Friday, December 21, 2012

Best Post of the Week: Week 183


It's time to link in your best post of the week!

The purpose of this column is to make it easier to keep up with each other's blogs, so that even if we don't have time to read all of the Alabama Blogger blogs every day, at least we get the week's highlights.

So, link up, tell us why you linked that post, and let's start reading! And remember - the best way to get new blogging friends is to comment on other people's posts, so be sure to say "hi" to your neighbors when you visit!

p.s. - please feel free to interpret "this week" as loosely as you like!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Best Post of the Week: Week 182


It's time to link in your best post of the week!

The purpose of this column is to make it easier to keep up with each other's blogs, so that even if we don't have time to read all of the Alabama Blogger blogs every day, at least we get the week's highlights.

So, link up, tell us why you linked that post, and let's start reading! And remember - the best way to get new blogging friends is to comment on other people's posts, so be sure to say "hi" to your neighbors when you visit!

p.s. - please feel free to interpret "this week" as loosely as you like!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Best Post of the Week: Week 181


It's time to link in your best post of the week!

The purpose of this column is to make it easier to keep up with each other's blogs, so that even if we don't have time to read all of the Alabama Blogger blogs every day, at least we get the week's highlights.

So, link up, tell us why you linked that post, and let's start reading! And remember - the best way to get new blogging friends is to comment on other people's posts, so be sure to say "hi" to your neighbors when you visit!

p.s. - please feel free to interpret "this week" as loosely as you like!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Best Post of the Week: Week 179


It's time to link in your best post of the week!

The purpose of this column is to make it easier to keep up with each other's blogs, so that even if we don't have time to read all of the Alabama Blogger blogs every day, at least we get the week's highlights.

So, link up, tell us why you linked that post, and let's start reading! And remember - the best way to get new blogging friends is to comment on other people's posts, so be sure to say "hi" to your neighbors when you visit!

p.s. - please feel free to interpret "this week" as loosely as you like!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Best Post of the Week: Week 178


It's time to link in your best post of the week!

The purpose of this column is to make it easier to keep up with each other's blogs, so that even if we don't have time to read all of the Alabama Blogger blogs every day, at least we get the week's highlights.

So, link up, tell us why you linked that post, and let's start reading! And remember - the best way to get new blogging friends is to comment on other people's posts, so be sure to say "hi" to your neighbors when you visit!

p.s. - please feel free to interpret "this week" as loosely as you like!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Best Post of the Week: Week 177


It's time to link in your best post of the week!

The purpose of this column is to make it easier to keep up with each other's blogs, so that even if we don't have time to read all of the Alabama Blogger blogs every day, at least we get the week's highlights.

So, link up, tell us why you linked that post, and let's start reading! And remember - the best way to get new blogging friends is to comment on other people's posts, so be sure to say "hi" to your neighbors when you visit!

p.s. - please feel free to interpret "this week" as loosely as you like!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Best Post of the Week: Week 176


It's time to link in your best post of the week!

The purpose of this column is to make it easier to keep up with each other's blogs, so that even if we don't have time to read all of the Alabama Blogger blogs every day, at least we get the week's highlights.

So, link up, tell us why you linked that post, and let's start reading! And remember - the best way to get new blogging friends is to comment on other people's posts, so be sure to say "hi" to your neighbors when you visit!

p.s. - please feel free to interpret "this week" as loosely as you like!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Best Post of the Week: Week 175


It's time to link in your best post of the week!

The purpose of this column is to make it easier to keep up with each other's blogs, so that even if we don't have time to read all of the Alabama Blogger blogs every day, at least we get the week's highlights.

So, link up, tell us why you linked that post, and let's start reading! And remember - the best way to get new blogging friends is to comment on other people's posts, so be sure to say "hi" to your neighbors when you visit!

p.s. - please feel free to interpret "this week" as loosely as you like!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Best Post of the Week: Week 174


It's time to link in your best post of the week!

The purpose of this column is to make it easier to keep up with each other's blogs, so that even if we don't have time to read all of the Alabama Blogger blogs every day, at least we get the week's highlights.

So, link up, tell us why you linked that post, and let's start reading! And remember - the best way to get new blogging friends is to comment on other people's posts, so be sure to say "hi" to your neighbors when you visit!

p.s. - please feel free to interpret "this week" as loosely as you like!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Best Post of the Week: Week 173


It's time to link in your best post of the week!

The purpose of this column is to make it easier to keep up with each other's blogs, so that even if we don't have time to read all of the Alabama Blogger blogs every day, at least we get the week's highlights.

So, link up, tell us why you linked that post, and let's start reading! And remember - the best way to get new blogging friends is to comment on other people's posts, so be sure to say "hi" to your neighbors when you visit!

p.s. - please feel free to interpret "this week" as loosely as you like!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Best Post of the Week: Week 172


It's time to link in your best post of the week!

The purpose of this column is to make it easier to keep up with each other's blogs, so that even if we don't have time to read all of the Alabama Blogger blogs every day, at least we get the week's highlights.

So, link up, tell us why you linked that post, and let's start reading! And remember - the best way to get new blogging friends is to comment on other people's posts, so be sure to say "hi" to your neighbors when you visit!

p.s. - please feel free to interpret "this week" as loosely as you like!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Best Post of the Week: Week 171


It's time to link in your best post of the week!

The purpose of this column is to make it easier to keep up with each other's blogs, so that even if we don't have time to read all of the Alabama Blogger blogs every day, at least we get the week's highlights.

So, link up, tell us why you linked that post, and let's start reading! And remember - the best way to get new blogging friends is to comment on other people's posts, so be sure to say "hi" to your neighbors when you visit!

p.s. - please feel free to interpret "this week" as loosely as you like!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Best Post of the Week: Week 170


It's time to link in your best post of the week!

The purpose of this column is to make it easier to keep up with each other's blogs, so that even if we don't have time to read all of the Alabama Blogger blogs every day, at least we get the week's highlights.

So, link up, tell us why you linked that post, and let's start reading! And remember - the best way to get new blogging friends is to comment on other people's posts, so be sure to say "hi" to your neighbors when you visit!

p.s. - please feel free to interpret "this week" as loosely as you like!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Best Post of the Week: Week 169


It's time to link in your best post of the week!

The purpose of this column is to make it easier to keep up with each other's blogs, so that even if we don't have time to read all of the Alabama Blogger blogs every day, at least we get the week's highlights.

So, link up, tell us why you linked that post, and let's start reading! And remember - the best way to get new blogging friends is to comment on other people's posts, so be sure to say "hi" to your neighbors when you visit!

p.s. - please feel free to interpret "this week" as loosely as you like!

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Lap of Alabama.

For their fortieth anniversary, my parents wanted to do something grand.

They considered a cruise in Alaska, a drive from Alaska back home, and a drive through New England.

But finally, they settled on enjoying two things they loved: antique cars and Alabama.

Starting today, they are on a journey to drive the entire perimeter of our state in a Model A, stopping at unique sights along the way.  They have decided that there will be no interstates, no fast food, and no agenda.

 

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Dad set up a blog to document their journey, and I also tried to get him to use Twitter to garner recommendations for places to stay and eat.  I didn’t get him convinced in time, so instead, I will be tweeting their journey and trying to get recommendations for him.  I hope that you will all help me as I show him the power of Twitter.


They left today, and expect the journey to take two weeks.  Follow along at their blog and also on twitter.

 

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Friday, August 31, 2012

Best Post of the Week: Week 168


It's time to link in your best post of the week!

The purpose of this column is to make it easier to keep up with each other's blogs, so that even if we don't have time to read all of the Alabama Blogger blogs every day, at least we get the week's highlights.

So, link up, tell us why you linked that post, and let's start reading! And remember - the best way to get new blogging friends is to comment on other people's posts, so be sure to say "hi" to your neighbors when you visit!

p.s. - please feel free to interpret "this week" as loosely as you like!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Birmingham Restaurant Week: The Fish Market.

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My Birmingham Restaurant Week strategy included three tenets: showcase the restaurants that I loved, the restaurateurs that shared my Greek  heritage, and the establishments that kids were welcomed and appreciated as guests.

The Fish Market in Southside met all three of those criteria, so I quickly added it to my list of stops.
They have a jovially decorated dining room with many fun Greek artifacts,

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and a great outdoor seating area.

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The kids and I met my husband there after work.  One of the things I love about The Fish Market’s menu is that they offer “real” food for kids.  I don’t even offer my daughter the option of her usual, chicken and fries.  I ask, “Do you want baked fish, fried fish, or shrimp?”

She opted for the fried fish last night, and I kid you not – this is the child’s portion:

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That meal could feed me for three days.

(And if you’re wondering, it also included the giant bowl of green beans that you can just barely see in the top of that photo.)

The Restaurant Week options include lunch and dinner choices.

The lunch menu is $10 and gives the option of Shrimp and Grits with 2 side dishes, or Grilled shrimp (or chicken) over a Greek salad with a baked potato.

The dinner menu is $30, and includes a Greek Salad, a 1 1/2 pound steamed Maine Lobster, a cup of Clam Chowder, and a glass of wine.

We were there for dinner, so I started with the salad, which had an extremely generous portion of feta.

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This was an especially nice feature since my husband always wants a bite of my feta, and I’m usually too selfish to share.  But with that much feta, he and I had all we wanted!

The lobster came next, and it was impressive.  I’m not usually a Lobster orderer – I leave such fineries up to my husband.  Luckily, he was there to coach and help me in my cracking and discovering the very best tendrils of meat.

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The lobster was served with butter and a remoulade sauce, both of which were wonderful additions.
I didn’t expect to like the Clam Chowder, and just barely got a picture of it.

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However, it ended up being my favorite part of the meal.  It was clearly fresh, and was filled with generous chunks of clams and potatoes.  I scraped the bottom of the bowl.

We left with four stuffed stomachs and two full boxes of leftovers – I love a restaurant that makes the next day’s lunch a breeze!

As an added benefit, whether you’re dining with kids or not, Railroad Park is only a few blocks away and a perfect place to run off some after-dinner energy.


Disclosure: I was compensated my Birmingham Restaurant Week menu choices in exchange for participating as a Birmingham Restaurant Week blogger. We paid full price for the rest of our meal, and my opinions are always my own.

Rachel is a Birmingham-Based Blogger who writes at Grasping for Objectivity and runs this networking site for all Alabama Bloggers. She and her family love eating out, especially at local establishments where the food is divine and kids are welcomed with open arms.

Best Post of the Week: Week 167


It's time to link in your best post of the week!

The purpose of this column is to make it easier to keep up with each other's blogs, so that even if we don't have time to read all of the Alabama Blogger blogs every day, at least we get the week's highlights.

So, link up, tell us why you linked that post, and let's start reading! And remember - the best way to get new blogging friends is to comment on other people's posts, so be sure to say "hi" to your neighbors when you visit!

p.s. - please feel free to interpret "this week" as loosely as you like!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Birmingham Restaurant Week: Nabeel's Cafe.

I couldn’t help myself.

I blog and tweet about Nabeel’s Café constantly, so I wasn’t going to cover them as part of my Birmingham Restaurant Week schedule.

But I was magnetized…irresistibly drawn…and just couldn’t avoid my favorite restaurateur in the whole world.

John.

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(And his manager Marie, who is also wonderful.)

John Krontiras is the epitome of a Greek Gentleman, and absolutely overflowing with Greek hospitality.  Did you know that Greeks are far more hospitable than Southerners? So guess what you get when you transplant a Greek into the South?

That would be John.

He has created a wonderfully inviting atmosphere with cozy, high-backed booths and three separate dining rooms.

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He is a familiar presence in his restaurant, walking around with a cup of coffee, pausing to visit with his guests, and going off in search of treats for his guest’s children.

Nabeels
He also knows how to cook well.  With help from his Executive Chef, Alan Nelson, they serve up unbelievably flavorful dishes of both American and Mediterranean varieties and a mixture of the two, such as the Bifteki, my vote as the best hamburger in Alabama.

For Birmingham Restaurant Week, I took a newbie to Nabeel’s, so before I even looked at the special menu, I had to make her try the Feta Theologos.

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Wrapped in an aluminum foil swan and baked with herbs and oil, this warm feta spread is simply decadent.

For Birmingham Restaurant Week, John chose to feature his two(!!) dishes that are featured in 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die.

He offered a $10 option, which includes The Camel Rider sandwich and a honey cookie, and a $15 option, which includes a Greek Salad, choice of Hummus or Taramasalata Dip, Moussaka, and a honey cookie.

(For the record, $15 for a four-course meal is about as fabulous of a deal as Restaurant Week has to offer.)

Despite my weekly Nabeel’s habit, I had never tried the Moussaka or the Camel Rider, so I left the decision in my favorite waitress (and manager) Lynne’s hands.  She decided that I needed to try the Moussaka.  I started out with Hummus, which is wonderfully thick with a pleasing punch of garlic.

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Then enjoyed my Greek Salad with Nabeel’s house dressing.

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I keep several bottles of their dressing in my pantry at all times, as I use it to marinate meats and mix into my hamburgers for added flavor.

I then received my new taste: the Moussaka.

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For those of you who aren’t familiar with Moussaka, it’s a Greek casserole similar to Pastitsio, except with eggplant instead of noodles.  It includes a layer of grilled eggplant, then ground beef, then béchamel, which is a white sauce that when cooked, adds a fluffy, mild, cream layer.

My first bite made me wonder why it had taken me so long to try Moussaka.  It was so homey, comforting, and hey! It has eggplant, so it’s automatically good for you, right?  I could already tell that Moussaka would be one of those dishes that I’ll crave when I’m not feeling well on a cold, winter day.

I finished my meal off with a honey cookie, which was more like a small coffee cake.  Topped with cinnamon and drizzled with honey, it was a wonderful way to end the meal.

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In short, I was reminded yet again as to why Nabeel’s is one of my favorite places to dine.  It draws me back to my Greek roots – of eating authentic dishes at my Grandparent’s house, and of being surrounded by Greek hospitality and family.

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Disclosure: I was compensated my meal for participating as a Birmingham Restaurant Week blogger. My opinions are always my own.



Rachel is a Birmingham-Based Blogger who writes at Grasping for Objectivity and runs this networking site for all Alabama Bloggers. She and her family love eating out, especially at local establishments where the food is divine and kids are welcomed with open arms.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Birmingham Restaurant Week Date Night: Little Savannah.

Chris and I have passed by Little Savannah Restaurant and Bar dozens of times on our way to their next-door neighbor, Silvertron Café.  Every time we walk by, we tell each other, “We have GOT to go there sometime!”

Little Savannah
As always, Birmingham Restaurant Week is the perfect opportunity to try new places, so we decided to enjoy our date night there.

And it was fabulous.

Little Savannah is committed to local sourcing of their foods, some even coming from the Propreitress Maureen’s garden out back.  Their menu changes daily to ensure that they can offer the freshest local produce available.

They have a small, cozy, café/bar feel, offering quiet spots for chatting and catching up.

Little Savannah Bar
I ordered the restaurant week menu, and Chris ordered a couple of small plates.   I quickly realized that I was totally unqualified and unworthy to review their food – it was far too phenomenal for my minimal culinary knowledge.

My first course was Roasted Corn Chowder with Basil Pistou.

Little Savannah Corn Chowder
Being that I’m not a true foodie but simple someone who really, really likes good food, I have to admit: I had no idea what Pistou was.  In case you don’t either, it’s a cold sauce made with garlic cloves, basil, and olive oil.  And, when stirred into an extremely beautifully made corn chowder, adds a perfect touch of seasoning.

I finished my Corn Chowder and scraped the bottom with my spoon, determined to get every last bit.
For his first course, Chris ordered the Slow-Roasted Pork Belly.  His description can be translated as delightfully rich, ever-so-slightly crunchy on top, and meltingly tender underneath. In practice, his description was a series of primordial moans, facial expressions of surprise, and random words of exclamation.

Little Savannah Pork Belly
My next course was the Fried Alabama Catfish, Stewed Tomato and Okra, and McEwen and Sons Grits.

The catfish is fried southern-style – It is a crispy, cornmeal batter that lends an awesome salty flavor to the fish.  The stewed okra had a kick to it that was sharp enough for my husband to appreciate and mild enough for me to still enjoy.

Little Savannah Birmingham Restaurant Week
Chris followed up with the wild caught Gulf Shrimp and Grits. He did not share this dish with me. He did not even offer, although he cleaned the plate completely. Per him, the grits were wonderfully thick and creamy, the shrimp perfectly firm, and he even ate the mushrooms – and he hates mushrooms. And of course, he wasn’t opposed to the fact that half of the lovely little pieces were not mushrooms, but thick chunks of bacon.

Little Savannah Shrimp and Grits
We ended with the Southern-Banana Pudding, which was fabulous.  It was creamy and rich without being too sweet, and was a perfect way to end the evening. Please note that this pudding is apparently prepared separately from and served over fresh, crunchy vanilla wafers. This innovation, according to my husband, is on a scale of societal change somewhere between the invention of the wheel and the Internet.

Little Savannah Banana Pudding
Little Savannah is a wonderful example of  high cuisine paired with local sourcing, together creating a fabulous setting for casual southern romance.

Disclosure: I was compensated my entrée in exchange for participating as a Birmingham Restaurant Week blogger. We paid full price for the rest of our meal, and my opinions are always my own.

Rachel is a Birmingham-Based Blogger who writes at Grasping for Objectivity and runs this networking site for all Alabama Bloggers. She and her family love eating out, especially at local establishments where the food is divine and kids are welcomed with open arms.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Birmingham Restaurant Week: Slice Pizza

Located in Avondale, Slice Pizza and Brew is a fresh, exciting take on dining.  You might drive by their location three times before locating it (not that I would do something like that), so look closely at their quaint, bungalow home before heading in that direction:

Slice Pizza
You’re welcome.

They offer deck dining,

Slice Pizza Deck
quiet patio dining,

Slice Pizza Veranda
and a bustling, open indoor dining room.

Slice Pizza Dining Room
I’ve only had the pleasure of visiting Slice once before this week, and for that visit, I did not have the company of the rest of my family.  So I was eager to snatch the opportunity to take my family along for Birmingham Restaurant Week.

For their Birmingham Restaurant Week menu, Slice offers the option of a $10 lunch selection and a $20 dinner selection.  The lunch menu includes a side salad and two slices of pizza, which is enough to feed me for two meals.  The dinner menu includes a full sized salad, a 12 inch Pizza, and a slice of cheesecake – I’m assuming this could feed three of me for a week.

Obviously, I opted for the lunch menu.

I have to say, I was most excited about the salad.  The caliber of Slice’s salad selections makes me wonder if perhaps they misnamed their restaurant – clearly they need something in the title about having the most fabulous, fresh, locally sourced, gourmet salads in Birmingham.

We ended up ordering three Restaurant Week meals – one for my husband, one for me, and one for the kids to split.

Which meant that we got to order three of these unforgettable salads.

For the kids, I ordered the house salad, substituting the Dijon Vinaigrette for their favorite, Ranch.

Slice Pizza House Salad
It was so good that I almost hated wasting it on the kids.

(Okay, that was mean.  Kids deserve to eat well, too.)

Topped with candied pecans and Alabama goat cheese and accompanied with cherry tomatoes, it was divine.  The cheese was so creamy and smooth in texture – so much so that it made me question my Greek heritage.  Alabama totally has Greece beat on the goat cheese – at least at Slice.

Chris ordered the Spinach Salad, and I’m pretty sure that his choice was based solely on the accompanying dressing – Warm Bacon Vinaigrette.

Slice Pizza Spinach Salad 
After inhaling it dreamily, he even
made me smell his dressing.  It was quite bacony.

I didn’t taste his, but he said that the bacon dressing gave the salad a very satisfying smoked taste.  I have a feeling that every salad dressing hereafter will pale in comparison for my bacon-loving husband.

I chose the Dale Salad with Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette.  

Slice Pizza Salad
Of the three, it was the simplest – offering almonds, avocado, and bacon.  It was cool, refreshing, and exactly what I had hoped it would be.

After our salads, they brought out our pizza – two slices per order, one slice per plate.  Which meant that we had a line of waiters bringing SIX plates of pizza to our table.

Chris got a slice of Cheese and Pepperoni (and combined his plating to make room for all of the food):

Slice Pizza Pepperoni Cheese
When I first saw the pizza, I was worried that it was the type I don’t like.  I’m not a huge pizza person, and I’m fairly sensitive to thin, crunchy crusts.

But I tried mine and was delightfully surprised.  The crust wasn’t at all overcooked and crunchy – it had the right balance of tenderness and chewiness.  And the cheese was decadently flavorful and thick, making me realize that their use of fresh, local ingredients is clearly evidenced in their pizzas as well as their salads.

I ate quite a bit more than I expected, all while finishing off the kid’s salad as well.

Oops.

Speaking of the kids, they are now complete fans of Slice.

Ali ate more than I would have thought her tiny stomach could hold, and told me, “I REALLY like this place, Mommy!!”

Slice Pizza Likes Kids 2
And Noah, who usually refuses any and all pizza, made his first Pizza Exception for Slice.

Slice Pizza Likes Babies
Our take on Slice Pizza? Gourmet food, good prices, and completely kid-approved.

Slice Pizza Likes Kids
We will definitely be back soon!

Disclosure: I was compensated my entrée in exchange for participating as a Birmingham Restaurant Week blogger. We paid full price for the rest of our meal, and my opinions are always my own.


Rachel is a Birmingham-Based Blogger who writes at Grasping for Objectivity and runs this networking site for all Alabama Bloggers. She and her family love eating out, especially at local establishments where the food is divine and kids are welcomed with open arms.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Best Post of the Week: Week 166


It's time to link in your best post of the week!

The purpose of this column is to make it easier to keep up with each other's blogs, so that even if we don't have time to read all of the Alabama Blogger blogs every day, at least we get the week's highlights.

So, link up, tell us why you linked that post, and let's start reading! And remember - the best way to get new blogging friends is to comment on other people's posts, so be sure to say "hi" to your neighbors when you visit!

p.s. - please feel free to interpret "this week" as loosely as you like!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Birmingham Restaurant Week: A Photojournal.

I absolutely adore the depth, personality, and quality of our local restaurant scene, so Birmingham Restaurant Week is one that I anticipate with great excitement every year. Vulcan overlooked the festivities of this year’s Preview Party.

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And I don’t know if he realized it or not, but there was also an imposter in the midst.
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Fabulous restauranteurs were around every corner of Vulcan’s museum both inside and out, including owner John Krontiras and manager Marie from Nabeel’s Café, IMG_7170

Marco and his wife, Elan, working side by side for Silvertron Café, IMG_7245

And a very fun crew from Maki Fresh. IMG_7260

Michael’s Restaurants offered a delicious dichotomy of crab cakes (which I didn’t get a photo of but were my favorite entrée of the night) and chicken wings, IMG_7172

And Ted’s Restaurant spoiled us all with generous helpings of Banana Pudding (which, by the way, is considered a vegetable on their menu. What could be more right than that??) IMG_7177

Vino also offered sweets, in the form of Apple Fritters. IMG_7191

Jim N Nick’s served up some of their best cold selections, Chicken Salad and Pimento Cheese, IMG_7194

And Little Donkey offered an entire meal - Wood oven braised green chicken & rice, doused in one
of my favorite flavors, tomatillo salsa. IMG_7202

La Paz offered a stunning Shrimp and Pico along with Cuban Quesadillas, IMG_7255

And Silvertron offered my favorite dessert, their infamous White Chocolate Bread Pudding. IMG_7276

I ran into some of my favorite twitter friends and their friends, including Chanda and Sonya, IMG_7181

Jamie and Patrick, IMG_7207

Carla Jean and Michael, IMG_7249

And one of the masters of Restaurant Week ceremony, Laura Kate. IMG_7221

And I can’t forget my fabulous date and photographer, Chris. IMG_7272

The entire event made every guest feel like a celebrity, right down to the red carpet. IMG_7238

The setting was stunning, IMG_7261

and really – what better backdrop for Birmingham Restaurant Week than the city that we are celebrating? IMG_7284

But if you missed the Preview Party, don’t despair! Everything that was served is available for the next 10 days – at it’s respective restaurant. So go! Partake! And celebrate the festivity that is Birmingham Restaurant Week.

Rachel is a Birmingham-Based Blogger who writes at Grasping for Objectivity and runs this networking site for all Alabama Bloggers. She and her family love eating out, especially at local establishments where the food is divine and kids are welcomed with open arms.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Be Freshfully in August!

I remember the moment I first heard of Freshfully.  It was one of those ideas - the brilliant ones - that make you scream at yourself, "Why didn't I think of that??"

Jen and Sam of Freshfully launched their website in November 2011 as a marketplace for fresh, locally grown produce, dairy, and other food items.  Farmers can list their items for sale, and consumers have a single place to go to track down the honestly-grown items that they're looking for.

It's such a fabulous way to promote buying local, buying fresh, and supporting the community.

A few months later, they entered the Occupy Avondale contest to attempt to win six months of free rent in a storefront.  They were required to submit financial projections and a business plan, give their pitch to community leaders, and then answer follow-up questions about their projected traffic and sales.


In May of 2012, they won the contest, which allowed them to open a storefront on a beautiful street in Avondale, again offering local produce, meat, dairy, coffee, candy, honey, sauces, and other products.
 


Farmers sell their produce to them for resell, and Freshfully doesn't charge a slotting fee like most grocers, thereby benefiting the farmers significantly.

They have a great selection, and bill themselves as "happy people selling local food."



If you haven't visited Freshfully yet, this is the perfect time to experience their store.  And if you're a regular, listen up, because you can benefit from this too: for the month of August, they are offering a 10% discount in the market to all of you!! All that you have to do is say, "Who's Your Farmer?" when you check out.

Easy enough, no?  And a fabulous way to buy local, support local, and eat fabulous food.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Birmingham Restaurant Week: Chart Your Course.

It is time to break your piggy banks, count your change, and plan your schedule.

The ten day celebration of Birmingham's foodie culture is upon us.



If you have yet to discover the local restaurant scene in Birmingham (and don't feel bad - it took me years as well), then this is your opportunity to widely sample the best that Birmingham has, and at a discounted price.  You will discover the special touches of our local chefs and restauranteurs that make your dining experiences at their restaurants make you feel like you're in a favorite family member's home.

The festivities begin on August 15 with the Preview Party.  This is one of our favorite events every year,  because we get to eat at many of our favorite local restaurants in one fabulous meal. 

And then, starting on August 17, The Main Event Begins.

So trust me.  Go to the Birmingham Restaurant Week website.  Drool over all of the fantastic menus posted by Birmingham's best restaurants.  And chart yourself a food tour that you will never forget.

Plan an epic date night - one more affordable than it would usually be - at Hot and Hot Fish Club, Little Savannah, or Veranda on Highland.

Take the kids out with you one night, where they will be awarded with their own specialized Restaurant Week menu - at Nabeel's Cafe, Jim N Nicks Southside, or Silvertron Cafe.

Grab a $5 lunch during the workday - at Maki Fresh, Rusty's Bar-B-Que, or Ted's Restaurant.

Go out with friends for a casual dinner - at Little Donkey, La Paz, or Billy's Sports Bar and Grill.

Those are just some ideas - there are dozens more dining options, just waiting to be explored.   I'll be blogging about our Birmingham Restaurant Week adventures, and I hope to hear about yours as well!

Best Post of the Week: Week 165


It's time to link in your best post of the week!

The purpose of this column is to make it easier to keep up with each other's blogs, so that even if we don't have time to read all of the Alabama Blogger blogs every day, at least we get the week's highlights.

So, link up, tell us why you linked that post, and let's start reading! And remember - the best way to get new blogging friends is to comment on other people's posts, so be sure to say "hi" to your neighbors when you visit!

p.s. - please feel free to interpret "this week" as loosely as you like!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Best Post of the Week: Week 164


It's time to link in your best post of the week!

The purpose of this column is to make it easier to keep up with each other's blogs, so that even if we don't have time to read all of the Alabama Blogger blogs every day, at least we get the week's highlights.

So, link up, tell us why you linked that post, and let's start reading! And remember - the best way to get new blogging friends is to comment on other people's posts, so be sure to say "hi" to your neighbors when you visit!

p.s. - please feel free to interpret "this week" as loosely as you like!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Best Post of the Week: Week 163


It's time to link in your best post of the week!

The purpose of this column is to make it easier to keep up with each other's blogs, so that even if we don't have time to read all of the Alabama Blogger blogs every day, at least we get the week's highlights.

So, link up, tell us why you linked that post, and let's start reading! And remember - the best way to get new blogging friends is to comment on other people's posts, so be sure to say "hi" to your neighbors when you visit!

p.s. - please feel free to interpret "this week" as loosely as you like!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

#AlaBlogMeet This Friday!!

We're throwing together a last minute #AlaBlogMeet because, well, we just like hanging out.

So if you would like to join us, we would be honored!

We're meeting on Friday, July 27 at 11:30 at Jim N Nicks Homewood.

If you can come, RSVP on this post!!

See For Yourself: Week Ten

See For Yourself is a weekly feature on Alabama Bloggers that gives you a short list of great bloggers that you should be following.  Click through to their blogs and see for yourself why!

Carol Marks @ Carol Marks Online and Girl Gad About (Twitter: @camarks, @RocketCityBlogs) - Carol is a blogger that has been around before any of us knew what bloggers were.  A true pioneer in the field, she shares her life beautifully and eloquently.  She resides in Huntsville and is an avid promoter of blogger networking in her city. 

Buddy @ The Cobalt Club (Twitter: @BhamProfile, @TheCobaltClub) - Buddy is a storyteller, and a very good one at that. He will pull you into his tales and leave you wanting to know more. 

Micha @ Cookin' Mimi and Small Town Pilgrim (Twitter: @tiamimi) - Micha is a true small-town Alabama girl.  She offers fabulous recipes, thoughts, and tips.  Her genuine kindness comes through in her blog and on twitter. 

Will you be featured next week?  Check back to See For Yourself!  And feel free to make nominations for blogs that should be featured in future See For Yourself articles!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Best In Alabama: The Hamburger.

For a long time, I've wanted to start a series about the best food in Alabama.  Who has the best fries?  The best ranch dressing?  The best chocolate cake?  The idea was to post my own findings, let everyone weigh in their own favorite of that particular item, and if anyone had a specific category that they would like to feature, offer the opportunity for guest posts.

This idea came from the subject of this first post: the best hamburger in Alabama.  Because sometimes, the best discoveries are in the most unexpected places. 

I didn't try this hamburger for years, despite my longtime dining habit at it's home.  Mainly because I'd never considered getting a burger there - after all, it was a place of Mediterranean delights - why would I get a hamburger?

But thank goodness for my husband, who is never afraid to try the hamburger anywhere.  From the second I laid eyes on his order (and most certainly after I'd swindled more than one bite from his plate), I knew I'd found the best hamburger in Alabama.

The Bifteki at Nabeel's Cafe and Market.



We first tried it a few years ago, and have probably eaten half the Biftekis that they've served in total since.

The Bifteki is special because it is most definitely a Greek Hamburger.  It isn't lamb, though - it's beef.  So don't get scared off if you're afraid to eat cute, furry things that say baaa.  

The beef is seasoned with Greek oregano, stuffed with Feta cheese, and topped (and sided) with Kefalograviera cheese.

The combination is heavenly.

For garnishment you're provided the normal fixings - onions, tomatoes, and lettuce, and you are also rewarded with tzatziki sauce and greek dressing.


Here's the way to fix it right: add the vegetables that you want, then smear the bun with the entire offering of tzatziki.  I don't normally say this about a hamburger, but skip the ketchup entirely.  Put the burger together, then dip it into the Greek dressing before each bite. 

Your mouth will thank you.

The richness of this burger is unspeakable.  The moistness added by having the feta inside the burger is hard to beat, and the offsetting tartness of the Greek dressing is phenomenal.  The fries are also outstanding, seasoned with Greek spices and cooked just right.  And they're also delicious when dipped in the Greek dressing.

And here's a bonus tip: Ask to sit in Lynne's section.  She's the best waitress in Alabama.  Who wouldn't want to have the best burger served by the best waitress?


What is your favorite hamburger?


Do you have a contribution to the Best in Alabama?  If you would like to guest post or make a suggestion for a place to visit, comment on the post, or email me at rachel@alabamabloggers.com.
If you haven't linked up and introduced yourself yet, be sure to go here to do so!