Tagged: Alabama

We’re moving to Pittsburgh but the blog will live on, and how we all ate our feelings and worked on the transition at Big Spoon Creamery

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I’ve been agonizing for weeks about how to write this post. Finally, I decided to just come out with the crux of the matter in the title: we are leaving Birmingham. This move is bittersweet for us. We love Birmingham and the community of friends, including many close foodie friends, we’ve made here. The reason for the move is an exciting job opportunity for me, and the decision was a difficult one. But it’s all set-we leave July 31. We’ve been slowly telling people – mostly close friends and colleagues – about the move over the last several weeks. Usually...

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Nuzzi Gelato

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If you’re a blog fan, you know well how much we love dessert, especially ice cream and gelato. And interestingly, aside from Scoops (which we recently wrote about, leading to a 5 pound weight gain during our efforts to try every flavor), and an occasional special gelato at one of our city’s more upscale restaurants (mmmmmm Bettola), this town doesn’t have a lot of gelato. So a few weeks ago, when we saw a cart during one of our routine trips to Pepper Place Farmer’s Market advertising artisan gelato, we had to try it. Here’s the cart, which parks in...

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Miami Fusion Cafe

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Once upon a time there was a wonderful  Puerto Rican restaurant called Miami Cafe Xpress, located inside the Riverchase car wash in Hoover.  Our Graveyard page includes our original post, and recalls: “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...

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First Ethiopian restaurant in the state of Alabama is OPEN in The Pizitz Food Hall! (Ghion Cultural Hall)

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We have dreamt for years about writing this post. And it’s even better than we had imagined.   When we were first hired by Bayer Properties to consult on The Pizitz Food Hall, we promised each other that we would use this opportunity to bring Ethiopian food to Birmingham. Having lived in Philly, a city with a large Ethiopian community and several well-loved Ethiopian restaurants, we were used to having Ethiopian food whenever we pleased. When we moved down here nearly 6 years ago, Ethiopian food was one of the first things we looked for (along with good sushi, dim...

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Dosa: A Pizitz Food Hall Story

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Blog fans, this is what you’ve been missing all your lives: a Dosa stall. We first met Aleem last year when we stumbled upon his Hoover restaurant, Paradise Biryani Point.  Since then, we have been full-fledged devotees. He has an incredible sense for high-quality Indian food, and his team of chefs delivers. We are so excited to have him in The Pizitz Food Hall. Birminghamsters, let us introduce you to Aleem Tooalim. Story courtesy of our friends at B-metro, and photos from our friends at Yellowhammer Creative. Enjoy. Dosa, an Indian cuisine stall, is joining the list of unique establishments...

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

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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....

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Tropicaleo (coming to Reveal Kitchen at The Pizitz Food Hall!)

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If you’re a blog fan, you know that while we do sometimes write about stereotypically southern food, we are much more drawn towards food from other places. Lately, we’ve been thinking about why this might be. Maybe it’s because we love to travel, or that we seek variety. I’m sure that’s true. But most of all, we think it is because we love to experience the creative self-expression of someone’s personal history and culture. We first discovered Tropicaleo last year at the Birmingham Caribbean festival, and have been following them ever since. We have watched them find their culinary identity,...

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Ichicoro Ramen: A Pizitz Food Hall Story

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Blog fans, This week Stall Story: Ramen. Need I say more. This story is brought to you by our friends at B-metro. Photo credit goes to Seamus Payne.   Ichicoro Ramen, a craft ramen restaurant, launched in Tampa Bay, Florida, is expanding to Birmingham. Chefs Noel Cruz and Masa Takaku incorporate local ingredients and regional cooking styles into the menu, celebrating the influence of Gulf Coast and Latin American flavors. Cruz grew up with an interest in food and remembers as a child constantly watching cooking shows and spending time in the kitchen contributing to family gatherings. While most kids...

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The Standard: A Pizitz Food Hall Story

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Hey loyal blog fans, Here’s the third post in our series of Stall Stories, this one written by our talented colleagues at B-metro.  This story is about a chef well-known to the Bham food scene who is going to be bringing an amazing-looking burger and hot dog concept to The Pizitz Food Hall. Enjoy. Photo by Yellowhammer Creative Matt Ralph isn’t setting out to make the trendiest conceptual burger you’ve ever had. Instead, he’ll use hand-ground beef to create a modern take on the traditional hamburger at The Standard, his new hamburger and hot dog stall in The Pizitz Food Hall....

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Busy Corner Cheese: A Pizitz Food Hall Story

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Hey loyal blog fans, For the past several months, I know you’ve been itching to find out more about the Pizitz stalls. Here’s the second in our series of Stall Stories, this one written by our colleagues at B-metro.  This story is about the very first cheesemonger to open in Birmingham – an important culinary milestone for foodies in our city. Enjoy. Photo by Yellowhammer Creative Birmingham’s first gourmet cheese shop will be opening in The Pizitz Food Hall, and the resume of the man behind it boasts roles at Hot and Hot Fish Club and V. Richards market. At...

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Ono Poke: A Pizitz Food Hall Story

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Hey Blog Fans, As you know, Mr Foodie and I (especially Mr Foodie) have been working with the awesome team at Bayer on the Pizitz Food Hall. We’ve interviewed several of the Food Hall’s chefs, and will be posting their inspiring stories here. These stories will also be cross-posted on BMetro, which has also done some Pizitz interviews that we will link to along the way. Some of these chefs are people we’ve known for awhile through the blog, and others we’ve gotten to know over the past year. All are amazingly driven, talented, and brave food entrepreneurs who we...

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Scoops (alert-includes GELATO)

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As we have said before, this town needs more non-chain, brick-and-mortar ice cream shops that sell homemade ice cream. As you know, in the pop-up/truck category, we love Bendy’s, Pixie, and Big Spoon. But as far as brick-and-mortar goes, so far, the only place we know of in this category is Lichita’s. (Think about it.) We love Lichita’s, and it will be opening a second location in the Pizitz in December, but there is plenty of pent up ice cream demand for a second homemade ice cream shop. And for goodness sakes, this town needs gelato. How is it that...

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Chinese Hot Pot @ Black Pearl in Homewood

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Ms. Foodie is still getting over her jet lag from our trip to Japan, and this post wasn’t going to write itself. Even after the last two weeks of non-stop Japanese foodie goodness, this meal still stands out as one of the best we’ve enjoyed lately. So, I took it upon myself to write this post. We recently heard that the new location of Black Pearl in Homewood had Chinese hot pot. We have had this dish in Vietnam and as of this past week Japan (shabu-shabu) but so far had not found it available in the ‘Ham. We coordinated...

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Taboon Noon o Kebab

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Last week, in response to our post about Falafel Cafe, loyal blog fan Janica sent us this question: “Have you been to Taboon Noon o Kabab in Hoover yet? It’s next to Mandarin House, where Purple Onion and Chick’n’Out once were.” We chatted back and forth about the place. She had only positive things to say and recommended the kubideh, a Persian dish of minced beef (80% meat and 20% fat according to this article) shaped into a kebab and grilled. We’ve had this before, at the Persian restaurant we used to love in NYC, but never in Bham. We...

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Falafel Cafe

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Two weeks ago, while driving down 19th Street South from Southside to Downtown (on my way to meet Mr Foodie for dinner at Bamboo), I noticed this sign: (Exact location: 19th St S and 4th Ave S) As I was driving and not able to add it to our list of places to try, it flew under my radar. That is, until last week when our friend Henna messaged me that her friend had just opened a new middle eastern place. That was the reminder I needed. Mr Foodie and I made plans to go that evening. Falafel Cafe is in the...

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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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Bendy’s Cookies and Cream

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We constantly troll Yelp, Facebook, and yes, even al.com to find new foodie adventures. A few weeks ago, we read this article on al.com about a new ice cream truck concept called Bendy’s. Our first reaction was, with Big Spoon (which yes, we love and will write about at some point, I promise), Pixie, and Ono … we weren’t sure if there were enough calories left in our MyFitnessPal apps, or enough unique takes on ice cream, to make room for this newcomer. But after our foodie friend Michelle of Hero Doughtnuts post fame told me she had actually eaten at the suddenly...

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Paradise Biryani Point

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This post is very long overdue. Last year, we noticed that a new Indian place popped up on Yelp. We waited for a few good reviews to come in and verified with Indian-Anerican friends before venturing 20 minutes (ok, we know that’s not so far) down I-65. If you’re coming from I-65, it’s on Montgomery Highway one strip mall past Steak and Shake, in the same strip mall as Hobby Lobby and India Heritage. Don’t go based on the address in Google maps; just use these directions. Here’s the exterior: We had an incredible meal, much better than the other...

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Thirstea

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As a loyal fan, you may have noticed that we have never in the history of the blog focused a post on a beverage. Why, you ask? Because when you eat out as much as we do, we have to save our calories. And quite frankly, there are few beverages, in our opinion, worthy of those precious calories. That is, until now. Recently, we received a hot tip about a beverage place we just had to try “down 280” past Target.  As you can probably tell from some of our recent posts, it takes a lot to draw us from Southside that far...

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Alloy Thai Rice & Curry Shop Pop-up @ Woodlawn Street Market

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Spring is in the air in the ‘Ham. Incredibly beautiful weather brings neighborhood fairs and other outdoor gatherings. This weekend, that meant the Woodlawn Street Market. This was our first time at the Woodlawn Street Market, which was completely fantastic. Lots of cool Birmingham-focused art, street performances, and of course, food. While we were intrigued by many of the food vendors, I have to admit that we went for one reason and one reason only: Alloy Thai. You may remember that we blogged about Alloy Thai’s fantastic pop-up dinners in October. Since then, we’ve been to several (and we’re signed up to...

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Pixie Ice Cream

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As we recently noted, this town has a serious deficit of homemade ice cream. Other than a chain or a local place that uses mass-produced ice cream, if you want to go out for ice cream, we know of only one option: Lichita’s.  We do love Lichita’s, and as we recently told you, it will be in the Pizitz building. And after my original post, several readers pointed out that Big Spoon is a fantastic small batch ice cream operation with a pop-up schedule that can be found here.  But in a city of this size, I’m confident we can...

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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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Ethiopian food in the Pizitz building and other mindblowing things

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If someone had to spill the beans about our most heavily guarded Pizitz secret, I’m glad it was Eater. First, some background: Eater is a food blog that writes about food in big cities (e.g., Eater NY), and important food things happening all over the US. It has 11 million daily readers-it’s kind of a big deal. We are HUGE Eater fans. For a food blogger, interacting with Eater in any way is like getting to share breathing space with a celebrity. When I met one of the Eater writers at last year’s Food Media South conference, it was like...

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Bamboo has nigiri and sashimi!

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Folks, yet another reason to eat at Bamboo on Second: they’ve expanded their sushi menu to include nigiri and sashimi. We just happened to eat there tonite, the first night they offered it. We ordered the salmon, yellowtail, and tuna:       All three were outstanding. Melt-in-your-mouth, slightly citrusy from the lemon keeping it company, like butter. We also found out they’re open on Valentine’s Day-that’s where Mr Foodie and I will be, enjoying some nigiri!

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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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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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An authentic Thai dining experience in a modest Highland Park apartment (Alloy Thai)

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Last week, I received an email through the blog from a man named Josh Haynes.  He wanted to let me know that he would be organizing a Thai pop-up dinner as a prelude to a Thai restaurant he hopes to open.  As you know from our recent posts about Masaman Thai and Blue Pacific, we love Thai food, so this would have been hard to pass up.  Mr Foodie was tied up with Design Week Birmingham activities, but I decided to buy myself a ticket and bring two friends with me to help assess the situation. As is the usual...

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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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Great Wall’s brand new secret Szechuan menu

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Fellow foodies, I am writing this post from the parking lot of Great Wall.  We’ve just eaten and are still digesting one of the best meals we’ve had in Birmingham.  Partially because we are too full to drive, and partially because couldn’t bear the thought of you going one more day without knowing about what we just experienced, we are putting this post up in real time. If you read our blog, you know that we are huge fans of Great Wall on Greensprings.  In our prior posts here and here, we talk about how owner Sunny hired a new chef...

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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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Ono Ice Kickstarter

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Foodies, gather round.  Just last month, we told you about Ono Ice, Birmingham’s very own homemade shave ice stand.  Rebecca, the brains and the muscle behind Ono, is exceptionally creative and talented, using fresh local ingredients and innovative flavor combinations.  Now, she is trying to raise $25,000 to get a truck so she can take Ono to the next icy level.   In 25 years, we’re all going to be saying, remember when Ono got its first truck?  Now they have their own spaceship.  Be a part of history and while you’re at it, get a t-shirt designed by Yellowhammer (that’s...

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Bamboo on 2nd

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This post documents the long-awaited arrival of the most unique and certainly one of the best additions to Birmingham’s food scene in recent memory. This place is a game-changer. Its existence acknowledges that in 2015, Birmingham is “ready” for a restaurant that offers top notch pan-Asian cuisine, most of which cannot be found on the menus of even my favorite Chinese, Thai, or Indonesian restaurants in town. I could not be more excited to tell you about Bamboo on 2nd. Mr. Foodie and I first met Abhi in October, 2014, when we accidentally discovered him making the best sushi we...

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Brito’s

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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....

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Masaman Thai

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As y’all know, we don’t blog negatively.  There’s enough negativity in this world.  Plus, we aren’t professional food critics or experts-we are just two average foodies trying to eat a great meal. However, you may have noticed some food genres are notably absent or nearly absent from our blog.  Take, for instance, Thai food.  Without saying anything negative about any place in particular, I will just say that in our humble opinions, Birmingham hasn’t had a really great Thai restaurant in the time we’ve lived here.  The only really great Thai place around here that we know of is Kati...

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We’re on this week’s Birmingham Shines podcast, y’all!

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So, you may have noticed that our last post was an entire month ago.  No, we have not eaten at every restaurant in Bham — a question we get asked, usually by people who have never been to Bham…. really?!?  Seriously.  We have not moved on to another hobby.  We haven’t lost our creative juices.  To be perfectly honest, and not to sound like snobs, we’ve eaten at several restaurants this month that weren’t blogworthy.  We usually hit a dud or two between winners but this month hasn’t been as fruitful, sadly.  And we will NOT compromise our quality just...

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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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Bay Leaf Indian Restaurant

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Mr. Foodie and I are constantly trolling Yelp, Urbanspoon, and Facebook for ethnic restaurants that have traditionally been underrepresented in the Ham.  A few months ago, we noticed a new Indian restaurant that was quickly gaining popularity.  We’ve already blogged about two Indian restaurants in town – Taj and Silver Coin – that we really like.  But for a town of this size, it’s always been surprising to me that there aren’t more truly outstanding Indian places.  So when we saw the reviews of Bay Leaf, we wondered if it might fill that void. Bay Leaf is located down 280...

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Dim sum (yes, you read that right) at Red Bowl

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Please note:   Dim sum is only on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30-3!!   Now for the post: If you’ve  ever read this blog before, you know that Mr Foodie and I are huge fans of Birmingham.  As one of my native Alabamian friends likes to say, “you aren’t from here, but you got here as fast as you could.”  That pretty much sums it up.  This is our adopted home. But it’s not surprising that people often ask us if we miss living in Philly or Manhattan.  Our usual response is that of course, there are things we miss...

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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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Seoul Restaurant-new owners, authentic Korean food

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Lately, we’ve become fairly obsessed with Korean food. When Mr Foodie and I traveled to Vietnam for my work a few years ago, we had an 18 hour layover in Seoul. Of course, we took a food tour and had our first experience with kimchi jjigae, or kimchi and tofu stew, a dish that that blew our sinuses and our minds. After that, we actively sought Korean food in the US and had some experiences that only reinforced our newfound foodie interest at Woo nam Jeong Stone Bowl House in Atlanta and at the Dolsot house near my family’s home in Cherry Hill, NJ. We’ve...

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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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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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Olive Branch

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Last week was our 7 year wedding anniversary. Adorable, I know. Since we’ve been kinda obsessed with this blogging thing lately (have you noticed?), we decided to try a place we had never been to before with the hopes of writing an adorable, romantic blog post about our new find. Well-epic fail. This is not that post, because the place we went was just … meh. We were both so disappointed that we decided to have an anniversary do-over – adorable, yes, I know. At a tried and true local gem that we have been to at least a dozen...

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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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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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CHANGED HANDS: Los Pedros

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UPDATE 4/30/2015:  I just heard from a very reliable source that ownership has changed and this is not the old Los Pedros we know and love.  I am holding off on moving this post to the graveyard for now but…. It seems like a strong possibility.  Brief moment of silence for the old Los Pedros. Now for the original post: Recently, a friend told me about a taqueria that is his new favorite place to get authentic tacos. When he told me it was on Valley Avenue, in a strip mall in the parking lot behind the Salvation Army, I...

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Rafiki’s Grill

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As you know, or can tell by the types of places I blog about, I like all kinds of food, so long as its good. But I gravitate towards places that seem unusual for the area. In a state like Alabama, known for its soul food and BBQ, that typically means food from other countries and cultures. Take that a step further-food served in an atmosphere that transports you to a different continent, and introduces you to new people. I’ve spent some time in Botswana and in Vietnam. Being away from home as an American “ex-pat” and walking into an...

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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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Kool Korner Sandwiches

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There is a full service Cuban restaurant in Birmingham. I repeat, there is a full service Cuban restaurant in Birmingham. How did I miss this??! For the past 2 years, people have been telling me I should check out Kool Korner Sandwiches. There was just one problem-I hate sandwiches. For about 5 years, when I was a teenager, my doctors thought I had a gluten allergy. This was before the days of relatively good gluten-free products at regular grocery stores. As a result, I didn’t eat sandwiches for many years, and never really cared about them once I began eating...

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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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Silvercoin Indian Grill

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First off, this post is dedicated to my wonderful foodie friend who has much more experience with Indian food than I do. Her knowledge of Indian food is nearly encyclopedic. She deserves credit for helping me figure out the names of some of the foods shown here, and for introducing us to Silvercoin when we moved to Birmingham! Often, when I mention that I have a restaurant blog, an early question that arises is, what is your favorite Indian food in town? Although I do really love Taj and have blogged about it, and also love Mughal and the Sitar...

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El Taco Loco

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A lot has happened these past few months. Most notably, we moved to Southside. Moving has caused us to get a little distracted-all those pesky boxes, lots of urgent home improvement projects…. Excuses, excuses. But let me tell you, my foodie friends, this move will be great for our blog. It has introduced us to some hidden food havens in this part of town that we can’t wait to share with you. Tonite, I present you the first of these: the Green Springs/Valley Avenue corridor. This area of Homewood is filled with, well, frankly awful looking strip malls. But in...

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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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El Barrio

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Lately, I’ve been writing about places that are completely off the beaten path. Tonite, I’m writing about a place that everybody loves to love. We picked up my father-in-law at the airport tonite around dinnertime. He’s here to help with some home improvement projects, so we wanted to take him to a nice place to eat. Although he’s been to the Ham before, we were excited to show off downtown, which seems to get even cooler by the month. So we went to, in my opinion, the most dependably cool place downtown-El Barrio. El Barrio opened a few months after...

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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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Mr. Chen’s

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Recently, I heard something I could hardly believe. Mr. Chen’s-arguably the best Chinese restaurant in Birmingham-serves soup dumplings. Mr. Foodie and I lived in Philadelphia for 10 years, which has one of the best Chinatowns in the US. This experience completely spoiled us. We are used to eating non-greasy Chinese food with fresh ingredients, and have come to love dim sum — a Cantonese style of bite sized dining which typically includes dumplings. A really good dumpling – one that isn’t from the freezer section, that is hand made with perfectly seasoned filling – is hard to find. One specific...

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El Cazador

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Foodie friends, brace yourselves. I’m about to go where no Birmingham food blogger has gone before, and admit a shameful secret. It’s true-occasionally, I eat at one of our city’s dozens of cheap Mexican restaurants. You know the places of which I speak. The places where the decor consists of brightly colored statues of animals; where the servers give you refills on your chips and salsa within seconds of consumption of the last chip, whether you want them to or not; and where the waiters may or may not be wearing sombreros. I am not an expert on Mexican food,...

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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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Little Donkey – version. 2.0

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I’ve been debating about exactly how to approach this post. I think it makes the most sense to be straightforward, so here goes. Little Donkey has been open for about a year and was much anticipated. Owned by the same people who own Jim N Nicks. It is in a really cool space in Homewood, in the small strip mall where Octane and Steel City Pops moved (after Little Donkey). It is very modern on the outside and inside, with a beautiful patio: A lot of people ate here when it first opened, us included. We actually ate here on...

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Slice Pizza

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One of the great things about this town is how fast it’s growing. Even though we’ve only been here for a little more than 2 years, we often find ourselves saying, I remember when that place first opened! Slice is one of those places that opened about 2 years ago but has become a favorite. They have a stone oven where they cook their pizzas, which are thin crust and delicious. Recently, we were with a friend and trying to decide where we should eat that has a nice patio. Slice seemed like a good choice. It was a great...

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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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Tau Poco

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I’m beyond excited about the urban renaissance of downtown Bham. With the recent success of the Rev Birmingham pop up shops and restaurants along 3rd Ave North, downtown just seems all abuzz with a new kind of energy. And, naturally, with new food. I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Chef Chris Dupont’s Tau Poco lunch-only restaurant since I learned about it a few weeks ago. Chef Dupont owns both Cafe Dupont and Mix, both great places. The concept behind Tau Poco is simple and in my mind really appealing-mix and match global street food served in a take-out...

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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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Over Easy

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When I came down here to interview before we moved, a friend took me to Over Easy. At the time, it had just opened, and was quickly becoming a popular breakfast place. I like to eat breakfast, but am not one to eat much other than cereal or oatmeal. But this weekend, my sister was in town. Due to her intense workout schedule and excellent metabolism, she eats pancakes or waffles for breakfast most days. So, we headed to Over Easy in search of something that would satisfy both of us. Over Easy is located in a small strip mall...

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Oscar’s tapas happy hour

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Birmingham has a great art museum, with a really classy restaurant inside. I’ve had their brunch before, but that was the extent of it. Our awesome foodie couple friends suggested that we all go for Thursday happy hour, which includes a $15 per person all you can eat tapas buffet. Usually, buffets, especially happy hour buffets, aren’t the greatest quality. This one, however, was incredible. When I saw the oysters, I started to get excited: And then the shrimp: My other favorites were the Mexican dip and spinach dip, served with crusty French bread: Here’s the rest of the spread:...

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NOW CLOSED-Freshfully Cafe

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In Memoriam: Freshfully Cafe, you brought us delicious (if pricey) sandwiches, fancy fruit salads, and smoothies. Your food was healthy and delicious, and we are not entirely sure what led to your untimely departure. Although your sign has remained, you are most certainly closed. We miss you and will hold you close to our hearts. RIP. Original post: Freshfully is a store that sells local and regional produce, meat, and other products – like honey, granola, and canned preserves. I love going in there when I’m looking for really high quality cooking ingredients. Recently, they started serving lunch Monday-Saturday. I...

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26 weekday happy hour

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It seemed like an urban legend. I heard from a friend that she had a friend …. who loved to go to this happy hour at 26, one of my favorite restaurants. And it had cheap appetizers. Including sushi. Enough for a meal. Several of which come from their regular menu (which I love-and promise to review soon). Could it be true? Mr Foodie and I, along with two work friends who I love not only for their exceptional conversation skills but also for their ability to eat, were determined to find out. To people who have lived here all...

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Flip Burger

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I’m not a big fan of chain restaurants as a rule. But does it count as a chain if it only has 3 locations, the first of which is in Birmingham, is part-owned by Richard Blais, a Top Chef All-Stars winner, and was featured by Food and Wine for having burgers that are “over the top”? I might have to reconsider. Enter Flip Burger, a restaurant at the Summit. It is located at the first exit on your left as you enter the mall. This very modern sign greets you at the door, a reflection of what is to come:...

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Sushi Village 2

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Friends, do not be deterred by its location in a newly revitalized but slightly dingy strip mall. Sushi Village 2 is the real deal. Look for this sign, in the back of Crestwood festival across from the Edge movie theater and behind the ever-classy Bargain Hunt (we once bought a tandem bike there, don’t ask): For the last year since it opened, Sushi Village 2 has been our go to weeknight place. Their sushi and kitchen appetizers and entrees are consistently good, and really cheap. What makes this place really great is the people who run it-when it first got...

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