By Leigh Bratina
Hoover has a new restaurant. It's called Fishlips and is located in the shopping center that houses Hobby Lobby, Piccadilly and in fact neighbors Dale's Southern Grill and Shono's Japanese Grill. I visited Fishlips with my mother and father, at my father's recommendation.
Ron and Kim Tomlinson are the owners of the newly opened Fishlips. The Tomlinson's live locally in Hoover. He teaches English at Oak Mountain Middle School, and she owns a hair-and-nail salon in Hoover. They both wanted to start a restaurant as a family business.
Demian DeLorenz is the executive chef at FishLips. If his name sounds familiar is it because his father is Arman DeLorenz, who was once one of Birmingham's most prominent restaurateurs and owner of notable Birmingham dining establishments that included some of the city's finest and most popular eateries, from Prairie Fire Grille to Crepes Egg-Setera to Original Joe's to Nonna Rose to his pride and joy, Brazil. Unfortunatley the elder DeLorenz came upon some hard times in the form of bankruptcy and lost all five of his restaurants. Now you can find him working in the kitchen as chef under his son. Demain DeLorenz is the one who is responsible for writing the menu and creating the exciting dishes featured on the menu.
Speaking of the menu, it is one that consist of both American and seafood dishes that typically run $10-15 per entree for dinner. I happened to dine at the lunch hour, when prices are slightly less. We found the place to be crowed on this lunch hour, but were seated right away. The menu offers many wonderful sounding choices, from their homemade shrimp and corn chowder ($3.99 cup, $5.99 bowl) to the Jumbo Lump Crabcakes ($7.99) to the Shrimp and Grits, which features a new twist on an old southern classic with a pan seared grit cake blackened shrimp in a roasted tomato and lemon butter sauce ($13.99).
We started our meal off with an appetizer of Buttermilk Battered Onion Rings and an order of hush puppies with spiced ranch dressing. The rings and hush puppies were absolutely delicious, although the rings a bit over salted but otherwise very tasty. The hush puppies were crisp, but soft inside with bits of corn. The spiced ranch was a nice compliment to the crispy rings, we ate cocktail sauce with the puppies.
For our meal, we selected the FishLips Taco ($7.99) and Shrimp Po-Boy ($7.99). The Fishlips Taco is actually a suggested appetizer, but makes a perfect and appealing lunch. The Fishlips Taco consist of grilled white fish and tomato compote. It really was a feast for the eyes, an artful presentation of tacos with lettuce and the tomato compote and a drizzling of what I detected to be balsamic vinegar and honey. Delicious!
The Shrimp Po-Boy actually comes with mayonnaise (though we opted for it to be left off) as well as, lettuce & tomato, a side of perfectly cooked french fries, and a mayo based cole slaw. The shrimp was delicately fried, not at all greasy. A nice lunch option.
I heard one patron raving about the chicken quesadilla being especially good, something to consider for future visits. And there will be future visits.
The chef came out and checked on us personally. He was very friendly and concerned that we were happy with our meal, which we were. Overall a good experience. We will definitely go back.
Fish Lips Seafood and Grill
1843 Montgomery Hwy S
Hoover, AL 35244
*Leigh is a full time mother, a part time photographer and writer. Her photography and written work is featured in several professional business and local publications. She owns her own photography business, Photographic Memories. Leigh resides in the Alabama with her three children and husband "Big Daddy". You can read more of Leigh's daily adventures by visiting any of her three blogs: Tales from Bloggeritaville , Plates and Places , as well as Photographic Memories