Restaurant Review: Rae’s Kitchen

Rae's Kitchen brings its grab-n-go magic and new lunch options to downtown Fairhope.

Inside of Rae's Kitchen
Photos by Elizabeth Gelineau

No stranger to the business, Nancy Dupre owned seven different restaurants before opening Rae’s Kitchen in 2013 with her daughter, Jessica Rae Barnhill. Previously residents of Dallas, the duo stumbled upon Fairhope while on the hunt for somewhere a little less busy. They quickly made a name for themselves with their first grab-and-go cafe. Since moving locations in January, however, to their downtown Fairhope digs across from Greer’s, they have been wildly successful in serving lunch daily. The newly constructed building features ample indoor and outdoor courtyard seating in a charming farmhouse setting, complete with two large counters of take-home meals and sweets. Whether you’re meeting friends for a bite or rushing in to grab a last-minute dinner, Rae’s Kitchen has you covered. 

Menu options include the classic “old faithful” sandwiches, warm and gooey melts, a variety of grilled and cold wraps, and tasty salads served with a house dressing and your choice of protein. The kitchen provides a daily rotation of homemade soups, including white chicken chili, broccoli cheese and chicken pot pie. Large refrigerators line the cafe wall and are stocked daily with fresh lunch items, including a selection of gluten-free options, such as the cauliflower chicken detox bowl. Convenient dinner servings for two or four include chicken spaghetti, beef stroganoff and shrimp and crawfish pasta. Made-from-scratch appetizers and casseroles make last-minute plans easy, with options such as their famous cowboy sushi (a must-try), creamy jalapeno cilantro dip and savory chicken salad. 

“All of our produce is sourced locally, and seafood, too, with our shrimp coming straight out of Bon Secour,” Jessica says. Don’t forget to grab one of their decadent treats on your way out — the lemon squares are always a hit! For all your catering needs, Rae’s offers a wide range of finger sandwiches, savory bites, veggies, meats and seafood and, of course, their dips and spreads to pair.

And if it seems as if all of the ladies behind the counter are best friends, that’s because they are. “My husband is so jealous,” Jessica says, “he always jokes, ‘You get to work with your best friends every day?’ and I’m like, I sure do!”

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Boxes of sandwiches and chips
Mallory Melt (top) and Kitchen Sink Sandwich

On the Menu

Cowboy Sushi
This unique, bite-sized piece of heaven contains homemade pickled okra and a slathering of herbed cream cheese encased in ham for a down-home twist on sushi.

House Salad
A colorful and tasty mix of greens topped with cabbage, carrots, feta cheese, roasted pecans and dried cranberries is finished with a homemade lemon vinaigrette.

Mallory Melt
The popular melt features turkey, bacon, avocado and brie smothered with jalapeno jelly — all smushed between two pieces of oat nut bread and grilled to perfection.

Southwest Chicken Wrap
The ideal comfort cuisine with a kick is stuffed with grilled chicken, Monterey Jack, spicy chipotle ranch, jalapenos, avocado and crunchy Fritos, all rolled up and served toasted in a hearty jalapeno wrap.

Rae’s Kitchen • 76 S Section St., Fairhope. 210-6135.
10 a.m. – 6 p.m. M – F; 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sa; closed Su.

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