I asked about a month ago about restaurants in the Talladega, AL area and didn't hear much at all so I thought I'd share my experience--maybe it'll be useful to someone.
First off, let me say I tried not to eat at places that had food I can easily get at home (Boston). I heard Parigi's Pizza was good and the Matehuala Mexican place, but didn't visit them.
I can definitely recommend Fincher's Real DeLite 521 East St N - (256) 362-2174
in Talladega. The catfish is really good and can be ordered whole or as a filet. There's a "beans & greens" plate, fried okra, fried dill pickles, and everything I tasted was very fresh and homemade tasting. Their vegetable soup is very chunky and fresh. I really like their slaw with finely chopped pickles. There's ice cream for after your meal, as well.
The Triangle Lounge 12 Fort Lashley Ave - (256) 362-2771 Talladega is a dive with the menu written on chalkboards, cardboard, and the like around the place. It wasn't perfect, but I was quite happy with my speckled butter beans (salty!), fried okra (not overly coated), roasted potatoes (clearly cooked with meat which made them taste richer than normal), and corn. My dad had the cube steak with white gravy which he said was decent.
It's not excellent, but I wouldn't rule this place out especially for a real local flavor experience. This really is the food my family in town eats so for a born Yankee, this was a treat.
The best meal I had was at Top O' the River in Anniston at 3220 McClellan Blvd. They bring hot cornbread in cast iron skillets to your table throughout your meal and metal tins with very good slaw. That with the great appetizer of a big pot of turnip greens could've been a meal for me. The turnip greens were a bit spicy and not at all bitter.
I ordered the Riverboat Special: 1/2 lb catfish fillet, hushpuppies (a bit too oniony for me), cornbread, cole slaw, pickled onions, and a choice of baked or fried potato for $8.95.
It was very good. They cut the catfish fillet into small strips, which I liked. It was sweet and the batter was light and salty--perfect!
There was free refills of sweet tea and they even would fill up a cup to go before you left.
I went with approximately 25 family members and they handled us very well.
One last mention is the Irondale Cafe (original Whistle Stop Cafe from Fannie Flagg's book + then the movie Fried Green Tomatoes). It was buffet/cafeteria style and the fried green tomatoes were very good -- perfect greeness and a light crispy batter.
The banana pudding was cooked with nilla wafers + was very good.
It's at 1906 1st Ave N in Irondale (hint: 1st Ave is on both side of the tracks).
It's worth it for the tomatoes and the movie memorablia.
Hopefully this will help someone else in the area! I've only been back 2 days, but am missing that sweet tea that you can only get down South.