Posts in Good Eats
Pies & Pints - Birmingham, AL

The day before Thanksgiving I came into town, and I mt my mom at this new spot that I was hearing people talk about Pies and Pints downtown Birmingham. I was excited about the prospect of good food and they did not dissapoint, well kind of. I ordered the chipotle chicken pizza and it was just ok. But my mom ordered the Classic, and I am so glad she doesn't eat much because it was absolutely delicious, and I ate her left overs, and a good deal of her pizza while were sitting there. That pizza was so good that  contemplated going back on Sunday for another helping an hopefully some for the road, but I digress. 

The atmosphere was modern with plenty of clean lines, and did I mention how great that "Classic" was. I was weary when I saw it had mushroom and banana peppers on it but the flavors have never complimente themselves o well that it created a glorious 6 part harmony in my mouth. 

Pros: nice dining space

Cons: Chipotle chicken pizza was nothing to write home about

Verdict: I will most certainly be back

 

Taco Mama - Birmingham, AL & Auburn, AL

So there is a Taco Mama in both the cities I live. they both popped up within months of themselves. While I have been to the one in Birmingham more than the one in Auburn, I think this review will be useful for both locations (an probably any others that are around as well). 

So it's not the best tacos I have ever had (Click here for my favorites) but when you factor in all of the perks it's still a pretty sweet spot. So The tacos are good in both crunchy shell and soft shell. I'm not a fan of the shredded meat but I did enjoy the chicken, steak, shrimp, and ground beef tacos (I would tell you about the flounder, but I am deathly allergic (yikes)). These are tex mex tacos, which I typically prefer over the authentic stuff. So they use yellow cheese and flour tortillas, so if that's your thing you'll enjoy it.

I like the energy of the restaurant. I'm quite the fan of the garage door deal, it makes the retaurant feel like you're eating outside without the sacrifice of air conditioning. 

Pros: Great Ambiance. Decent Food. 

Cons: Slightly Over priced. Perpetually Busy.

Verdict: Yea I'll go back if its conveinient. 

Fisher's - Dockside - Orange Beach, AL

2 dining experiences. I'm a fan of them both!

When I really begin to think of places that I would indoctrinate into tradition Fisher's would be one of those places. Actually I could probably build an entire resort out of their entire set up. What I love about Fisher's is that they offer 2 unique dining experiences. You can sit dockside, and enjoy the breeze outside, and check out all of the yachts that are docked or you can sit upstairs in the dining room for a multi course high star meal. Both meals are exceptional, and both experiences are worth writing home about (as you see I am lol). 

From the frozen palmer to the oysters, to the awesome dishes I had Fisher's is one of those places I could come for a night out with friends, a date night or just a quite night alone. After dinner you can take a casual stroll up the dock and really enjoy yourself. This place was completly up my alley. 

Food: Flavorful

Ambiance: Refreshing

Pros: Location is quaint yet on the water

Cons: The summer in Alabama tends to be sticky, so eating outside isn't always delightful, if you've spent your day sweaty.

Verdict: I'll be back

When I return to the gulf coast with a special someone, I'll be sure to review the dining room.

Tuco's Tex Mex Cantina - Auburn, AL

There is a very small number of places that I eat on the regular. I'm a creature of habit and so when I am not in my foodventure mode I repetitvely frequent a handful of places. Tuco's is one of the places I eat once a week at least. I really love the food. What's interesting is the first time I went, I had high hopes for them, and I was grossly dissapointed. I ordered the absolute wrong thing. So a few months ago I gave them another shot and they quickly went from being on my crap list to my frequent list. 

Tuco's impressed me tonight in a way that I have to tell you about. It's no secret, I'm black and I eat in a lot of spaces that are not usually predominately black. It is the reality of my life. For most of my life I haven't given it 2 thoughts because it is the life I live. In the recent political climate, and the videos of black discrimination emerging on the regular from establishments that seek to exclude people who happen to be wrapped in similar skin as I, I have become more aware of how I look now than ever before. 

Today I strolled into Tuco's as normal, and I was seated, and the waitress brought me some of that delicious salsa and chips, and took my drink order. The difference between today and say last week or the week before is that she didn't return. I didn't think anything of it until anout 15 minutes passed. After 15 minutes I start looking around and I realize no one in the room is black but me. So then naturally I begin to wonder am being discriminated against? Whats happening? I wait another 15 minutes and nothing. So eventually I summon a buss boy over, and I ask him who my waitress is, because I genuine can't remember, he doesn't know but he finds someone. A genteman comes over nervously takes my order because he thinks I'm enraged, (and I'm not). My waitress re-appears, and she is incredibly apologetic. Which is really all I want. I just want to know that you genuinely forgot I was sitting over here in the corner away from your other tables, and you forgot me rather than you not wanting to wait on the only black patron in the restaurant. That's all. She dispelled my fears. After she realized she was waiting on my table, she became the perfect waitress. She returned to the table and made sure I had all that I needed. I was prepared to tip her my typical 30-40% when she covered my bill due to her mistake. 

I wasn't going to hold the mistake over her. I actually was sitting at the table hoping this was a mistake and not discrimination because I love Tuco's so much. There are good people who make honest mistakes, and those are not the people we should villify. Those are the people we pat on the back and dust off, and encourage them to continue in the game. 

Tuco's is one of my favorite restaurants for a number of reasons, beginning with the first time I ever visited and the person I went with. To one of my favoite desserts that I only order (or have seen) at Tuco's, to the good service I always get. They have some of the most delicous taco's I have had, and I am huge fan of their taco salad. Their Sopapilla is good in house and to-go, and I am incredibly grateful that I don't stop patronizing one of my favorite establishments. When we make mistakes we should own them like Jordan did tonight. We should own them and fix them. Our society has a lot of ills but I'm willing to bet that a sincere attempt to right the wrong, is better than sticking to your guns when you're wrong (and you know you are). Jordan has restored a lot hope that seemed lost in our society. For that I am so grateful.

Pros: Amazing Tacos. Great Atmosphere. Genuine People. 

Cons: They are human (but so are we).

Verdict: I'll be back next week.

Hatch Early Mood Food - Oklahoma City, OK

It was a Saturday morning in mid-march I was craving some fried chicken (actually I had been craving fried chicken the whole trip). We stumbled upon this place with a weird name, and it had an hour wait for brunch y'all!! Any other morning it would have been a no. We were on vacation and enjoying one another's company so we put our name on the list and went for a walk. Grabbed some coffee from a local coffee shop, and before we knew it was our time. 

The ambiance was hip and modern. We sat outside in the perfect weather. So it's vacation so I was splurging. I had an appetizer at brunch...so out of the norm but so perfect. I had beignets. Let me preface this by saying that I desperately wanted something fried because it seemed like everything I wanted I wanted I was allergic to. But not at Hatch, They didn't fry in soy and I was over the moon. The beignets came with this orange dip, that I wasn't a fan of, but the beignets were golden perfection.  

My main course, was chicken and waffles and it was accompanied by an odd hot sauce, that made my taste buds tingle. Throw in some honey a top the two and it was heavenly. I had to make modifications to make it great but the atmosphere was the perfect brunch atmosphere . 

 Taste: good

ambiance: perfect brunch ambiance

verdict: The wait was extensive. Food was good. I'd go back

Kitchen 324 - Oklahoma City, OK

When I tell you this place made me so happy on a number of different levels. Let me rewind, when I was in Oklahoma earlier this year, I had just cut out soy from my diet, although i had been allergic for such a long time. There really weren't lot of places that I could eat and actually enjoy the meal. Earlier that morning even, I had Cracker Barrel, and all I could eat were grits without butter or cheese, and some grilled chicken tenders. I was not feeling it (AT ALL) because I enjoy food for both the flavor and the experience, and I was void of flavored.  To happen upon Kitchen 324 a completely organic kitchen, for the first time in a while there were so many options for me to eat. At Kitchen 324 there were options for days, I even got to eat dessert. I got to eat chocolate cake y'all!!!!!

I personally had the Crepe Lasgna, which tasted like heaven on a plate. I didin't really think Lasagna while eating it, but it was heaven in every bite. The Crepe Lasgna was chicken, bacon, with bites of asparagus and CHEESE. Glorious wonderful cheese melted through each bite. Every bite was thoughfully seasoned and made with what I can only descibe as love.

My friend with whom I was travelling, had these sweet potatoes that were called literally what they were, SWEET POTATO, BACON, GOAT CHEESE, BURNT HONEY. I am not even a big sweet potato fan, but the 2 bites I had from her plate, were absolutely delightful. Both bites stopped me dead in my tracks, as if they created some type of nostalgia that created favorable memories then and there. These fries summed up everything in my childhood because it mixed being s kid with being a business mogul trapped in a kid body!

Need I mention dessert time. Being allergic to soy puts quite the hampering on my love affair with chocolate. 97% of chocolate anything seems to have traces of soy in it. Did their Chocolate cake? It did not. Why not? because they make their food with love and fresh ingredients. I enjoyed that chocolate cake with my glass of milk and was in hog heaven. The cookie my friend had, looked delightful as well. She offereed me a bite, but I was so enthralled with the cake in front of me I didn't take the time to taste the cookie, maybe next time. 

Perks: Organic: Allergy Friendly, delicious, accepts reservations, fresh decor, modern atmosphere.

Disadvantages: Not sure, ask me next time (lol)

Verdict: Any day any time, its a win!

Joel's - Trussville, Alabama

I am always surprised when I find a long standing restaurant I've never been to. Earlier this summer I went to Jimmy's, I was rather impressed. I was actually fasting meat, bread and sweets while I was there, which made my choices a little more diminished than any other time. In the midst of fasting, it was definitely still worth the trip. Was it the best, I've ever had? no. But then again this Alabama, and really all we do here is eat and shop so the bar is kind of high. Will I go back? most definitely.

 
Jimmy's