Montgomery has no shortage of good restaurants, many of which specialize in Southern cooking. Since the 1940s, Martin's Restaurant, 1796 Carter Hill Rd. (tel. 334/265-1767), has been serving home-style cooking at various locations around town. Today Martin's sits in a modern shopping center near the local country club. The food is unpretentious, plentiful, and inexpensive. Did somebody say pies? They're legendary! Our weakness is the creamy coconut, piled with golden meringue. You may want to steer clear of Martin's on Sunday after church, when the place can become very crowded. Main courses range from $5 to $7. Downtown's newest restaurant, Nobles, 129 Montgomery St. (tel. 334/262-3326;, is a casually sophisticated lunch spot serving generous salads, seafood entrees, and Southern staples such as fried pork chops. Sweet iced tea is the perfect accompaniment. The restaurant also has a full bar. Main courses cost $12 to $16.

One of the newest fine-dining restaurants in Montgomery is Garrett's, 7780 Atlanta Hwy. (tel. 334/396-9950). Locally owned and operated by chef Gary Garner, the upscale eatery features Art Deco decor and a menu specializing in steaks and seafood. Reservations are recommended. Open for dinner only Tuesday to Saturday.

In the Old Cloverdale district, there are a couple of tempting dining options. Scores of young professionals dominate happy hour at Sinclair's, 1051 E. Fairview Ave. (tel. 334/834-7462;, a locally owned bar and grill. The menu is varied, running from spaghetti pie made with lean turkey to Buffalo chicken wings, specialty burgers, and seafood. There's also a decent wine list. Service is unassuming and efficient. There are two other area Sinclair's locations, including one at 7847 Vaughn Rd. (tel. 334/271-7654). Main courses cost $10 to $23.

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