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Archive for the ‘Downtown Eats’ Category

Todd English P.U.B. comes to Birmingham!

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on February 8, 2013

I’m so thrilled that Birmingham is adding to its already “delicious” foodie scene! Todd English P.U.B. will be opening next week (Thursday Todd English PubFebruary 14, 2013) inside of the new Westin Hotel at the Uptown Entertainment District.

William Todd English is a celebrity chef, restauranteur, author, entrepreneur, and television personality.

This pub themed restaurant specializes in American comfort foods and creative delicacies with an English twist, and of course since we live in the South, there will be a Southern twist as well. Highlights from the menu include a raw seafood bar, a variety of pot pies, burgers, salads, pickled foods, fish & chips, and over 60 beers on tap (including some local favs). And I wouldn’t be surprised if they added fried chicken for us Southerners lol!

For some reason, I feel that Todd English P.U.B. will resemble the television sitcom Cheers, lol idk but I do know that I will be there to see if this is true and to taste the food, of course. I’m so looking forward to everything about this restaurant and the strong impact that it will have on this great city of Birmingham.

Stay tuned for my review on the restaurant!

Posted in Bars, Downtown Eats, My Favorite Lunch Spots | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

El Barrio Restaurante Y Bar

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on April 30, 2012

El Barrio Restaurante Y Bar is currently a “happenin” spot, in downtown Birmingham, that serves authentic multi-regional Mexican cuisine! I recently dined there on a Friday night and the crowd spilled onto the sidewalk; fortunately, I beat the crowd and didn’t have to wait. This restaurante is not that big, but large enough. The atmosphere and food are so vibrant and authentic that it leaves people wishing the space was a bit larger. Anyway, my large party and I sat in the front of the restaurant in what I call the “lounge/appetizer” area.

We ordered appetizers and drinks first. I had the fresh tortilla chips, guacamole, and the El Barrio Margarita. All of this was delicious! The chips were crispy & hot with just the right amount of salt, the guacamole was of the perfect consistency. The signature margarita was ok, but I really enjoyed the Grapefruit Margarita with extra simple syrup, the best.

For my entree I had the Roasted Chile Relleno which consisted of a poblano pepper stuffed with black beans, cactus, monterey jack cheese & roasted garlic cream; all served over a bed of Spanish rice. Even though this dish didn’t consist of any meat, it was exceptional. I will definitely be ordering it again.

The prices were reasonable and the customer service that we received was excellent, despite the large crowd. The only issue I had was finding a parking space. Furthermore, El Barrio Restaurante Y Bar brings somewhat of a new flavor and vibe to the city of Birmingham and I definitely recommend that you give it a try!

El Barrio on Urbanspoon

Posted in Downtown Eats, Mexican, My Favorite Lunch Spots | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

MIX is at it again!

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on April 15, 2012

So not too long ago I met & had lunch with, Jan, the Event Planner for “MIX”, a bakery and deli in the heart of downtown Birmingham. We had a great conversation over one of the newest additions to the menu; the hamburger sliders.

This special comes with two hamburger sliders & the signature chips. These delicious sliders can be eaten in about three bites.  They are made up of 100% 8 oz. Grass Fed Burger with Mushroom Ragout- Wright’s Dairy Cheese-Lettuce, Tomato, & Onion served on our MIX soft billowy burger roll (made in house) @  $10! The buns were toasted, which is a plus in my book.

The signature chips consisted of sweet potato, potato, & beet chips. All of them were yummy and added a special health conscious approach to this menu item. My favorites were the beet chips…….so delicious!

Next time you’re in the area swing by “MIX” & try these classic hamburger sliders.

Mix on Urbanspoon

Posted in Bakery, Deli, Downtown Eats, My Favorite Lunch Spots, Organic | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

SLICE is at it again!

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on January 22, 2012

Slice Pizza & Brew is at it again!! They have a new appetizer for a limited time only. The Burrata Caprese Salad will be offered while ingredients last. The artisan cheese used in the salad, burrata, is a unique and seasonal mozzarella cheese that is available only during certain times of the year and shipped in from Vermont. As you cut into the firm outer layer, the smooth filling of mozzarella and cream slowly melt onto your plate providing your taste buds with a rich buttery flavor. The burrata cheese is paired with tomatoes and fresh basil leaves, with olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette on top to create the flawless taste of the Burrata Caprese Salad.

http://www.slicebirmingham.com/

Slice Stone Pizza & Brew on Urbanspoon

Posted in Bars, Downtown Eats, Italian, Pizza | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Boxcar Cafe @ Railroad Park

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on April 20, 2011

George Sarris (Birmingham Restauranteur) seems to be taking over Birmingham’s restaurant scene. His latest venture is in Birmingham’s Railroad Park! He recently opened up the Boxcar Cafe under the park’s pavilion near 17th Street South. However,  many of you know that he owns the Fish Market, he’s one of the owners of DoDiYos and Pianeta 3, and he also owns Yellow Bicycle Catering. George is passionate about serving food that captures our attention, and this shows through all of his endeavors.

At the new Boxcar Cafe, George is going out of his “known” element and offering a grab-and-go type restaurant for patrons. In addition, many of you will notice some familiar items on the menu!

The mezze plate ($7) comes with imported olives, cherry tomatoes, pita chips, hummus, Greek cheeses and Sarris’s special blend of extra-virgin olive oil.

Soups include gazpacho ($3.50 a cup) and seafood gumbo ($3.50 a cup/ $5.00 a bowl)

The Greek salad is available either as a side ($3.50) or a large order ($6.75).

Panini selections include grilled cheese ($5), grilled Mediterranean vegetables with goat cheese ($7.50), and rosemary-lemon grilled chicken with caramelized onions and garlic aioli ($7.50). Each comes with a spring mix salad with a light balsamic vinaigrette.

Baklava ($2) and Greek cookies ($2.50 for two) are available for dessert.

Sarris’s Boxcar Cafe is open for lunch seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Within the next couple of weeks, Sarris also plans to open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Posted in Downtown Eats, Greek/Mediterranean, My Favorite Lunch Spots | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A Taste of France in Birmingham!

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on February 28, 2011

There are not too many French restaurants in Birmingham, Alabama, but tonight a group of 13 friends and I were fortunate enough to eat at one of them, Cafe de Paris. The restaurant is located in the Lakeview District, near St. Vincents Hospital.

Cafe de Paris is a quaint and quiet restaurant that is the brainchild of two local French chefs. Their goal is to make us, Southerners, aware of the exquisite flavors of French cuisine. Upon entering the restaurant, I felt like I was in good hands with our two waiters and the host; they answered our every whim and they all worked well together. The staff embraces a typical European attitude, which is to not rush customers in any way. This means the food was brought out at a leisurely pace and the staff made sure that we savored every moment of our visit. For example, between each course we waited for approximately 30-45 minutes for the next one. We definitely weren’t rushed by any means!

However, while we waited for our food the waiters kept bringing us baskets of homemade bread chips. The bread chips were small pieces of bread that were slightly crunchy but still very soft; the bread had somewhat of a sweet taste. The bread was served warm and we spread butter on top of each piece, for an extra flavor. I couldn’t get enough of this bread, it was excellent!

Furthermore, our group ordered from a special menu, that consisted of the following:

Appetizers:

Tomato Salad with chopped cherry tomatoes, a spring lettuce mix, and a lite vinaigrette. The person who had this dish says that it was ok, but she wasn’t a fan of the vinaigrette.

French Onion Soup with a french onion broth, chopped onions, topped off with  a piece of toasted bread (same bread as I mentioned above) and shredded cheddar melted cheese. Many people, including myself, ordered this dish and it received rave reviews. I was very pleased with the taste because I’m normally not a fan of French Onion Soup, but I really enjoyed this version.

The Shrimp Cocktail wasn’t on our special menu. It consisted of a nice silver bowl of salad(lettuce, tomato, avocado) and it had five medium sized steamed shrimp on the rim of the bowl. This dish was served with a special dipping sauce for the shrimp and I guess you could also use it as a salad dressing. Those who sampled this dish all agreed that the sauce had a very familiar taste. Furthermore, the person that ordered this appetizer wasn’t too pleased with the taste of the shrimp or the special dressing.

Stuffed Grape Leaves consisted of cooked grape leaves stuffed with tuna fish salad, and tomatoes. The grape leaves were topped off with caramelized onions. Not many people liked the taste of this dish, but I must say that I really enjoyed it.

Chicken Salad Twist consisted of a pesto grilled chicken salad on top of a ritz cracker. This appetizer was a hit that everyone loved.

Entrees:

Grilled Chateau Tender Beef consisted of medium strips of  grilled steak, roasted potatoes, steamed cabbage, grilled onions, and a special gravy. Everyone who ordered this dish, only had positive things to say about it. The steak was tender and seasoned well.

Crusted Tilapia consisted of a large piece of pan seared tilapia encrusted in bread crumbs (some people say they didn’t get enough fish), roasted potatoes, steamed cabbage, chopped tomatoes, grilled onions, and a special white sauce. I ordered this dish, and I must say that I’m very particular about any fish that I order, and this fish had a few bones in it. Personally, I can’t stand fish with bones because I’m constantly trying not to swallow one. Despite the bones being in the fish, the fish had a good taste and everything else was good. Everyone who ordered this felt the same way, especially about the few bones in the fish.

Pan Seared Salmon consisted of  medium sized  pieces of seared salmon, roasted potatoes, steamed cabbage, tomatoes, and a special sauce. Everyone who had this dish seemed to have been satisfied.

Desserts:

Bread Pudding consisted of homemade bread pudding with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, and chocolate & caramel swirls. I hate to say that none of us liked this dish, each person had their reasons, but my reasons were that it was hard, it didn’t have a good taste, and it wasn’t warm enough for my standards. Only one person ate it all, and that’s because he doesn’t like to waist food. In order to make up for this, our waiter, brought out another dessert for us to share. It was the Chocolate Truffle Cake and we all loved it! It was served hot and consisted of a chocolate cake filled with rich melting chocolate and topped off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Each person was able to get one bite of this dessert. I would definitely order this again!

Poached Pear in a Red Wine consisted of  a pear poached in red wine, topped off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzles of chocolate. Only one person ordered this dish because we all thought that the bread pudding was going to be amazing. The recipient of this dessert definitely enjoyed it, I sampled it, and I must say that it was rather tasty. I would also order this again.

Our visit to Cafe de Paris was filled with exciting new dishes and we enjoyed trying each one. Some of the food tasted wonderful and some of the food was not as good. It all boils down to personal taste! But I will say that the chefs at Cafe de Paris are passionate about making good food and they are willing to accommodate guests in any way that they can.

I really appreciated the wonderful customer service, and a highlight of the night was Serge (one of the chefs and owners of the restaurant) coming to visit our table after we ate, and he thanked us for visiting the restaurant in French, and then he translated what he said in English. The staff treated us like royalty and I had an exciting Parisian experience!

http://www.cafedeparis.us/

Café de Paris on Urbanspoon

Posted in Date Night, Downtown Eats, French | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

James Jones:The Man Behind “Kairos Kafe & Katering”

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on February 18, 2011

Kairos Kafe & Katering are both owned by James Jones, who is a passionate cook that loves to serve the community. This restaurant is located on University Boulevard in the old Ollie’s BBQ location, next to I65.  My visit here was educational and filled with delicious food and genuine hospitality. The restaurant’s mission statement is “building relationships around food”, and I definitely felt a special bond with everyone that I came in contact with, during my visit. More specifically, Kairos Kafe & Katering are connected to, and have a special relationship with Grace & Truth Ministry. The minister, Steve Longnecker, helped the owner, James, get back on his feet after being incarcerated. In addition, as a child, James loved to watch his grandmother cook, and that is where his dream of owning a restaurant developed.

James and his staff makes all of their food fresh and they try to be innovative with their recipes. For example, the strawberry butter that I had with my roll was tasty. It was similar to butter but had a subtle sweet starwberry flavor. Also James is known for his famous croutons which are made from tortilla bread; they are cut into strips, rolled up, and fried. I’ve never seen croutons like them before, but they sure are tasty. You can see them, a little, in my salad below. This is the “Norma’s Mixed Green Salad”. This was delicious!

James always advises his customers to visit the restaurant’s blog, in order, to get the weekly coupon.

Finally, Kairos Kafe is open Monday-Friday from 10:30am-2:30pm. Kairos Katering is always available upon request.

http://kairoskatering.com/index.html

The story behind Kairos Kafe & Katering is very inspirational and, hopefully, the following video captures the true essence.

Kairos Kafe on Urbanspoon

Posted in Downtown Eats, Featured Chef Stories, Greek/Mediterranean, My Favorite Lunch Spots | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

In the “MIX”

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on February 2, 2011

MIX bakery is located in downtown Birmingham, in the former Restaurant G location. This swank bakery serves a variety of pastries, breads, drinks, and lunch; which are all reasonably priced. MIX is open Monday-Friday from 7:30am-4:30pm.

Also I took home two doughnuts, the two  flavors were blueberry and vanilla bean. Both were large (I had to hold each one with both hands) and loaded with icing, but not too much icing. Even though I sampled both flavors, my favorite was the blueberry because it was just a regular doughnut with blueberry icing. I guess you can kind of say that I’m partial to blueberry anyway. The vanilla bean doughnut was a regular doughnut with vanilla bean icing and pecans on top. Furthermore, I could tell that both doughnuts were fresh because they were very soft as I bit into them.

Ratings are based from 1-10 (1 is the lowest and 10 is the highest)

Ambiance: 10

Service: 10

Food: 9

Mix on Urbanspoon

Where The Locals Eat featured blog

Posted in Bakery, Downtown Eats, My Favorite Lunch Spots | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Spoonfed Grill (The Food Truck)

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on January 25, 2011

Spoonfed Grill is the beginning of a new food concept in Birmingham; basically, the food comes to you. This mobile restaurant truck is colorful, has a large flat screen tv, serves “Nuvo Mexican-American” cuisine, and the menu changes almost daily.

In order to find out where Spoonfed Grill will be for the day, you must go to their website or find them on twitter; they always tweet their locations. But they spend much of their time at the corner of 5th Avenue North and 20th Street North (in front of the Wells Fargo skyscraper).

Spoonfed Grill has reasonable prices, for example, my Apple Cranberry Quesadilla, Cilantro Lime Rice and drink only cost $9.

  • Apple Cranberry Quesadilla: goat cheese, grilled quesadilla bread, balsamic roasted red onions, grilled steak, sauteed apples

Finally, they are open for breakfast, lunch, and are available to cater your events.

 

Posted in Downtown Eats, My Favorite Lunch Spots | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Fish Market Restaurant

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on October 9, 2010

The Fish Market Restaurant on Birmingham’s Southside has been around for about 30 years, and they cook up excellent seafood. The seafood is some of the freshest in Birmingham, inexpensive, tasty, and has a Greek twist. It is unlike any seafood destination in Birmingham. The fish and other seafood items are imported from all over the world.

George Sarris, the brainchild and founder of this dynamic restaurant, knows what the people of Birmingham likes, and he keeps us coming back for more! The Fish Market Restaurant has grown from a tiny store front to a large warehouse that appears to be three floors, but the restaurant only occupies the first floor.

Birminghamians love this place so much, that George currently has several shuttle buses that transport people from various offices downtown and brings them to lunch at The Fish Market.

Diners can eat inside in one of two dining rooms, or on the large covered outdoor patio.

The restaurant also has a private dinning room for events.

The bar is huge and boasts flags from around the world.  It also has a large flat screen television that is viewable to everyone. Normally, customers are watching some type of sporting event.

During my visit I was very impressed with the large wine selection this restaurant had. I think that any “wine aficionado” would love this!

There is never a dull moment, while waiting in line to order food, guests can view the live lobsters and tilapia.

If customers want to cook their own seafood, they can go to the fresh uncooked seafood market area, and get their choice of fish or shellfish to take home.

When mom and I visited The Fish Market Restaurant, we sat at the bar. (If you sit at the bar, a waiter takes your order. If you sit at a table you have to stand in line to place your order) One reason I enjoyed this seat was because I could see the workers opening and cleaning oysters; this was live entertainment in itself.

Our waiter came to take our drink orders, while we looked at the menu. This was my first visit since they changed the format of the menu; it’s much easier to read now because the writing is larger and it is divided into different categories. After about 10 minutes, we were ready to order.

I got the new “Alligator Sausage” which came with fresh homemade sourdough bread and a homemade spicy mustard dipping sauce. My side items were Green Beans and Greek Potatoes. I also had the “Fried Shrimp” with hushpuppies.

I really enjoyed all of my food! The “Alligator Sausage” is new to the menu, and I was one of the first people to try it; I told one of the managers that it should be a keeper. If I hadn’t known any better, I would’ve thought that I was eating pork sausage, because it almost tastes the same. Anyway, the spicy mustard dipping sauce complimented the alligator well, but I didn’t use it that much. I didn’t want the bread because I thought that it was gonna be like any other sourdough bread, however, I was fooled. After biting into it, I discovered that it was still warm and it had a fresh baked taste. I’m happy that I decided to taste it! And as always, my Greek Potatoes and Green Beans were excellent. The Fish Market’s Green Beans are cooked with more spices than how other restaurants prepare them. Lastly, the “Fried Shrimp” were cooked in a tasty batter and they were simply awesome!

Mom had the “Fried Rainbow Trout” which was battered in cornmeal. And it came with hushpuppies and a baked potato.

My mom loves to get her fish cooked in the cornmeal batter ( you have to request that). She had no complaints; she eats at The Fish Market often so it was nothing new to her.

We enjoyed listening to a live band, as we ate. The band only performs on Thursday, Friday, & Saturday nights.

After we finished our meal and paid the bill, we browsed through the large selection of unique Greek dishes (pots, pans, vases, bowls) which are imported here from Greece and Turkey.  You can find these dishes scattered throughout the restaurant and they are for sale.

For those dessert fans, The Fish Market Restaurant has many choices for you to choose from. Two examples are cheesecake & baklava.

Our visit to The Fish Market Restaurant was filled with excitement and good seafood. I feel that there is something on the menu for everyone, and the prices vary upon what you order; but the majority of the prices are reasonable. I also feel that you can’t say you’re from Birmingham, unless you’ve been to the The Fish Market Restaurant; so I suggest you go there and eat some good food!

http://www.birminghammenus.com/thefishmarket/
Fish Market on Urbanspoon

Posted in Downtown Eats, Greek/Mediterranean, Seafood | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »