For those of you who are at a dead-end on where to eat if you live in Huntsville or for those of you who will be coming into the area soon - I have compiled a list of good restaurants that I have had personal experience at:
Barbecue: I personally like Smokey's in Madison on US Hwy 72 W. I have tried all of the Gibson's (including Big Bob's in Decatur). Smokey's is just closer for me and they have a drive-through. I usually get the pork plate. They have good yeast rolls. I like their baked beans and potato salad. I get my pork "sauced" and request white sauce on the side. The pork plate has a good amount of food.
Greek/Middle Eastern: I personally like the new Papa Gyro's Greek restaurant on University Drive. I have tried the spanakopita and falafel plates. They usually give some nice flavorful jasmine/basmati rice, hummus & pita, fruit, and a greek salad with the plates. The apparent favorite is the gyro. Everyone gets them. They are huge and a real bargain. They have a wonderful tzatziki-style cucumber sauce. Also try the baklava...it is great.
Next is Jamo's Middle-Eastern fare on Jordan Lane. I would say Papa Gyro's gyro is better than Jamo's. I have also had the falafel there and it is great. The coffee is pretty good and baklava is so-so. I just think it is a good alternative because it is never crowded and sometimes Papa Gyro's is. Jamo's has been here a while.
Seafood: I personally like The PoBoy Factory in downtown Huntsville on Andrew Jackson Way. They have great po-boys and believe me I have tried a ton in the Florida area. These are probably not as good as some in New Orleans or Mississippi but are mucho good for Alabama. The shrimp is not too large or too small. The bread is grilled on the oven and buttered to a nice crisp. Fried beautifully! Ask for their home-made "hot da**" sauce....a spicy mayo based addition to the spicy shrimp batter. I have also tried the shrimp basket and red, beans & rice. The gumbo is also very good.
Indian: I have tried both Vinny's and Sitar on Jordan Lane. Sitar has a great buffet during lunch. The offerings don't vary too much but enough for variety. The naan bread (ordered with a sit-down menu meal) is huge! A real bargain for $1.00 a piece and baked in an authentic clay oven. This is a great venue for vegetarians or those who want to try something different. Vinny's is also a good choice but not as up-scale so to say. They offer a small buffet and some unique dishes that Sitar does not. Good choice for anyone wanting to explore something different.
Sandwich/Lady Luncheon: Covington's in downtown Huntsville on Church Street is great for a ladies luncheon or quick lunch. They are only open during lunch hours and serve some refreshing sandwiches and salads. The downtown delight is a favorite with many salad choices and fruit. Try the broccoli-cheese soup - my favorite. The town tea is a local favorite that is based on orange juice, tea, and mint. Very addictive. Covington's was opened in the Guntersville, Al area and expanded to Huntsville.
Upscale Dining: I had Starfish in downtown Huntsville off of Pratt Ave. and it was very good. I tried a fresh fish entree. The bread is very good and the atomsphere is calm and tropical. I felt like I was on a cruise ship.
Thai: I love Surin of Thailand on Airport Road. The crunchy salmon roll is great. I also love some of the fresh noodle dishes. This is a great bargain during lunch when you get a cup of their coconut soup - to die for. The catfish served on the lunch menu is also exceptional - fried to a crisp brown and dusted with a tangy duck sauce. Yum!