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A dining experience that no one should experience

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!

California Pizza Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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My Food Journal From Texas!

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on December 14, 2011

I just got back from the Dallas- Fort Worth area and I had a fun trip that was filled with tasty culinary adventures. Here are a few of the restaurants that I visited:

Friday

  • ZuRoma (North Richland Hills)

This restaurant was located in an ice skating rink, but it wasn’t anything cheap. We didn’t really like our appetizer, the “Toasted Ravioli”, but we did enjoy our pizza. We ordered two pizzas, the “Supreme” and the “Hite’s Cabin Special”. My favorite was the “Supreme”.

http://www.zuroma.net/

Saturday

  • Everything German (Bedford)

This was a quaint German restaurant that played live German music. My friend, Jaxson who is part German, says that it is true authentic German food and I must admit that it was one of the few times that I have actually enjoyed German food. We ordered a German sampler plate that consisted of sausages, pork chop, sauerkraut, cabbage, German noodles, and a few other items. The food and experience were both so awesome!


Sunday

  • Mercado Juarez

Since I was in Texas, I figured that I had to get some “real” Mexican food. Upon our arrival, the waitress brought nachos and salsa to the table and it was my first time ever having warm salsa with nachos. I must admit that it was good. She also brought out soft flour tortillas with butter and we were supposed to eat that with the nachos; I’ve never had that at any Mexican restaurant in Birmingham. For my entree I ordered a “Steak Fajita” and honestly, it wasn’t all that.

http://www.mercadojuarez.com/

  • Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen

This is a popular seafood restaurant chain that I’ve always wanted to visit. I was told that it’s normally crowded, but the night we went there was no wait. We ordered the “Pappadeaux Platter” that consisted of  fried catfish, fried shrimp, fried crawfish, stuffed crab, and fried crab cakes. This was a lot of fresh seafood that had the usual fried food taste, but it was still good.

http://www.pappadeaux.com/home/

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New Restaurants

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on March 23, 2011

I have some exciting news about new restaurants that will be opening up in the Birmingham area, very soon. Check them out:

  • Momma Goldberg’s Deli and McKee’s Irish Pub will be opening in the new Cityville Condos on 20th Street South, near UAB. Each of these restaurants will offer indoor and outdoor patio seating. I’ve never had anything from McKee’s Irish Pub, but I do know that Momma G’s reminds me of my exciting college days at Auburn, and did I also mention that I love their salads, nachos, and sandwiches.
  • Traditions Restaurant at Park Place Towers, across from Linn Park and next to Sneaky Pete’s , just opened and they offer southern cooking with very reasonably priced daily meat-and-three lunch specials. Their breakfast features made-to-order omelets and fresh baked biscuits. Call 327-7999 for more info.


Diners will have a new restaurant option in the mid-town area of Downtown. Sweet Tea Restaurant is expected to open in April and will be located at the corner of 3rd Ave South and 22nd Street. Operator Mike Skaran says the restaurant will offer a southern inspired menu serving breakfast and a cafeteria style lunch, with table seating and an extended menu for dinner, which will include wine and cocktails. I can’t wait to see how a cafeteria style lunch restaurant is going to switch gears and serve wine and cocktails!

  • Izzo’s Illegal Burrito will open its first Alabama location at The Summit in Birmingham (former Coach storefront). The restaurant is a Mexican fast-casual concept that specializes in hand-rolled burritos, tacos, quesadillas and nachos from a made-from-scratch  kitchen. I’m eager to see how this is going to work out since there is already another Mexican restaurant (Chuy’s) located at The Summit.

 

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“Silvertron Cafe”: A Birmingham Icon

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on September 21, 2010

“Silvertron Cafe” is a Birmingham icon, that has been around for many years. The current owner, Marco Morosini, took over the restaurant in 2007 and made only a few changes to the menu. Marco is from Italy, and has lived in San Francisco, California; Panama City, Florida; and Birmingham, Alabama. He has had plenty of experience in the restaurant business, therefore, he brings that expertise with him to “Silvertron Cafe”.

The restaurant is located in the Forest Park neighborhood, which is an area filled with charm, prestige, and a bohemian flair. We arrived here about 7:30pm; parking was not a problem. The restaurant was not too busy at all, so the hostess immediately took us to a corner table that overlooked the restaurant, and Clairmont Avenue.

Upon sitting down, I couldn’t help but notice the 1920’s character of the interior space. This is funny, but I felt like I had been transported back 80 decades because the furniture, lighting, and decor all reflected an era from decades long ago.

“Silvertron Cafe” seems to be the neighborhood spot, to unwind with a glass of wine and catch up with your friends. They have an extensive menu that includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They also have special menus such as, Sunday Brunch, Monday Night Pasta, and Tex-Mex Tuesdays. The prices are very affordable.

If the walls at “Silvertron Cafe” could talk, they would have much to say. Today, these same walls hold pictures of the past and present. The current pictures come from local artists that are affiliated with the Naked Art Gallery, next door.

Right after we sat down, the waiter came to take our drink orders, and to explain the Birmingham Restaurant Week menu. I couldn’t decide what to get, so I let the waiter choose for me. Here are the three courses that we ordered:

First Course: Mini spinach salad (Tossed in warm bacon vinaigrette, topped with candied pecans, mushrooms and fried goat cheese)


The presentation of the spinach salad was awesome. I forgot to tell them no mushrooms, but that was no big deal because I picked them off. Upon tasting this salad, I became confused because I didn’t know if I was tasting an actual “bacon vinaigrette” or “bacon grease”; and that just turned me off. Personally, I think a dish like this would be better with cooked spinach because part of the spinach, on my plate, was cooked by the heat of the warm “bacon vinaigrette” and the other part of the spinach was just cold. I didn’t like that combination. Also I think the dish would’ve been better if there were a sweet taste to compliment the bacon taste. This dish also came with two pieces of fried goat cheese, which is an acquired taste but I did like it

I did not eat all of this, and my mom didn’t like it either.

Second Course: Grilled Mahi Mahi served over garlic mashed potatoes with sauteed mushrooms. Topped with a rosemary mayo.


The presentation of this entree was so blah! And that is exactly how this dish tasted, blah. My garlic mashed potatoes were served luke-warm and I could hardly taste any garlic. I do agree that everyone doesn’t enjoy a large garlic punch, in their potatoes, but I feel that there should at least be enough garlic in the potatoes to call them “garlic mashed potatoes”. Next, the Mahi Mahi tasted like it was barely seasoned, even though it appeared to have seasonings on it. However, I did like the wood-grilled, smokey taste that it had.

I sent this dish back; at this time the waiter got the manager to come check on us.

Third Course: Apple-walnut crisp topped with vanilla ice cream and caramel. We also had the White chocolate bread pudding, topped with whipped cream and raspberry sauce


The “crisp” part of the Apple-walnut crisp, was burned and had a burned taste. When this dessert came out, is the same time the manager came over to our table. I briefly explained to him that I just didn’t care too much for the food, and he was very understanding. He said that maybe, the cooks didn’t mix up the salad dressing correctly; and he wanted my opinion on what other seasonings he could add to the Mahi Mahi, to make it better. For dessert, Marco ordered the “White Chocolate Bread Pudding” for me to try. This is “Silvertron’s” signature dessert, and it was ranked as the 4th Best Dessert in Birmingham.


The “White Chocolate Bread Pudding” was the highlight of my night. Ya’ll, this was served warm and it tasted exceptional. I feel that Marco was determined to see me pleased before I left. In my opinion, Marco is the epitome of a great manager and restaurant owner!

The customer service at “Silvertron Cafe” is amazing. They are very personable, and they really care about making your experience the best. Even though I didn’t enjoy the majority of the food that I ordered, I did enjoy my experience. Therefore, I will visit again, and I recommend that you give this place a try because there is a whole lot more on the menu, and even though I consider myself to have a neutral palate, you might like the stuff that I don’t like!

FYI: I’ve gone back to Silvertron Cafe since this incident, and my food was absolutely delicious.

http://www.silvertroncafe.us/

http://bhamrestaurantweek.com/

Silvertron Cafe on Urbanspoon


 

 

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The first ever “Birmingham Restaurant Week”!

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on September 1, 2010


Attention all “foodies” of Birmingham! The first ever “Birmingham Restaurant Week” is on the horizon for this month.

Mark your calendars for Friday September 17 through Saturday, September 25, when more than 50 participating restaurants and bars in the downtown, Five Points South,  Southside and surrounding areas of Birmingham will be offering signature lunch specials and three-course prix fixe dinner menus for a pittance ranging from just $10.10, to $20.10 to $30.10!

The mission of “Birmingham Restaurant Week” is to celebrate the city’s acclaimed culinary culture by offering incentives for Birmingham area residents and visitors to fill the seats of local restaurants and bars. This is also a wonderful opportunity for you to experience local restaurants, that just opened for the first time!

“We are pleased to offer this opportunity to residents of Birmingham and to the restaurants and bars that serve our community,” says James Little, Executive Director of the Five Points South Merchant Group. He also states that “It is our hope that this nine-day event will draw attention to the top-notch drinking and dining opportunities right here in our hometown.”

Little mentioned that similar promotions in cities such as Atlanta, New York,  Boston, and Philadelphia have helped revitalize restaurant business. An estimated 50 Birmingham restaurants and bars located from the Southside area to downtown are expected to participate in the inaugural  Restaurant Week.

Furthermore, I’m not sure if all of the participating restaurants will allow you to make reservations, but I suggest that you make reservations, at the restaurants who will accept them. I feel that this will be beneficial for both you and the restaurant!

Restaurant Week is made possible by presenting sponsor, Regions Bank. Brown Forman, owner of Jack Daniels Tennessee Whisky, and Birmingham Beverage have also agreed to sponsor. Many restaurants and bars will be featuring pairings of Jack Daniels cocktails or Birmingham Beverage beers with their menu offerings.

Additional supporters of “Birmingham Restaurant Week” include Five Points South Merchants Association, Operation New Birmingham, Style Advertising, The City of Birmingham, Birmingham Business Alliance, Sidewalk Film Festival, Birmingham Originals, Alagasco, and Hotel Highland. Media sponsors include WBRC Fox 6, Black and White, Birmingham Magazine, Clear Channel Radio, and Zeekee Interactive.

For information on restaurant and bar listings, check out the website.


http://bhamrestaurantweek.com/

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Dining on Amtrak

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on July 9, 2010

Hey ya’ll it’s so good to be back in Birmingham! I had a wonderful vacation and of course I ate well at numerous restaurants in the Washington D.C. area. The next few blog posts will capture my food experiences that I had while I was gone. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

My family and I didn’t take the normal mode of transportation to D.C.; we took the “Amtrak Train”. Yes, I said the train, which takes its time getting to any destination, it also bumps you up and down in your seat, it’s also hard to walk without falling, and don’t even get me started with the bathroom issue, lol! Don’t let those instances scare ya, we had fun and it was the true definition of adventure, because we never know what to expect while on the train. I was thinking about food when we left the train station, even though we had some with us, I wanted food from the train. So I got excited when the dining hostess, began to take dinner reservations just as we left Birmingham. We made our reservation for 5:30pm, in the dinning car.

Me and mom arrived around 5:20pm and sat at a table that was setup like a white tablecloth restaurant. Normally, each table seats four people, and it makes no difference if you know the people or not, however we went at the time when it wasn’t crowded, so it was just us at our table. A picture of the table is below.

Now, you know me, I had already looked at the menu before I left home so I knew what I was going to order, once I sat down. Me and mom both ordered the same thing, which was the “Oven Baked Southern Style Chicken” and it came with a salad and rolls. This dish consisted of three pieces of oven baked chicken, served with rice, and a vegetable medley.

It was so nice being able to eat and look out the window. We sat at the table for almost three hours, just gawking at the scenery. The salads were so good and my honey mustard salad dressing complimented it so well. And I was also amazed with the warm rolls that came with the salad, they had a fresh taste. However, I can’t say that the main entree tasted all that well. Amtrak prided themselves on the “Oven Baked Southern Style Chicken” being a healthy food choice, but once I got it, it was greasy as any other fried chicken would be. This disappointed me because I wanted something healthy. I must say that the vegetables and rice were satisfactory so they helped to fill me up instead. Sorry ya’ll, I couldn’t do the chicken and mom felt the same way!

Since the scenery had captivated us, we were not ready to go after we ate our entrees. So I decided to try a dessert, despite how I felt about my chicken experience. For dessert I got something lite and crisp, the “Ciao Bella Sicilian Lemon Sorbet”. I had no complaints about this item, it was cold, zesty, and I could actually taste pieces of  lemon peel.

Overall, my train dining experience wasn’t terrible but I realized that the workers are working with limited resources in the kitchen. Most of my food was really good. I also realized that I can’t eat a lot while being on the train because it makes me feel queezy. So the next time, I will eat before and just have snacks while I’m on the train; this is exactly what mom and I did on our way back to Birmingham.

I recommend that everyone take the train and dine on it as well, at least once in their lives. It is a fun and scenic adventure that allows you to meet new people and get out of your comfort zone. You don’t have to travel for almost 14 hours, like we did to Washington D.C, but please go somewhere!

http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Amtrak/HomePage

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“Spicy Chicken Sandwich” verdict

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on June 6, 2010

So today I got my new “Spicy Chicken Sandwich” from Chick-Fil-A. There were several long lines in the restaurant but each one moved rather quickly, and I didn’t have to wait long. It seemed like everyone had a printed piece of paper in their hand, which was the reservation for the sandwich. I think the reservation strategy proved to be successful and allowed the customers to feel like a VIP; such as me!

I ordered the free sandwich and I paid for a small french fry and drink to go with it. Once I ordered, the cashier saw that it was taking a little longer for the cooks to prepare my food, so she told me to sit down and that she would bring the food to me. I really appreciated that; I pride Chick-Fil-A on their customer service because even in the midst of  large crowds, the workers still maintain a sense of dedication to the customers.

More importantly, the sandwich was spicy and good. I surveyed a few people and many of them say that it tastes like the regular sandwich, except it’s spicy. However, I didn’t feel that way, I think that it has a unique flavor (besides the spice) that adds something extra too it and allows it to be its own entity.

Anyway, go try this new “Spicy Chicken Sandwich” at Chick-Fil-A, it’s very good!

http://www.chick-fil-a.com/#home

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New Spicy Chicken Sandwich @ Chick-Fil-A

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on May 20, 2010

Guess what ya’ll! Chick-Fil-A is coming out with a new sandwich and it will be called the “Spicy Chicken Sandwich”, I’m sure that it will taste good. I can’t wait to try this new creation because it is the first time that the restaurant has added something new to the menu, in years. The sandwich will be available in stores starting on June 7, 2010. Once the sandwich comes out and you try it, I would love for ya’ll to post comments about it on this entry. Trust me, I will!

Also, I found a special opportunity that allows you to be one of the first people to try the sandwich for free. Below is the link to the website where you can make a reservation for your free “Spicy Chicken Sandwich”. Chick-Fil-A will start taking reservations on Monday, May 24, 2010 until June 5, 2010. I will make my reservation Monday, I can’t wait!

http://www.getspicychicken.com/

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New Restaurant News!

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on May 18, 2010

Hey! I’m gonna try something new on here. Occasionally, I will start posting the names, websites, descriptions, and projected opening dates of new restaurants coming to the Birmingham area. By reading this, you will get the latest scoop before everyone else. So here goes:

Moe’s Southwest Grill

Location: 1801 Fourth Avenue South (near the University of Alabama at Birmingham)

Projected opening date: This Thursday (May 20, 2010)

http://www.moes.com/

Red Mango (Frozen Yogurt Shop)

Location: somewhere in Hoover

Projected opening date: Fall 2010

http://www.redmangousa.com/default.html

YogurtLab (Frozen Yogurt Shop)

Location: 633 Montgomery Highway (Across from Stein Mart in Vestavia Hills)

Projected opening date: May 2010

http://www.yogurtlab.blogspot.com/

Pinches Tacos (Fresh authentic Mexican dishes)

Location: Hallman Hill Development (Homewood)

Projected opening date: Late Summer 2010

http://www.pinchestacos.com/

Chuy’s (Fresh authentic Mexican food)

Location: The Summit, next to Flip Burger Boutique

Projected opening date: Summer 2010

http://www.chuys.com/

Over Easy (Breakfast and Lunch restaurant)

Location: Hollywood Development (Homewood)

Projected opening date: Late Summer 2010

Mexico Lindo (Mexican Food)

Location: Hollywood Development (Homewood)

Projected opening date: Late Summer 2010

Urban Cookhouse (Locally grown food with a Southern touch)

Location: Intersection of 18th Street South and 29th Avenue (Downtown Homewood)

Projected opening date: June 2010

http://www.urbancookhouse.com/

Zaxby’s

Location: Vestavia Hills (next to Wal Mart Grocery)

Projected opening date: Late Summer 2010

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My visit to a world-renowned restaurant

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on May 12, 2010

Every since “The Bright Star” was recognized in 2010 by the James Beard Foundation as an American Classic Restaurant, I have been hearing people talk about it more, so I decided to try the food today.

It is located in the heart of downtown Bessemer, AL. I met my lunch buddy in the lobby, which is adorned with all of the awards they have received through the years. The host took us to our seat and we began to read the menu. It took me a minute to focus on the menu because I was trying to catch up with my friend. Anyway, the waitress brought our drinks and some bread as we continued to talk. The bread consisted of two rolls and two mini cornbread muffins; each of them were really good! I couldn’t decide whether to order the Greek Chicken or Fried Pork Chops with gravy, they both sounded good. However, I was not pleased with the variety of side items because many of them were starches. When it was time to order, the waitress convinced me to get the Pork Chops and my side items were creamed corn, squash, and Greek potatoes. My friend ordered the Flounder Almondine with turnip greens, broccoli & cheese, and Greek potatoes. And we both split the Fried Crab Claws, for an appetizer.

So here is the verdict: My food was ok. The Fried Pork Chop with gravy had too much fat on it, and I couldn’t see the fat because it was so much breading on it. The corn and squash were really good, I would definitely order those items again. My Greek potatoes were warm in some spots and cold in other spots. My friend says that her food was ok, as well. The Flounder Almondine was not anything special, she says that “If you like flounder you would like the dish”. Her side items were ok; the turnip greens were over cooked. However, we both agree that the Fried Crab Claws tasted excellent, despite the appearance of the batter in which they were prepared in. And the cocktail sauce that we dipped them in was very good.

Our waitress, BJ, was very nice and exemplified true customer service; she even shook our hands once she gave us the bill. I liked that a lot! Now I’m going to be honest, the restaurant did not meet my expectations with the food. But if I want excellent customer service I will just go there for drinks and possibly dessert. And if I ever go back here, I will definitely order something different.

To end our afternoon, my friend and I went to “Dreamcakes” in Homewood and had a variety of cupcakes. I had the “Chocolate Peanut Butter” cupcake and a “Oatmeal Creme Filled” cookie sandwich. She had the “Over the Moon” cupcake and a “Strawberry” cupcake. We decided to eat at the bakery, so we split our cupcakes with each other and had good convo. Wow, this afternoon was fun and pretty laid back!

http://www.thebrightstar.com/

http://www.dreamcakes-bakery.com/home.html

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