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2 Chain Eateries New to Our Area

I know. I know. I seldom write about chain restaurants. After all, no matter which McDonald's, Burger King, Red Lobster, Chick-Fil-A, Jack's, or Applebee's you walk into, the menu will be the same, and there are locations everywhere you look. Occasionally though, a new one will appear in our North Alabama area that has fresh menu ideas and is the first of its kind to arrive here. Today I'll give my thoughts about one that serves breakfast and another that offers Cajun dishes. Both of these are on Highway 72 in Madison, AL across the road from Madison Hospital.


Steve and I are always alert to new restaurants specializing in breakfast, since it is one of our favorite meals to eat out. Maple Street Biscuit Company has 3 locations in Alabama -- Mobile, Homewood, and Madison. Its Squawking Goat menu item was featured on the Food Network and consists of a large biscuit with fried chicken, a medallion of goat cheese, and pepper jelly inside.

When Steve and I visited last week, he ordered the Bacon & Cheddar Frittaffle (frittata/waffle combination).

I had The Retro Plate -- very much like a standard egg and bacon breakfast. The Smashbrowns are very crispy outside with a softer mashed potato/green onion center. The Maple Pepper Bacon is very tasty.

When I return, I have my eye on the Sweet Grace -- a chocolate chip waffle with strawberries and whipped cream.

Maple Street is very casual. You will order at the counter as soon as you walk in, so I'd suggest you go to the website and have a good idea about the menu before you arrive. You will fix your own beverage, then have a seat to wait for your food to be brought to your table.

We enjoyed it. Steve gives extra kudos to the Maple Tap Coffee.


Full disclosure: We haven't been to the Madison location yet, but we tried the Walk-Ons Sports Bistreaux in Auburn and liked it a lot.

The concept was created by two former LSU basketball players who were -- you guessed it -- "walk ons." Brandon Landry and Jack Warner were the original partners. Now Drew Brees is a co-owner. If you crave Cajun food but don't have time to drive to New Orleans or Baton Rouge, Walk-Ons is a great option.

Sports fans will appreciate the many flatscreen TVs in the dining room. You're sure to find your favorite team if they are playing on the day you visit.

Temptations on the menu include: Boudin Balls, Fried Alligator, Gumbo, Zydeco Salad, Crawfish Etouffee, Catfish Atchafalaya, Bayou Pasta, Voodoo Shrimp, Poboys, Bread Pudding, and Beignet Bites. There are non-Cajun choices, too . . . but I'd ignore them if I were you. :) My mouth is watering just typing these selections. Hmmm. Maybe I could suggest this for Valentine's Day??

On our first visit, we shared a platter with catfish, shrimp, and crawfish etouffee.

P.S. The last O'Charley's in the state closed last weekend. It was only five minutes from my house. I sure hope something really good appears in its place.

Have a good week, everyone!

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