FORT PAYNE, Ala. (WBRC) - Fontana’s Restaurant might not be exactly what you’d expect to find or where you’d expect to find it. It is a mixture of The Old Country in the shadow of Lookout Mountain.
“My food is a combination of things that I have learned working with Italian chefs and with Greek chefs from The Old Country. My love for Greek food, my love for Italian food was born when I was able to taste all these different and wonderful spices and flavors,” says Lookout Mountain native and owner Linda Fontana.
“At the age of 50 I decided to go back to college and earn my culinary arts degree, which I did. It regenerated my love for food. So, for five years, I’m like, ‘We’re growing. We’re growing, guys.’ "
“My daughter-in-law, Angela Ballinger, she’s been right here with me from day one. I love her to death.”
Then came the Great 2020 Shutdown but Linda still found a way to serve.
“I got down on my knees and The Lord told me, ‘You’re My child.’ My phone rang and it was a young lady I had met back earlier in 2019. She asked me, ‘Linda, are the restaurants feeding the first responders, the hospitals?’ "
So, Lookout Mountain Community Meals was born during the pandemic.
“We fed the hospital. We fed the fire halls. We fed the post office. We fed the police station. We got out into the community and you know that’s what God was trying to tell me. ‘Get out there!’ ”
For Linda, it’s about community, food, and love.
“That’s it. That’s exactly why I do this. I did not take a paycheck for five years, to grow my business, to pay my debts and to have people come back. I love it. I love it!”