In our travels we quite enjoy eating at a wide variety of places around the world. Birmingham, Alabama is no slouch when it comes to enjoyable dining. In no particular order…
Highlands Bar & Grill
At the top of the culinary heap is Frank Stitt’s collection of eateries; Highlands Bar & Grill, Bottega Restaurant, Bottega Café and Chez Fon Fon. Stitt has been honored several times by The James Beard Foundation including a well deserved Best Chef in the Southeast. My brother favors Chez Fon Fon over the upper scale Highlands and I think I agree with him (but I’ll happily eat at any of them).
Dyron’s Low Country (____ & Grits !!)
There are a few foods we’ve gone in search of finding the best; Sticky Toffee Pudding, Sushi and Shrimp & Grits. Dyron’s wins the Shrimp & Grits. The competition was stiff including two in Charleston (Husk & Hominy Grill), Narobia in Savannah, Cotton Row in Huntsville AL, Summer Kitchen in Rosemary Beach and Bud & Alley’s in Seaside. Why the blank above? Because Dyron’s also has a Crawdad & Grits (crawfish for those in Minnesota) that gives Shrimp & Grits a delicious run for it’s money.
My favorite place in Birmingham and along with Dyron’s a must visit (often more than once) each trip. It’s kind of French Café meets localvore so it meets our increasing focus on local, organic and healthy food (plant slant) and everything we’ve had has been wonderful. If there was any restaurant I could transplant to Minnesota this would be it (hint Carol, hint).
Brick & Tin
Another place doing a good job of tasteful and healthy food.
The South and BBQ kind of go hand in hand and Birmingham has a great selection to choose from. My favorite is Demetri’s in Homewood and it’s been my favorite quite literally my entire life. Despite the great BBQ I’ve sometimes wondered if it was mainly because my buddy Sam’s family ran it and now Sam (above) runs it. But then Playboy stepped in and said it was one of their favorite’s as well so it must be the food :-).
Root to Tail
We’ve not actually been here yet but have heard great things and it’s on our list for next time.
But wait, there’s more…
Hot & Hot Fish Club
Veranda (RIP). A favorite that’s no longer there.
Urban Cookhouse. This is a tough one. Kind of Farm to Table pseudo fast food. They do a pretty good job and better than most but I’m not sure the healthfulness of the food matches their advertising. More to come on this one.
And many many more!
The one possible hole (besides needing more healthy plant slant places) in Birmingham’s culinary pallet is coffee. I’ve not yet found a great place for my morning Cappuccino. Octane was my favorite but on recent visits (now Revelator Coffee / Sweet Jon’s) not so much. O’ Henry’s in Homewood is now at the top of my coffee list but their oatmeal is microwaved instant mush. Lucy’s, Seed and Satellite are on my list for the future.