Local eateries featured in book

Published 1:08 pm Friday, November 30, 2012

Ann Edwards, co-owner of Emily’s Café, takes an order during the restaurant's lunch rush. Emily’s Café’s Cranberry nut salad with balsamic dressing was listed as one of the “100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die” and is feature in a new photo book titled Alabama Food. File Photo

Two dishes from Butler County restaurants are included in a new book that features more than 225 dishes from restaurants across the state.

The photo book, titled Alabama Food, includes Emily’s Café & Gourmet Coffee’s cranberry nut salad with balsamic dressing and Bates House of Turkey’s hickory-smoked turkey sandwich.

The 128-page book was produced in cooperation with the Alabama Tourism Department and covers the food scene in the state by geographic region, starting in North Alabama and ending with the Gulf Coast. It’s based on the popular “100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die” brochure and emphasizes unique and original Alabama restaurants, the growth of the farm-to- table movement, and native Alabama foods.

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Both Emily’s Café & Gourmet Coffee and Bates House of Turkey have been regulars on the “100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die.”

Bates House of Turkey has been on the list since 2005, while Emily’s Café & Gourmet Coffee was named to the list for the second time in January.

“It’s a big honor,” Ann Edwards, co-owner of Emily’s Café, said. “It was very exciting when they called us to let us know that we would be included on the list again.”

Both dishes will be featured in full-color photos.

More than two dozen Alabama photographers contributed images for the book. Karim Shamsi-Basha’s photo of Hot and Hot Fish Club’s iconic Tomato Salad is on the book’s cover.

The hardcover book, which will be available for purchase Monday, also has sections devoted to farmers markets, u-pick it farms, food festivals, and Alabama wines and craft beers. The book profiles 11 of the state’s award-winning chefs including Chris Hastings, Frank Stitt, James Boyce, Chris Lilly, Wesley True, Bob Baumhower, Lucy Buffett, Chris Dupont, James Lewis, Nick Pihakis, and Patricia “Sister Schubert” Barnes.

Barnes, of homemade rolls fame, wrote the foreword for the book and will sign copies at the Governor’s Mansion on Monday during the Christmas open house.

Alabama Food is the official book for the state tourism department’s The Year of Alabama Food promotion. It was created by the Birmingham News for Alabama Media Group and is available at Books-A-Million stores across the state and online at http://www.bhamstore.com and Amazon.com.

The cost of the book is $20.