I’m writing this from the Whole Foods Market in Birmingham, Alabama, while Tim’s getting in a little more work and we’re both eating blueberry kefir mixed with maple buckwheat flakes and fresh fruit. Already this morning we’ve been the hotel guests who don’t want anything from the free breakfast buffet besides an orange. We’ve been the out-of-towners beelining for the local Target because one of us forgot her entire makeup bag. We’ve been that laughing couple in a sunny parking lot, me on the phone catching up with a dear friend, Tim on his phone catching up on emails. Today we’re heading to Pensacola, Florida for the weekend, but last night, we were driving straight to Highlands Bar and Grill here in Birmingham, all because we were sent a copy of this book recently and after I read about its chef, Frank Stitt, and about his passion for vegetables, love of culinary travel, and lifestyle of keeping his own family farm an hour away to source food for his restaurants, I wanted to go. When we got there last night, we learned I’d made reservations for the wrong night (!), but, thankfully, they still fit us in. We ate shredded Brussels sprouts and little gem lettuces and our first-ever Gulf Pompano, and Tim wore the suit jacket that doesn’t fit him quite right, because The Highlands is the kind of restaurant where gentlemen wear coats. Before we hit the road again, I wanted to jot down these memories here, partly for you and partly for my leaky brain, and, as long as I’m doing that, I may as well point you to some other things worth remembering, too:

Beautiful food-focused spaces like Dolly and Oatmeal, Farm on Plate, and The First Mess.

Instagrammers who add beauty to the middle of my day when I’m stuck in line at a store or in the passenger seat on a long trip, like @woodsermom, @crannyandme, @amandajanejones, @kathryndave, @jivandave, and @carissa_graham.

My friend Holly (you may remember her from here), who started a new food blog recently, Feast or Fallow, filled with thoughtful posts and seasonal recipes.

This book and the way it is killing me with what it means to love.

The last time we were in Pensacola, the weekend of my 30th birthday, which was only for a few hours. (We’re so excited to go back! Special thanks to the Pensacola Visitors Bureau! Follow along on Instagram @foodloves if you like.)

(ps: Are you from Pensacola or a regular visitor? Tell us what we shouldn’t miss!)

Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Holly Stephenson

    Shanna, thanks for the shoutout friend! I’m a big Frank Stitt fan, too. He makes me proud to be from Alabama. Enjoy the beach… dreamy!

    1. Shanna Mallon

      I want to visit all his restaurants now!

  2. Heather

    Through a simple quick clicking while I’m at work, the four food websites/blogs you posted links to just knocked me flat with their beauty! Thank you for sharing them – I’m adding them to my reading lists.

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Yay! I’m so glad, Heather! : )

  3. Jacqui

    Thanks for dropping in here during your trip! Love reading these little bits and pieces from you. Have a great time!

    1. Shanna Mallon

      You’re so nice. Thanks for always being so happy to share our bits and pieces with us.

  4. dixya

    Birmingham is my boyfriends hometown…he was telling me this restaurant is amazing. have fun in Florida :)

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Oooh he knows what’s up! Thanks, dixya!

  5. Joyti

    I haven’t been to Birmingham, or Pensacola. Lucky you :)

    Hope you’re having lots and lots of fun.

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Joyti, We are so thankful for the opportunity, truly! Thank you!

  6. Lindsey

    Thank you Shanna for your mention! You are too kind :)

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Lindsey! You are so welcome. Your site is so dreamy and beautiful. I love going over for new bits of beauty in my days.

  7. Medha

    Thank you for the mention Shanna! We lived in Florida for a few years, you are in for a treat! Have fun!

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Oh, fun! I bet you’d have some great tips!

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