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The Yellowhammer Restaurant, Waverly AL

June 20, 2011

Sadly, since I made this post, The Yellowhammer has closed its doors for good. It was a gloomy day around here when my husband and I got that news! I am leaving this post up though… you might still enjoy the story although you can no longer experience the restaurant for yourself.

Waverly is a tiny, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town off Highway 280 in East Alabama. And I mean really, don’t blink: it’s less than 3 square miles in size and has a population around 180. Finding hidden gems like The Yellowhammer in places like Waverly is one of my main blog-related aspirations. I’m hunting for exactly what the Yellowhammer is: a memorable eatery with interesting fare, tucked away in an unlikely place.

Unfortunately for me, Waverly is about two and a half hours away from Tuscaloosa. But, that’s not too far from my in-laws’ house, and it’s also on the way to Auburn University if you’re headed there for a game.

I love the atmosphere and feel of the place: sheer green curtains, walls hung full of unique artwork, and a narrow wooden cat walk-type structure with tables for two along one side of the room. The building used to be a Ford dealership that sold Model T cars, but now it is nothing but soft glow, brick walls, and unique old chandeliers. I wish I had pictures of the inside to show you, but I just have a normal-person camera and the light was pretty low, so we’ll have to cross our fingers that I have better luck with that next time.

My husband and I have been to the Yellowhammer twice before and once had a fantastic hummus plate, but we’ve never eaten strictly vegan there. However, this past weekend my sister-in-law was with us to celebrate Father’s Day and my mother-in-law’s birthday, so we called earlier in the week to make sure they would be willing to accommodate her being a vegan. And boy, am I glad we did!

The whole experience far exceeded my expectations. The staff had printed up individual menus for all of us, with two choices of salads and one entree. However, our server stressed that those were just the chef’s ideas, and if they didn’t look good to us he was happy to make something else. I still can’t get over how thoughtful this was. It was welcoming. It was excellent hosting. And it was an incredibly kind gesture for my sister-in-law, whose veganism is rooted in her concern for animals and who would prefer not to read a typical menu.

One salad was a pretty standard combination of mixed greens and veggies, but the other featured arugula, toasted pine nuts, oranges, strawberries, roasted beet pieces, and sherry vinaigrette. The entree had Great Northern beans with a touch of slightly spicy red pepper, swiss chard, fava beans, roasted red pepper strips, and amazing shiitake mushroom caps.

Of course, it was all delicious, but what impressed me most was that the chef gave us not one, but two kinds of beans! Sometimes when you eat vegan in a meat-based restaurant you are lucky to get anything as substantial as even one kind of bean. In my humble opinion, this chef seemed to really know what he was doing. Or, maybe I am just easily impressed. Either way, I left very happy .

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Patti November 23, 2014 at 7:34 pm

We miss The Yellowhammer when we visit Auburn. Do you have any idea how they made the stuffed dates appetizer?They were wrapped in bacon, but I can’t remember the stuffing. I would love to make something similar.

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