Miss Dots Delicious Dining

Miss Dots

1715 University Blvd

Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

            Miss Dots Chicken Shop is one of the many restaurants Tuscaloosa has added to its growing foodie scene in recent months. Miss Dots Tuscaloosa is the newest addition to John Cassimus’ quickly growing collection of restaurants. He and business partner Tyre Stuckey opened a Miss Dots location in the Birmingham township of Mountain Brook just a few weeks before their Tuscaloosa launch. Risky? The men don’t seem to think so. The new fast casual chain is the second that the duo has tackled; the first is the contagious Zoes Kitchen that is quickly spreading across the southeast. The new up-and-coming Miss Dots chain is sure to make a huge impact with its traditional southern cuisine in a fast casual setting.

Owners aptly named Miss Dots after a local culinary inspiration, Miss Leona Rogers— AKA Dot. Miss Dot and owners have created the perfect mixture of a southern at-home meal and a fast dining experience unprecedented in Tuscaloosa. The restaurant is located within Tuscaloosa’s forgotten mile, bridging the gap of between The Strip and Downtown. With plenty of parking and brand new sidewalks, Miss Dots is easily accessible to Tuscaloosa locals and students alike.

Although the facility doesn’t look all that big from the outside, the use of picnic tables, both inside and out in addition to regular seating, provides a comfortable environment for patrons to dine in. If eating there doesn’t suit your fancy, simply order at the counter and carry out a full meal for your hungry family. In addition to ordering at the counter one can simply check out the refrigerator by the door and buy in larger quantities Miss Dots famous fried chicken, fried chicken salad, dinner rolls, or pecan pie. The hodge-podge of seating inside facilitates large parties as well as couples and small groups. The kitchen is clearly visible from almost anywhere in the dining room over the assembly and service bar where employees are itching to assist customers.

This restaurant seems to have no issues when finding its niche; the southern flavor of Miss Dots is not only apparent in their tasty chicken, but also in its ambiance. The restaurant carries over its southern charm with exposed wood walls and uncovered light bulbs. Although the restaurant achieves a country feel, they left the farm and dirt behind. With brand new tables, chairs, and picnic tables, Miss Dots has a clean and comforting atmosphere suitable for college students or families. A large chalk wall to the right of the ordering counter displays in exciting colors and enticing fonts daily drink specials from the bar, Margarita Mondays, Draft beer Tuesdays, Wine Wednesdays, Thirsty Thursdays, Pregame Fridays, and Bloody Saturdays and Sundays. Another above the exit featuring other drinks and deals chalkboard is almost hidden. The fast casual nature of the scene provides a perfect lunch hot spot, or a great pit stop for a quick bite to eat and a drink before hitting the bars downtown.

The menu at Miss Dots features many variations of a southern classic— fried chicken. Customers can order chicken at affordable prices by the box, flat-top (the whole bird), or bites as well as soups, salads, light options, plates, sandwiches, and family meals; and one mustn’t forget the sides. After many minutes of indecision, I chose the fried chicken salad sandwich and warm red cabbage slaw. Upon ordering at the counter with the chipper employee, I was handed my receipt, drink cup, and buzzer. Thoroughly impressed by the service technology, I took my seat and waited. Approximately three minutes later, my buzzer went frantic, indicating my order was up. Another equally cheerful employee presented me with my lunch on a silver platter… okay, it was a metal tray, but the sensation was very similar. The sandwich and side were in separate cardboard dishes, perfect for segregating conflicting flavors and preventing my bread from becoming soggy.

Without hesitation I dove into the warm red cabbage slaw. Unlike anything I had ever experienced, the slaw was in fact warm. My first bite was a huge shock; the hot vinegar locked my jaw instantly, like the first time a Warhead hits your tongue. Excited to experience the sensation again, I took another bite. I was surprised to find that this bite was entirely different. Sure enough, just like a warhead, the sour vanished and left behind a sweet, robust flavor that perfectly contradicted the crisp bite of the red cabbage. Determined to discover what other delicious delicacies Miss Dot could present, I chomped into my chicken salad sandwich. The flavors and textures of pickles, celery, and fried chicken explode into a perfectly seasoned medley. The combination of fried chicken presented in a sandwich held together by a barely there layer of sweet mayonnaise was a culinary conundrum I never want to solve. The pickles accompany the celery crunch perfectly. My second bite was a bit overwhelming. The large pieces of chicken are diced, chopped and pulled directly off of the bone, therefore leaving them a little large for small mouths. The tangy seasoning was much more apparent in the smaller bites of chicken. Overall, I will absolutely be dining at Miss Dots for a quick lunch with friends, or for dinner and drinks before a night downtown.

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