Wade on Birmingham

Archive for August, 2010

Birmingham’s Best Eats: Cook-off! The Thomas Keller vs. Frank Stitt Challenge

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Pork loin, Frank Stitt

Roast Pork Loin Stuffed with Rosemary, Bacon, and Onions,
from a recipe in “Frank Stitt’s Southern Table.”
Photos by Jason Horn.

By Jason Horn

I make a dish a week (or so) from “Ad Hoc at Home,” by Thomas Keller, arguably America’s greatest chef. Everything’s made from scratch, using time- and labor-intensive methods.

Birmingham's Best EatsIt is my summertime personal quest, The Thomas Keller Challenge, documented on the Messy Epicure.

But how would Keller fare against Birmingham’s indisputably best chef, Frank Stitt?

The plan

  1. Choose similar recipes from “Ad Hoc at Home” and “Frank Stitt’s Southern Table” [aff. links]: stuffed pork roast and coconut cake.
  2. Spend a day-and-a-half in an orgy of cooking.
  3. Have foodie friends over to judge the fracas.

The results

I’m sad to report that our hometown contender put up a valiant effort, but came up short.

Both roasts were delicious, but Keller’s version was legendary, while Stitt’s recipe merely great. I think the brining in Keller’s instructions left the pork perfectly moist. The fig and balsamic jam stuffing was sublime as well.

Stitt won the cake battle, though only by a nose. Both versions had some issues: Keller’s cake is a bit dry, while Stitt’s cake collapsed after baking (this seven-layer cake had just five layers). Of the near-identical meringue frostings, Keller’s recipe is much easier to make. My ultimate coconut cake would pair Stitt’s pastry-cream filling and rich cake with Keller’s meringue.

Recipes, after the jump …

(more…)

the world is really beautiful

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Beyond the madness,
tears and wreckage, the world is
really beautiful.

• • •

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Birmingham’s Best Eats: Gulf shrimp bring sweetness to Greek salad

Monday, August 30th, 2010

By Brian Heptinstall

In creating a recipe that best represents Alabama, I couldn’t help but think of the shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico. The quality of the shrimp hasn’t suffered one bit despite the recent BP oil spill disaster.

Birmingham's Best EatsI came up with Greek Salad with Gulf Shrimp, a simple, yet perfectly matched summer salad that takes a cue from Birmingham’s rich Greek culture.

The salad alone isn’t necessarily special, but the sweetness coming from the grilled shrimp adds another layer of flavor you can get only from the Gulf. For another great taste, try grilling these shrimp with Old Bay or Creole seasoning.

• • •

Greek Salad with Gulf Shrimp

Photo by Brian Heptinstall.

Greek Salad with Gulf Shrimp

  • Preparation time: 30-45 minutes
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes
  • Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup olive oil

Salad:

  • 1 package spring salad mix
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup feta cheese
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 jar kalamata olives, pitted, sliced
  • 1 jar roasted red peppers, diced
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 3-5 shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Dressing: In a bowl, add all ingredients together except the olive oil. Mix well, and slowly add in oil while constantly stirring. Cover and refrigerate. Just before serving, be sure to stir again as the dressing might separate.

Salad: Place the spring/romaine mix in a bowl big enough to toss the salad. Add feta, tomatoes, kalamata olives, roasted red peppers and artichoke hearts. Refrigerate.

(Use your judgment in ingredient quantities for the salad. We suggest making the salad in layers.)

Place shrimp on skewers. Right before placing the shrimp on hot grill, drizzle with olive oil and lightly dust with salt and pepper (Old Bay or Creole seasoning would also be good). Grill shrimp until done, and remove from heat. (Be careful not to burn yourself when taking shrimp off the skewers.)

Add shrimp to the salad. Pour dressing, toss and serve.

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Also:

• • •

Brian HeptinstallGadsden native Brian Heptinstall (@bheptin) writes the AL.com blog Food and Farce and produces how-to videos featuring his favorite foods from Walt Disney World on A Taste of Disney. A classically trained chef, he has worked in several top kitchens including Mar-A-Lago, the Four Seasons, Il Cioppino Italian Restaurant and the PGA Resort and Spa.

• • •

Hungry for more? Check out the menu of Birmingham’s Best Eats!

bad romance

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Time to go after
one last kiss. Time to find the
last one true soulmate.

• • •

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Birmingham’s Best Eats: Trattoria Centrale brunch means pizza topped with … an egg

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

Trattoria Centrale

Trattoria Centrale offers breakfast on weekdays, but
Breakfast ’Za during Sunday brunch only. Photo by Brad Daly.

By Glenny Brock and Brad Daly

Pizza for breakfast is often inelegant. Even the finest pie can lose its piquancy after being stored overnight in cardboard next to desiccating lemon wedges and other odds and ends in your refrigerator.

Birmingham's Best EatsHappily, the guys at Trattoria Centrale have a decidedly different approach to early morning pizza: They put an egg on it.

“The egg functions as the sauce,” says Geoff Lockert, co-owner of the downtown pizzeria. “Even on a breakfast pizza, we could use other things for the sauce, but we feel the egg creates a good bit of texture.”

Trattoria Centrale serves Breakfast ’Za ($3 per slice) at Sunday brunch only. Lockert’s partner Brian Somershield starts the pie with dough, then adds diced potatoes, scallions, bacon, sausage, mozzarella, Fontina and Pecorino Romano. Each serving is made to order: Somershield fries an egg as soon as a slice goes in the oven.

“On the pickup, we pull the pizza out and put the egg on it right when the yolk is nice and runny,” Lockert says. “We add a little salt and pepper, and that’s it.”

The result is nearly a religious experience. Once you’ve had Trattoria Centrale-style pizza for breakfast, cold leftovers just won’t cut it.

• • •

Trattoria Centrale

  • 207 20th St. N., downtown [map]
  • (205) 202-5612
  • Trattoriacentrale.com
  • Hours: 7:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday

• • •

Also:

• • •

Glenny Brock

Brad DalyWriter Glenny Brock (@glennybrock) and photographer Brad Daly (@bwdaly) launched the Birmingham food blog Stay Hungry (@stayhungrybham) in June. He cooks, she writes, and they both eat, thoughtfully.

• • •

Hungry for more? Check out the menu of Birmingham’s Best Eats!

the anonymous few

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

To be unknown in
a public age, suspect for
remaining subtle.

• • •

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Birmingham’s Best Eats: Cole porter — taking home slaw from Zoës Kitchen

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

Zoe's Kitchen - slaw

The marinated slaw from Zoës Kitchen pairs
cabbage with feta. Photo by John-Bryan Hopkins.

By John-Bryan Hopkins

Nothing says Southern at a family get-together, potluck or cookout like a bowl of slaw sitting alongside deviled eggs and baked beans. Coleslaw seems to be a common thread that pulls these meals together.

Birmingham's Best Eats(“Coleslaw” is an anglicization of the Dutch word koolsla, a shortening of koolsalade, meaning “cabbage salad.”)

Unfortunately, I’ve never been a fan, being more of a meat-and-potatoes guy when it comes to Southern food. (Side dishes are those “other things” littering the table.) The first thing that comes to mind is the milky, mushy, chopped cabbage/carrot concoction — usually too sweet for my taste.

That was until I stumbled upon the marinated slaw at Zoës Kitchen a couple of years ago. My opinions completely changed in a single bite. The fresh, thinly sliced white cabbage paired with feta cheese and a little olive oil makes for a wonderful combination.

Soon, slaw went from a rare side dish to a staple in the refrigerator. It is not uncommon to find me visiting the Birmingham-based chain to replenish my stockpile of quart-size containers ($6.95).

Choosing the right side dish can make or break a meal. I haven’t found many things that don’t go well with this slaw. Zoës’ version hits it out of the ballpark and onto my plate every time.

• • •

Zoës Kitchen

• • •

Also:

• • •

John-Bryan HopkinsBirmingham’s John-Bryan Hopkins loves talking about food facts, their origins and, most of all, what food means to us.

His site/blog is Foodimentary (@Foodimentary).

• • •

Hungry for more? Check out the menu of Birmingham’s Best Eats!

void of no response

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

Call. No answer. Call.
Voicemail. E-mail. No reply.
Avoidance as game.

• • •

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Wade’s 101: You’re so Birmingham if … (2010 Twitter version)

Friday, August 27th, 2010

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  1. The only political or social cause you’ve ever been involved with was to legalize stronger beer. (@david_carter)
  2. You can’t stop wishing corruption didn’t kill City Stages. #didanybody’schecknotbounce? (@sandybirmingham)
  3. You’ve never used public transportation in Birmingham. (@bwdaly)
  4. You go to a “meat n’ three” because someone said that they have “good vegetables.” (@rebecca_morrow)
  5. Your panhandler rides a nicer bike than yours. (@WadeOnTweets)
  6. You think Surin is a really nice restaurant. (@Iva4Gov)
  7. You’re a judge with a law degree from an unaccredited law school. (@bwdaly)
  8. You can do an impression of Bill Bolen saying “Momma.” (@bwdaly)
  9. You are sitting around trying to think up clever sayings for #You’reSoBirminghamIf. (@filamentartists)
  10. You say “Vulcan” and not “The Vulcan.” (@CreekRat)
  11. You’ve never lived in a real city and don’t understand how bad things are here. (@bwdaly)
  12. You used to drink beer at Norm’s. (@CreekRat)
  13. You grew up 30+ miles out in the suburbs, but still claim the ‘ham as your “hometown.” (@feralparakeet)
  14. You know the truth of Birmingham retail: If you can’t park and see it, the shop is unlikely to survive. (@politicalparlor)
  15. You’ve ever wanted to get the clippers after James Spann’s hair to shave that little center part off. (@StaceyHood)
  16. You bought your 205 jersey at a yard sale or Goodwill. (@WadeOnTweets)
  17. You voted for Ruben, Bo and Taylor. 🙂 (@sandybirmingham)
  18. You constantly tell people how awesome Birmingham is, even though you know it’s a lie. (@david_carter)
  19. You don’t know how to get over the mountain without using 65 or 31/280. (@bwdaly)
  20. You can drive from downtown to the Inverness Target without getting on 280. (@piercingwit)
  21. Anyone you ever elected went to jail. (@WadeOnTweets)
  22. You discussed how sad you were when the Stallions and the Fire folded, but you never went to a game. (@MellowBHAM)
  23. You wish the Iron Bowl was moved back to Legion Field. (@Iva4Gov)
  24. You’ve always wanted copies of the Legion Field lions to guard your driveway. (@theCapNdavid)
  25. You’re one of the badasses from @BAAMfest who proved you don’t need the city government to put on a successful festival. (@bwdaly)
  26. You have to fly through a hub in Atlanta, Memphis, Houston, etc. to get to the West Coast. (@Iva4Gov)
  27. You judge the severity of severe weather by how James Spann is dressed. (Coat off, sleeves up: Better pay attention!) (@kristenmstewart)
  28. You went to an all-white or all-black school. (@bwdaly)
  29. Your only political trope is race. (@bwdaly)
  30. You’ve ever heard slot machines described as part of the civil rights movement. (@chris_depew)
  31. You prefer faith to knowledge. (@bwdaly)
  32. You’ve had a supermarket checkout person refuse to sell you beer at 11:53 a.m. on a Sunday. (@messyepicure)
  33. You remember going to Century Plaza! (@briancauble)
  34. Your megachurch has its own ZIP code. (@WadeOnTweets)
  35. You’ve dressed up as a former Jefferson County commissioner for Halloween. (@UrbanPat)
  36. You confess to friends that your parents were racists … “but I’m not!” (@collirp)
  37. You pick a lunch place solely based on its dancing sign guy. (@WadeOnTweets)
  38. You have a favorite Mike Royer hairpiece. (@joey__t)
  39. You kill the messenger. (@bwdaly)
  40. You believe “progress” requires the destruction of our history. (@tbdcreativeinc)
  41. You don’t valet. (@Iva4Gov)
  42. You’ve moved out of the city, but still keep whining about its leaders. (@seankelley)
  43. The compass on your iPhone points toward Vulcan. (@andyspain)
  44. You have hope and work for change despite the naysayers. (@bikeskirt)
  45. You are so paranoid about what outsiders think you can’t laugh at your own expense. (@chris_depew)
  46. You drink Grapico and Buffalo Rock. (@Iva4Gov)
  47. The new Bass Pro Shops store is a destination for you. (@aathu)
  48. You look forward to seeing what Mickey Ferguson is going to do on Halloween! (@Iva4Gov)
  49. Your life was enhanced by Cecil Whitmire. (@bwdaly)
  50. You do that ghetto “Electric Slide” to every damn song. (@yendisak)
  51. You know not to read the comments on AL.com. (@Owsley9)
  52. You go off-roading on unpaved city streets. (@WadeOnTweets)
  53. You know Marty and Ona really well. (@aathu)
  54. You whine that criticism is part of the problem. (@bwdaly)
  55. You can’t find the humor in the negatives. (@filamentartists)
  56. You use Dale’s Steak Seasoning. (@Iva4Gov)
  57. You have no idea of the pernicious effect of college football on Alabama’s public university system. (@bwdaly)
  58. You remember seeing Survivor @WrightCenterSU. (@WrightCenterSU)
  59. You’ve known or met at least two people that have worked for EBSCO. (@rebecca_morrow)
  60. You whine about metro traffic but would never dream of taking a bus. (@AR_Kirby)
  61. Your favorite sports team is at the college level or below. (@khcreative)
  62. You pop a woody every time a new chain store or chain restaurant opens. (@bwdaly)
  63. You helped elect Larry Langford mayor without a runoff. (@bwdaly)
  64. You grew up wanting to live in the big city and ended up in Birmingham. (@WadeOnTweets)
  65. You recognize something good must be afoot, if the naysayers come out play. (@Owsley9)
  66. You wish the Birmingham Barons played more games at Rickwood (and actually in Birmingham). (@politicalparlor)
  67. You’d drive downtown for hockey but not to Hoover for baseball. (@WadeOnTweets)
  68. You’re generous. Birmingham is ranked as the most charitable city in the United States! http://bit.ly/aEiJXW (@alabamapossible)
  69. You have the front of Vulcan as your view instead of the butt. (@motionmind)
  70. You confuse tourists needing directions and say, “Follow me …” (@aathu)
  71. You know the steam table at Fife’s. Yum. #ILoveBirmingham (@Jerry_Griffies)
  72. You remember when Dreamland only had ribs, white bread and sauce. (@StaceyHood)
  73. You’ve ever spent a week’s pay on a tailgate party. (@chris_depew)
  74. Your political campaign has distributed flyers calling your opponent an Uncle Tom. (@bwdaly)
  75. You give and understand directions that are nothing but numbers: 31, 280, 459, 150, 119 … (@KnowTea)
  76. You write a blog post for @aldotcom about this hashtag. http://ow.ly/2vmWd (@KristenHeptin)
  77. You’re addicted to Milo’s sweet tea. (@aathu)
  78. You are a struggling freelancer. (@filamentartists)
  79. You learn that you and the person you just met have seven mutual acquaintances. (@AR_Kirby)
  80. Your “minister” was part of Richard Scrushy’s Amen Mafia. (@bwdaly)
  81. You miss Ollie’s barbecue. (@DrNemoJr)
  82. You have no sense of irony. (@bwdaly)
  83. Everybody in your circle is banging one another. (@yendisak)
  84. You think Pam Huff has been on TV for too long. (@aathu)
  85. Your parking meter is actually a sawed-off pole. (@WadeOnTweets)
  86. You are sick and tired of hearing the word “potential.” (@filamentartists)
  87. Your sewer bill could pay for clean drinking water for three African villages. (@sandybirmingham)
  88. Most of your tweets are about shopping. (@bwdaly)
  89. Everyone you know — grannies, hippies and pastors included — is in at least one football pool. (@chris_depew)
  90. You don’t tell your customers who you pull for in the Iron Bowl because you don’t want them to hold this against you. (@APPRAISALSOURCE)
  91. You have a favorite BBQ joint, sports talk show, hot dog place, high-grav brew and wing shack. (@WadeOnTweets)
  92. You had a dream last night featuring Jim Skinner. (I did.) (@bwdaly)
  93. Your former mayor is a shopping addict. And is now in jail. (@cmhallua)
  94. You only spend money in the Lakeview District drinking. (@aathu)
  95. You buy sweet tea at the grocery store. (@juliesenter)
  96. You’ve ever felt sick when you heard someone say “the neighborhood changed” and realized what they meant. (@glennybrock)
  97. You call Pam Huff “Ham Puff.” (@bwdaly)
  98. You have more square feet of TV than linear feet of books. (@bwdaly)
  99. You aspire to live in Hoover. (@aathu)
  100. You jus’ got you one o’ nem “tweeter pages.” (@aathu)
  101. You ignore the fact that most of the city’s population is poor and struggling, while you just care about lunch/bars/events. (@david_carter)

The full list of #YoureSoBirminghamIf tweets from Aug. 26, 2010.

• • •

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Birmingham’s Best Eats: The best barbecue in town? Miss Myra’s in Vestavia Hills

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Miss Myra's Pit Bar-B-Q

Miss Myra’s Pit Bar-B-Q serves chicken superior
to the other joints in Birmingham.
Photos by Jason Horn.

By Jason Horn

One barbecue rule we’ve found to be universal: The more anthropomorphic the pigs on the sign or in the restaurant, the better the food. Don’t laugh, it’s true.

Birmingham's Best EatsMiss Myra’s Pit Bar-B-Q has shelves covered with dozens of pigs, doing all kinds of human activities. This red-roofed cathedral of smoked chicken sits just a couple blocks from the Summit shopping center, in the Cahaba Heights section of Vestavia Hills.

Inside, the place resembles all great barbecue joints: a little dingy, a little dark and featuring at least two photos of the legendary Bear.

But the food.

It’s chicken that makes Miss Myra’s the best in town. This restaurant’s version is five times smokier than anyone else’s, perfectly juicy and the reason Alabama white sauce was invented. (That’s a barbecue sauce based in mayonnaise, rather than tomato sauce.) A dark-meat plate ($6.25) consists of a leg and thigh, bread, a pickle and two side dishes.

Make sure to order a deviled egg for one side dish. They’re the absolute best we’ve ever had: nice and mustard-tangy but still creamy and dense.

And don’t forget a slice of home-style pie ($2.75). Four or five kinds are on display daily, from Key lime to coconut to a lemon meringue that’s a good 4 inches tall. All are delicious.

Miss Myra's Pit Bar-B-Q

Key lime pie is one of the handful of varieties
available at Miss Myra’s every day.

• • •

Miss Myra’s Pit Bar-B-Q

  • 3278 Cahaba Heights Road, Vestavia Hills [map]
  • (205) 967-6004
  • Missmyrasbbq.com
  • Hours: 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday

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Also:

• • •

Jason HornJason Horn (@messyepicure) is a Birmingham writer, sometime culinary student and big fan of zombie movies who blogs at The Messy Epicure.

• • •

Hungry for more? Check out the menu of Birmingham’s Best Eats!

inside the furnace

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Weeks pass, and the heat
subsides little by little
for times autumnal.

• • •

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EXCLUSIVE: Sidewalk 2010 to open with Adrian Grenier’s ‘Teenage Paparazzo’

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

sidewalk.wadeonbirmingham.com

Actor Adrian Grenier is returning for another opening night in Birmingham.

Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalSort of.

The “Entourage” star directed the documentary “Teenage Paparazzo,” which opens the 2010 Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival on Sept. 24. Grenier also stars in the movie. He was also in the 2008 Sidewalk opening night film, “Adventures of Power.”

“Teenage Paparazzo” features 13-year-old photographer Austin Visschedyk and Grenier as they develop a relationship based on fame, celebrity and mutual exploitation. Grenier turns the tables on his pursuer by filming Austin and his budding career as a paparazzo.

Also added to the lineup:

• • •

‘Teenage Paparazzo’

  • Starring Alec Baldwin, Lewis Black, Noam Chomsky, Matt Damon, Whoopi Goldberg, Jake Halpem, Paris Hilton, Perez Hilton, Martin Landau, Lindsay Lohan, Eva Longoria Parker, Mario Lopez, Rosie O’Donnell, Michelle Rodriguez and Jaleel White.
  • Directed by Adrian Grenier.
  • Official site | IMDB | Facebook | Sidewalk page
  • 8 p.m. Sept. 24 at the Alabama Theatre.
  • Scheduled to attend: co-producer Evan Ferrante.

• • •

The Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival takes place Sept. 24-26 in downtown Birmingham. Tickets: three-day pass, $50, $40 for members and students; one-day pass, $20, $15 for members and students.

• • •

The lineup is set, but which movies will you see? Let us know in the comments.

Action! Complete Sidewalk Festival coverage.

Birmingham’s Best Eats: The beginner’s guide to Birmingham-area Asian grocery stores

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Asian groceries

Stock your pantry with the right ingredients by
exploring the Asian markets across Birmingham.
Photo by Jen Barnett.

By Jen Barnett

The Birmingham grocery-scape has become increasingly dotted with Asian, Latin and other ethnic markets. Foreign by nature for many of us, they can seem especially intimidating if you’re accustomed to today’s massive chain supermarkets, where products are mostly familiar and layouts are homogeneously streamlined to move you from buggies to produce to meat.

Birmingham's Best EatsWhy would you need to visit an Asian market anyway? After all, Publix has rice noodles and coconut milk.

But it carries only one brand of coconut milk, one kind of rice noodle. It’s like buying groceries at the gas station.

Plus, the convenience-store selection also carries convenience-store prices. Shopping at the Asian market can save you 20 percent or more on ingredients such as sticky rice, seaweed wraps and fish sauce.

(One caveat to newbies: Some markets have a unique fishy smell you might not be used to. Tolerable, maybe, but not always conducive to browsing.)

Asian recipes are often quick and easy, especially if you have ingredients on hand. We visited several Asian grocery stores across town and compiled this list of favorite markets to get you started.

Asian Super Market

  • 3065 Lorna Road, Ste. D, Hoover [map]
  • (205) 822-0140
  • Hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1-6 p.m. Sunday
  • Note: Very friendly owner who will answer any questions.

Super Oriental Market

  • 243 West Valley Ave., Homewood [map]
  • (205) 945-9558
  • Superorientalmarket.com
  • Hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday and 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday
  • Note: Huge store with food plus gifts, cookware, appliances and the Red Pearl Restaurant.

Chai’s Oriental Food Store

  • 2133 Seventh Ave. S., Southside [map]
  • (205) 324-4873
  • Hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 1-6 p.m. Sunday
  • Note: Nice people in a small shop next to Thai House, which is also recommended.

Asian Food Market

  • 22 Green Springs Highway, Homewood [map]
  • (205) 941-1009
  • Hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1-7 p.m. Sunday
  • Note: Small Korean restaurant next door with affordable prices and friendly owners.

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Also:

• • •

Jen BarnettJen Barnett is the managing editor of VisitSouth.com, a travel hub with tips on where to stay, what to do and where to eat in the South. Her favorite dish in Birmingham is her mom’s fresh veggie plate, but she didn’t bring enough for everyone, so she won’t mention it again.

• • •

Hungry for more? Check out the menu of Birmingham’s Best Eats!

too early for the club

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

The sweeper takes one
last lap, as the pretzel bowls
become replenished.

• • •

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Birmingham’s Best Eats: Tailgating, the Magic City way

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

tailgate party

Whether at the stadium or in your back yard,
bring a little Birmingham to your tailgate party.
Photo by Richelle Antipolo (CC).

By Sean Kelley

With college football season starting‚ it’s time to tailgate. Whether you’re headed to the Plains, tailgating in T-Town, cooking out in town or just gathering around the HD in your living room, serve a little Birmingham to your guests.

Birmingham's Best EatsMeat: Nothing says class like steak at a tailgate party. But before you reach for the A1, consider dressing up your beef with Dale’s Seasoning, first bottled in Birmingham in 1946 and works on steak, hamburger and chicken.

Serving barbecue instead? Several Birmingham barbecue joints sell their sauces at the register or in supermarkets. Our favorite is Saw’s BBQ in Homewood, but you can also get sauce from Bob Sykes Bar-B-Q in Bessemer and Golden Rule Bar-B-Q, among others.

Chips and dip: Nothing says football in the South like Golden Flake. Seriously, the snack food company has sponsored everyone from the Bear to Gene Chizik. Plus, its potato chips have been a Birmingham tradition since 1923. And while Auburn and Alabama may no longer play in Magic City, Golden Flake still does.

And what better to accompany your chip than a dip that’s all Birmingham? Pick up a tub of Party Dip from Barber’s Dairy from the grocery store.

Side dish: While you’re at the market, grab a head of cabbage and a bottle of John’s Famous Angel Hair Slaw and Salad Dressing, created by Birmingham restaurateur John Proferis. Just be sure to slice your cabbage thin.

Dessert: Put out a bowl of Bud’s Best Cookies, a Birmingham tradition for more than 40 years. Or serve a treat from one of Birmingham’s distinctive bakeries. Pick up a dozen cupcakes from Urban Standard downtown or a tailgating party tray from Savage’s Bakery in Homewood, themed for your team.

Once you’ve done that, you’re ready for kickoff, Birmingham-style.

• • •

Also:

• • •

Sean KelleySean Kelley (@seankelley) is a Birmingham health writer and food lover as well as writer, editor and online content manager for Everwell.

• • •

Hungry for more? Check out the menu of Birmingham’s Best Eats!