Daisy’s looks like it ought to be closed. More precisely, it looks like it IS closed. The outside of the building looks rough. The sign looks like it was painted in another era — the era before the previous era, and maybe the one before that.
“There’s no place like home … until now!”
The building is white and sits in one of the most interesting areas of downtown Montgomery. The Biscuits stadium gleams, still looking new and state of the art. The police station is somewhere back in there too, along with the clusters of bail bonds shacks that surround it. And the Brewpub also sits at the edge of this frontier. But most of what’s back in this area is a wasteland of empty warehouses and boarded up buildings. If you take the right path through this maze, you’ll end up at the river. If you weave in the right order, you go through some shacks straight out of a novel and end up at a restaurant overlooking the river called The Marina. We’ll review that at another time (preview: I hate it).
For now, just know that on the edge of this part of town, somewhat near the minor league baseball stadium and somewhat near the Farmer’s Market Cafe, there’s a white building on Jefferson St. with a big sign: Daisy’s. And the plug-in neon sign in the window tells you that it’s open.
Inside, every table is full at lunchtime. Most of the people are wearing work shirts with patches like “Bob’s Heating and Cooling.” The working class vibe contrasts with, and yet compliments perfectly, the homemade signs saying that Daisy’s is a “WiFi Hotspot.” Guess they are trying to lure the legislative crowd.
The paint is peeling in some parts of the interior and it looks like the whole place could use a good cleaning. But it’s not dirty in the way that makes you worry about the food. It’s just that it’s in a crappy part of town and they probably just focus a lot more on the food than they do the atmosphere.
The place is sort of ahead of its time in that you can see the entire open air kitchen. This is considered high class in many big city restaurants and I’ll concede that it’s cool to see the hustle and bustle of the food being prepped and the dishes being washed. The menu is pretty expansive, but it’s clear that the thing to do at lunch is order off of the large list of veggies (rotating by the day of the week). The menu also has a large breakfast section.
I roll with the staples: collards, mashed potatoes, black eyed peas and fried okra, along with cornbread and some sweet tea. My lunch partner has a similar plate, but tries the fried green tomatoes.
The food is good, but a little on the greasy side. The collards, potatoes and peas were far superior to the okra, which was fried to the point of being blackened. They were greasy little hard pellets, and I couldn’t eat them all, even with liberal application of the hot sauce. But the rest of the food was quite good. The fried green tomatoes were actually outstanding: thick slices with a good fry-coating. Good tea, friendly service, reasonable prices. You get the feel that a lot of the customers are here for burgers and bacon.
We both got out of there for a total of $20 or so, including tip. It’s a good option for downtown lunches, although it could be tough to get a table given the small size of the place and evident popularity among the lunch hour crowd. All in all, it was a very favorable experience, although there was a bit of the fatigue associated with a grease coma shortly after getting back to the office. I’d give Daisy’s 3.75 pieces of burnt okra out of 5.