Mobile

Welcome back to the second week of my small county explorations. If you didn’t read last week’s post, you can do so here. After spending the majority of my time in Mobile last week, I thought it would be a good idea to switch it up and take on Fairhope. However, before I jump into some of my favorite places in Fairhope I discovered this week, I want to introduce you to Ely’s and FOY.

Ely’s is a multi-room fabric store with all the fabric you could possible dream of (except, of course, if you live in NYC and not AL). My sister is on the hunt for some lace add-ons for her wedding dress, and she’s heard through the grapevine of Mobile fashion designers that she should visit Ely’s. Together, we went to scope out the location, seeing as it was in an area neither of us were familiar with. First of all, we totally missed their sign and ended up taking a back road to the back of the building. Being only one of two vehicles parked there in a rather sketchy area (again, we didn’t realize we were in the back), we prayed a little prayer of not being murdered and ventured inside. We were absolutely in awe of everything Ely’s had to offer, though some pieces we found were overpriced. However, being that their store is the only one we know of within an hour’s drive with such a variety of fabrics, we justified their higher prices to match the demand of the area. So, if you live in the area, love to sew, and need a huge variety in fabrics – you should put this store on your radar – and if you don’t, well, I had plenty of fun touching silks and playing in the wall of boas.

FOY is a restaurant/juice shop that recently opened in the Downtown Mobile area. Seeing as it was a short distance from Serdas, which I talked about in last week’s post, and I had set up work there for the day, I decided to try FOY for a healthy juice option. Though I haven’t tried any of their food yet, I’ve tried two of their available juices: Vanilla Dream (or was it Cloud?) and Green Goddess. Now, I’ll be super honest with you guys, neither was all that great. However, the Vanilla Dream was definitely more tasty, in my opinion, over the Green Goddess. I do think the juices have been too-hyped, though Mobile doesn’t really have anything like it in the area, and they are overpriced too. It was about $7 for one juice, and to me, that’s too much, especially since the bottle is only about 6 ounces. So, is it worth it? If you live in the are, you’ve wondered about the juicing trend, yes. I think it’s beneficial to try and get a taste of it. If you’ve got a juicer at home or you’re just passing through, I don’t think you should waste your time or money.

Fairhope

Oh, boy. I visited some great little spots in Fairhope this week, and I am so excited to help get them on the radar. First and foremost, let’s start with food.

Tamara’s is where my sister and I ultimately decided to get Sunday Brunch. We originally thought we’d try out the town favorite A Broken Egg Cafe. However, due to the horrid wait and obnoxious environment, we decided to head over to – frankly – a more chic and better option. We walked in to an elegant atmosphere with charming, live guitar playing, and we were seated by a professional hostess. Ordering the Eggs Benedict Filet Mignon with gouda grits, bacon, and fresh fruit, I was delightfully surprised at the price (only $16). It ended up being a rather extravagant meal with bottomless mimosas (only $1.50), and the food was delicious. I honestly felt like I was eating the breakfast of a princess.

Latte Da is actually part of Page & Palette, which I review further down, and is a charming coffee shop on a street corner off of Section. I’ve tried two of their coffees, the Milkyway Latte and the Mocha Ice Rage, and though neither were “whoa, amazing”, they were both pretty good. My personal favorite of the two, so far, is the Mocha Ice Rage, which is equivalent to a chocolate milk frappe with a hint of expresso. In fact, the expresso was so subtle, I drank the whole thing in about five minutes and ended up with a terrible stomach ache. However, I can’t blame Latte Da for my rabid chocolate consumption – only the drinks deliciousness.

Fairhope Chocolatier is the most adorable little chocolates shop located within the French Quarter of Downtown Fairhope. They’re fairly new, I believe, and they carry delicious macaroons (a bag of 5 for $6)! Each time I’ve gone in there (only twice, gosh), I recieved delightful customer service, and I don’t think I can ever go downtown again without visiting. I highly recommend them for those ins search of a delicious macaroon provider (or great chocolate candies).

After getting my foodie on, I did what I do best – shop – and to be more specific, thrift shop. Before we get into specifics, I do want to point out that my personal style is anything but southern, which is what most of the thrift shops around here cater toward. So, please take that into consideration when I’m giving my personal reviews of the shops. My criteria for a great thrift shop is high-end brands, variety in style choices, and the ability to find things I wouldn’t be able to see on the person I pass daily on the street. I like unique, chic finds, and that’s what I base my reviews on thrift shops on.

Emmy’s ended up being the only thrift shop I bought anything at – a black mini skirt. Though I found the skirt, it was the only thing catering toward my age. Most everything else in the shop caters toward an older crowd and children. However, I loved how nice the customer service was, and I’ve been told they’re known for having hidden jewels here and there, such as the skirt I found.

Back on the Rack was the second thrift shop I visited, and I must say I was beyond disappointed. It hypes it’s resale of designer bags, shoes and clothes, but what it doesn’t tell you is how overpriced everything is, and how there wasn’t a single unique item in that store. Maybe it was just the time I visited (and trust me, I don’t like validating my opinion, so I’ll likely go back for a second look), but I had been looking forward to chic, urban styles, and instead, I was greeted by frilly, southern looks and, frankly, not-so-great-looking designer bags and shoes. Honestly, my opinion probably wouldn’t be so foul if it weren’t for the outrageous prices and lack of taste. I do NOT recommend shopping here, unless you’re into overpriced southern fashion.

Hertha’s Second Edition Boutique had multiple items I liked, but I never picked up anything to try on. Though it had more taste than Back on the Rack, Hertha’s was also overpriced. I picked up a Marc Jacobs camisole about six years old for $35 and promptly put it back. However, I give Hertha’s credit for providing some trendy styles, and I’ll definitely explore it again sometime.

Yvonne’s Resale Boutique was, by far, the best thrift shop I walked into in Downtown Fairhope. Though I, again, didn’t buy anything, I had an arm load of goodies to try on. I just ended up not finding anything I was completely sold over. Yvonne’s has been around for awhile, and it’s obvious the owner has taste. I spotted some parisian styles, midi dresses, lace, lovely shoes…I will be going back, especially when I drop these few pesky pounds I’m trying to lose!

Next up, I stopped at Dr. Music and Page & Palette, because one’s a record store, and the other is a bookstore. ‘nough said.

Dr. Music was a record store I stopped at, and let me tell you, I am so glad it exists. I typically buy all my records from Backflash Antiques (read more here), but most of her collection is older, classic rock. Don’t get me wrong. I love classic rock vinyl, but I also really love my alt rock, indy rock, and Dr. Music provided me with that selection of newer music. Plus, the prices were pretty decent, especially those in their “New in Used” crates they keep up front and below the new vinyl. If you’re a record junkie like me, I suggest you check it out for some more variety in your tunes.

Page & Palette was a little independent bookstore I visited, admittedly, to see if they’d have any interest in selling my book (still need to get on that), and to genuinely check out their selection. The shop owner has great taste in titles has a wide selection of brilliant books held up front with notecard with a short summary of each. It’s helpful for those who want to try something in a new genre or by a new author, but aren’t sure if they want to spend the money on it. I didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time in Page & Palette, but I plan on going back shortly to perhaps pick up a new read.

To Conclude...

I really enjoyed this week. I probably spent way too much money on things I didn’t need, but it was adventure trying out these places I never really got to try growing up. Hopefully, if you stop by the Fairhope or Mobile areas, you’ll use my reviews to guide you on your journey toward a successful visit. Just like any post, keep in mind I share my own opinion of what I like. If you disagree, or you’d like to contribute to my reviews, please feel free to do so through discussion in the comments below.

Thanks so much for reading, guys, and I look forward to bringing you a new post next week (or sooner)!

Always,Jinapher J. Hoffman

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