For most, Alabama represents the epitome of Southern cuisine, and you can expect sweet tea, fried chicken, fried okra, and mashed potatoes with plenty of gravy and butter at the usual Southern diners. However, you might not expect the barrage of other cuisine choices.
Settle for nothing less than amazing at Roma Cafe, where the atmosphere proves casual and the cuisine authentically Italian. Hearty and wholesome, this establishment requires a big appetite or a to-go box for most of its meals. The talented chefs create fresh dishes, such as chicken Parmesan and seafood manicotti, from the extensive pantry, and the cafe promotes daily specials for both lunch and dinner. Great for families, this establishments boasts a sterling reputation for its collection of homemade desserts, such as tiramisu, cannoli, and cheesecake.
Another Southern favorite, the Brick Pit specializes in slow-smoked, pulled-pork barbecue, with its signature spicy sauce and award-winning homemade banana pudding for dessert. Creamy coleslaw, baked beans, and potato salad serve as the sides — all of which come on a durable Styrofoam plate with a full roll of paper towels for messy eaters. The laid-back atmosphere suggests rustic charm and true Southern heritage, with the ribs voted the best in the country by Maxim magazine in 2013.
When it comes to nightlife and entertainment, Heroes Sports Bar & Grille serves a dual purpose as both a restaurant for dinner and a pub for beer-lovers who want to unwind. Customers love the standard sports bar atmosphere, and a selection of televisions above the bar allow enthusiasts to watch every NFL Sunday game without interruption. Food-wise, customer favorites include the homemade Cajun wings, bacon cheeseburger, and spinach crawfish dip.
popped up in the late 19th century, a handful of decades after Mobile
became an official county of Alabama in 1813. The founding took place after the Confederate States of America collapsed in 1865, and Alabama was flooded with the need for new neighborhoods to accommodate the expanding, diverse boom in population.
The USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park -- a 30-minute drive from Hillsdale -- includes a rich, detailed history of the soldiers who called the neighborhood their home. The heroic crew consisted of natives from Hillsdale and surrounding Alabama counties, and their heritage goes on in memory in the dozens of memorials that line the battleship. Silver plaques record seven decades of bravery on the submarine walls.
Take a step away from historic events to admire the masterpieces of local artisans at the Mobile Museum of Art. This 95,000-square-foot museum welcomes traveling exhibits alongside classic artworks.
Boasting an open landscape and mostly suburban roads, Hillsdale's commuters rarely have a problem with traffic, even in the midst of rush hour in most cities. The majority of traffic issues typically occur due to roadwork, but drivers can easily bypass them by taking less-traveled roads, such as Pichodilly Drive, Fontaine Drive, and Cleverdon Parkway.
Suburban streets in this neighborhood remain safe for cyclists, but designated bicycling trails, such as Old Shell Road and Hillcrest Road, provide safe passage where motorists expect to share the road with bicycles. North University Boulevard also gives bicyclists the upper hand due it its main use in getting college students from their apartments to the University campus.
Located beneath Zeigler Boulevard and to the east of Cody
Road — both major streets for commuters to work and school — the Southern Cab Company and Mobile Bay Transportation Co. Inc. serve Hillsdale and the greater Mobile area. Affordable fares, efficient pick-up and drop-off times, and nice drivers make these cab companies local favorites.
Sitting five percent lower than the Mobile average, the costs of living in Hillsdale allow residents to flourish. Life here proves comfortable, and the median rent price remains around $440 for a one-bedroom
apartment in Hillsdale. Upscale apartment complexes with luxury amenities rent for $510 to $550.
Traveling to surrounding cities by public transportation sets you back anywhere from $6 to $42, depending on the length of your cab ride. Luckily, gas prices sit two percent lower than the national average. At local pubs, you can snag a pint of craft beer for $4.
The best shopping experiences in Hillsdale situate themselves along Victoria Plaza, Zeigler Boulevard, and Old Shell Road, with abundant boutiques, restaurants, and artisan shops. Here, you can also find the usual chain stores, such as Walmart, Target, and Gamestop, as well as locally owned and operated antique shops, bookstores, and apparel places.
Some of the neighborhood boutiques include Cha Cha Fashion Boutique, a cute shop with the latest in fashionable accessories, ensembles, and accents. Urban Clothing Exclusive stands as a favorite amid teens, with its trendy designs and cutting-edge fashions.
Get your groceries at the local S & S Food Mart on Ziegler Boulevard, where weekly specials get featured in sales papers packed with coupons. Pick up the essentials for dinner at the H & C Quick Shop — the kind of country store where everyone knows everyone else. For farm-fresh produce, check out Jack's Produce on Old Shell Road. This seasonal store offers fresh fruits and vegetables alongside local favorites such as boiled peanuts.
With scenic beauty in every direction, the whole of Hillsdale seems to be one big park, but the area does have dedicated park spaces. Hillsdale Heights Park gives a glimpse of the wildlife residing within walking distance of the suburbs. A pond brimming with lilies and lily pads serves as home for passing geese and wild ducks, and walking paths and trimmed trails weave through the overgrown brush. In springtime, this park makes the ideal place for bird watching, as most return south for the warmer weather.