Staggs Grocery, Florence AL

In May, we all set off on a four-day trip to Memphis, where Marie’s sister was graduating from college. I’d been planning and charting and getting ideas together for weeks, and decided that we’d take a slight detour by going north across Alabama instead of fighting the rush hour traffic into and around Atlanta to use the interstates. That route, through Birmingham and Tupelo, is the most direct, but taking GA-140 to Huntsville and using US-72 ALT took us back to the Shoals, which is probably my favorite region of Alabama.

Going this way allowed us to revisit the beautiful city of Florence, which I love, and stop by Staggs, an old, former grocery store that now sells breakfast and burgers. I wish I had paid attention and visited this great little place the last time we were here! Continue reading “Staggs Grocery, Florence AL”


Brooks Barbeque, Muscle Shoals AL (take two)

FLASHBACK: As our regular readers may recall, about every eight or nine months, I take a little road trip by myself. In an amusing coincidence, on the first three of these “circumnavigations,” it was the business located furthest away from Atlanta that served up my favorite of all the barbecue that I enjoyed. The third trip found me visiting the Quad Cities in northwest Alabama for the first time, and it was there that I discovered Brooks Barbeque, a downright amazing little place that serves up some killer pork and mustard slaw. Continue reading “Brooks Barbeque, Muscle Shoals AL (take two)”

Circumnavigating the Tennessee River Valley – part five

Coming into Alabama on US-72, there are four large towns which are referred to as either the Quad Cities or The Shoals: Florence, Tuscumbia, Sheffield, and Muscle Shoals. As I entered Tuscumbia, I noticed that the Alabama Music Hall of Fame – it’s still open to the public, unlike Georgia’s – counts Buffalo Rock among its sponsors. I reminded myself to find a grocery store and bring home a twelve-pack, and promptly forgot. I remembered when I got home and recounted the trip to my family, slapped myself in the head, stood up and said “I’ll be back in three and a half hours…” Continue reading “Circumnavigating the Tennessee River Valley – part five”