International flair: Huntsville Restaurant Week

single-meta-cal August 16, 2017

In Huntsville, we boast a variety of international restaurants offering fare from all corners of the globe. Featured below are just a handful of the establishments participating in Huntsville Restaurant Week (Aug. 11-20).

Visit the Huntsville/Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau website to view the complete list.

Try something different this week. You might discover your new favorite cuisine. And remember, Huntsville Restaurant Week is about more than good food.

One caveat: the food I describe below doesn’t necessarily match the Restaurant Week special, but we hope it gives you enough of an idea of the flavor of the place to make your dining decisions easier.


Big Oh’s

Cuisine: Korean Fusion

Location: Northside Square


Nestled in the heart of downtown Huntsville and surrounded by local classics like Sam & Greg’s and Commerce Kitchen, Big Oh’s stands out for its interesting menu. Enjoy the soon-changing seasons on the patio or enjoy the A/C inside at the bar or upstairs.

What I had (with official descriptions of the dish below each item):

Summer Rolls with Shrimp

“3 rolls cut in half, stuffed with choice of chicken or shrimp, lettuce, carrot slivers, sliced avocado, and wrapped in steamed rice paper. Served with sweet & sour sauce.”

Chicken Fried Rice (served with yakimandu and cucumber and cabbage kimchi)

“shrimp or chicken fried with rice, diced carrot, potato, onion, and topped with an egg omelet”


“pork & veggie filled dumplings served with a zesty soy dipping sauce”

My mom met me for this meal, and she had the Oh Happy Bulgogi Roll, an innovative twist on a staple Korean beef dish.

Oh Happy Bulgogi Roll

“Sushi-style roll with cooked bulgogi, fried egg, spinach, carrots, pickled radish, and rice wrapped in seaweed. Served with egg drop soup.”

Not sure you want to dive head-first into Korean fusion? Your lunch partner is a picky eater? Big Oh’s also offers some less adventurous dishes including wings, burgers, quesadillas, salads and even chicken fingers. Rumor has it, their Bulgogi Burger is a must have!


Mangos Caribbean Restaurant

Cuisine: Authentic Caribbean

Location: University Drive NW


A hidden gem on University, just west of Enterprise Way, Mangos transported me to the colorful Caribbean as soon as I stepped into the dining room, casual and decorated with Caribbean-inspired murals. Bonus: they offer a daily lunch buffet.

What I had:

Petite Sampler [a “you-pick-two” situation] with Curry Chicken and Curry Goat

Served with sweet plantains, stir-fried cabbage and broccoli and your choice of rice and peas or steamed rice.”

A friend of mine joined me for dinner, and she had the Mango Chicken with Mango Lemonade.

Mango Chicken

Pan seared chicken breast cutlet with fresh mango and sweet pepper sauce. Served with sweet plantains, stir-fried cabbage and broccoli and your choice of rice and peas or steamed rice.

Mangos’ menu is an extensive list of eclectic dishes including curries, rotis and stews. A variety of wings and vegetarian options offered too. Be sure to check out their Caribbean (non-alcoholic) drinks menu.



Cuisine: Traditional Italian

Location: Westbury Square, Airport Road


At Luciano, there’s great emphasis on atmosphere. Each of its several dining rooms and the front terrace mimic the Mediterranean lifestyle — sophisticated and romantic. The full-service bar features an assortment of fine wines and cocktails.

What I had:

Shrimp and Scallop Capellini

Sautéed with Garlic, Tomatoes, Red Onions, Basil and White Wine Sauce

Luciano’s menu is mostly classic pasta dishes including lasagna, ravioli and spaghetti and staple Mediterranean salads, but it also offers a variety of beef, chicken and fish dishes. Feeling a bit more adventurous? Order the escargot.


Maki Fresh

Cuisine: Japanese-inspired

Location: Merchants Walk, Bob Wallace Avenue


Maki Fresh is a small chain of casual spots that has recently opened in Huntsville. It offers made-to-order fresh food, great for taking out or dining in – or dining out under the covered patio.

What I had:

Crispy Brussels Bowl

“crispy brussels, chicken, teriyaki sauce, sesame seeds”

Samurai Roll

“ahi tuna, asparagus, avocado, cucumber”

Although Maki Fresh has multiple locations, the food is far from factory-made. The menu features a variety of Asian-inspired dishes including rice and curry bowls, sushi and slider sandwiches. Soups and salads offered too. My personal favorite is the crispy brussels – available as an entrée or a side.

So, I’d encourage you to stop into any of these four diverse restaurants, or any of the others participating in Restaurant Week. You’ll be able to travel the world, cuisine-wise, without leaving the city limits.