Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Big Daddy's serves up hookah, mediterranean cuisine and relaxing atmosphere


Smushed between Icon and Chuck’s Fish is a lesser-known local spot, Big Daddy’s Mediterranean Grill and Hookah Bar, on Greensboro Avenue. Despite many being unaware of its existence, this hole-in-the-wall restaurant has been serving up Mediterranean food and a wide range of hookah flavors since 2008.

The front of the restaurant is a small kitchen area where customers can order food or hookah, flavored tobacco, and see their food being made. Amira Totah, daughter of Big Daddy’s owner Hani Totah, can often be found in this part of the restaurant taking orders and making the specialty Mediterranean cuisine.

“A couple of our most popular items are the gyros and chicken shawarma wraps,” said Amira Totah, who is a sophomore majoring in communicative disorders.

Big Daddy’s lives up to its name as a Mediterranean grill by offering a large number of Mediterranean foods. However, the menu has many American choices as well.

“People order the chicken wings and the Philly cheesesteak a lot, too,” Amira Totah said.

Along with the food menu, Big Daddy’s has a newly expanded menu of hookah flavors for customers to choose from. The menu has specialty flavors ranging from grape to Red Bull. Big Daddy’s is the only hookah bar in Tuscaloosa, which is a draw for many patrons.

Further into the restaurant is a much different area which serves as the hookah bar where most patrons go to smoke their hookah and eat. This larger back area is a dimly lit room filled with cushioned seating, a large TV, a speaker system and a strong wifi signal.

Customers are free to change the channel, find something on Netflix or plug their phones into the speaker system to play music of their choice.

“We try to create a chill atmosphere and diverse hangout spot,” Amira Totah said. “People will come here to just hang out, do homework, or have a fun night.”

For many students, the versatility of the restaurant is what draws them in. That, coupled with the late hours on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights makes Big Daddy’s an attraction for Nick Bomar, a sophomore telecommunication and film major and frequent customer.

“I can’t think of a better place to go if it is late and I’m just trying to chill and eat or smoke with a group of people,” Bomar said. “I think if more people knew about it, it would constantly be packed out.”

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