Downtown Auburn Family Supper

On a warm spring evening residents of Auburn and Opelika gathered in downtown Auburn for the first ever Downtown Family Supper. We had previously attended a similar event in downtown Dothan a few years back, and I was really excited to see the idea brought to the “Loveliest Village on the Plains”. Tichenor Avenue, between College Street and Gay Street in downtown, was blocked off for the evening for this special event. Farm tables and sparkly lights were lined down the center of the street for the most picturesque scene. The dinner was served “family style” which is comprised of large portions passed and shared among the tables. The weather couldn’t have been better, and the night was overall blissful.

Six of downtown Auburn’s chefs came together to create the food offerings.  The dream team was comprised of  (in no particular order) David Bancroft & Caleb Fischer of Acre, Leonardo Maurelli and of Ariccia Trattoria, Scott Simpson of The Depot, Robbie Nicolaisen of The Hound, Miguel Figueroa of Amsterdam Cafe, and Patrick Gallagher of Hamilton’s on Magnolia. They all donated their talents & time for the evening, along with much of their restaurant staff also volunteering their time to help with the serving of the food and wine. All the proceeds from the supper will benefit the non-profit organizations, Downtown Merchants Association and Nourish Alabama. Nourish, AL was created through a partnership between Hornsby Farms and Pediatric Associates of Auburn with a mission of providing food insecure families in Lee County and the surrounding community with healthy nutritious foods and the tools to prepare them. This dinner with out a doubt embodied, in so many ways, the great community we are so fortunate to live in.

Each attendee enjoyed a five course meal, wine, and entertainment by Martha’s Trouble. The wines for the evening were Hahn Pinot Noir and Flint & Steel Sauvignon Blanc. Both wines paired really well with all the dishes served. The Sauvignon Blanc was especially nice with the Togarashi tuna poke prepared by Scott Simpson of The Depot and the bright beet salad prepared by David Bancroft of Acre. The Hahn Pinot Noir was particularly good with the incredible, fall-apart Heritage Farm pork ribs with the watermelon molasses prepared by Chef Robbie Nicolaisen.

Every dish that was served was incredibly delicious and every bite was thoroughly enjoyed. All efforts that went into making this inaugural event special were above and beyond. Although Auburn is changing in many ways, the core of who we are as an Auburn family is strong and unwavering. Proud to be a part of this place we love calling home.

The tablescape for the evening.

Chef David Bancroft adding the secret sauce to his brussel sprout salad.

What an appetizing menu!?!

Amazing collaborative effort! Go team!

Chef Scott Simpon’s Tuna Togarashi Tuna Poke.

Chef Scott Simpson of The Depot on Mitcham Avenue downtown Auburn.

Chef Bancroft’s golden beet salad, sultanas, fried peanuts, and mint.

Chef Bancroft’s shaved brussels sprouts, peach vinaigrette, smoked bacon and blue cheese.

Chef Miguel Figueroa’s chicken chicharrones with a garlic mayo ketchup.

Chef Robbie Nicolaisen’s roasted carrots, pepper jelly, burrata, and pistachio dukkah.

Chef Patrick Gallagher’s signature macaroni and cheese.

Chef Leo Maurelli’s extruded pasta primavera, local veggies, arugula, and pecan pesto.

Chef Figueoa’s pineapple upside down spiced rum cake with piña colada buttercream.

 

Wine selections for the evening, Hahn Pinot Noir and Flint & Steel Sauvignon Blanc.

Easter Brunch

Easter was incredibly beautiful this year. We had sunny skies, blooming azaleas, and warm weather that had everyone breaking out their summer wardrobes early.

We were fortunate enough to snag a coveted reservation at The Hound in downtown Auburn, Alabama. We have tried going to brunch here several times to only decide to not make the wait, which can sometimes reach an hour. The Hound is a very popular restaurant and bar in the heart of downtown Auburn, just a block away from Auburn University’s campus.

Outside the front entrance of The Hound there are a number of picnic tables for an outdoor seating area. I did not see anyone eating outside on this particular day. Even though it was only April 1st, the weather was already considerably warm. Eating outside could have worked, but why not enjoy the air conditioning when available?

It did not take long for us to be seated since we had a reservation. There was still a little wait, but we easily understood this because Easter is one of the busiest times for brunch services for most restaurants. We were seated in the main dining room, just beyond the bar area. The dining room is decorated in an urban rustic style. Deer antler chandeliers, minnow bucket lights, solid wood tables, and a mixture of new and old elements. The atmosphere is very relaxed and comfortable.

We were promptly served once seated. We had already decided what we wanted to eat while we were waiting to be seated, so we were anxious to order our food and get to eating!

For starters, we shared as a table the Hound’s spicy po’ cheese and Mama Sue’s pepper jelly and crackers. The Hound’s spicy po’ cheese is a house-made pimento cheese. Pimento cheese as a starter is what I consider a staple at southern gatherings; that and a pickle platter. You cannot go wrong with either of these items to calm those hungry stomachs. I loved the sharp cheese used in their recipe, and I also loved that it wasn’t extra creamy and full of cream cheese or mayo. Mama Sue’s pepper jelly was a real hit with my father. He probably could have eat the entire basket of crackers and jelly by himself.

For entrees, we all ordered something different. I ordered the Redneck Benedict, my father ordered the BLT, my mother ordered the Hound Burger, and my hubby ordered the Meatloaf Burger. I love Eggs Benedict. You can about guarantee that if it is on the brunch or breakfast menu and I am ordering, that I will most likely order the Benedict. The Hound’s Benedict, the redneck Benedict, is very unique and delicious. Instead of the classic English muffin, ham, and hollandaise sauce, the “redneck” version consists of a bed of biscuits, bacon, scrambled eggs, all covered in their house sausage gravy. It was very savory, and more than I could eat in one sitting. I took half of my meal home to reheat for the following day’s breakfast, which was equally yummy.

We all left full and happy! We hope to return soon for lunch, dinner or drinks. The food, service, and atmosphere were all stellar as usual at this downtown hot spot!

The only other item that I was able to get a taste of was my dad’s BLT. I know a BLT sounds simple, but without fresh, quality ingredients, a simple dish can become a disaster. The fresh arugula, bacon, and what I believe was house-made sourdough bread was bright, fresh, and delicious!