Angela Hardgrave If you look for Wetumpka on I Love Alabama Food’s “100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die,” you will find exactly one dish listed—Crab Cakes with dill sauce from Our Place Cafe. The crab cakes may be the star on the menu, but they’re certainly not the only dish that keeps people from the surrounding areas coming back again and again. Whether it’s the Fried Green Tomatoes topped with sautéed shrimp and a green onion remoulade or the Eggplant Delacroix with creamy pasta, shrimp and crab, regular customers have their favorites that never cease to satisfy.
Tucked away on a quiet street in Wetumpka, Our Place Cafe is housed in a rustic brick building that’s as unique as the restaurant itself. The owners, David and Mona Funderburk, founded Our Place in 2001. David Funderburk shared some of the history of the location. “The building is around 100 years old. It was originally a family-owned grocery store until the 1950s when the store ceased operations.” When the Funderburks converted the space to a restaurant, they wanted to maintain the history as much as possible by keeping all the outside walls original to the building. The inside is casual but elegant with exposed brick, tin ceilings and a balcony overlooking the candlelit tables below. Aside from the historical aspects, Funderburk said everything else, from the food to the music, has his and Mona’s personality shining through.
Most of Our Place’s 125 seats are filled regularly, “except for during football games,” said Funderburk, laughing. Customers come mainly for the fresh seafood and cuts of beef, but the menu also features local ingredients such as Alabama-grown produce and grits from Oakview Farms in Wetumpka. On the night I dined at the cafe, the special was Coconut Shrimp with a sweet Thai chili sauce, salad, sautéed green beans, and a baked potato. The shrimp were delicious—crunchy and lightly sweet on the outside and tender on the inside, and the dipping sauce hit just the right notes of spicy sweetness. My meal was served not long after I completely demolished my appetizer of Fried Green Tomatoes, so when it came time for dessert, I wasn’t sure if I was up for the challenge. However, when I found out that the desserts were made in house by Funderburk’s wife, I couldn’t resist. After hearing the choices of Key Lime Pie, Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pie and Pecan Praline Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce, I settled on the bread pudding. I wasn’t disappointed and neither were my kids when I took some home later that evening.
The Funderburks have been thrilled with the success of Our Place Cafe. Funderburk said, “We stay busy. We serve the whole tri-county area, not just local residents. We have stuck with our original business plan and have tripled our expectations. All of our business is word of mouth from satisfied customers. The occasional magazine article doesn’t hurt either.” Their success is also due to an incredible wait staff. Each person I encountered that evening was attentive and accommodating and seemed genuinely glad I was there. Funderburk said, “Employees come to work here and just stay. We have a great staff of people who are doing what they enjoy.”
Whether you are in town or not, it’s worth the drive to check out Our Place Cafe. Eat a great meal, share a drink with a friend and, of course, make sure you leave room for dessert. David and
Mona Funderburk’s grocery store turned restaurant has what it takes to keep you coming back for more.
Our Place Cafe
809 Company Street
Wetumpka, AL 334.567.8778
Open: Tuesday-Friday 4:30PM-8:30PM;
Saturday & Sunday 4:30PM-9:30PM