Posted by bhamfoodscoop on May 30, 2012
SteelCityPops is one of the best things that just happened to the Birmingham area. This popsicle paradise is located near downtown Homewood in a newly revamped shopping center. On this hot day I needed to taste something cold, so I decided to pay this shop a visit. Once I walked in I felt right at home, I saw someone that I knew and she recommended that I try the kiwi (kiwi, lime, organic cane sugar, water) or the blackberry (blackberry, lemon, organic cane sugar, water) popsicle. However, I was in the mood for banana (banana, Mexican cinnamon, lemon, organic cane sugar, organic milk, cream) so this is what I got and it was so flavorful, the taste of banana and cinnamon really did something for my palate, yum!
Just so you know, SteelCityPops has over 2o flavors of popsicles, but they don’t offer all of their flavors everyday, so be on the lookout for your favorites. They offer two kinds of popsicle bases fruity and creamy. The pops are $2.75 a piece. And if you’re thirsty, they sell Provid Water and 100% of the profits from the sales support the building of clean water wells in Africa and India.
I think I just discovered my new summer hangout!
Posted in Ice Cream/Yogurt, Organic | Tagged: banana, blackberry, Homewood, kiwi, Mexican cinnamon, popsicles, Provid Water, SteelCityPops | Leave a Comment »
Posted by bhamfoodscoop on May 29, 2012
Recently I met some local foodies at Bettola Restaurant, which is located at Pepper Place in the Lakeview District. This quaint, dynamic, & eclectic eatery serves up authentic Southern Italian food. Several of their classic dishes include the signature Neopolitan pizzas that are cooked in a wood-fired Neapolitan pizza oven— which was handcrafted in Naples, Italy and shipped to Birmingham. This oven is capable of cooking a pizza in 90 seconds.
This was my first visit to Bettola and I had no idea what to expect, but let’s just say that I’m so glad that I visited. Upon arriving to dinner, I saw my guests sitting on the outdoor patio and I began to greet each and every one. And as we slowly began to trickle in, the atmosphere seemed to liven up and greatness was being created. On this warm evening, I met a diverse group of people that seemed to be a wonderful reflection of this great city and community of Birmingham. More specifically, my large party consisted of people of different races, ages, occupations, perspectives, and many more various characteristics. Earlier in the day, I was wondering how would I get all of these people to converse amongst each other because I thought that these various differences would be a hindrance, however, I was completely wrong. The conversation just flowed throughout the entire night.
I was amazed to see that the restaurant had assigned just one waitress to take care of 14 people, but she did an amazing job. Our experience was truly personalized by the restaurant and the customer service that we received rivaled that of many others. Everyone started out with drinks, homemade bread & marinated olives (contain pits/seeds). Not long after, the staff surprised us and brought out complementary antipasti’s for the entire table. These antipasti’s included a calamari dish, prepared by the owner especially for us; it consisted of squid, arugula, garbanzo beans, and thinly sliced ginger. I thoroughly enjoyed this dish, but a few other people felt differently about it.
The next antipasti was served to us on a long wooden board, which had prosciutto, capicola ham, house sausage, salame mostrano (salami), two special types of cheese, pickled vegetables, & dried apricots in a housemade glaze. Everyone loved at least one thing from this special dish.
After enjoying the drinks and antipasti’s, I discovered that this was going to be a long night because I still had to order an entree and a dessert, but I definitely wasn’t complaining. For an entree I ordered the Tagliatelle alla Bolognese (pasta) which was made with House-Made Tagliatelle Pasta, Ragu Bolognese, Two-Year Aged Parmigiano Reggiano. This dish was delicious and filling; I would order it again.
Everyone else ordered a variety of dishes, but the main dish that our group ordered were the variety of signature pizzas. For example, here is the Quattro Stagioni which is made with Cotto Ham, Artichokes, Mushrooms, Black Olives.
Not everyone got a dessert, but I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity. So I got the Torta di Mandorle which consisted of Burnt Butter-Vanilla-Almond Cake, Mascarpone Cream, Toasted Almonds. It was scrumptious but there was no way that I could eat it all. The cake was moist on the inside and had a wonderful vanilla almond flavor.
The lady sitting next to me ordered the Torta Cioccolata Warm Truffle Chocolate Baked in Toasted Almond Tart, Espresso Gelato, Toasted Almonds. She really enjoyed this dish and I sampled it; it was good but I’m not a big fan of coffee flavored ice cream and it was really rich.
Overall our entire restaurant experience was phenomenal and I can’t wait to return. The owner and chef James Lewis has definitely created a gem. The prices range from $15-$25 per entree. So I encourage you to visit Bettola Restaurant and sample the authentic flavors of Southern Italy, without even having to leave Birmingham. Grazie!
Posted in Italian, Pizza, Upscale | Tagged: antipasti, apricots, Bettola, Birmingham, bread, calamari, cheese, desserts, gelato, ham, Italy, James Lewis, Lakeveiw District, marinated olives, Naples, Neopolitan, pasta, pickled vegetables, pizzas, prosciutto, salami, sausage, Southern Italian | Leave a Comment »
Posted by bhamfoodscoop on May 24, 2012
So I walked in and was greeted by the hostess. She was very friendly and seated me in a booth with no light, I asked to be moved to another booth that had light and she did that with no problem. Like 2 minutes later, my guest came in and sat down with me and we began to look at the menu and talk about what we would possibly order.
5 minutes went by and no waiter had taken our drink order or even acknowledged our presence, 10 minutes went by, 15 minutes went by and waiters are serving other tables around us but we are still sitting there parched and wondering what is going on (btw it wasn’t crowded). Eventually, it’s been 20 minutes since we arrived and none of the waiters had interacted with us. My guest goes to tell the manager about what is going on, and he comes to the table and is apologetic but it doesn’t seem to be sincere. He takes our drink orders and has a waiter bring them out to us immediately. The waiter doesn’t speak or offer any interaction with us, he just puts the drinks down and asks us if we are ready to order.
My guest and I looked at each other because we both knew that something was awkward, the waiter was trying to be nice but wasn’t plausible with it and definitely not sincere. We told him that we didn’t like the way we had been neglected and we didn’t appreciate the attitude that he had, and we got up and left. On our way out, the manager looked at us and didn’t even ask “why we were leaving”, he just did a quick glance and pretended not to see us.
MAYBE I’M ASKING TOO MUCH, BUT THIS IS NOT HOW CUSTOMERS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE TREATED!
I’ve eaten at this particular restaurant in the Summit, which is known for their authentic pizzas, many many times and only had a problem once; the manager did compensate us for that particular issue. But this incident takes the cake, of all of the dining experiences that I’ve had, I’ve never felt like a second class degraded citizen like I did tonight. I don’t plan on returning until the management has been revamped.
On the other hand, I’d like to thank J. Alexanders and our awesome waitress for revamping the night and serving us delicious food with awesome customer service. You’re awesome Carlee!
Posted in Pizza, Uncategorized | Tagged: California PIzza Kitchen at The Summit, horrible customer service, J. Alexander's in the Galleria, poor management | 2 Comments »