Category: American

Ollie Irene Reopens In New Location

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When Ollie Irene closed a year ago, we, along with a lot of other people in Birmingham, were bummed out. The Mountain Brook gastropub had become a local favorite, as well as receiving critical acclaim (including a James Beard Foundation nomination for Best New Restaurant in 2011.) The closure, a result of the Lane Parke Development, was just part of the restaurant’s story. Owners Chris and Anna Newsome have said for some time that they would be opening a new Ollie Irene. Exactly a year to the date of the closing — September 30 — we had the pleasure of...

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Pizitz Food Hall combinations we love #2: chocolate waffle from waffle works with ice cream from Lichita’s

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Last weekend, we met up with Marqus and Alyssa from Travis Burger post fame at Pizitz. They’ve since moved away from Birmingham, and hadn’t been to the Food Hall yet. It’s been a few months since we’ve had a chance to experience it with newbies who bring fresh eyes to the endeavor, and we had a blast. We started with ahi Poke at Ono, had a 3 meat 3 cheese plate at Busy Corner, then some pork mofongo at Tropicaleo, only to then have the combination platter at Ghion. Such an incredible meal must be followed with an incredible dessert...

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Woodlawn Cycle Cafe’s incredible homemade pasta and dinner service

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People often ask us to name our number one favorite restaurant in Birmingham. This, of course, is an unfair question. If you read our blog, you know that we are enthusiastic about many, many restaurants. Because we only blog positively, our blog is essentially a long list of our favorite restaurants. Picking our #1 would be like picking a favorite child. Not cool. Regardless of all of that…. we can often agree on our favorite restaurant “right now.” Meaning, a restaurant that for whatever reason, is having a moment. This usually means it’s a great place that just opened, or...

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Travis Chicago Style: Birmingham’s First Food Truck

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This post is a little longer than most, but bear with us: it’s worth it. We first heard about Travis at an Alloy Thai pop up dinner last year. One of the other diners told us about a truck that shows up at special events. She had found him at a Veterans’ Day Parade once. His burgers and dogs were famed to be the best in Birmingham. I immediately began to do some research. My usual tactics-a thorough search of Google and all social media sites-revealed one of those auto-generated Facebook pages entitled, “Travis Chicago Style Polish & Bear Burger.”...

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Hero Doughnuts

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2015-2016 has been a big year for doughnuts in Birmingham. For example, the introduction of a truly spectacular (and Birmingham’s first) cake doughnut with We Have Doughnuts. We are *huge* fans. However much we love WHD (and believe me we do, I have a love handle dedicated to WHD), this town is big enough for more than one amazing doughnut place. Given the appetite Birminghamsters seem to have for the familiar elevated to a higher level (like Post Office Pies with pizza, or Revelator with artisanal toast), I think we can handle 2, 3, or 4 amazing doughnut places. Last...

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Woodlawn Cycle Cafe

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For the past several months, Mr. Foodie and I have been hearing about a “cycle cafe” opening in Woodlawn.  Then, in January, some very promising photos began to appear on our friends’ Facebook feeds.  We needed to get over there STAT to see for ourselves. As you well know, food options for Sunday brunchtime are relatively limited in this town.  So one lazy Sunday morning at 11:30am, with a nearly-empty fridge (pre-Trader Joe’s run of the weekend), we wracked our brains.  Where to eat?  We really weren’t in the mood for a greasy, heavy, or fried meal, so that limited our options...

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Eugene’s Hot Chicken

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After our Miss Dots post last weekend, we received a hot tip from loyal blog fan Rene about a place called Eugene’s Hot Chicken.  From some googling, I found out a few essential pieces of info: -Hot chicken originated in Nashville and is basically a regional take on buffalo chicken.  Serious Eats and Wikipedia do a better job than I ever could explaining the dish’s origins and distinction from buffalo chicken.  Basically, it’s deep fried chicken smothered in a hot paste atop white bread topped with pickle chips.  What more do you really need to know? -Eugene’s was part of Rev Birmingham’s Big Pitch contest...

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Miss Dots

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As you’ve probably figured out, we recently hit a little bit of a dry spell foodie-wise.  It’s been almost a month since our last restaurant post, and it’s not for lack of trying – we just hadn’t eaten anywhere blogtacular. We were at a get-together last week and were complaining about this serious first-world problem.  And of course, even folks we had just met were doing their best to help us – this is a roll-up-your-sleeves-and-pitch-in kind of town.   After naming several places (blogged about that one, don’t care for that one), one woman piped up:  “Well, have you...

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Ono Ice @ Bamboo on 2nd

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Over the summer, we shared a very happy foodie discovery:  a traveling homemade shave ice operation.  Rebecca, the heart and the brains behind Ono Ice, is known for making incredibly inspired flavors like watermelon mint and blueberry basil with farmer’s market produce.   Since we first met Rebecca nearly 6 months ago, a lot has happened.  For starters, she successfully launched a Kickstarter campaign to purchase a food truck (YES!!).  And…. Rebecca now has a regular gig at one of our other favorite places, Bamboo on 2nd!  She’s there Monday, Thursday, and Saturday nights making a changing seasonal menu of shave...

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Matzoh ball soup at Eli’s Jerusalem Grill

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Y’all, this is an urgent, emergency post.  As you may know from prior posts, I’m Jewish.  My religious background gives me (and every other Jewish person in the world) the right to talk with complete authority about Jewish food. One of the only, only things that I dislike about Birmingham is its lack of acceptable Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish food.  Like the kind of food you would find at a real New York kosher-style deli.  And the most important of all of the beloved deli foods is chicken soup, and more specifically, matzoh ball soup.   If you’ve never had...

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Feast and Forest Saturday Brunch

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Clear your Saturday brunch schedule, fellow foodies.   Let me explain. I met Kristen Farmer Hall 5 years ago this month, before I even moved to Birmingham.  She was one of the very first people I met when I visited.  I always tease her that Mr Foodie and I moved to Birmingham so we could be her friends-and it’s really true. Kristen’s enthusiasm and optimism about Birmingham helped us feel confident that we would find our niche here.  And we have. When Kristen started a craft bakery, Baking Bandits, it made sense.  (Read more about the adorable story behind Baking...

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Ovenbird LIVE

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Loyal blog fans, I’m live blogging from Ovenbird, so let me just cut to the chase:  it’s as good as you hoped it would be.  And more. You can read somewhere else about how awesome everyone expected Ovenbird to be.  That’s the backstory.  And when we heard that they’d be opening tonite, we knew we had to be there to see what all of the fuss was about. Earlier this evening, we attended the Eat Drink Read and Write festival at the Birmingham Public Library, where we were showcased as “human books.”  Earlier today, we realized we would only have a brief hour...

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Artisinal Toast Brunch @ Revelator

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You never know when you’re going to just walk into a blog post. Mr Foodie and I are part of a Bike and Brunch group that meets on Sunday mornings.  We bike around downtown Bham, typically ending up at the Continental Bakery downtown for croissants and fancy granola.  This weekend, Sunday was overcast and cool-perfect riding weather.  As we coasted down 19th street toward our brunch destination, we decided we preferred to take advantage of the weather and keep riding.  We split a Quest bar (the horror, I know), said goodbye to our riding buddies, and headed south. As we...

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NOW CLOSED: Leonard’s BBQ and Burger Hut

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Dear Loyal Blog Fans, First, an apology.  It has been 6 weeks (6 weeks!) since our last post.  Without going into too much detail, let’s just say that a plague of several minor yet incapacitating and highly inconvenient illnesses has passed through the Foodie household.  These are illnesses that, let’s say, make it harder to enjoy a delicious multi-course meal.  (Use your imagination.)  And while we had planned to send our unpaid intern and staffers to cover new places – wait a minute, we don’t have any of that.  That was all a fever dream. So, do not think we...

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Yo Mama’s Saturday Brunch

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So I messed up.  I accidentally released the first paragraph of this post last week, and in the few seconds before I caught my error, a few hundred of you tried to read the post. Which made me think that y’all are jonesing for some good brunch food in the ‘Ham as badly as I am.   So without further ado, I give you my new favorite brunch spot:  Yo Mamas. My soul food foodie friend-the same one who lent her expertise to my post about Robert’s-has been raving about another soul food place right downtown.   After hearing her...

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Hotbox at Parkside

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Having a food blog has a lot of upsides.  Mainly, it’s a perfect excuse to eat out at great places with new friends.   As a result, we have made more die-hard foodie friends in the past year and a half than ever before.  And we are finding out about must-blog restaurants even sooner than we otherwise would have. Last week, we went to a party at a friend’s amazing downtown loft, where we only knew a handful of people.  As we stood on one of the most spectacular roof decks in the city, taking in the skyline and watching...

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Bham Doughnut Drop / We Have Doughtnuts

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This is an emergency post – I have just eaten a doughnut so amazing that I need to tell the world.  Actually, I’ve eaten four, but that’s not important. For the past several months, my awesome foodie friend Sandy has been telling me about a doughnut startup in town.  These guys have a vision to bring classic cake doughnuts, which are surprisingly hard to find, to the ‘Ham.  And not just any cake doughnuts.  Artisanal, beautiful, seasonally flavored, made from scratch doughnuts.  As of yet, there’s no official name, and no storefront.  Even better-it’s a doughnut delivery service. And even...

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Clara’s Country Cafe

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Mr Foodie and I are always looking to learn more about Alabama, and explore some of the smaller cities near Birmingham.  Last weekend, we had the perfect opportunity.  Some foodie  friends and I (Mr Foodie was out of town) traveled to Selma to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday and walk together with thousands of others across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.   What an incredible experience it was. As we shuffled slowly en mass over the bridge in the company of those who made the same walk 50 years earlier, their children, and supporters from all over the world,...

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Robert’s Cuisine-a Sunday Soul Food Brunch

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Last week, I received an urgent text from one of my foodie friends.  She was perusing our newly redesigned site, and the drop-down menu I created to organize all of our posts, when she made a disturbing discovery.  Apparently, Mr Foodie and I had only blogged about one — one — soul food restaurant.  Admittedly, this was a very serious omission, worthy of an SOS text.   So, with this soul food foodie friend, we are putting on our stretchy pants, doubling our statin dose, and setting out to rectify the situation.  Our first stop:  Robert’s Cuisine. Robert’s is a catering business...

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Chef John Hall: from Insomnia Pizza to Post Office Pies, from contemporary American cuisine in North Avondale to ?…

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Sandy and I met up with Chef John Hall in his modest North Avondale home. Always a host, he offered us drinks as we chatted around his dining table. Almost as soon as we began talking, John let out a laugh and told us, “I never talk this much.” I do believe John may be on the quiet side at times – for example, in last week’s post, I describe his shy, reserved demeanor while serving us at our recent meal. But John is anything but quiet when it comes to his love for food, his cooking philosophy, and his...

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Contemporary American cuisine served out of a house in North Avondale

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My friends Sandy and Ben took us. We drove through Avondale on 41st Street. We passed Melt, Saws, Post Office Pies, and Avondale Brewery. Then we crossed the tracks. We drove another half mile into a quiet residential neighborhood filled with neat mid century modern homes on tree-lined streets. Then we pulled over. A quiet man greeted us warmly at the door, then disappeared into the kitchen. He looked to be in his early-to-mid 20s, although I later learned he was 33. The place smelled like the best restaurant in France. We entered the man’s living room, took off our...

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Birmingham Breadworks

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Since we moved to Southside about a year ago, we have been absolutely DYING for great new places to open in our part of town. That might account for why we blogged about Everest Sushi five times in the past month… but who’s counting. So when we heard that Birmingham Breadworks was moving to the neighborhood, we literally ran down there (just a mile and a half from our house!) to check out their Saturday brunch offerings. The shop is located in a old Antique store on 7th Avenue South. The space has been beautifully renovated to show off the...

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Galley and Garden

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We got home early on a Sunday morning from our Thanksgiving trip to Philly, where we ate ourselves silly. It’s a wonder that we had any interest in food at all but – but at 10:30am, we realized our stomachs were grumbling. So we ran through our typical list of favorite Sunday brunch places – Chez Lulu, Continental Bakery Downtown, Big Bad Breakfast, Pancake House. But before we made our final decision, I decided to take a peek at Yelp to see if there were any newcomers to the brunch scene that might be fun to explore. And low and...

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Champy’s Chicken and Tamales

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Last Friday, we set out for the Gulf Coast with empty stomachs, hoping we would find a blogworthy surprise within an hour south of Birmingham. As relative newcomers to town, we still have to study the map carefully. Our choices were Pelham, home of our favorite El Salvadorian restaurant La Libertad, or Alabaster, a place we had never been. After some intensive Yelping and Urbanspoon-digging, we read about what sounded like the kind of unique dining experience often discussed but rarely attained on a road trip: a place with fried chicken, Mississippi delta tamales, and blues. Champy’s is located in...

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John’s City Diner

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A few weeks ago, close friends of ours from Philly visited us for the first time. When you have a food blog, you sorta feel like you should know the perfect restaurant for every occasion. Especially when there are visitors in town. Trust me, I’m not complaining. This means we more often than not get to choose where we eat (poor us!). But back to the story-we had a decision to make. Our friends are very easygoing, but we still agonized over where to take them for dinner. Someplace casual as they had just driven 14 hours to get to...

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Big Bad Breakfast

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Brunch. That elusive meal. Ever since moving to Bham Mr Foodie and I have been in search of that perfect brunch place. Ok, I know what you are going to say. We do love Over Easy because it’s possible to have a healthy meal there, and we’ve blogged about it here. Other blogworthy brunches that fill important niches are the Pancake House in 5 points (admittedly, it’s a chain, but woah, sourdough pancakes with chocolate chips….), and for lighter fare including TO DIE FOR crepes, Chez Lulu. We will write about those soon, I hope. But, what if, let’s say,...

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Jasmine’s

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A few weeks ago, a friend told me about a great neighborhood meat and three in Ensley. I know this may be controversial but-meat and threes have never been my favorite. They seem like they all serve the same greasy flavorless food in too-large quantities. But when I heard about this hole-in-the-wall that gets rave reviews, I had to try it. The other factor drawing me to this particular meat and three was its location in Ensley. At one time, Ensley was a booming steel town outcropping of Birmingham’s city center. It inspired native Erskine Hawkins to compose the famous...

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Rib it Up

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I have just one thing to say. Rib Tips. What the heck is a rib tip? Yes, I had to look this up, so don’t be ashamed if you do too, that’s what the link is for. Last week, Mr Foodie, some friends, and I decided to try a BBQ joint that had a name I couldn’t resist: Rib It Up. And their self-proclaimed specialty-rib tips. That meaty little gem between the rib and the sternum which is used in St Louis style BBQ is their most popular dish. First, I should mention that Rib It Up sits on 1st...

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Paramount

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Lately, I’ve taken great pride in writing about hidden hole-in-the-walls. But sometimes, a girl’s gotta follow the trendy hipsters. But not to the kind of place that makes you feel like you are out of place in an episode of Portlandia. Rather, to a place that’s accessible, and whose quality stands on its own. And so, tonite, I bring you Paramount. This is one of the newest additions to the downtown nightlife scene. I’ve been here a total of 4 times, once at 11pm, once at 9pm, and twice in the past week around 6pm. It is always packed. This...

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Sharks Fish and Chicken

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Last year, a co-worker brought amazing fried chicken to a work baby shower that was reportedly from a chicken shack in a gas station. Sounds good to me. From what I can tell, Shark’s is a mostly Southern chain with several locations in the state. This location is attached to a Sunoco on Greensprings: Mr Foodie and I headed to meet 2 friends there on a weeknight. Once inside, it is apparent that essentially everything on the menu – meat, veggies, pickles-is fried. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never been to a place like this before-it was like being...

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Post Office Pies

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You know a neighborhood has arrived when it has a brewery, a top rated BBQ joint, and now, a pizza place that merges them both. When we moved to Birmingham in July 2011, we had heard that something was afoot in Avondale. I remember going to the building that would become Avondale Brewery and getting an impromptu tour. Just eight months later, after we had taken many more formal tours through the brewery, we went to Saw’s on its opening night. Saw’s in Avondale has since been, in my opinion, the best overall BBQ in town. So when Post Office...

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Cafe Dupont

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Last month (I know, I’ve been slacking), we went to Cafe Dupont for our anniversary. Cafe Dupont is part of the regional food, farm to table, or Slow Food movement. Way before we were here, in ’04, it was one of the first restaurants to open in the re-emerging downtown area. We had been to Cafe Dupont before, and specifically chose it for our anniversary because while it is definitely a “nice place” (cloth napkins, waiter brushing crumbs from the table between courses, valet parking), it doesn’t feel too pretentious. It’s the kind of place where they will treat you...

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Parish Seafood and Oyster House

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Blogosphere friends, I owe you an apology. It has been weeks since my last post. There are photos on my iPhone crying out to be viewed, and stories needing to be told. Top among them is the story and photos from our experience at Parish Seafood & Oyster House. The same great foodie friends who told us about Oscar’s Happy Hour directed us to Parish. I asked how they find out about this stuff – apparently liking dozens of good restaurants on Facebook alerts you to special events. On this particular Friday night, we went to Parish seeking their crab...

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