Wednesday, August 28, 2013

DePalma's Italian Cafe in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

We stopped in Tuscaloosa while heading home after visiting family in Monroe, Louisiana (yes, I know its Duck Dynasty country – but we didn’t have time to take the tour).  The joys of the internet age during a road trip just keep getting better.  We didn’t have time to finish the drive home so planned ahead on where to stop overnight.  After booking our hotel room, we began looking for a place to eat and quickly narrowed the field down to two restaurants.  The obvious first choice for us once we reviewed the menus was DePalma’s Italian Café in downtown Tuscaloosa.

We had a few hours of driving yet which just about killed us! We were listening to a book on CD and would randomly talk about what we thought we would order once we arrived – the book was never the same after that, haha!

There was a little hiccup finding the hotel (weird, I know) and we were rushing at this point in a near feeding frenzy mindset.  Without taking time to go to the room, we checked in and drove straight to DePalma’s.  I didn’t realize how much of a college town (University of Alabama as well as some smaller colleges) Tuscaloosa was and school started back in session the same day.  Luckily we didn’t have to knock any college kids out of the way to get in the door, arriving just after the rush. 

Three Cheese Tort
The hostess sat us in a booth near the open kitchen which I noticed featured all college age workers.  That’s when I had a second of doubt about the quality of the food but all was to be good.  The server arrived and we gave her our appetizer order immediately (we had studied up and were ready for that first quiz!)  The Three Cheese Tort ($6.50) is made with three layers of a blend of ricotta, feta and parmesan separated by a layer of pesto; a layer of sun dried tomato and a layer of black olive pate and then served with slices of bread from a baguette.  We thoroughly enjoyed this app and polished it off fairly quick.

Pork Loin Balsamic
Our entrées included salads so we both chose the Caesar prior to the main event arriving at the table.  My wife order the Seared Pork Loin with Balsamic ($14.00) which came with garlic parmesan mashed potatoes.  She liked it even though it was a little heavy on the Balsamic.  The pork was tender and the potatoes – there’s no potato like garlic parmesan mashed, is there?  My entrée was the Veal Marsala ($16.00) which came with angel hair marinara on the side.  It offered small pieces of veal (which was a little different) but still tender and flavorful.

Veal Marsala
We eyed the dessert menu while on the road as well and couldn’t pass up DePalma’s White Chocolate Bread Pudding.  You know every bread pudding is different and I’ve had some downright awful bread puddings.  But the best bread puddings will make you remember them for a long long long long time.  This was one of the best.  My wife a former bread pudding hater (she thought is sounded and looked bad) has become a bread pudding lover because of the good ones like this.  It was thinner that most, served warm with a nice amount of crunch to soft ratio – you know what I mean!  And it was delicious!  Not over done on the white chocolate, just the perfect amount of everything.  YUM!

DePalma's White Chocolate Bread Pudding
Once my belly had a little food in it I was able to take in the décor of DePalma’s a little more.  It is College Town Italian Chic.  A huge pharmacy sign by the open kitchen which may have had some significance but I couldn’t figure it out.  Low lighting, room for larger parties as well as smaller tables for dates and both were good in attendance.  Interesting to watch and remember and be glad I don’t have to do it all again!

DePalma’s Italian Café in Tuscaloosa, Alabama is a place I would recommend if you’re in the area.  The prices are pretty good (so the college kids can afford to frequent the place) and you don’t get the best quality food with those prices.  But you do get an affordable meal that tastes really good.  Besides, they have one of the best bread puddings that I’ve ever had!

Contact Information
DePalma’s Italian Café
(205) 759-1879
2300 University Blvd
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

DePalma's Italian Cafe on Urbanspoon


  1. I love DePalma's. Do you remember the sign saying anything about 15th Street Pharmacy? If so, it is a pharmacy that has been around a while in Tuscaloosa and was taken out by the April 27,2011 tornado. They are in the process of rebuilding it now.

  2. I did see it. Its taken them awhile to rebuild but good for them for making a come back! There was a bit of work in the area when we were there. We took a detour and almost got lost on the way, haha.

  3. I believe the pharmacy sign was obtained after the tornado. Haha, the placement... Right over the bar. Everybody needs a little old fashioned medicine at times!

  4. Haha, I didn't make that connection. That's funny!