Long before Daniel and I were Daniel Taylor Photography weddings, Daniel did photography for publications, ad agencies and commercial clients. Lately, he’s been returning to his roots and updating his film portfolio. While we wait for the rolls to come back from Richard Photo Lab, here are a few digitals from one of our favorite restaurants, Garfrerick’s Cafe in Oxford, Ala., near my hometown of Eastaboga. Owner and chef David Garfrerick started out growing food for some of Birmingham’s best chefs, including famed chef Chris Hastings of Hot and Hot Fish Club. A couple of years ago, he struck out on his own. Hastings is also David’s mentor, if that gives you any idea of the quality.
Garfrerick’s is an incredible restaurant for foodies who want venture out from the Birmingham offerings. It’s perfect for a great date night, or even a great place to propose or have the parents meet each other. Idea: Stay overnight at The Victoria historic inn (a favorite wedding venue of ours), just up the road, for a great weekend getaway!
In a strip mall in this small town a few minutes off I-20, Garfrerick has created a fine-dining experience with plenty of organic, locally grown and vegetarian choices. The loaves of fresh bread and Wright’s Dairy butter are worth the drive, alone. The specialities include fresh fish, salmon, Gulf shrimp, steaks, chicken, and a veggie plate (many grown in Garfrerick’s Talladega County garden) that’s unlike anything you’ve ever tasted. I always bring home a loaf or two whenever we visit. And the wine list is the perfect complement to David’s dishes. Mom and I had pecan-encrusted grouper and Daniel had the salmon. I’ve loved everything I’ve eaten there!
The desserts deserve their own post, both gorgeous and mouth-watering. I had fresh strawberry crepes, mom had a sorbet sampler and Daniel had homemade cheesecake.
The service rivals any fine restaurant in Atlanta or Birmingham. Clay, our waiter, was like a tour guide through the dining experience, ensuring every choice was fantastic. Garfrerick and his entire staff have a heartfelt passion for culinary details without a trace of white-tablecloth-stuffiness. Guests wear everything from jeans to suits, and there’s always a good mix of attire so you’ll feel comfortable.
And boy, is this restaurant popular! It’s frequented by locals, as well as diners from Birmingham and Atlanta. Reservations are needed most nights, especially weekends. It’s also now open for lunch with incredible features like homemade pasta and shepherd’s pie. Oxford is about an hour from Birmingham and dinner meals range from about $15-$25. Garfrerick’s Cafe, 655 Creekside Drive, Oxford, Ala., is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11-2 and 5-9 Tue.-Thu. and 5-10 on Fri-Sat. Phone: 256.831.0044.
Thanks to David, Clay and the entire staff for an incredible dinner! We’ll be back soon.