5 meals beneath $10 we love from Huntsville native eating places

5 meals beneath $10 we love from Huntsville native eating places

Ten bucks doesn’t go practically so far as it used to, even not way back, to “eat native” in Huntsville. Attributable to nutso post-pandemic meals prices and different service-industry challenges, menu costs at many native haunts now resemble these in a lot bigger Southeast markets. It sucks.

The tip-effect? Having fun with the flavors and tradition native meals provides to our metropolis is much less accessible regularly to middle- and lower-income Huntsville residents. And that’s only for regular, fast-casual and mom-and-pop sort joints – not to mention upscale eating places.

However there are exceptions. Beneath are 5 meals beneath $10 I like from native Huntsville eating places. (No regional/nationwide chains.) Please notice: These are meals priced, as of publishing, $10 or much less, pre-tax and pre-tip.

The “B.Y.O. Turtle Burger” from the Thirsty Turtle in Huntsville, Ala. (Matt Wake/mwake@al.com)


4800 Whitesburg Drive, thirstyturtlehuntsville.com

“We’re extra like a working-class bar,” says Thirsty Turtle co-owner Chari Ridzelski-Adams. It exhibits, not simply within the Turtle’s drinks pricing, however their meals menu, too.

The “B.Y.O. Turtle Burger” is aces. These burgers aren’t hoity-toity updates, simply completely executed bar-food. You will get both a quarter- or half-pound model, each made out of Black Angus beef and every are beneath $10. Served with crinkle-cut fries and your selection of fixings, like lettuce, onion, tomato, mayo and spicy mustard. You may add different objects, together with cheese, for additional. However the Turtle Burger is killer as-is. There’s additionally a dozen different burgers and sandwiches – together with a patty soften, hen sous-chef and the house-specialty Reuben – for nearly a buck extra.

Married couple and Detroit transplants Leonard and Marilyn VerMeer opened Thirsty Turtle in 1990 in a Whitesburg Drive buying heart. By means of 5 U.S. presidents and counting and quite a few bar/restaurant traits, the Turtle and its neighborhood bar attraction endured.

After Marilyn died in 2022 (following Leonard’s 2010 passing), Thirsty Turtle closed down in August ‘22. However longtime staff Ridzelski-Adams, Nikki Kromis and Sarah Richman bought the enterprise and reopened in March 2023. They saved the Turtle’s laidback essence intact whereas leveling-up some features of the inside, together with hardwood flooring and a sharp-looking “fortunate inexperienced” paintjob. You may’t smoke contained in the bar like you possibly can for many years. However the worth, pool tables, Golden Tee videogame and down-to-earth service stay.

Service {industry} employees are “the spine” of Thirsty Turtle’s clientele, Kromis says. Their kitchen stays open till shut, serving late-night eats like wings, fries, hen fingers and potato skins. The common menu, together with the burgers, are offered till 1 a.m. “Lots of people they get out of labor and nothing’s open, even Taco Bell,” Richman says. Huntsville locals have responded to the Turtle’s reboot. They promote round 175 burgers per week.

An Italian sausage calzone from Large Ed’s Pizza in Huntsville, Ala. (Matt Wake/mwake@al.com)


255 Pratt Ave. N.E., bigedspizza.com

calzone is greater than only a half-small pizza with a roof on it. The one at Large Ed’s is a blissful half-moon with an beautiful, garlic-butter-brushed pastry-like house-made exterior. Full of gooey mozzarella and your selection of 1 filling. Filling-wise, could I recommend the chunky, zesty Italian sausage? You may additional fillings for $1.50 every. Served with a aspect of tangy pizza sauce, additionally made in-house, it makes for a comfortable, satisfying meal, particularly on a cold-weather day.

Large Ed’s Pizza is a cornerstone of Huntsville eating. The ovens date again to when Large Ed’s first opened in 1961, at their unique Oakwood Avenue and Pulaski Pike location (they later moved to North Parkway) and so they’re nonetheless baking away on Pratt Avenue, the place they rebooted in 2019. With its swooping frontage and large home windows, Large Ed’s Pratt exterior appears to be like prefer it was beamed in from the late ‘50s or early ‘60s. The satisfying eats and neighborly service right here won’t ever exit of favor, although.

The “Spicy Mei Wei” stir-fry with hen from Mei Wei Asian Bistro in Huntsville, Ala. (Matt Wake/mwake@al.com)


309 Pelham Avenue, meiweiasianbistro.com

There are numerous methods to measure success. For me, success is having the ability to take my rad mother – who raised a biomedical engineer, a lawyer and me on her personal after our dad died from coronary heart assault problems my senior yr in highschool – out to eat just a few occasions a month.

Mother loves Mei Wei Asian Bistro. Their fare’s dependably tasty and the parts are greater than truthful. Mother at all times will get the Kung Pau hen, which is outfitted with chili soy sauce, peppers, zigzag minimize carrots, white onions and peanuts. My jam’s the Spicy Mei Wei with hen. Brown sweet-spicy sauce, scallions, white onions, carrots, snow peas. (I get them to carry the white onions.)

In 2015, I used to be identified with coronary artery illness and getting two stents, regardless of being bodily energetic and weighing about 150 kilos on the time. (We will outrun some issues, however not heredity. Fortunately, I’ve a tremendous heart specialist, Dr. William J. Schneider.)

Since then, I save most of my “cheat meals” for AL.com food-writing. In consequence, I hardly ever get to revisit lots of the nice native locations we cowl. However as a result of Mei Wei’s moderately wholesome – and inexpensive – I can nonetheless be a “common” there.

The massive pulled-pork sandwich at Boarhog’s Barbeque in Huntsville. Ala. (Matt Wake/MWake@al.com)


2118 Hwy. 72 E., boarhogsbarbeque.com

Huntsville’s finest barbecue sandwich began inside a fuel station. In spring 2015, married couple Roger and Becky Owens opened Boarhog’s Barbecue inside a Citgo on Freeway 72 East. After briefly closing amid pandemic hell, in July 2020 Boarhog’s reopened down the street, in a constructing previously house to a laundromat and carwash.

Boarhoag’s grapefruit-girthed massive pulled-pork sandwich is a legit meal by itself. However for just below $10, they do a “basket” the place you additionally get a aspect. So far as sides go, the transfer is the hashbrown casserole, which is potluck perfection.

Chorizo, hen and al pastor tacos from Nacho’s Mexican Meals, a meals trailer in Huntsville, Ala. (Matt Wake/mwake@al.com)


5830 College Drive, fb.com/NachosMexicanFoodTruck

A part of Mexican meals’s attraction is not only the colourful flavors but it surely’s additionally typically straightforward on the dough. In Huntsville, there are a lot of Mex and Tex-Mex institutions that supply recent, flavorful and inexpensive eats. Bandito Burrito, the El Cazador “taco bus” and Taqueria Las Adelitas leap to thoughts. You in all probability know just a few others, too.

Parked on the Chevron on the nook of College Drive and Outdated Monrovia Highway, meals trailer Nacho’s Mexican Meals additionally matches this description. Nacho’s serves tasty, genuine tacos. Their tackle an al pastor taco is especially notable. Tender, slow-roasted and seasoned pork shoulder, with pineapple slices offsetting these primal pig pleasures with delicate sunshine. Double-wrapped in comfortable corn tortillas and topped with diced cilantro and onion.

I’m additionally into their chorizo taco — chopped pork sausage with some delayed warmth that hits the sting of your tongue and warms your soul. Nacho’s pollo taco is above-mid, too. You will get your selection of three tacos right here for lower than $10.

Look, glittery tacos completely have their place. A date, enterprise lunch, night time out with besties, and many others. However in any other case, paying nearly 20 bucks in Huntsville for pizzazz between just a few tortillas? Funk that.

Now the query is: What are some beneath $10 meals from native eating places you love?


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