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One of my new favorite lunch spots: Edgar’s Bakery

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on February 12, 2013

When you hear Edgar’s Bakery you probably think of their popular Strawberry or Caramel cake! But I think of how its become one of my new favorite lunch spots. The atmosphere is cozy, prices reasonable, and the sandwiches are delicious; and to make it easier, there are several locations around town for you to visit.

The first time I went there for lunch, I ordered The “T” Bird which consists of Hickory smoked turkey, mozzarella cheese, Applewood-smoked bacon, leaf lettuce & ripe tomatoes on a scratch made and toasted challah bread. And it comes with two sides, all for $6.95 plus tax. My sides were fresh fruit and potato chips. I really enjoyed the fresh sweet taste of the challah bread.

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Last week, I ordered the Cranapple Jack which consists of Hickory smoked turkey, Applewood smoked bacon, Swiss cheese, sweet apple butter & leaf lettuce on cranberry walnut bread. It also comes with two sides, all for $7.45 plus tax. This time my sides were pasta salad and fresh fruit. I was in the mood for a toasted sandwich so I asked the cook to toast the cranberry walnut bread and I think it made the sandwich taste even better. This is my favorite sandwich and I want it again, I might even go back this week to get it lol. I would also order the pasta salad again.

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Honestly, I’m not a big fan of Edgar’s cakes but they have plenty of them for you to choose from. Anyway, definitely stop by Edgar’s Bakery for a wholesome tasty lunch, and a plethora of other options for dessert.

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

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 »

Makarios in Five Points South

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on September 29, 2012

On a warm autumn night I was sitting on the patio of Makarios Kabob & Grill enjoying the company of friends and trying to enjoy the exotic flavors of Middle Eastern cuisine. There were a diverse array of customers, many whom were of Middle Eastern descent, so that led me to think that this place must have authentic Middle Eastern food.

Since the waitress said they are known for their smoothies, I decided to order the strawberry banana flavor. It was very good after I added a small packet of sugar; next time I’ll just tell them to make it extra sweet. After pondering over the menu and asking the waitress for English translations, we were ready to order. I had the Chicken Shawarma which was charbroiled marinated chicken wrapped in pita bread with garlic sauce & pickles. I only took two bites of this and didn’t like it because the flavor of the garlic sauce overpowered the flavors of everything else. I also ordered a side of grilled vegetables which were very tasty. FYI: Someone else ordered the Chicken Shawarma and they enjoyed it because they asked for the garlic sauce on the side.

The only big hit, in my opinion, was the Makarios Salad; lettuce, olives, beets, feta cheese, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, & fresh dill mixed with homemade dressing. It looked like coleslaw but tasted nothing like it. If I go back, this is what I will order.

One of my other friends got the Fried Kibba, fried lamb, and she seemed to enjoy it.

And another friend got the Shawarma Plate; marinated chicken, lamb kabob, and rice. She also didn’t have any complaints.

Makarios has a unique festive atmosphere, reasonable prices, and good customer service, but this is no place that I must flock back to soon! Try it out and let me know what you think.

Makarios Kabobs & Grill on Urbanspoon

Posted in Five Points South Finds, Greek/Mediterranean | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Southern Italian Flare in Birmingham!

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!

Bettola on Urbanspoon

Posted in Italian, Pizza, Upscale | 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 »

A new yogurt shop at The Summit!

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on September 26, 2011

Pinkberry, the number one tart frozen yogurt brand, will open its doors in Birmingham this fall at The Summit Birmingham.  The newest Pinkberry location marks the arrival of the first Pinkberry in Alabama. It will be in the former location of 32° Degrees.

Pinkberry is a one-of-a-kind frozen yogurt experience.  The addition of Pinkberry will introduce Birmingham to the refreshing flavors and sophisticated style for which the international brand is known.  Russell Pate and Porter and Courtney Mason, Birmingham natives and local business owners, are the Pinkberry area developers for Alabama.

The new Birmingham location will serve six distinctive Pinkberry flavors: the signature Original flavor, a sweet and tangy yogurt with a refreshing finish; a rich, indulgent Chocolate; Mango, a fruity and light flavor made with authentic Alphonso mango puree; Pomegranate, a bold and tangy flavor made with 100% California-grown pure pomegranate juice; Pumpkin, a fall favorite with pumpkin and spice undertones; and a featured flavor that rotates seasonally.

Customers can personalize every yogurt experience with any combination of delicious toppings. At Pinkberry, uncompromising quality is paramount and the toppings bar is no exception.  Each topping is selected with the highest quality standards, such as Grade-A fresh fruit that is hand-cut daily in-store, organic gummy bears with no high fructose corn-syrup, all natural honey almond granola, 100% pure pomegranate juice, or rich, premium Belgian chocolate shavings.  Every item is thoughtfully selected as a unique and delicious complement to the various Pinkberry frozen yogurt flavors.

In addition to frozen yogurt and toppings for immediate consumption, Pinkberry also offers Pinkberry Take Home, 25 ounces of Pinkberry, swirled-to-order and packed on ice to ensure your Swirly Goodness will get home safely to your freezer.  Pinkberry also offers Fruit Parfaits, Smoothies, and Fresh Fruit Bowls as fresh, satisfying choices for any time of day.

Furthermore, I know that Pinkberry is an international chain, but I still wanted to write about it since it is making its debut in Alabama!

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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 »

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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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 »