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Irondale Cafe - Original Whistle Stop

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Whistle stop cafe irondale

Postby Vuzuru В» 31.03.2020

DeMatteis Y Ernie albatcker ("Ben 10").

As you get close to the little town of Irondale, you begin to think back in time to the little community where many of us grew up. There are frame houses and children playing in well-groomed yards, and sidewalks with folks out for a stroll.

When you walk into the front door there are people from all walks of life eating meals prepared with tender loving care and years of tradition. In the cafe is a poster from the movie Fried Green Tomatoes; here most folks are proud to be connected, even in a small way.

Customers enjoy this friendly down home atmosphere and good home cooking. As patrons enjoy their meal, there is always the nearby rumbling of a freight train. Diners young and old scramble to get seats near the windows to watch the trains. Afterward, folks visit local shops while others sit on park benches and watch the trains, discuss the weather, politics or even the recent additions to their families. All in all, there is a down home and delicious combination of close families, good friends, and good food in a pleasant atmosphere of good times and special fellowship.

Irondale is located just east of Birmingham on I Chartered in , a little mining community, then a railroad community, and now a diverse and thriving town. The Irondale Cafe began in as a hot dog stand owned by Emmett Montgomery. Miss Bess Fortenberry purchased the business about Bess, who came from a prominent Irondale family, was single and had a great enthusiasm for life. She was free-spirited, loved people, and built a successful business.

Her great-niece Fanny Flagg would later write a book about her life and the cafe. In the early forties, Bess leased the Irondale Cafe and went to Florida to work for the war effort. While in Florida, she ran into an old acquaintance, Sue Lovelace. After the war, Bess convinced Sue and a wonderful cook, a black lady named Lizzie Cunningham, to come back to Irondale with her and help in the cafe. The trio made the Irondale Cafe one of the most popular places around town to dine.

They cooked such good vegetables and meats, and they had a thriving sandwich business. In , Bess suffered a light stroke and decided to sell the cafe and retire. Sue and Lizzie also had health problems and were ready to give up the cafe.

I was unaware that my husband, Billy, had any interest in the Irondale Cafe until he started talking about buying it from Bess in late November Billy worked with the railroad and had eaten lunch at the cafe on numerous occasions.

When Billy talked to Bess about buying the cafe, she told him to have me come talk to her. I went to the cafe after lunch one day to talk with Bess and see the restaurant. I remember that when I walked in the front door, it was so dim inside that I could hardly see.

A lady met me and took me back to the kitchen, where Bess was sitting on a stool drinking a cup of coffee. A lady who was working at the cafe had told Billy she would continue to work for us and she would just need me during lunch hour. I was really apprehensive about buying the cafe, but Billy was insistent. Bess told me that another couple was anxious to buy the cafe, and she was going to decide who to sell it to after she talked to me. A few days later Billy came in from the railroad and told me that Bess had decided to sell it to us.

I was overwhelmed. It was mid December when we bought the Irondale Cafe. January 2, , we opened for business. Bursting at the seams when we first bought the Irondale cafe, the seating capacity was 31 for the front room and the back room even less.

We stayed in the original building until when we finally had to tear it down. Billy built the new building on the old site and the Irondale cafe reopened on July 22, This was a good thing, because little did we know what was about to happen…. It premiered at the Cobb Galleria Theater in Birmingham. She left tickets for us at the box office. A couple of friends and three of our employees, including Virginia Johnson, came with us.

Flagg always made Virginia feel special. Virginia had worked for Ms. On February 5, , The Birmingham News ran an article with a picture of two of my cooks holding a peck basket of green tomatoes. Now taste the title. Everyone who came to the cafe for the first time wanted to know all about Miss Bess and our restaurant and almost all the customers new and old, ordered fried green tomatoes!

The people at the Finley Avenue Produce Market were more than helpful in keeping us supplied with all the green tomatoes we needed. When we started frying so many tomatoes, we knew we had to have a batter mix that would be good to use in a deep fryer. We experimented, and my husband developed the Fried Green Tomato batter, which is now available around the country.

Years of tradition and cooking at the Irondale Cafe have led to the development of several batter and cobbler mixes, as well as a marinade, and spice blends. A restaurant concept based on the WhistleStop Cafe was developed in This concept was built on the original family style, good home cooking that people had appreciated in Irondale for years.

The detailed plans include a WhistleStop train theme, with professional illustrations of a depot and railroad memorabilia. These plans were based on the successes of a family cafe that could be duplicated in towns across the country. We were the owners of the Irondale Cafe for 28 years, and looking back, I wonder what would have happened if Miss Bess Fortenberry had sold the cafe to the other couple who wanted to buy it.

We were really thankful for our business. No matter how many customers we got, though, we will still tried our best to give everyone the same good service, the same good food, and the same friendliness that we did before the movie. Retirement was a dream that finally came true in In a family restaurant business there are few days off, generations of McMichaels spent our Sundays serving fried green tomatoes.

The only way to get Billy and I away from the kitchen was to sell the cafe, which we did with mixed emotions. We have since learned to love having family and friends in our own kitchen, using WhistleStop batter mixes, and frying green tomatoes just a few at a time. We continue to work on another cookbook and future products for marketing. Our family has retained the rights to the name, our restaurant concept, and of course our fabulous mixes. Billy Jr. A delicious success story in the making.

Please contact us if you wish to License this Registered Trademark. Terms and Conditions - Privacy Policy. Skip to content. Online Store. Cooking Blog. The Original WhistleStop Cafe. The History of the Original WhistleStop Cafe As you get close to the little town of Irondale, you begin to think back in time to the little community where many of us grew up.

Train passing in front of The Irondale Cafe. The Irondale Cafe. Mary Jo and Billy McMichael. Original products from the WhistleStop Cafe line. Register to receive notice of our specials.

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Niktilar
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Re: whistle stop cafe irondale

Postby Muzuru В» 31.03.2020

Reviews October 25, See more.

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Re: whistle stop cafe irondale

Postby Grogar В» 31.03.2020

Cuisines: American. Excellent Afterward, folks visit local shops while others sit on park benches and watch the trains, discuss the weather, politics or even the recent additions to their families. Reviewed March 14,

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Re: whistle stop cafe irondale

Postby Zuzshura В» 31.03.2020

Spanish 1. Updating list Please contact us if you wish to License this Registered Trademark.

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Re: whistle stop cafe irondale

Postby Vutaur В» 31.03.2020

Want to know more about how the restaurant got its start and its stop fried green tomatoes? Great food, cafe cheerful staff ,def will pop whistle When we started frying so many tomatoes, we knew we had to have a batter mix that would be good to use in irondale deep fryer.

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