Since my boyfriend and I both go to school in Tuscaloosa, nights out at home can be few and far between. For that reason, date nights almost exclusively begin downtown.
I’ve already expressed my love for Trowbridge’s as the perfect lunch spot. However, since the beloved soda fountain closes at 5:30, it always comes down to Ricatoni’s, City Hardware, and Rosie’s for dinner dates.
I am classically indecisive, so narrowing down my options to these three choices sometimes makes things easier…but not always. Ricatoni’s, my all-time favorite restaurant and the location of our first date in 2013, wins me over easily with Fettucine Alfredo and Ravioli Ricatoni. However, City Hardware’s Crab Cake Sandwich and Rosie’s Pollo Loco are also mouth-watering options, and all are so equally tempting that we’ve had to “pick a number between one and three” many times. Thankfully, neither of us is ever disappointed in the winner of that game.
After dinner, Carson and I like to walk down Court Street, often seeking out live music (which is thankfully abundant in the Shoals) or simply enjoying the peacefulness of downtown before finishing out the night with dessert and a $5 movie from Target.
Date nights downtown are one of our favorite traditions, and downtown Florence has so much to offer when it comes to delicious dining and local talent.
Emily Strickland, Communications Intern
Until August 2015 I’d lived my whole life in Lauderdale County, so when I entered my freshman year at the University of Alabama I was faced with the prospect of learning an entirely new city. This experience has been important not only because it has been one of my first forays into the independence of adulthood, but also because it gave me a renewed appreciation for the Shoals and the hometown that I love–Florence.
Tuscaloosa has no shortage of meat-and-threes, trains, or championships. One thing Tuscaloosa doesn’t have, though? Trowbridge’s.
The bustling, classic diner has been a Shoals favorite for over a century, and one of my personal favorite downtown spots for as long as I can remember. You’ll come for the chicken salad and pimiento cheese, but you’ll stay for the deliciously iconic desserts. My personal favorite has to be the Coke float, but the restaurant’s really known for the orange pineapple ice cream (a recipe developed by Mr. Trowbridge and later sold to Purity) and the Oh My Gosh (a brownie sundae big enough for your whole party that truly lives up to its name.)
I’ve yet to find an equal to the gem that Trowbridge’s is, and it’s always one of the first spots I and my other out-of-town friends hit as soon as we’re home.
My name is Emily Strickland, and I’m a guest blogger and communications intern for Florence Main Street. I am entering my Junior year at the University of Alabama pursuing a degree in Journalism with a double minor in Economics and General Business.
In my time at UA, I’ve completely fallen in love with Tuscaloosa and all it has to offer. However, I’ve also learned that nothing can make one appreciate her hometown more than spending some time away.
That’s why I was so excited to have the opportunity to work with Main Street promoting the city I love. I’ve lived in the Shoals area my whole life and jump at any chance I get to sing its praises. Throughout my internship, I’ll be keeping up a series called “Sweet Home FloAla,” highlighting all of the parts of Florence and the Shoals that I love the most.
My hope is that readers would fall in love with this area just as much as I have. Thanks for reading!