Category: Uncategorized

Hero Doughnuts Opens Brick and Mortar

IMG_3307 (2)

Exactly one year today I (Editor E) was on a plane back from Portland, where I had spent a long weekend doing many things, including sampling PDX’s finest doughnuts. They’re really into doughnuts in Stumptown, and coffee too (see name), and during the trip I took a fascinating Third Wave Coffee Tour, which featured pairings of sweet circular treats and the city’s famous coffee. Sitting down at the newly opened Hero Doughnuts in Homewood, I was struck by the similarities in the offerings here to what I experienced last year. And, judging by the looks of the lines out the...

More

Rolled Ice Cream Comes To Birmingham

Red Carpet Roll

When it comes to ice cream concepts, we’re always game for testing. Most recently, this took us to Pelham, where the new Cream and Cones Ice Cream Lounge offers rolled ice cream. It’s the first brick and mortar rolled ice cream in the Birmingham Metro area. (There is a pop up with a similar concept, but we haven’t tried that yet.) So on a recent Wednesday afternoon we (Editor E and Foodie Jr.) drove down Highway 31 to the new shop. Located in a strip mall with a personal trainer (look away, personal trainer) and a cake shop/Italian takeaway (note for...

More

Rougaroux Brings Po Boys To Forest Park

Rougaroux_PoBoy

Yesterday we had the chance to duck into the soft opening of Rougaroux in Forest Park. Located in the “pink house,” once home to the Pink House Cafe, we were eager to check it out.           Rougaroux comes to us via a collaboration between owner Anne Carter and Hotbox. Walking in you get a distinct feeling of New Orleans, almost like you’re walking into a place in the Bywater. Points for that.   When we visited they’d only been open 24 hours, and they were still in a soft opening period. That said, it was a strong...

More

Ollie Irene Reopens In New Location

OllieIrene_ShrimpChorizo

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...

More

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...

More

Fero Brings New Italian To Birmingham

07A82062-1D31-40F1-BCCA-9E228B59673A

We know it’s been some time since our last post. But dear readers, we haven’t forgotten about you! As mentioned in our last post, this is a time of transition for the What To Eat team. Never fear: we didn’t stop eating. Phew. Since we last wrote, our founders moved to Pittsburgh. Our entire team continues to read your emails, messages, and notes. And our Birmingham crew is keeping dibs on what’s happening in the Magic City’s food community. Which has been a lot, so stay tuned for more in the coming weeks. First things first, let’s discuss Fero. When...

More

Pizitz Food Hall combinations we love #1: Tropicaleo flan topped with Lichita’s queso ice cream

img_8578-1

Blog fans, One of the great things about The Pizitz Food Hall is that it is possible to create endless unique combinations of food where the whole really is bigger than the sum of the parts. And we figure them out, so you don’t have to. Just read, visit, and enjoy. Case in point: last week, Tropicaleo owner Gabriel Marrero gave me a container of his flan. I initially tried to resist, citing my desire not to gain any more Pizitz-related weight. But he insisted that if I was to have just one more very caloric dessert in my life,...

More

The Pizitz Food Hall Update: Choza is awesome, signs go up, and Sunday brunch is humming

img_8509-1

Hey Blog Fans, First, thanks to those of you who took our tours on Saturday! We had 3 huge groups of 20-30, and are planning for more tours in the weeks to come! Stay tuned. The past few days at Pizitz have continued to be high-energy. First, Choza Taqueria opened on Friday night. Folks, this is a taco town, so I knew these guys would have to be spot on. And they are. For us, the meat makes the taco. Their meat is so juicy and perfectly seasoned. When asked what makes it so great, Choza manager Roscoe Hall says...

More

Choza Taqueria opens tomorrow for dinner and other updates

img_8468-2

First, we are super excited to announce that Choza Taqueria will be opening tomorrow night! They are a concept out of NYC. We’ve eaten their tacos at Gotham West Market in Manhattan and they were legit. Welcome to The Pizitz Food Hall, Choza! Here’s a pic of their Pizitz menu board: Aside from that, two things to report. First, the ramen is still a-mazing. Here are some beautiful shots of tonight’s tonkatsu ramen. As delicious as it is beautiful. Mr Foodie snagged one of these melon sodas. Pretty refreshing. And last but not least, the recycling containers and the nice...

More

The Pizitz Food Hall Day 7: Lichita’s secret banana split, Ichicoro ramen opens to a predictably long line, and more updates 

img_8471-1

One of the perks of being a consultant on this project is having a little insider info. We were lucky enough to be the official flavor selectors for Lichita’s, since thE Pizitz location only has room for 18 ice cream containers. In doing the taste testing, we also learned that the owner, Eloy, planned to offer banana splits. However, they aren’t on the menu-you have to know to order them, like Great Wall’s (formerly) secret menu. So tonight, we were the first patrons in the history of The Pizitz Food Hall to have a banana split at Lichita’s. You can’t...

More

The Pizitz Food Hall Day 6: Ichicoro Ramen opens for dinner tomorrow (Wednesday)!!

img_0069-1

It’s 9:30pm on Tuesday. Mr Foodie and I are sitting at The Louis bar, enjoying the company of new friends. One of the best things about this projects has been to see the relationships that have formed between different stalls. They share ideas, resources, and of course food. The food hall was abuzz tonight with word that Ichicoro might be doing some taste testing. The aroma of the broth wafted through the air, confirming our suspicions. About 45 minutes ago, we got word that they would be making a handful of tonkatsu bowls for folks to taste. Here are the...

More

The Pizitz Food Hall Day 4 (late entry): Sunday all-day brunch at Tropicaleo and other updates

img_8438-1

Day 5 and The Pizitz Food Hall is still going strong. The Revelator sign went up today, and it looks great! We all know Sunday brunch is hard to find in Bham. It seemed like a lot of Birminghamsters had the same idea at the same time. Here’s what the crowd looked like around 11:30am:  Walking around the room, I noted that brunch options included grilled sandwiches from Busy Corner Cheese, chicken and waffles from Waffle Works, and of course, Tropicaleo. Tropicaleo is doing all day brunch on Sunday. Here’s their brunch menu: We waited till dinner to try their...

More

The Pizitz Food Hall Day 4: Still crowded, still delicious

Hey foodies, today was another great day at The Pizitz Food Hall. After the initial post earlier this morning and going back to bed to sleep off all the food I had eaten throughout the week, I was ready to go back at it. I put on my running shoes and headed over to meet up with friends. I wish I had taken a crowd shot. The place was packed, but the lines were moving steadily. Today’s updates: Crowds have begun to spill outside onto the beautiful patio: Lichita’s menu board went up! Yellowhammer opened a few days ago but...

More

Pizitz Day 3 (late entry): Ono Poke opens, Lichita’s ice cream is delicious

img_8414-2

Blog fans, yesterday was another great day in the history of the Pizitz Food Hall. Ono Poke opened to an immediate and persistent line at lunch that continued through mid-afternoon and resumed again at dinner. The line will take you 15-20 minutes if it’s long, but I timed how long it took from paying at the cashier to receiving a bowl: exactly one minute. So all in all, a quick experience. Use the time to take in the ambiance and try some samples from Lichita’s next door. Here are some photos of the event: Here’s the result. We got one...

More

Pizitz Day 2: Eli’s Jerusalem Grill opens, Busy Corner Cheese makes amazing cheese and charcuterie plates

FullSizeRender

Blog fans, I apologize for the delay. Mr. Foodie and I just returned home from Pizitz after being there since 5pm. We ate, we sat, we talked, we saw tons of people we knew, we ate and talked more – it’s really becoming quite the gathering place. First of all, we were not there for lunch, but here’s a pic taken by Bayer Properties’ Tom Walker. Surreal. The lines were apparently out the door. When we arrived for dinner, the lines were quickly accumulating, but the food all came out in a relatively timely manner.  A healthy dose of patience...

More

Ono Poke @ The Pizitz Food Hall opens TOMORROW at 11am!!

img_8399-1

Foodies, Vinh Tran from Ono Poke has had to fight off the throngs of customers over the last few days as he has prepped. But fight no more-Ono Poke opens tomorrow, Friday, at 11am!  Here’s the long awaited signage and menu: We had the opportunity to try one of his bowls yesterday: THE most amazing tuna, seaweed mixed with other fresh ingredients. So healthy and fresh. To learn more about Vinh and his Poke, please visit our earlier post:  Ono Poke: A Pizitz Food Hall Story I’ll be posting soon about all of today’s amazing openings and happenings… I just...

More

Pizitz is OPEN! Blogging live!

IMG_0046

Today is the dawn of Birmingham’s new foodie age. Mr. Foodie and I are here at the Pizitz food hall blogging live. Here’s what it looks like: Dozens if not a hundred customers milling around, in suits presumably from nearby offices, in activewear presumably coming from the gym, with laptops presumably working. People standing in orderly lines, patiently waiting for food from the three stalls open today: Busy Corner Cheese, Tropicaleo, and Waffle Works. Very controlled happy chaos. Everyone is smiling, relaxing, enjoying. Stall owners and staff are meeting the demand. Same Heide, Tom Walker, and Jane Hoerner of Bayer...

More

Lichita’s Ice Cream and Popsicles: A Pizitz Food Hall Story

trio-copy

As you know, we love Lichita’s. We can’t believe it’s been a year and a half since we first visited their small storefront on Valley Avenue. When we first sat down with Bayer last year to brainstorm about our wish list for Pizitz stalls, we pulled up our Lichita’s post and collectively drooled over how great it would be to have them in the building. And now, a little over a year later, it’s become a reality. Here’s the story of the man behind Lichita’s, our good friend Eloy Garcia. Photo credits go to our good friends at Yellowhammer Creative....

More

MoMo: A Pizitz Food Hall Story

momo-dumplings

Blog fans, We’re in Week 4 of Stall Stories, brought to you by B-metro, Yellowhammer Creative (who took all the beautiful photos), and Mr. Foodie, who did the interview. This week, the famous Abhi Sainju from Bamboo on 2nd is coming to The Pizitz Food Hall, and we could not be more excited. Enjoy!   Originally from Nepal, Abhi spent his formative years in a Jesuit run boarding school in India. He has many fond memories of his time at the school, but the institutional food they served was not among them. On his monthly visits to town with his...

More

Drumroll Please: The Unveiling of the Pizitz Food Hall Stall and Restaurant List

pizitz

Fellow foodies, First, an apology. As you may have noticed, we have taken a bit of a summer vacation. This is not due to lack of things to write about, or any waning on our part. Rather: 1) we took a 2 week vacation to Atlantic Canada, during which we ate more seafood than I can explain. And then we spent a long weekend in NYC celebrating friend-of-the-blog Michelle’s birthday, which involved more eating than anything else. It was “research,” all for the good of the blog; 2) as you may know, we both have day jobs, which kept us...

More

Meet us in person at the Eat Drink Read Write festival

eat drink

Hey Birminghamster foodies! As you know, we typically try to fly under the radar when we are at a restaurant.  We never want to make any restaurant owners, servers, chefs, or other staff feel nervous or uncomfortable, or as if they have to perform for us.   We are really shooting for having the experience any other diner would have, and the only way to do that is to go unnoticed.  This philosophy is derived a bit from the experiences of Ruth Reichl, a food critic (which we are not, by the way) who famously received different service when she...

More

Roots and Revelry: SNEAK PREVIEW

FullSizeRender_6

Roots and Revelry:  SNEAK PREVIEW Once in awhile, Mr. Foodie and I have an opportunity to gain access into Birmingham’s inner foodie circles.  This is a weird thing for me.  I’m by nature an introvert, and as you know, I blog anonymously.  However, once a blog post is up, it often ends up “outing” me to the restaurant owner.  And sometimes, as a result, I get the opportunity to check out some really amazing food and report back to you, my loyal blog fans.  These opportunities usually come out of the blue, when I’m least expecting anything exciting to happen. Last...

More

Brito’s

IMG_4262.JPG

At Red Bowl’s Dim Sum a few weekends ago, we struck up a conversation with two very nice ladies across from us who were clearly foodies.  As we bonded over the amazing dumplings and fried eggplant, we shared restaurant recommendations.  Even though we’ve been at this blogging thing for almost two years, we still get recommendations for places we haven’t heard of all the time.  So as we sat there talking about Birmingham’s amazing restaurant scene, we kept our ears open for the next “blogworthy” find.   “Have you tried Brito’s?”  one of our new friends asked, her voice brimming with excitement....

More

NOW BAMBOO ON 2ND: Everest Sushi is Back!!

IMG_3521.JPG

NOTE: Everest Sushi is now the sushi bar at Bamboo on 2nd. Dear loyal blog fans, Everest Sushi Lives! As I previously discussed here and here, Everest Sushi is some of the best sushi in town. And to our horror, we recently learned that it had lost it’s space at the Red Zone. But good news-I heard from Abhi just yesterday that he is back in business! Everest Sushi will now be at the Blue Monkey Lounge at 1318 Cobb Lane in 5 points during the following hours starting tomorrow, December 9: Tuesday-Thursday 6pm-10pm Friday-Saturday 9pm-2am. We will be there...

More

Galley and Garden

IMG_3513.JPG

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...

More

NOW BAMBOO ON 2ND: Save Everest Sushi!!

NOTE: Everest Sushi is now the sushi bar at Bamboo on 2nd. Now for the original post: Loyal blog fans, This is a plea for your help. We have a foodie emergency on our hands. Everest Sushi, which I blogged about here and here, has lost its space at the Red Zone. I know y’all love Everest because it’s #1 on Urbanapoon’s talk of the town, and my two posts had the most shares of any place I’ve blogged about. Everest is a true Birmingham foodie gem, and even moreso, it’s owner Abhi is a foodie treasure. He is self...

More

NOW BAMBOO ON 2nd: Everest Sushi

IMG_3171.JPG

NOTE: Everest Sushi is now the sushi bar at Bamboo on 2nd. Now for the original post: What I love about this town is that JUST when you think you’ve found every last [fill in the blank], you find one that has been right under your nose, that you’ve never heard of before, and that is as good or better than all of your favorite places. To find these hidden gems, I occasionally obsessively peruse Yelp and Urbanspoon. Sushi being one of my favorite things in the world, as I have done many times before, last week I did a...

More

Great Wall (alert-includes homemade Dim Sum!)

img_2789

I have a theory that Birmingham is full of amazing, authentic ethnic restaurants flying under the radar. For authentic Chinese food, most people know about Red Pearl and Mr Chen’s (I think). Earlier this week we blogged about Black Pearl, a Chinese place that’s been around for awhile, but now has a new chef who has introduced more authentic Cantonese dishes. This got me to thinking… Maybe there are other places around with similar stories. All it takes is one chef… And so I started poking around Yelp and Urbanspoon. Great Wall, a Chinese restaurant in Homewood, seemed like exactly...

More