Tuesday, March 28, 2017

BUCKET LIST UPDATE No. 323: Eat at the Tally-Ho restaurant in Selma

The Tally-Ho restaurant in Selma, Ala.
The Tally-Ho restaurant in Selma is considered one of the most unique restaurants in the entire state of Alabama, and it’s also reportedly haunted. I put a trip to this restaurant on my “bucket list” several years ago, and finally got the chance to officially visit it the other day. Not only was it a fine place to eat, but it was also a little spooky.

If memory serves me correctly, the first time I ever heard of the Tally-Ho was a few years ago when I saw it listed on the Alabama Tourism Department’s list of “100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die.” In the most recent version of that list, the Tally-Ho’s New York Strip steak is listed among the best dishes in the state. However, when I visited the Tally-Ho on March 18 with my wife and daughter, I didn’t actually see that dish on the menu. (It’s possible that I overlooked it, and I could have asked the waiter about it, but I didn’t.)

My interest in this restaurant was also sparked thanks to 2013 book, “Haunted Alabama Black Belt” by David Higdon and Brett Talley. According to this book, the Tally-Ho is haunted by the ghost of a woman called “Betty,” a ghost that supposedly gives off the “sweet fragrances of lilac” perfume. Guests also claim to have seen the chandelier in the main dining room “swing wildly” for no apparent reason.

Before actually going to this restaurant, I always kind of pictured it as being in downtown Selma, but it’s actually located at 509 Mangum Avenue, which is in more of a residential part of town. My wife, daughter and I drove there for supper on March 18, and had a nice meal. Instead of the New York Strip, I got the fried oysters and even tried escargot for the first time ever. The food was great.

Interestingly, the restaurant’s menu included information about the restaurant’s unique history, saying that it had been in business as a restaurant for over 70 years, but the exact date that the Tally Ho was built remains a mystery. It is known that the building started out as a summer cabin in the woods for the Thrash family, but it was eventually turned into a “tea room.” The story goes that they picked the name “Tally Ho” after pulling it out of a hat.

If you’ve never been to the Tally-Ho, I highly recommend it. They’re open Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. They’re closed on Sunday. For more information about the restaurant, visit its Web site at www.tallyhoselma.com.

Also, if you haven’t read “Haunted Alabama Black Belt,” I highly recommend it as well. Not only does it provide more information about the Tally-Ho, but it’s also filled with cool information about other haunted locations in Selma and elsewhere in Alabama’s Black Belt Region.

In the end, how many of you have eaten at the Tally-Ho restaurant in Selma? What did you think about it? Did you have any spooky experiences while visiting the restaurant? Let us know in the comments section below.

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