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Korean Kosher Food

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on February 3, 2011

The Knesseth Israel Congregation is located on Overton Road in Mountain Brook.

This year, the synagogue is sponsoring “KI Around the World Monthly Dinners”, which will feature a different country’s cuisine, cooked kosher, once a month. The first dinner took place on January 26, 2011 and I was there to capture every moment.

The theme was “Korean Kosher Food” and there were many types of Korean dishes cooked by Steve Dubrinsky, owner of Max’s Delicatessen. For example:

Korean Salad

Buldak Hot & Spicy Chicken

Japchae Sauteed Korean Vermicelli with Vegetables

Bulgogi Korean BBQ Beef

Fruit & Cookies

Check out the video for the “food scoop”!

 

Stay tuned for next month’s dinner on February 23, 2011; the theme will be Mexican Kosher food.

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A Recap of “Break’n Bread”

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on October 21, 2010

Imagine a beautiful day that is filled with free wine, music, and endless food! Well I experienced all of this at “Break’n Bread”.

“Break’n Bread” was a wonderful family event for the foodies of Birmingham. This year it took place at Pepper Place in downtown Birmingham, on a warm sunny Sunday afternoon. Over 30 local restaurants participated and allowed guests to sample food, from their menus. Tickets were $35 and guests were able to get an endless amount of food and drinks. There was live music and a few local vendors, including “B-Metro Magazine” and “Birmingham Bake & Cook Company”. This event was sponsored by the Birmingham Originals, which is a group of local restaurants that promotes some of Birmingham’s best independent restaurants.

I had a wonderful time at this event and I’m going to try to recapture every exciting moment that I experienced, in this entry. Please keep in mind, that I was unable to get the names of many of the dishes that I sampled, but I will give you the obvious descriptions of them. I hope that you enjoy!

First of all, I begin this tasty experience in the VIP Tent with a massage from the students of Virginia College. After the massage I got some wine, talked to friends, and enjoyed live music from the Alabama Allstars.

Next I sampled a few food dishes that were only being served in the VIP Tent.

Eventually, I ventured outside of VIP to visit each restaurant’s tent. The first restaurant that I visited was “Nabeel’s Cafe & Market”. They served pork/beef  meatballs in a red sauce with pita chips & pita bread. This was really good!

The next stop was “Cafe de Paris”. They were serving a unique egg roll filled with beef & vegetables. Honey was drizzled on top.

“Ted’s Restaurant” was serving pork kabobs and Greek slaw. This was really tasty!

“V. Richards” served black beans, guacamole, and a grilled chicken salad. I really enjoyed the guacamole and grilled chicken salad.

“Good People Brewing Company” had refreshing brews.

“Culinard Cafe” offered a scrumptious fancy dessert.

“Century Restaurant & Bar” cooked up some delicious tuna.

“Crestline Bagel Company” gave out pimento salad, chicken salad, bagel chips, brownies, and my favorite was the blueberry bagel with a vanilla glaze on top.

“Hot and Hot Fish Club” had their famous shrimp & grits. I wasn’t too impressed.

“Ocean” served some delicious scallops. You should know that I don’t really like scallops, but I definitely enjoyed these.

“Continental Bakery” served a variety of fresh bread with three dips, including nutella; my favorite!

Even though I didn’t get a picture, I think that “26” offered the best shrimp & grits of all the participating restaurants. A few of the other restaurants at the event were “Daniel George”, “Homewood Gourmet”, “Bright Star”, J. Clyde”, “Mafiaoza’s”, “John’s City Diner”, “Cosmo’s Pizza”, “Cantina”, “Sol y Luna”, and “The Silvertron Cafe”.

“Break’n Bread” was an awesome event and it allowed me to sample cuisine from some of Birmingham’s most famous restaurants. I had a great time and I can’t wait until next year’s event!

http://www.birminghamoriginals.org/

Thanks for the photos Nik! Check out Nik Layman Photography:
http://www.NikLayman.com

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“Birmingham Restaurant Week” kickoff party!

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on September 17, 2010

So Wednesday night was the kickoff party for “Birmingham Restaurant Week”. This is the first time that Birmingham has ever had such an event, and me, being a passionate foodie is loving every minute of it. I’m so glad to see my city of Birmingham, joining the leagues of major cities who also have these events, such as Chicago, Atlanta, New York, and Los Angeles. Go B’ham!

I attended the party which was held at the Hotel Highland Conference Center, in Five Points South. There was a red carpet, leading guests to the main conference room, where participating restaurant vendors were setup throughout. This event attracted some of Birmingham’s “Who’s Who” (in reference to people and restaurants), and I’m thankful to have received an invitation. Furthermore, the conference room was filled with guests mixing, mingling, and sampling.

Once Nick and I checked in, we began writing, tasting, mingling with the chefs/managers, and taking photos of the food. This was almost like heaven to me! About 16 of the restaurants, that are participating in “Birmingham Restaurant Week”, were in attendance, allowing guest to sample their special menus that will only be used for “Restaurant Week”. Keep in mind that even though most of the restaurants have a special menu for “Restaurant Week”, you can still order off of the regular menu and pay the regular prices.

Below are the list of vendors that participated in the kickoff party. (For more info, about these restaurants, go to http://bhamrestaurantweek.com/ )

La Cocina offered “Crab & Shrimp Queso” with a colorful variety of nacho chips. For dessert we sampled the Lemon Cello Sopapilla. I didn’t try the queso dip but Nick enjoyed it. I really liked the desert, it gave me an unexpected cinnamon flavor that combined well with the lemon flavor.

Jinesi is a Japanese restaurant, and they offered fried rice cakes, that were topped off with spicy tuna, caviar, scallions, soy sauce, one jalapeno pepper, and sesame seeds. I didn’t think I would like this, but after one taste I was hooked ( I want one now). They are small but I needed a fork and knife to eat it.

Brannon’s is an Irish-Southern infusion restaurant, and they had several dishes for guests to sample. One was called the “Grace O’Malley”, (similar to a sandwich) and it was sourdough bread, ham, and pimiento cheese. Another item was “Mrs. Lovett’s Meat Pie” which consisted of minced beef and onion with black pepper in a pastry crust. And for desert they had the “Truly Scrumptious Cupcake” which was a strawberry cheesecake cupcake with a white chocolate center and a cream cheese frosting, topped with white chocolate pieces and a fresh strawberry.

Maki Fresh is sushi restaurant, and they served the “Crunch Crunch Roll”, “California Roll”, “Spicy Tuna Tartar Roll”, and Edamame.  The “Crunch Crunch Roll” is my favorite because it had pieces of fried shrimp in the middle.

Rojo serves American and Latin cuisine. They allowed guests to sample their “Chicken & Cheese Quesadilla” which was wrapped in a red quesadilla. Other samplers were nachos & salsa, and “Jalapeno Poppers”.

The J. Clyde is a Hot Rock Tavern and Alehouse that served up “Fried Green Tomatoes”. The staff gave guest plenty of knowledge about different beer brews; they were very informative!

Mafioza’s, an Italian restaurant, had a “Gouda” and “Drunken Goat” cheese tray, along with bread sticks and “White Bean Hummus”, and their famous meatballs. I really enjoyed the hummus and “Drunken Goat Cheese”, which is goat cheese that is soaked in wine until it is ready to be sold.

Nabeel’s Cafe & Market serves authentic Mediterranean dishes. This includes their classic “Moussaka” which is made with eggplant and ground beef with Bechamel sauce, a splash of tomato fondue and Kefalograviera cheese. It almost tasted like lasagna, but not really.

Ted’s Restaurant is a meat ‘n’ three. They served “Squash Casserole”, and keep in mind that I don’t like everyone’s squash casserole, but this one was amazing. They kept it hot and it tasted just like it came fresh out of the oven, despite the fact that it had been sitting out for at least three hours. Also on the table they had a nice vegetable arrangement.

Dodiyo’s is a Mediterranean restaurant that served a desert entitled “Honey Creme Caramel”. It reminded me of  “Creme Brulee”, however, I didn’t like it because it was too rich and had somewhat of a burned taste. But I must admit that the cook did a great job with the presentation.

Veranda on Highland serves southern cuisine in an elegant atmosphere. When I visited their table I felt like I was in New Orleans because of the chef’s accent, festive energy, and the “House Made Boudin Balls” that he served up, with Jack Daniels Creole Honey Mustard. The Boudin was exceptional, I’ve had it before (at another restaurant), but it didn’t taste this good!

Good People Brewing Company provided the drinks for this evening affair. They served beer, water, and Jack Daniel’s products.

Dreamland BBQ offered the “Dreamland Smoked Sausage” which was soaked in the famous “Dreamland BBQ Sauce”. The sausage was good, but it didn’t have an extraordinary taste, to me! They also had their famous “Banana Pudding”, and words can not describe how excellent it tasted.

Century Restaurant & Bar is an upscale eatery where a staff of professional chefs provide a learning lab environment for culinary and pastry arts students. They served a “Hazelnut Pear Financier” with roasted caramel cinnamon ice cream and warm cherry compote. The presentation and taste of this dish was excellent!

Cosmo’s Pizza served a “Fresh Basil & Fresh Mozzarella Pizza”.

Jim N’Nicks BBQ served their famous biscuits.

Thanks for the photos Nick, check him out at: www.niklayman.com

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Pepper Place Saturday Market

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on May 28, 2010

One warm Saturday morning, last year, my mom and I went to Pepper Place Saturday Market. Pepper Place is located in Downtown Birmingham and the outdoor market offers all types of fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, arts, crafts, music, food, and drinks. Vendors come from all over the state of Alabama to participate in this event which takes place from 7:00am until 12:00pm every Saturday from May 15 – October 9, 2010.

Each week the market has a different local chef  do a cooking presentation for the spectators. This week chef David Cross from Zea Rotisserie & Grill will be preparing two of the restaurant’s specialties-roasted corn grits, and Thai ribs. His cooking demonstration will begin at 9:00am on the chef’s stage and it will last for about an hour.

When I attended this event, I no longer felt like I was in Birmingham; I felt like I was walking at an outdoor market somewhere in California. If you attend this event, your imagination will also probably roam and take you to a place outside of Alabama, which is not a bad thing! Remember that the Pepper Place Saturday Market occurs every weekend, so if you can’t make it this week, there is always next week!

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!

http://www.pepperplacemarket.com/

http://www.zearestaurants.com/site.php

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Lebanese Food Festival

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on April 9, 2010

After all of my meetings today, I met a friend for lunch at the 12th Annual Lebanese Food and Cultural Festival at St. Elias Maronite Catholic Church. This is a great cultural experience that occurs once a year, and I try to attend every year. The food and festivities all represent the Lebanese culture. It is free to attend, you just pay for the food; they only accept cash.

When you walk into the church gymnasium there are a variety of tables set up with different foods, such as deserts, drinks, breads, and the main food. The main food consists of kibbi, chicken and a few other exotic items. I ordered the greek chicken and my friend ordered the kibbi. Both plates came with rice, greek green beans, greek salad and pita bread. The average price is $13.00 for a plate, not bad for what all you get! We also bought some Lebanese pastries. My all time favorite is the “wedding cookie” covered in powdered sugar.

You must attend this event with an open mind because there is no American food, and that’s one of the reasons why I like it. I enjoyed all of my food and my friend enjoyed hers although she wasn’t a fan of the kibbe, but at least she had an open mind to try it. If you attend the festival later in the day, you will be treated to a live band playing Lebanese music, people performing the native dances of Lebanon, church tours, and many other exciting things.

If I had to rate this festival, I would give it a 9.5 because the people are friendly, it promotes culture, and they spend a lot of time preparing for it. I recommend that you all go and experience this exotic and ethnic side of Birmingham!

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