Local restaurant noted in USA Today

Published 7:29 pm Saturday, August 23, 2008

When Jud and Tammy Messer purchased Helen’s Place about a year and a half ago, they weren’t trying to hit the big time. But a blurb in USA Today isn’t bad.

In Friday’s edition of the nationally-read publication, the Messers were surprised to find a few lines about their fruit cobbler in a story by USA Today food writer Jerry Shriver. They found out after receiving calls from people in New York and Georgia inquiring about the dish.

“I’m proud of her for pulling that off because that’s something to me,” Jud Messer said about his wife, who makes the desserts.

Shriver had visited the restaurant/catering business, located in Clanton, recently and said he was touring restaurants and eateries across the South. The story mentioned one other Alabama restaurant, The Smokehouse, located in Greenville.

“He just showed up one day,” Tammy Messer recalled.

She makes several different versions of fruit cobbler from scratch, including peach, strawberry, blueberry and apple. She recommends the peach above all.

“They are family recipes,” she says. “Cobbler goes [well] with Southern cooking.”

The couple initially had a hard time finding a copy of the newspaper. They had to look as far as Prattville to obtain a copy.

“If anybody’s got one, we’d love to have it,” Jud says.

Anyone who wishes to read the story may also view it online at www.usatoday.com.