Spot of Tea began as a tea room in 1994 at 306 Dauphin Street with seven tables and twenty-nine chairs. Ruby Moore made fruit pizza and her son, Tony Moore served tea. A year later, they expanded into what is now the Carriage room. In the mid-1990s downtown Mobile was a bit of a ghost town and Spot of Tea has had a birds’ eye view of the rebirth of the downtown area. The two-hundred-year-old building has seen a lot of changes through the years as the restaurant expanded to its present location at 310 Dauphin Street.
Seeing a need for breakfast in downtown because of the nearby newspaper, Mobile’s Press-Register, Spot of Tea began a daily breakfast buffet created by Chef Patti Culbreth. With daily breakfast going strong, they then expanded the menu to include a Sunday Brunch.
The downtown icon is noted for its tasty Sunday brunch menu but it’s the signature dish, Eggs Cathedral that really put them on the map. In 2000, construction workers were remodeling the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception that stands just across the square from Spot of Tea. While the workers enjoyed the breakfast offerings, they wanted something more.
Having just received some fresh crab cakes, Tony Moore stepped into the kitchen to create the new dish. He took the crab cakes, an English muffin and scrambled eggs then smothered the dish with the seafood bisque that has been a staple menu item. The workmen devoured the new dish and Eggs Cathedral creation has continued to sate the hunger of many guests. The only complaint they have received about the dish, many guests say they need a nap after eating it.
With its fresh made to order menu, Spot of Tea remains the number one downtown Mobile restaurant for lunch. Spot of Tea will be making some changes to their menu in November. Don’t worry, nothing is going away but several new tasty dishes are being added, an Ahi tuna salad, Lobster roll, and Birdsnest’ egg dish. I was treated to a tasting of these new scrumptious creations as I sat with Chrissi Moore and Ruby Moore to talk about their near twenty-five-year history of Mobile’s perennial favorite, Spot of Tea. Three new dishes will be making a debut on the refreshed menu in November:
The Birdsnest, created with a grilled English muffin, avocado, tomato, a poached egg and served with hollandaise sauce. This is a much lighter dish than Eggs Cathedral that will complement the newly refreshed menu. Guests will appreciate the creaminess of the egg and avocado and the sweetness of the tomato.
The Second Mortgage Lobster Roll is a complete lobster bite. The lobster claw and knuckle is soaked in butter before it is served on a buttered bun with mayonnaise and celery salt. This is scrumptious decadence. This dish will be a unique flavor treat for guests.
The seared Ahi tuna salad features seared Ahi tuna, feta cheese, mushrooms, cucumbers, avocado, onions, and tomatoes and served with raspberry vinaigrette. This is a super light dish and a delicious salad option.
While serving great food and exceptional service, Spot of Tea has much more to offer.
The matriarch of the family, Miss Ruby offers etiquette classes for children aged five to ten upon request. During these afternoon tea parties usually held on the outdoor patio, children learn about a proper table setting, using proper table manners and how to dress for an occasion. For larger parties, the Carriage Room is available. Weddings are a big deal here too. From the engagement dinner to hosting the wedding itself, Spot of Tea can do it all!
With their continuing commitment to the downtown community, Spot of Tea launched Mobile’s Original Segway Tour, two years ago. With Mobile’s recently updated and easily accessible sidewalks, the segway tour is an easy and safe ride. This offers a fun and exciting way to explore the downtown area museums and attractions. Nine segways available to rent and some three hundred have enjoyed the guided and self-guided experience.
Recently, Spot of Tea began offering curbside service for food pickup. They recommend guests call back just as they get to red light at Dauphin and Claiborne, so the food will be hot when it is ready to be handed off.
Spot of Tea is truly an “Aquarium to the World”. People watching is entertainment for guests eating on the front porch or for those seated just across the street to have an up-close view of the Cathedral.
Ruby, who is in charge of Public Relations, told me her advice for running a family owned restaurant business is simple, “You have to have a love of people.” Mobile’s number one destination for lunch and brunch offers more than food and drink. It offers a unique view of Mobile’s history and its future. Chrissi Moore told me, “I love it when someone from out of town loves Mobile so much that they want to move here. And it happens a lot.”
Stop in for a meal at this downtown Mobile icon and beginning in November you can sample their refreshed menu and new dishes. You may just discover some new dishes to add to your old favorites. One thing is certain, you will not be disappointed.