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#1 Nathan

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 03:05 PM

I'll be there this weekend and looking for any recommendations?

internet searching comes up with the following places that might be of interest:

Highlands Bar & Grill
Mudtown (for food? the cocktails look horrible)
41st Street Pub & Aircraft Sales
Blatantly Obvious Disclaimer:

My opinions are obviously my personal opinions. Not yours. Not universal.


#2 Evelyn

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 03:46 PM

Highlands is the best in town. It's 'sister' restaurants-Bottega, Bottega Cafe and Chez Fon Fon are also good-with Bottega being my 2nd favorite.

Hot and Hot Fish Club
Ocean
Verandah

There really isn't much of a cocktail 'scene' in B'Ham. Highlands makes excellent 'real' martinis though ;-)

#3 GordonCooks

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 04:38 PM

Highlands is the best in town. It's 'sister' restaurants-Bottega, Bottega Cafe and Chez Fon Fon are also good-with Bottega being my 2nd favorite.

Hot and Hot Fish Club
Ocean
Verandah

There really isn't much of a cocktail 'scene' in B'Ham. Highlands makes excellent 'real' martinis though ;-)


Another enthusiastic Highlands Recommendation here.
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#4 Nathan

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 03:46 PM

On Saturday I checked out the Hot & Hot Fish Club (won a Beard award in 2013).  pretty space, cocktails are a bit sweet but they're trying.  excellent service...they even pass the napkin test part of the time.

 

apps were good.  main was a grilled monkfish over a bed of root vegetables in some broth.  very standard contemporary "good" restaurant dish.  (veggies were probably individually braised in butter or something.)  everything was done with absolute precision...maybe could have done with a little bit of heat or a touch of vinegar....

menu overall is clearly in the Fleer/Brock milieu.  lots of Glenn Roberts products.

 

anyway, it's quite good don't get me wrong.

 

now the elephant in the room.  place was 99% white. (FoH staff too).  I walked past Highlands, it was 100% white. (FoH staff too).  (I guess that's better than if the customers were all white and the FoH was all African-American.) This is Birmingham.  It has a large African-American population.  high-end restaurants in Georgia are diverse.  not in Birmingham.  this is very troubling.

 

apparently there's a serious cocktail bar in Birmingham now.  Downtown.  Floyd's I think.  Didn't make it there but I ran past it the next morning.


Blatantly Obvious Disclaimer:

My opinions are obviously my personal opinions. Not yours. Not universal.


#5 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 03:53 PM

I think that has more to do with the pattern of economic growth in Atlanta as compared to Birmingham rather than some comment on difference in underlying structural social issues - if you follow my drift. But an interesting observation.

 

I wonder if Charlotte is more integrated as well?


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#6 Evelyn

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Posted 10 February 2015 - 04:04 AM

As someone who grew up in Birmingham and spends time in both restaurants you 'call out' I wonder why you call out the diversity (or lack there of) on one particular night. I have to say I find it offensive. Also, you would have had to walk into Highlands to be sure, as there are two rooms in addition to the main dining room you can see from the street. I can personally vouch for the fact that African Americans are more than welcome at both establishments ;-).

#7 Evelyn

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Posted 10 February 2015 - 04:08 AM

Also, Birmingham is sorely lacking in FOH staff, whether black or white. If you would like to have a conversation with either of the owners about your concerns, i would be happy to facilitate it.

#8 Evelyn

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Posted 10 February 2015 - 04:22 AM

And, I could also mention the meals I have had in NYC at Jean Georges, Marea, Per Se, ADNY, March (when they existed) and the rooms were not diverse in regard to the guests or the FOH staff.

If you had spent more than a couple of days in BHM, you would come to realize that there is a lot more 'harmony' there than most other cities.

#9 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 10 February 2015 - 11:34 AM

New York and Boston are the two most segregated cities in the country.

"This is a battle of who blinks first, and we've cut off our eyelids"


#10 Evelyn

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Posted 10 February 2015 - 03:31 PM

New York and Boston are the two most segregated cities in the country.


Not saying they aren't :-). Just relating my anecdotal dining experiences in NYC. Just because a restaurant in Birmingham doesn't have any (or just a few) ethnicities other than caucasions dining on a particular night that there is an issue with segregation. Same for NYC. I would say that there is less tension in Birmingham over racial issues than in some areas (like the Bronx).

#11 mitchells

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Posted 10 February 2015 - 03:39 PM

Lex wants to know if the Chinese food in Birmingham is worth a detour.



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#12 Evelyn

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Posted 10 February 2015 - 03:59 PM

If he likes Chung King, book a ticket now!

#13 Rail Paul

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Posted 10 February 2015 - 07:41 PM

Restaurants which rely heavily on part time employees and which offer both lunch and dinner may have several dozen FOH employees, most of whom will not be working on a particular shift. (I think the preference of some employers to keep individual hours under the ACA threshold may be a factor here, too.)

 

Trainiing programs for front of the house service may vary widely in various cities, as well. Having a culinary program in the local community college is a definite plus.  In other places, training is casual, and on the job. Having a formal program in high schools etc will offer students the opportunity sample employment.

 

Our local community food bank organization has run a food handlers certification and basic training program for prospective kitchen staff, which has graduated and placed more than a hundred graduates. I don't believe there's an FOH equivalent, but it would seem to be a good idea.


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#14 Nathan

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Posted 25 February 2016 - 08:30 PM

The Gibson has been talked about for some time as one of the best cocktail bars in the South.  and rightfully so.  Better than any place in Charleston or even Atlanta that I've been too (if not quite up to the best of New Orleans or Anvil in Houston).

 

John Currence (of City Grocery and Snackbar in Oxford, MS) has been acclaimed for a decade or so.  Anyway, he's opened a branch of his Big Bad Breakfast in Birmingham.  It's very straightforward: I had fried chicken, waffles, and a Bloody Mary (not from a mix, they were pureeing stuff and grating in horseradish on the spot)....all of that for $16.  all scratchmade breakfast stuff.  for super cheap.  and really good for what it is.  they were turning a lot of tables, that's the only way I can see it working economically.


Blatantly Obvious Disclaimer:

My opinions are obviously my personal opinions. Not yours. Not universal.


#15 Rail Paul

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 04:56 PM

WSJ visits Birmingham for a weekender section.  They found a lot of good food, good music, places to drink, and an overall good experience.

 

Liked Highlands.  Liked Saw's BBQ (three locations) and its mayo-vinegar-hot sauce. Liked the Collins Bar and its art inspired tunnel access.

 

the writer was fascinated by the Negro Southern League Museum, a repository of information about the teams which saw Willie Mays, Satchel Paige and many others achieve stardom.

 

Hot and Hot Fish Club for a dinner of Gulf fish.  Railroad Park for a cold pull of beer.  Parkside, a neighborhood bar, with an Airstream trailer. No mention of shady characters, though.  Carrigan's Public House for another drink and an opportunity to watch trains pass. B'ham was once the crossing point of the Southern Railway, the Louisville & Nashville, the Illinois Central, and others.

 

Galley & Garden for a Sunday brunch.

 

Definitely a clip and save article.

 

http://www.sawsbbq.com/

 

https://www.wsj.com/...-ala-1506016015


Dreams come in all sizes, shapes, and colors.