Category: hole in the wall

Two Ethiopian Restaurants in Birmingham! Meet Red Sea Ethiopian and Mediterranean

Veggie Plate

If you would have told us at the start of 2017 that Birmingham would have not one, but two Ethiopian restaurants, we might not have believed it. But here we are, and we’re delighted to report that the second Ethiopian restaurant to open in the Magic City is another must-visit. Red Sea Ethiopian and Mediterranean opened September 1. Nestled next to the new Halal Supermarket on Greensprings (which opened the same day), it’s a welcome new addition to our food landscape. (Ghion Cultural Hall, which opened in the Pizitz Food Hall in March, was the first Ethiopian to open in Birmingham.) We spent...

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Lichita’s Paleteria y Neveria (popsicle and ice cream parlor)

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One of our favorite things about writing this blog is the fact that it is a bidirectional experience.  We love it when our loyal blog fans tell us that we helped them find their new favorite go-to spot or weekend foodie adventure.  But what we love even more is when our loyal blog fans tell us about their favorite new foodie discovery.  When we first started, we found most of our restaurants using Yelp and Urbanspoon (when it existed-RIP, my favorite app).  But now, we spend most of our time following up on tips sent to us by our readers....

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Blue Pacific @ the Hoover Food Mart

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Take some slow, deep breaths, foodie friends, and let the excitement wash over you. Last week, a friend texted me the menu of what appeared to be a brand new Thai restaurant in Hoover.  I’d never heard of it.  The menu was small but solid, and entrees were listed in both English and Thai.  This seemed like a seal of authenticity of sorts.  I was intrigued, and we arranged to meet there with a group of friends in a few days. This is one of our favorite things to do-nothing gets our hearts pumping faster than the prospect of a...

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Wilson’s Hot and Sweet Cafe

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Mr Foodie here. When Ms Foodie and I moved to Southside last year, we asked around for tips on great places to eat. One of the things we noticed right away is that our neighborhood has a great international vibe. My guess is this has to do with UAB drawing students and faculty from all over the world. So when we found a hidden ethnic food gem right around the corner we were not surprised. We started hearing about a place called Wilson’s Market, which we were told sells homemade samosas by the dozen. We then realized we live just...

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Tropical Grill

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Mr. Foodie here. As regular readers may know, I am Ms. Foodie’s fulltime tasting assistant. I also occasionally help out with photos, but this is my first full post here at What to Eat in Birmingham. In order to keep pace with all the yummy tips coming in from our readers, I am going to help out by writing a post here and there from now on. Ms. Foodie and I were jonesin’ for some Jerk chicken as tends to happen from time to time. We decided to check out a tip about a restaurant that sounded like it might...

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El Girasol

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Date night, foodie style. Around 5pm one day last week, I checked my email and noticed that one of my readers had sent me a list of “hidden gems” to try. One of them was El Girasol, described as a fantastic Mexican place where they grill chickens in their parking lot on the weekends. Although it was a Wednesday, something about this made my stomach start to grumble for tacos and guacamole. I called Mr Foodie, and within 15 minutes we were on our way to the Huffman/East Lake neighborhood for an impromptu date night/urban food exploration adventure. El Girasol...

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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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Butts to Go

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This weekend, we made our semi-annual pilgrimage to Ikea in Atlanta. (Ikea, if you’re reading this, Birminghamsters would be overjoyed with a store in our town. That goes double for you, Trader Joes.) Usually we end up coming back from these trips quite late. But this time, we were so excited by our purchases that after stopping by the Concept Cars exhibit at the High Museum (which has reciprocity with the Birmingham Museum of Art so the exhibit was discounted and was amazing!), we headed home in time for dinner on the road. Given the semi-regular frequency of our trips...

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La Libertad

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La Libertad is a coastal town in El Salvador. It’s also a restaurant in Pelham. Tonite, Mr Foodie and I visited the latter. This place was quite a find. I don’t believe we have ever had El Salvadorian food before so I must admit, I’m not an expert and I have no basis for comparison. But what we had, we loved. And it was served by a waitress who had a genuine interest in making sure we enjoyed the food, which made for a fantastic foodie experience. La Libertad can be found-where else-in a strip mall in Pelham. I continue...

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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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Taj India

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For me, Indian food has been an acquired taste. Until the past 5 years, I’ve avoided anything spicy. I’m not entirely sure why. Until a friend of mine, whose mom is Indian and dad is Pakistani, gave me a life changing piece of advice. We were in Botswana, which has a significant Indian community. Botswana was probably the first place I tried authentic Indian food. My friend told me, if the food is spicy and you can’t handle it, eat it with a little bit of raita to tone it down but preserve the flavors. That advice allowed me to...

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NOW CLOSED-Miami Cafe Xpress

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In Memoriam: Miami Cafe Express, we loved your chicken stew and sweet plantains, and the sound of the carwash announcer in the background as we ate your food. Alas, according to your Facebook page, a landlord dispute caused you to close. However, you are in some sort of state suspended halfway between being a restaurant and being a fond memory, as your Facebook page also indicates that you still exist in the form of a catering company. Miami Cafe Express the Restaurant, we bid you aideu. RIP. The original post: If you’ve been following my blog posts, you probably realize...

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Gordos Market and Taqueria

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As you may know, I’m on a quest to find all the great taquerias of Birmingham – see also my post on Taqueria La Herrudura. Tonight: Gordos. Gordos was the first taqueria I visited after moving to Birmingham. It’s on Valley Avenue in Homewood, in a strip mall. It has 3 parts-a grocery store, a bakery, and of course, the restaurant. The restaurant serves tacos, tamales, gorditas, burritos, and quesadillas. Vegetarians beware-there is meat EVERYWHERE you look – a giant piece of meat hangs next to the register, which we are told is what carnitas looks like before it gets...

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Reyes Pizza

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Birminghamsters, Sometimes, when I am writing my blog posts, I try to think about what distinguishes our city’s food from that of any other small to mid-sized city. You can probably go just about anywhere in the country and, for example, get a great slice of pizza. What I think sets our city apart is the continual emergence of hidden gems that not only create delicious food but make you feel good just by eating there. Reyes Pizza falls squarely in this category. I continually scour Urbanspoon, Facebook, and the Birmingham Business Journal for new restaurant openings. That’s how I...

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Taqueria La Herradura

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The Alabama Farmer’s Market on Finley Avenue is a real Birmingham gem. It’s actually open 24/7 according to their website (and I once called at 10pm-they answered!). But this post isn’t about the farmers market-it is about the Taqueria. This Taqueria is one of several hole in the wall authentic taco places that I’ve found in the Ham that Mr Foodie and I absolutely adore. I was excited to share the experience with a friend who just moved back to the Magic City with her husband. I’ve met several people lately who are rediscovering Birmingham, or like us, discovering it...

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Southern Caribbean

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While eating at Tau Poco, I got a great tip about a Jamaican restaurant in Fairfield/Ensley. There are a few Jamaican places in Birmingham. My Foodie Informant’s wife who is from Jamaica apparently likes this one the best. And when he told me that it is essentially inside of a Shell gas station, I knew I had struck foodie gold. So I rounded up Mr Foodie and a few friends and headed to the North Side. We almost missed it – good thing I knew I was looking for a Shell gas station! The atmosphere is bare bones, in a...

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