Southern cuisine on Atmore menu
By By Janet Little Cooper
Downtown Atmore is home to a new restaurant that is alive with music and color, reminiscent of eateries found in New Orleans.
So Delicious Southern Cuisine opened for business Saturday morning after five months of planning and hard work by owners Tony and Rita Flavors.
"This is something that we have always wanted to do," Flavors said. "We never could find a building, so when we were given the opportunity from Joey and DeeDra (Kelley) we couldn't resist. We are excited about being downtown. Our generation would love to see downtown boom again. There are so many other places where the people don't go to the malls because they go downtown. We hope to bring people back to this area."
Tony, who was in the Army for 17 years, recently left his job as an Environmental Specialist with Solutia in Pensacola, Fla., to pursue the Atmore natives dream.
"While Tony was in the military we traveled a good bit," Flavors said. "We lived in Germany for seven years, Korea, Hawaii, Texas and Alabama. I learned a lot about different foods from all the places we moved to. And we met a lot of people in the military. I did a lot of cooking then. We would have block parties that I cooked for. I like to experiment and share recipes. People kept telling me that I could cook."
Flavors has a variety of cooking styles up her sleeve from her military travels. She can cook Hawaiian; Asian and Caribbean food just to name a few and certainly knows a few recipes from her southern roots.
The So-Delicious menu offers a wide selection of Flavor's favorite selections with more to come in the near future.
"Deciding what to put on the menu was extremely hard," Flavors said. "This was my first time to do this. I knew what my immediate family thought, but I wanted to know what other people thought. For a month I did sample trays of different recipes to get feedback from people before I decided on the final menu."
A lunch special with two choices of meat and vegetables is available for lunch from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Other menu items include a Chicken Philly sandwich, hamburger, creamy shrimp Alfredo with salad or a blackened chicken caesar salad.
The name, So Delicious came as a result of the comments made by people tasting Flavors culinary treats.
"Anytime people ate food I cooked," Flavors said. "They would say, 'Rita this is so-delicious'. I just thought it would be a catchy name."
If the name isn't catchy enough for you, the atmosphere will be. With the help of Atmore firefighter Lavon Parham and his son Cody, the Flavors created an attractive environment for patrons to enjoy a good meal.
The walls covered in red brick, light-colored wood and shiny metal are decorated with whimsical, contemporary pieces of art and prints. An antique piano sits in a corner waiting for someone to tickle its out of tune keys.
"We got a lot of things from flea markets," Flavors said. "Most of the artwork came from an artist in Pensacola. We wanted an old-style atmosphere that would draw people in and give them a sense of fun and carefree. This is our restaurant, but it belongs to the public. We want people to come in and be at home and not be afraid to talk or worry about their cell phone going off. They can wear a suit and tie if they want, but we want people to know that they are welcome here as they are – of course with shoes and shirt though. "
On opening day, the couple was pleased to see customers of all ages come through the doors. If Saturday was any indicator of things to come, the Flavors feel that they set the tone for the old-style feel.
"We had an older couple who came in to eat and sat for more than 45 minutes just talking," Flavors said. "And at another table we had a father eating with his children. One customer made her way by the piano and played a couple of tunes before she left. That is what we want."
The couple is already entertaining the idea of expanding the business next door in order to offer more seating.
So Delicious located at 129 B North Main St. is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. They can be reached at 368-4789.