mon. - Thurs. 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Fri. - Sat. 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. 17th Street and Greensboro Avenue. Authentic Chicago style foods. Italian Beef Sandwiches, Chicago Rib Tips, and Chicago Style Pizza. California Underground 13552 Highway 43, Northport | 339.8660 Firehouse Subs 1130 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa // 248.0680 Hungry Howie’s (2 locations) 1105 Southview Ln | South Tuscaloosa // 345.6000 1844 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 333.2633 1211 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa | The Strip // 366.1500 4851 Rice Mine Rd | Northriver/Holt // 345.3737 Lenny’s Sub Shop 220 15th St // 752.7450 Fax: 752.7481 // www.lennys.com Little Caesars Pizza 1414 10th Ave // 366.2220 | 1www.littlecaesars.com Little Italy 1130 University Blvd. // 345.4354 Mellow Mushroom 2230 University Blvd | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 758.0112 Subs n' You 2427 University Blvd. | Tuscaloosa // 205.758.0088 Roly Poly Sandwiches 2300 4th Street | Tuscaloosa // 366.1222 The Pita Pit 1207 University Blvd | The Strip // 345.9606 Hours: Mon–Sat 10:30 a.m. - 3 a.m. | Sun 11:30 a.m. - midnight Pizza 120 50115th St. East | 561.6853 Pizza Palace Buffet 6521 Alabama 69 | 752.5444 Tut’s Place 1306 University Blvd | The Strip // 759.1004

DELICATESSEN Honeybaked Ham Company 421 15th St. E // 345.5508 www.honeybaked.com

Krispy Kreme Doughnut 1400 McFarland Blvd // 758.6913 www.krispykreme.com

DESSERTS

Celebrations Bakery, Inc. 1832 McFarland Blvd N | Northport // 339.3221 Fax: 349.1945 Cold Stone Creamery 1130 University Blvd. | Tuscaloosa //343.1670 Specializes in customized ice cream Hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Fri & Sat 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Sun 12 p.m. - 10 p.m. Dunkin' Donuts 2520 Stillman Blvd. |Tuscaloosa// 349.3400 McCorvey Dr. | Tuscaloosa // 348.4041 www.dunkindonuts.com Mary's Cakes & Pastries 412 22nd Avenue | behind Opus | Northport // 345.8610 www.maryscakesandpastries.com Mon–Fri 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. | Sat 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Smoothie King (2 locations) 415 15th Street | Tuscaloosa // 349.1721 Fax: 349.1945 1403 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa // 462.3664 Sweet CeCe's Frozen yogurt Treats 2217 University Blvd. | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 561.6458 A fun and friendly make your own creation, yogurt experience! TCBY (3 Locations) 2304 Mcfarland Blbd | Meadowbrook Shopping Center // 349.4661 // 2 Mcfarland Blvd | Northport | Essex Shopping Center // 758.6855 // 1130 Univ. Blvd. | The Strip // 345.0804 Yogurt In Love Patriot Center 7402 Highway 69 South Phone Number: 764.9173 Fax Number: 764.9228 Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., Friday & Saturday 11 a.m.-10 pm. Yogurt Lab 920 Paul W. Bryant Dr Ste 200 | Tuscaloosa // 347.9522 Yogurt Mountain 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 342.1484 Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. | Fri & Sat 11 a.m. - midnight

TO HAVE YOUR RESTAURANT LISTED HERE PLEASE EMAIL PLANETEDITOR@YAHOO.COM

Jason’s Deli 2300 McFarland Blvd // 752.6192

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