Archive for the ‘food’ Category

The Ham’s off. Today, we have chicken.

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

Actually, yesterday’s ‘Ham was chicken, and I’m just a little late posting it. I’d gotten a ticket to the Kick’n Chick’n Wing Fest- which was a cook-off to benefit Magic Moments, a group that helps grant wishes to terminally ill children- but I got there very late in the fest. This is NOT advisable when the fest involves good eats. A few restaurants were starting to run out of wings when I arrived- including Demetri’s BBQ, which had just won the People’s Choice award.

Demetri's wins People's Choice

I didn’t get to sample the wings from Demetri’s, but I did get to try the awesome guava and habanero hot wings from another big winner:

Sweet Bones wins Best All Around

On the other end of the sensory spectrum, my next-block-over neighbor, Mellow Mushroom, won the Sweetest Thang award, and the Shake Your Tailfeather award, for best booth decoration. (I’m just happy noone made any Tailhook jokes, especially considering the lovely lasses running said booth.) The winning wings are the ones in the foreground of the shot. Oddly, the only ones in the picture I did not try. I guess it gives me yet another reason to make the long one block walk to the ‘Shroom.

Mellow Mushroom wings

Don’t ask what this is all about. I know, but it’s more fun if I don’t tell you.

Feed your goat

Now that you know some of the best wing spots in town (locals, please comment with your faves!), let’s move on to some of the other things at the fest. First, you’ll see a little blue bag flying through the air at the top of the next photo. That’s right- it sounds Freudian but isn’t- the family that cornholes together stays together.

The family that cornholes together stays together.

And what southern fest would be complete without a band playing bad covers of classic rock & blues? OK, that was harsh. They actually are good musicians, even if I don’t care for their playlist.

Covers on a trailer...

“Keep practicing, kid…someday you can also be a creepy bass player in a cover band….”

Creepy bass player.  OK, he wasn't that creepy.

I left after about 30 minutes, as the event was wrapping up. On the way out, I found my stalkers. These Monster folks have their truck everywhere I go- even if it’s just late night in the nearly empty parking lot of my grocery store. This time, they handed me a free can of the stuff. Could come in handy in a couple of weeks, when I get the 3am shift.

My stalkers

Even though I was only there for about 30 minutes, I enjoyed the fest. I was happy to make some new friends, see some old ones, and also to have yet another body on-site for an event to support a group doing some very good work.

If anyone makes a Who Let The Dogs Out? reference, I’ll punch them in the teeth.

Friday, October 9th, 2009

Where’s the beef? Not on my burger. A few days ago, my friend Robbie gave me a tip about Baha Gourmet Burgers, the new lunch spot near my office.


To its credit, it’s also open for dinner. Even more to its credit, it’s one of the best burgers I’ve had in quite a while. I had a chicken burger with arugula and tropical salsa. That’s just the sort of thing you’ll find there. Burgers range from beef to pork to salmon to veggie. You can get them with chutney, remoulade, Aioli, and a variety of other toppings. Each of their regular-build burgers even has a beer pairing on the menu….even the baby burger for kids. It’s paired with root beer. :)

So why post about a new burger joint? Besdies the fact it’s pretty tasty, I was interested to see there are just three lcoations: two in the metro (Hoover, to be exact), and another in Isla Ensenada. Yes, that’s right- it’s in that wonderland of malaria, Panama. Now, the other interesting bit. It was founded by the owners of a small chain of Greek restaurants. Let’s do the math: purveyors of Greek fare open a Hawaiian-surfer-scene themed burger joint, and open one in central America. I don’t really get it, either…but I do do get that the sweet potato fries are very tasty.

Nothing says ‘Opa!’ like eating lunch in a parking deck.

Friday, September 25th, 2009

A non-traditional lunch is a big tradition in Birmingham. Every year, thousands of people gather in the parking deck of a downtown church for a massive Greek fest that centers on the food.

Greek food in a parking deck!

A parking deck isn’t the most inviting atmosphere for lunch, but people keep coming back for the good eats. It was load and hot, but the company was good- and somewhere in the background, we could actually hear a Greek band (Well, actually some guys with a drum machine and a few bouzoukis) playing Miserlou.

The assembly line.

The folks who put on the festival have a lot of practice at feeding thousands in a place designed more for storing cars than being a dining hall. Over nearly four decades, they’ve developed a great assembly line technique for keeping folks from standing in line.

I enjoyed my short stay in the parking deck- but I doubt I return during the rest of the weekend. Saturday and Sunday are reserved for one of my true loves- the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival. This year will be a challenging one- as I love short films, and the blocks of shorts are way too close together timewise- and way too far apart geographically.

In any other bar, it would have been disturbing…

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

I went down to J. Clyde tonight to have dinner, hang out with some friends, and have a bit more of one of the beers featured at Oktoberfest. (The Big O from Pennichuck, for the record) When I ordered my dinner, the bartender asked if I wanted a cupcake. That’s not something a bartender frequently asks. One of the cooks came out with a tray of them, and I selected a chocolate one with a cherry on top. After my dinner (the kitchen staff was kind enough to substitute some Spaetzle leftover form Oktoberfest for the fries), I launched into the cupcake. I must say, it’s one of the best I’ve ever had. It was cream filled, with a crunchy wafer-ish bit at the bottom. On the way out, I commented to the cook that it was one of the best cupcakes I’ve had in a long time. She shot back that I’d just made her day.

Yet another thing I like about my little corner of Birmingham. Anywhere else, I might not have trusted a bar cupcake. But J. Clyde is sort of like my ‘Cheers’- and I’m pretty happy about that.