Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Murray's Restaurant List

12-29-09 I added the comments in blue several years ago to this partial group of 75 restaurants from my larger restaurant list, for a couple who came for a vacation in Birmingham. Have not updated my full list in 3 years. Legend is at end. Have not added too many of the newer restaurants yet that opened in the past 3 years. There is an incomplete list at the end that shows most of the newer restaurants. Many newer restaurants are not great. It has always been that way. I don’t like paying $25 to $40 each for a meal and as we leave wish that we had gone to Cracker Barrel or The Purple Onion - not gourmet but always tasty food for $10 or less. The restaurant business is hard. Leasing space is expensive. Finding and keeping good experienced chefs with a good sense of taste, good judgment and without excessive ego is not easy. But the consistently best restaurants - in various price ranges, are almost always filled, as they deserve to be - from word of mouth. Let me know if you know restaurants that are very good every time you go (important consistency). Not covering Mexican, Asian, pizza, burger restaurants on this list. I added a red highlight on first letter of some of the better ones below. Murray

Some Birmingham Restaurants Serving Late Night: §•Brio Tuscan Grille 11:00 F/SA, 879-9177, outside in front of Brookwood Village. §•Cheesecake Factory 11:00 SU-TH & 12:30 F/SA, 262-1800, Summit Shopping Center. §•Romano's Macaroni Grill 11:00 F/SA, 298-7998, Summit Shopping Center. §•Purple Onion Deli & Grill 24 hours, 7 days, 941-9812, 479 Green Springs Highway, Homewood. §•O'Henry's Coffees 12:00 F/SA, 870-1198, 2831 18th Street South, Downtown Homewood. §•P.F. Chang's China Bistro 12:00 F/SA, 967-0040, Summit Shopping Center. §•Bottega Cafe 11:00 F/SA, 933-2001, 2242 Highland Avenue §•Olive Garden Italian 11:00 F/SA, 591-0731, 7701 Crestwood Blvd. §•Olive Garden Italian 11:00 F/SA, 985-4696, 3450 Galleria Circle. §•Stix (Japanese/Chinese) 11:00 F/SA, 982-3070, Galleria Circle. §•P's Oriental Gourmet 11:00 F/SA, 985-7966, 2539 Highway 150. §•Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar 11:00 F/SA, 262-9463, Summit Shopping Center. Bonefish Grill 11:00 F/SA, 985-9545, 3430 Galleria Circle. §•Kelley's Neighborhood Grill 12:00 TH-SA, 323-9786, 720 29th Street South.
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RESTAURANT 12-29-09 PHONE LOCATION DAYS MEALS COST WEAR TYPE HOURS

ALI BABA RESTAURANT 823-2222 1694 MONTG HWAY 6 D M E T 5-9 M/SA
#110 Riverchase Centre 35216. Two months under new owner. Very nice atmosphere. Great service. New chef (his sister) will arrive from Europe 8-26-09. Many new items planned. Will begin lunch soon. Located on right going south on Highway 31, just before I-459, in same strip shopping center as Staples Office Supplies.

BEA'S RESTAURANT 423 867-3618 CHATTANOOGA TN 5 LD L C DC 11-8 W-SU LAZY SUSAN TABLES
All you can eat. Servers continuously bring fresh hot food to the lazy Susan part of the tables including yeast rolls, delicious fried chicken, vegetables, special food items, cobblers. The tables seat 10 people so if a couple, you will be seated with 8 other people that you won't know. 4500 Dodds Avenue Chattanooga TN 37407

BITTY'S BACK PORCH 326-0025 2100 LAKESHORE DR 5 BL M E LP 7:30-9:30, 11-1:30 M-F
Southern Progress Building Homewood 35209. Also, Bitty's Brunch 3rd Sundays 10:30-2:30. $15.99. Kimberly Brock.

BLACK ROCK BISTRO 205 387-0282 JASPER AL 6 LD M E FHKZ 11-2 M-F, 5:30-9:30 TH/F/SA
Two Katrina displaced New Orleans chefs opened restaurant in 2007. Excellent gourmet food, low prices ($11 to $16 dinner entrées. "Fresh gulf seafood, locally grown organic produce and free range beef, poultry, lamb, veal and game are the starting point for dishes created by Chef Lindsey Minor and Chef Greg Kilgore." 40 miles from Birmingham on new I-22. Take Cherry Avenue, a few miles past Finley Avenue, north from Highway 78 to connection to I-22 (Called 78W for now. Watch for it and turn to right off of Hway 78.) gblackrock@aol.com

BOBBIE'S SPORTS BAR/GRILL 640-9979 2325 TOM JONES DRIVE 6 L L C CYH 11-2 M-F MOODY, AL
Very good meat and two vegetable lunch with many extras and free items - 14 miles from Eastwood Mall. Two large pork chops served with pork chop order. Great tasting long thick slice of moist buttered corn bread, slice of tomato, slice of onion, slice of cucumber. $7 includes tea, coffee or cola and tax. They also bring you a free small appetizer and a small dessert, included in price. Bobbie, owner, is also the cook. An experience. Large group of regulars every day. So much good food for $7. Take Moody/Hway 411 Exit 144A from I-20 and turn left. Turn left just before NBC Bank, then first right. Go 150 feet and it is on right.

BONEFISH GRILL 985-9545 3430 GALLERIA CIRCLE 7 D M C KHQ 4-10 M-TH, 11-11 F/SA, 11-9 SU
Hoover 35244. Bang Bang Shrimp appetizer very good.

BOTTEGA ITALIAN REST 939-1000 2240 HIGHLAND AVE 6 D H D XF 6-10:30
Had been exceptional for many years. Had very poor meals there 12-5-08. Off night on $35 to $50 meals is not good.

RESTAURANT 12-29-09 PHONE LOCATION DAYS MEALS COST WEAR TYPE HOURS

BOTTEGA CAFE 933-2001 2242 HIGHLAND AVE 6 LD M C BF 11-11
Completely different menu from Bottega Italian Restaurant next door. Large selection of salads, sandwiches, pastas, entrees, desserts and wood-fired-oven pizzas. Low to medium prices.

BRIO TUSCAN GRILLE 879-9177 BROOKWOOD VILLAGE 7 LD H E XH 11-10, 11 F/SA
Consistently excellent. Northern Italian. Excellent steaks, chicken, grilled salmon with delicate very thin, fascinating, not greasy, match stick size, potatoes deep fried for 20 seconds. Crusted tomato halves, great sides and salads, special breads. Chopped salad with creamy parmesan dressing is good. Italian wedding soup available, but not on menu. Potatoes Brio side with special Parmesan sauce on crusty roasted red potatoes is one of the best things I have eaten anywhere. All their Sides are good, including grilled asparagus, onion straws, Romano cheese crusted half tomatoes, roasted vegetables. If not real hungry (or if real hungry) just order 3 or 4 of their large sides and share.

BUTTERMILK HILL REST 256 207-1001 SYLACAUGA 5 LD H E F 11-2 TU-F, 5-10TU-SA
300 East Third Street Sylacauga, AL 35150. In Victorian frame home built in 1904. Also offering private dining rooms. Outdoor marble patio. Owners Scott Preston Smith and Kara McLendon Bacchi.

CAFE DUPONT 322-1282 113 20TH ST NO 5 LD H D F 11-2 TU-F, 5-10TU-SA
High end restaurant. We ate there a year ago and meals were not great.

CHEESECAKE FACTORY 262-1800 236 SUMMIT BLVD 7 LD M C FYQ 11-11 M-TH, 12:30 F/SA, 10-11 SU
Stays open late. Large servings. Excellent food, except their cheesecakes. Soggy crust on many of their cheesecakes especially the ones with the black cookie crusts. $6 or $7 for cheesecake. Two types with special fillings we ate were quite bad. Stopped ordering cheesecake. Original cheesecake may be good. Other prices are very reasonable. Chicken Madeira $15.95, is excellent, one of the best meals in Birmingham, with an incomparable exquisite sauce: Two or three flattened sautéed chicken breasts on a very large plate, topped with thin layer of melted Mozzarella cheese, covered with fresh mushroom Madeira Sauce. With fresh asparagus spears and very tasty mashed new potatoes. Grilled pork chops are very good. Crispy Chicken Costeletta is also excellent: Chicken breasts, lightly breaded and sautéed to a crisp golden brown. Served with lemon sauce, mashed potatoes, asparagus spears. Their large mound of mashed potatoes has a special seasoning. Open until 12:30 Friday and Saturday. 11:00 other nights.

CHEZ FONFON 939-3221 2007 11TH AVE SO 5 LD M E IQ 11-2:30 TU/F, 5-10 TU-SA
Another Stitt restaurant, next door to Highland Bar & Grill. Same kitchen for both. 2/3s the price of Highland. Excellent restaurant. No bad meals. Bowl of olives on tables. Excellent steaks. Great desserts. 6-layer moist cakes.

CHEZ LULU - ENGLISH VILLAGE 870-7011 1911 CAHABA RD 6 LD M C LQ 11-9 TU-TH, 10:30-10:30 F-SU
Eclectic restaurant and menu. Neat decorations. Worth the time for lunch or dinner. Only a few meat dishes. Their Continental Bakery is next door.

CLASSIC ON NOBLE 256 237-5388 ANNISTON, AL 7 LD H E F 11-2 M-F, 5-9:30 TU-SA, 10:30-2:00 SU BRUNCH 1024 Noble Street Anniston 36201. Very expensive. www.classiconnoble.com

COOL BEANS COFFEE HOUSE 871-2665 1014 OXMOOR ROAD 7 BLD M C LQ 6:30-9 M-TH, 11 F; 8-8 SA/SU
Edgewood in Homewood 35209. Espresso. Meals.

COSTA'S MEDITERRANEAN 978-1603 3443 LORNA RD 6 LD M C TO 11-9, 10 F/SA
Italian and Greek food. Excellent restaurant, $11 to $19 range for full dinners. Same food at lunch for less. No bad food except terrible tasting Shrimp Scampi and sauce. Large servings. Grilled salmon is a huge 12 to 16 ounces with great taste from Greek basting used. Chicken Fettuccini entree is great and very rich. Chicken Parmigiana looks like they are trying to feed a family. Homemade salad dressings are excellent. Bleu cheese best in town. Olive oil on table for bread. Ask for small container of Parmesan cheese. Always enough for meal the next day. Has drive thru. Call ahead and order for drive thru.

COSTA'S MEDITERRANEAN 655-9779 5891 TRUSS. CROSS. PKWY 6 LD M C TO 11-9, 10 F/SA
Trussville 35235. Mixed reviews on this location.




RESTAURANT 12-29-09 PHONE LOCATION DAYS MEALS COST WEAR TYPE HOURS

CYPRESS INN 205 345-6963 TUSCALOOSA, AL 7 LD M C FHK 11-2 SU-F/5-9:30 M-SU
Very nice casual restaurant. Good fried green tomatoes.

DALE'S SOUTHERN GRILL 987-4757 1843 MONTG HWAY 35244 6 LD M C FC 11-9 M-SA. LUNCH SPECIALS 11-4
Hoover. Strip shopping center on left 0.4 mile past Galleria and Hway 150. Outstanding low to medium priced restaurant for almost gourmet-tasting entrées and sides. There were 6 fried green tomatoes with very good batter, but usually only 3 or 4. Full menu or lunch or dinner specials. Extensive menu. Different lunch and dinner specials weekdays. Pecan crusted whole boneless chicken breast was excellent www.dalessoutherngrills.com

DALE'S SOUTHERN GRILL 824-1350 700 MONTG HWAY 35216 6 LD M C FC 11-9 M-SA. LUNCH SPECIALS 11-4
Vestavia Hills.

DALE'S SOUTHERN GRILL 408-8888 5479 HWAY-280 SO 35242 6 LD M C FC 11-9 M-SA. LUNCH SPECIALS 11-4
Greystone.

DANIEL GEORGE 871-3266 2835 CULVER RD 5 D H E FQ 5:30-9:30 TU-TH, 10 F/SA
High end. Most love it. A few poor meals. Daniel Briggs and George McMillan III.

FISH MARKET RESTAURANT 322-3330 612 22ND ST SO 35233 6 LD M C K 10-9, 10 F/SA
George Sarris restaurant. Very good, inexpensive, $10 to $14 for a full meal. Many selections of very fresh fish, shrimp. Grilled fish with special sauce is great. Great hush puppies. Steamed cabbage with olive oil and onions (pints to go $2.19), and steamed broccoli (all florets, no stalks) - both excellent. Green beans also very good, with a few onions. Other vegetables. Greek salad with feta cheese is good. Nice desserts available. Very casual place. Stand in line to place order, get drink glass, find table and wait until buzzer signals food is ready. Lunches $2 to $4 cheaper. Children under 12 are $3 less. Fried fish only lightly floured and pan sautéed, not deep fried. Have not ordered their spicy shrimp lately, and many other styles. Before moving, they used to add 6 to 10 additional shrimp to order and same for fried oysters. Also, Franchise 1: 1681 Montgomery Hway Hoover, AL 35216 823-3474 - owned by Drakos and Kartos families. And Franchise 2: 5407 Highway 280 Birmingham, AL 35242 980-8600 - owned by Drakos and Kartos.

FLEMING'S PRIME STEAKHOUSE 262-9463 103 SUMMIT BLVD 7 D H E F 4:30-9:00 SU, 10:00 M-TH, 11:00 F/SA
Expensive, a la carte. Special ‘Memorable Meal’ with Lobster. $49.50 each. No substitutions if ordering this meal. Includes very nice bread with two tasty unsweetened butters, salad with delicious thick blue cheese and ranch dressings, 6 ounce tender sweet lobster tail, 6 ounce steak filet cooked perfectly, large tender snow peas with a few sautéed onion slices and thin carrot sticks, soaked in a tasty light marinade. Scalloped potatoes with delicious baked cheese toppings and a thick tasty unusual filling. Plus dessert. Special touches during meal. Was mediocre five years ago. Probably best restaurant in Birmingham now, along with Ocean. $5 less for this meal with shrimp. Many other menu items. Can order appetizers, salads, sides only. Sign up for their emails to receive weekly special meals offered. Floor manager watches servers and chefs.

FRANKLINS HOMEW'D GOUR. 871-1620 1919 28TH AVE SO 6 LD M C L 10:30-7 M-F, 5 SA
Chef Franklin Biggs. Homewood 35209. Lunch and dinner. Catering. Private dinners. Also meals to go and delivery.

GIANMARCO'S 871-9622 721 BROADWAY 6 LD M E OKFQ 11-2 W-F, 5-10 M-SA
Homewood 35209. Many consider it great. Our meals on our only visit two years ago did not taste good so we have not been back. Some other friends do not like it.

HIGHLANDS BAR & GRILLE 939-1400 2011 11TH AVE SO 5 D H D FQ 6-10 TU-TH, 10:30 F/SA
Frank Stitt’s nationally acclaimed restaurant. We ate there in April 2008 and were not impressed. Too many experimental dishes that are not good. His Chez Fonfon next door to Highlands is always excellent. See above.

JASON'S DELI 877-8477 BROOKWOOD VILLAGE 7 LD L C L 10-10 3 excellent delis
JASON'S DELI 987-8740 3032 HWAY 150 7 LD L C L 10-10
JASON'S DELI 995-4933 4740 HWAY 280 7 LD L C L 10-10 Near Fresh Market
Huge bowls of soup and chili. Best salad bar anywhere, with many extras and special items. Good sandwiches.






RESTAURANT 12-29-09 PHONE LOCATION DAYS MEALS COST WEAR TYPE HOURS

JOE'S ITALIAN PIZZA, PASTA & CAFE 663-4111 ALABASTER 6 LD M C OQ 10:30-9 M-TH, 10:00 F/SA
No Reservations. Giuseppe and Elvira Bertolone (Joe and Mamma) moved from Italy to U.S. in 1977. Opened restaurant in Gilroy, California, San Francisco Bay Area, in 1981. Sold in 2007. Moved here to be near children. 20 tables. 30 minute wait at rush times. Great service. Bread and basil olive oil. Soup or salad with dinners, including pizzas. Large servings. Prices reasonable $8 to $14. Click View the Menu for menu, history, family, other. Click Get Directions. I-65 South. Turn at tank farm. Spaghetti and meatballs, $7.95, did not have near enough tomato sauce. Lasagna, $9.25, was unusual and very good, though not much meat. Waitress strongly suggested ordering those two dishes on first visit since they were "so good". Other dishes probably better to order. Very large sautéed mushroom appetizer, $8.95, was excellent. One dessert with a malt ball on top, strange tasting white upper half, and bottom half of chocolate cake, was inedible. 2nd visit will better tell the story.

KELLEY’S NEIGHBORHOOD GRILL 323-9786 720 29TH ST SO 6 LD L C EHKC 11-10 M-TH, 12 F/SA (LUNCH 11-4)
Where OT’s was. Kelley Harris worked at OT’s from 1994 until it closed in 2008. She completely rebuilt the inside of the restaurant. Carolyn Green is daytime chef. Mike Lee past soux chef at Fox Valley is nighttime chef. Delicious very greasy very thin onion straws. Delicious fried dill pickles with parmesan ranch sauce - feeds three.

NABEEL'S CAFE 879-9292 1706 OXMOOR RD 6 LD M C JTOE 10-9:30
Very pleasant dining experience. Very reasonable costs. Greek/Northern Italy. Great service. Roasted Bulgarian peppers over 3 large slices of French feta cheese appetizer is great. Many entrees $9.95, with nice salad and delicate house dressing, fried pita chips (ask for them if missing) and bread. Pastitsio, $9.95, is excellent. 3 good soups. Great desserts. Neighborhood restaurant atmosphere. Also, they have a market open from 10 to 7 with cheeses, olives and many other items. Warning: For all of its good points, good tastes, low prices and atmosphere, their higher priced entree meals (John's Steak) and nightly specials are not always good or tasty. There are plenty of items to enjoy without gambling on some of their higher priced meals that are their weak point.

NEW ORLEANS FOOD & SPIRITS 822-7655 1919 KENTUCKY AVE 6 LD M C Z 11-9 M-TH, 10 F/SA VESTAVIA Original restaurant still in N.O. N.O. native said to try crawfish VooDoo Rolls and Crawfish Corn Soup. You can have mine. Click on following website for Menus and special activities every day www.neworleansfoodandspirits.com

O'CARR'S DELI 879-2196 2909 18TH ST SO 5 L L C LQ 10-4 TU-SA
Excellent sandwiches with thin slices of cucumber. Very good quiche. Milkshakes with fresh fruit. Also in Cahaba Heights.

OCEAN RESTAURANT 933-0999 1218 20TH ST SO 5 D H E KHQ 5:30-10 TU-TH, 10:30 F/SA
Perhaps best in Birmingham, along with Fleming’s. Consistently excellent. Specialize in fish, but great steaks and chicken also. Stack of 3/8" thick fried green tomatoes with spicy shrimp and special sauce is one of the best dishes I've ever tasted, with Japanese Panko bread or cracker crumb batter. Everything from kitchen tastes good. Excellent desserts. Unique attractive serving dishes add to experience. Their restaurant 26, next door for lunch and dinner is less expensive, uses same kitchen and has been rated very good also.

O'HENRY'S COFFEES 870-1198 2831 18TH ST SO 7 BLD L C LQ 6-10 M-TH, 12 F/SA; 8-8 SU
Large selection of excellent desserts. Stays open late Friday and Saturday.

OLEXA'S 871-2060 2838 CULVER RD 6 BL M E PLQ 10-4 MT. BROOK VILLAGE
This is one of their moist delicious cakes: Cloud Nine: Our famous buttercreme cake folded with clouds of real whipped creme and berry garnish. Your choice of French vanilla buttercreme with caramel, chocolate fudge buttercreme with ganache or French vanilla buttercreme with sugared strawberries. $5.95

OLIVE BRANCH MEDIT. CUIS. 967-4600 3236 CAHABA HTS RD 6 LD M C TKHL 11-2:30/5-9 M-SA

OLIVE GARDEN ITALIAN REST 591-0731 7701 CRESTWOOD BLVD 7 LD M C XF 11-10 M-TH; 11 F/SA
Was not too good for many years. Dramatic improvement. Delicious high end entrees with very nice sauces that day. All you can eat large bowl of salad has a great house dressing, never too sharp. All salad greens, onions, tomatoes, olives, peppers tossed and coated with dressing. Servers grate Parmesan cheese on salads and entrees. Bread sticks. Excellent servers and manager checking on tables and service. Many of their chefs are now being sent to Italy for a training course.

OLIVE GARDEN ITALIAN REST 985-4696 3450 GALLERIA CIRCLE 7 LD M C XF 11-10 M-TH, 11 F/SA



RESTAURANT 12-29-09 PHONE LOCATION DAYS MEALS COST WEAR TYPE HOURS

THE PEDDLER 865 436-5794 GATLINBURG TN 7 D H E F 5-10 SU-F, 4:30-10 SA
Excellent. Exceptional salad bar with many appetizer type items also. Only room for tiny entrée after this salad bar. Old time yeast rolls.

P.F. CHANG'S CHINA BISTRO 967-0040 233 SUMMIT BLVD 7 LD M C M 11-10, 12 F/SA
Said to be excellent. High end.

PICCADILLY CAFETERIA 987-1660 1851 MONTG HWAY 7 LD L C NCQP 11-8:30 M-F, 8-8:30 SA-SU
Excellent cafeteria and food. Huge fried fish almondine with excellent tartar sauce. After passing Galleria go 1/4th mile on Highway 31 to a strip shopping center on left.

THE PITA STOP 328-2749 1106 12TH ST SO 6 LD L C TKHL 11-9:30 M-TH, 11-2:30/5-10 F/SA
The first of the Mediterranean/American restaurants. Great presentation of kebab, wild rice pilaf, salad, fruit in a 9" x 13" Pyrex bowl. Very good restaurant and tastes.

PURPLE ONION DELI 941-9979 479 GREEN SPRINGS HWY 7 BLD L C T 24 HOURS
Inexpensive. Great tastes. Grilled Chicken Breast, $7.50, cut in pieces and grilled with special sauce and sautéed vegetables plus salad and fruit is very tasty. Open 24 hours. Nice patio outside or indoor booths.

P'S ORIENTAL GOURMET 985-7966 2539 HWAY 150 7 LD M C MU 10-10, 11 F-SU
Whole menu of exotic dishes. Dim Sum dishes Saturday and Sunday.

RED PEARL REST/MARKET 945-9558 243 WEST VALLEY AVE 6 LD M C M 10-8:30 M
A part of China in Birmingham. Live seafood. Select your live eel, etc.

ROMANO'S MACARONI GRILL 298-7998 241 SUMMIT BLVD. 7 LD M E FQ 10:30-10 SU-TH, 11 F/SA
Very good food and special bread. Low prices. 16 ounce ribeye steak recently was very tender and cooked perfectly.

SATTERFIELD'S 969-9690 3161 CAHABA HTS RD 6 LD H E HKF 11-2 M-SA, 5-10 M-TH, 10:30 F/SA
Poor unappetizing menu for a year so did not stay to eat. My son ate there and said new chef prepared excellent meals for him and a friend. When he returned a week later meal was not good.

SAW’S BARBEQUE 879-1937 1008 OXMOOR RD 6 LD M C S 11-8 M-TH, 9 F/SA
Homewood 35209. Mike Wilson. Pulled pork is tasty without added sauce and chicken (use white sauce). Get sauce for pork on the side. Very good pork ribs. Good potato salad, collards, baked potatoes, and macaroni and cheese. Call for carry out.

TED'S RESTAURANT 324-2911 328 12TH ST SO 35233 5 BL M C JNPC 7-10, 10:30-2:30 M-F

TED'S TO GO RESTAURANT 324-2911 1801 4TH AVE SO 35233 5 BL M C JNPC 7-10, 10:30-2:30 M-F

TOP OF THE RIVER 256 238-0097 ANNISTON, AL 7 D M C KH 5-9 M-TH, 10 F; 4-10 SA,11:30-9 SU

TOP OF THE RIVER 256 547-9817 GADSDEN, AL 7 D M C KH 5-9 M-TH, 5-10 F; 4-10 SA, 12-8 SU

VERANDA ON HIGHLAND 939-5551 2220 HIGHLAND AVE SO 6 D H D F 5:30-10 TU-SA, 11-2 JAZZ BRUNCH
Birmingham 35205. Beautifully renovated 1920s southern home. Dine in nine separate dining rooms amidst fireplaces and stained glass windows or on patio or upstairs on veranda. Executive Chef Tom Robey after 18 years at Commander’s Palace in New Orleans. Dining Room Manager Stan Reynolds after 21 years at Commander’s Palace.

THE VICTORIA HOTEL 256 236-0503 ANNISTON, AL 6 BD H D PF 6-9AM M-F, 7-11 SA/SU, 6PM-10M-SA
Before closing for a year this was an outstanding restaurant with very classy atmosphere, exceptional food and pianist on grand piano. Reopening October 1, 2009.

VILLAGE TAVERN 970-1640 101 SUMMIT BLVD 7 LD M/H E HKR 11-10 M-TH, 11 F/SA, 10-10 SU
Excellent food. On far right side of The Summit, close to Highway 280, closer to Saks, next to Flemings, down below street level of The Summit.





GROUP II

RESTAURANT 12-29-09 PHONE LOCATION DAYS MEALS COST WEAR TYPE HOURS

BEN & JERRY'S ICE CREAM 989-8289 PATTON CREEK CENTER 7 - M C – 11-9 M-TH, 10 F/SA, 12-8 SU

BENEDIKT'S 205 274-0230 ONEONTA, CO. HWY 27 6 BLD L C CHQ 9-3 TU-TH, 8:30-8:30 F/SA, 11-4 SU
Neat country food buffet. Outstanding lightly battered fried chicken wishbones, but other fried chicken not very good. Their steaks are too thin and not good. Sunday lunch buffet is best. Something different and a pretty drive from Springville Exit 154 from I-59. Go on through red light at Highway 11 to County Highway 27 and travel 11 or so miles. On right.

BONGIORNO ITALIAN REST 879-5947 68 CHURCH ST 35213 6 LD M C ORQ 11-2:30/5-10 M-SA
Crestline Village. One of the very few authentic Italian restaurants in Birmingham, but hit or miss.

DREAMLAND BAR-B-Q 933-2133 1427 14TH AVE SO 7 LD M C SG 10-10; 11 F/SA, 10-9 SU
Slabs of pork ribs with extra sauce and white bread. Chicken. Very good banana pudding. Macaroni and cheese uses soupy poor cheese. Other sides. Usually best ribs in Birmingham. Also located in Tuscaloosa.

FIRE 802-1410 CRESTLINE VILLAGE 6 LD H E HKE 11-2 TU-F & SU, 4:30-9:30 TU-SA
35213. Some rave. My son went August 2008 and said salad dressing and two appetizers were poor so did not order entrees. Behind Piggly Wiggly.

HOT & HOT FISH CLUB 933-5474 2180 11TH CT SO 5 D H E F 5:30-10:30 TU-SA
Many consider it excellent. Ate there years ago. Nearly starved so haven't been back. Also, later ordered one cup of coffee. Waiter brought a fancy pot of coffee and left it without comment. The bill showed $5 (fifteen years ago) for coffee. Dishonest.
My gourmet cousin says meals, presentation, ambiance are outstanding and eats there every month or so. Pricey. $10 martinis, etc., prevent them eating there more often.

MCCORMICK & SCHMICK'S 871-5171 BROOKWOOD VIL. 7 LD H E KH 11-10 SU-TH, 11 F/SA
Totally a fish restaurant at first but added steaks, meats and poultry. Some think it is good. Others do not like it. Mixed reviews. Not worth the gamble.

MISS MYRA'S PIT BBQ 967-6004 3278 CAHABA HTS. RD 6 BLD L C S 7-8; 9 F/SA
Almost always excellent barbeque restaurant. Great white sauce for chicken. Vegetables.

NIKI'S WEST 252-5751 233 FINLEY AVE WEST 6 BLD L C NPCK 6-9 M-SA
Huge restaurant. Cafeteria line. Meat and three. Huge selection of meats, vegetables and desserts. Don’t stop to use phone on Finley Avenue or buy gas, and be nervous when stopped at stop lights - day or night. Neat experience.

RUTH'S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE 879-9995 EMBASSY SUITES 7 LD H E HF 11-11 HOMEWOOD
Not my favorite. No marinade on steaks. Everything is a la carte. Most like it. Mixed reviews this past year.

SAVAGE'S BAKERY 871-4901 2916 18TH ST SO 6 L L C LQ 7:30-5:30 M-F, 5 SA
Homewood. Best bakery cakes in Birmingham. Order cooked chocolate icing for layer cakes. Order chopped pecans on top and 1 1/2 inches down below top on side of icing. Few bakeries offer cooked icing anymore.

STIX (JAPANESE/CHINESE) 982-3070 GALLERIA CIRCLE 7 LD M C UM 11-2/4:30-10, 11 F/SA

SURIN WEST 324-1928 1918 11TH AVE SO 7 LD M C W 11:30-2:30/5:30-9:30

TAJ INDIA 939-3805 2226 HIGHLAND AVE 7 LD M C A 11-2/5-10

LEGEND: BLD = BREAKFAST/LUNCH/DINNER. COST: LMH = LOW/MEDIUM/HIGH. WEAR: CDE = CASUAL/DRESSY/EITHER.

TYPES: A=INDIAN B=ENTREES, SANDWICHES, 8" THIN PIZZAS C=HOME STYLE MEAT & VEGETABLES D=ALL YOU CAN EAT BUFFET E=APPETIZERS, SOUP, SANDWICHES F=FULL MENU G=CHICKEN, TURKEY H=STEAK & CHICKEN I=FRENCH J=GREEK K=SEAFOOD L=SANDWICHES, SOUP, SALAD, PASTRY, DELI M=CHINESE N=CAFETERIA LINE O=ITALIAN P=BREAKFAST/PANCAKES OR BAGELS Q=SPECIAL DESSERTS R=PIZZA, SALAD, PASTA S=BAR-B-Q T=MEDITERRANEAN, MIDDLE EASTERN FOOD, KEBABS U=JAPANESE V=MEXICAN W=THAI X=NORTHERN ITALIAN, VEAL, FISH, LAMB Y=HAMBURGERS Z=CAJUN, CREOLE, LOUISIANA, NEW ORLEANS

Note re new restaurant in Birmingham (See listing above, in top section): “ Murray, Don't know if you have tried New Orleans Food & Spirits on Kentucky Avenue in Vestavia Hills. Many restaurants claim to have New Orleans original food, but I assure you this one does. It is my favorite restaurant in New Orleans, and I eat at this one every time I come to Birmingham. Same taste especially the crawfish VooDoo Rolls and the Crawfish Corn Soup.” Harry Dufrene
________________________________________

Caution for a few new restaurants, and some older ones that have changed hands: The menu may have been compiled by their resident poet. May or may not be true: Grain fed, grass finished, certified organic, natural, branded beef products. Aged certified Black Angus beef. Free range chickens. Or a filet mignon arrives as a 7/8 inch thick 6 inch long piece of tough meat of unknown origin - with lots of gristle.

Very poor: Zaxby’s, except excellent chicken fingers. Baskits on Green Springs Hway in Homewood is very poor including overcooked chicken fingers, in old grease, that they proclaim are the best in town.
________________________________________

My definition of an excellent restaurant: Everything brought to table tastes good - not just half or three-fourths: Bread, butter, soup, appetizer, salad, dressing, entrée, vegetables on entrée plate, dessert. Soup, vegetables and entrée hot. Thin good tasting batter, light on cornmeal - or no cornmeal (Prefer delicious Japanese Panko bread batter, cracker crumb batter, bread crumb batter, herbed flour batter). No honey in butter. No sugar, or very little, in rolls, cornbread or vegetables. Entrée cooked the way it was ordered. Entrée not sitting on or beside a bed of unseasoned white rice, or on top of collards, or soaking in a half inch of liquid with black eyed peas or long white beans (stretching to be creative). Broccoli, green beans and squash cooked at least medium; not just warmed. No more than one tiny piece of zucchini squash. No haricot vert (three inch long slender crunchy tasteless green beans). Salad greens that are not hard (no red radicchio) and not bitter. White onions taste better to me than red onions used by some chefs for color. Obviously people have different tastes. Small great tasting unordered food appetizers create a nice feeling. Good bread and seasoned olive oil, parmesan grated on food by server, sometimes make the difference. I usually know in five to ten minutes if I will return to a restaurant - and if I will tell others about this great restaurant and their great food and service. Or tell them not to eat here. It really helps if a restaurant has one or more dishes with such a special taste that one to fourteen days later you have an a strong desire to return. The Fants raved about the scalloped potatoes at Fleming’s. We could not imagine scalloped potatoes being that special. But they were - with their delicious baked cheese toppings and an unusual thick tasty filling. We will return just for those.

Murray 12-29-09
________________________________________

Following are incomplete:

RESTAURANT 12-29-09 PHONE LOCATION DAYS MEALS COST WEAR TYPE HOURS

ANOTHER BROKEN EGG CAFE 871-7849 2418 MONTEVALLO RD 7 BL M C PL 6:30-2, 7-2 SA/SU
AMORE RISTORANTE ITALIANO 437-1005 GREYSTONE CTR
APLEBEE’S
AVO CAHABA RD/MONTEVALLO RD
BAMBINELLI’S 871-2423 OLD CIAO
BEEF ‘O’ BRADY’S TRUSSVILLE HWAY 11 BY DON’S CARPETS
BELLA CUCINA 995-1770 LEE BRANCH
BELLINI’S RISTORANTE/BAR CAHABA VALLEY RD
BETTOLA 731-6499 PEPPER PLACE
BILLY’S BAR & GRILL 879-2238 ENGLISH VIL
BLACK MARKET BAR COLONADE
BLACK PEARL ASIAN CUIS 262-9888 3419 COLONNADE PKY
BLUFF PARK DINER
BOGUE’S INVERNESS 280
BOTTLETREE CAFÉ 533-6288 3RD AVE SO
BROAD STREET GRILLE 423-756-3400 CHATTANOOGA
BUFFALO AMERICAN GRILLE OLD LOCAL
CAFÉ DE PARIS 202-4024
CAFÉ LAZIO PATTON CREEK
CAJUN STEAMER TRUSSVILLE
CARINO’S ITALIAN GRILL PATTON CREEK
CHUCK’S FISH 995-0495 280
CITY HALL DINER 824-3655
COOL BEANS COFFEEHOUSE 871-2665 EDGEWOOD
CRAPE MYRTLE’S
DEEP SOUTH SEAFOOD 678-4701 CHELSEA
DRAM WHISKEY BAR DOWNSTAIRS FROM AVO
DYRON’S LOW COUNTRY 834-8257 CRESTLINE VIL
EZELL’S FISH CAMP PELHAM
FIREBIRD’S OF BHAM 733-2002 191 MAIN ST PATTON CREEK HOOVER
FISH MARKET RESTAURANT 980-8600 5407 HWAY 280 35226 6 LD M C K 10-9, 10 F/SA To be revised
FISH MARKET RESTAURANT 823-3474 1681 MONT HWAY 35226 6 LD M C K 10-9, 10 F/SA
FISH MARKET RESTAURANT 668-2024 4570 HWAY 31 CALERA 6 LD M C K 10-9, 10 F/SA
FOX VALLEY 664-8341
GREENS ‘N’ BEANS MOODY
GREY HOUSE GRILL 414-1755 1830 29 AVE SO H’WOOD
HEADS ‘N’ TAILS SEAFOOD GR PATTON CREEK
HUMPHREY’S HOME BUFFET VALLEY AVE
JACKSON’S BAR & BISTRO 870-9669 SOHO
JAY’S FAMILY REST NASHVILLE
JINSEI JAPENESE 802-1440
KATHY G THE GARDENS CAFÉ
KIMONO JAPANESE REST 995-5001 5426 HWAY 280
LANA’S MAMA SPRINGVILLE
LITTLE SAVANNAH REST 591-1119 3811 CLAIRMONT SVE
MAKARIOS KEBAB & GR 731-7415 940 20TH ST SO
MAMA’S DINER 655-1690 TRUSSVILLE (TRIO’S)
MAX’S DELICATESSEN 968-7600 COLONADE
MICHAEL’S STEAK/SEAFOOD 982-0144 GALLERIA
MISS ROSE MARIE’S 980-8335 LD M
MONETTE’S LEE BRANCH
MR. P’s BUTCHER SHOP/DELI 823-6136
NANA PUDDIN’
NINO’S ITALIAN REST PELHAM
O’CARR’S REST 967-4173 CAHABA HEIGHTS
OPEN DOOR CAFÉ 879-6659
OYSTERS & STUFF FULTONDALE
THE PITA CAFÉ 402-7482 150 WALMART
RED ROBIN BURGERS PINNACLE MALL
THE RED GERANIUM CAFÉ 685-0100 PELHAM
ROGUE TAVERN 202-4151 2312 2ND AVE NO 35203
ROJO 328-4733 2921HIGHLAND AVE
SANTA FE CATTLE CO 685-0440 PELHAM
SANTA FE STEAKHOUSE LEEDS
SANTA FE STEAKHOUSE BESSEMER
SAT--- GOURMET MT. LAUREL
SEAFOOD HARBOR MCCALLA
SEKISUI JAPANESE REST 980-7775700 MONTG HWAY
SILVERTRON
SMITH’S OYSTERS &STEAKS DUNSTON
SPICED PEAR TEA ROOM INVERNESS
SPRINGHOUSE LAKE MARTIN HASTINGS
SWAMP JOHN’S REST 685-1633 PELHAM
SWEET BONES ALABAMA
TAZIKI’S GREEK FARE 301 18TH ST SO
TED’S TO GO 326-2134
TERRA CAFÉ 256 847-3300 ANNISTON FORT MCCLELLAND
THACKER’S ALABASTER COLONIAL PROMENADE
TILTED KILT OLD COPELANDS 7 LD M C B 11AM-12PM SU-W, 2AM TH-SA
TWENTY SIX 26 918-0726
URBAN STANDARD 2320 2ND AVE NO
V. RICHARDS 591-7000
VIZZINI FARMS WINERY 685-O655 CALERA
WRIGHT DAIRY ICE CREAM 980-8844
ZEA ROTISSERIE & GRILL 380-3118 BROOKWOOD VIL 7 LD H E 11:00-10:00 SU-TH, 11:00 FR-SA
www.zearestaurants.com

Monday, December 21, 2009

CHRISTMAS- YOU JUST MIGHT BE A SCROOGE!

You Just Might Be A Scrooge...



If your only contact with three spirits on Christmas Eve is gin, vodka and bourbon -- you just might be a Scrooge



If you turn on the lawn sprinklers on Christmas Eve to keep carolers away -- you just might be a Scrooge



If you buy all of your Christmas gifts at a store that also sells gas -- you just might be a Scrooge



If your favorite version of "Babes in Toyland" stars Michael Jackson -- you just might be a Scrooge



If you get your Christmas Tree at a rest stop at night -- you just might be a Scrooge



If you give bathroom fixtures as Christmas gifts -- you just might be a Scrooge



If your prized Christmas ornament is Santa Claus shooting the moon - you just might be a Scrooge



If your favorite Christmas movie is Jurassic Park - you just might be a Scrooge



If your idea of Christmas dinner is a six pack of beer and a cheese log -you just might be a Scrooge



If you think "Ho, Ho, Ho" is a line from a Rocky movie -- you just might be a Scrooge



If your best Christmas tradition involves a fire and reindeer meat - you just might be a Scrooge



If your favorite version of "Silent Night" is sung by OJ Simpson -- you just might be a Scrooge



If your favorite past time is putting defective bulbs in your
neighbors' string of Christmas lights or defacing Christmas lawn caricatures with egg nog - you just might be a Scrooge



And, finally - if your only holiday decoration is a rotting pumpkin - you just might be a Scrooge

CAN YOU NAME THESE CHRISTMAS SONGS?

CAN YOU NAME THESE CHRISTMAS SONGS?

1. Oh, member of the round table with missing areas

2. Boulder of the tinkling metal spheres

3. Vehicular homicide was committed on Dad's mom by a precipitous darling

4. Wanted in December: top forward incisors

5. The apartment of two psychiatrists

6. The lad is a diminutive percussionist

7. Sir Lancelot with laryngitis

8. Decorate the entryways

9. Cup-shaped instruments fashioned of a whitish metallic element

10. Oh small Israel urban center

11. Far off in a haybin

12. We are Kong, Lear, and Nat Cole

13. Duodecimal enumeration of the passage of the yuletide season

14. Leave and broadcast from an elevation

15. Our fervent hope is that you thoroughly enjoy your yuletide season

16. Listen, the winged heavenly messengers are proclaiming tunefully

17. As the guardians of the woolly animals protected their charges in the dark
hours

18. I beheld a trio of nautical vessels moving in this direction

19. Jubilation to the entire terrestrial globe

20. Do you perceive the same vibrations which stimulate my auditory sense organ?

21. A joyful song of reverence relative to hollow metallic vessels which vibrate
and bring forth a ringing sound when struck

22. Parent was observed osculating a red-coated unshaven teamster

23. May the Deity bestow an absence of fatigue to mild male humans

24. Rose-colored uncouth dolf is aware of the nature of precipitation, darling

Answers

1. Oh Holy Night

2. Jingle Bell Rock

3. Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer

4. All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth

5. The Nutcracker Suite

6. Little Drummer Boy

7. Silent Night

8. Deck the Halls

9. Silver Bells

10. Oh Little Town of Bethlehem

11. Away in a Manger

12. We Three Kings

13. The Twelve Days of Christmas

14. Go Tell It on the Mountain

15. We Wish You a Merry Christmas

16. Hark the Herald Angels Sing

17. While the Shepherds Guarded Their Flocks By Night

18. I Saw Three Ships

19. Joy to the World

20. Do You Hear What I Hear?

21. Carol of the Bells

22. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

23. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

24. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

TERRY BRADSHAW IN AFGHANISTAN

video
 TERRY BRADSHAW IN AFGHANISTAN

Round of Tiger Woods jokes...

Never let it be said that golfers don't have odd senses of humor!
  • Did you hear that Phil Mickelson called Elin Nordegren? He asked her for some tips on beating Tiger.
  • The police asked Tiger's wife how many times she hit him. "I can't remember," Elin said, "just put me down for a 5."
  • Ping has a new set of irons called Elins.  You can beat Tiger with them.
  • What does Tiger Woods have in common with a baby seal? They've both been clubbed by a Norwegian.
  • Elin has agreed to stay with Tiger if he changed his name to Cheetah.
  • Tiger's other women aren't mistresses. They're provisionals (a ball put into play in case it turns out your 1st is unplayable, say in a hazard)
  • Did you hear Nike's new motto? Just do me.
  • Tiger crashed into a fire hydrant and a tree. He couldn't decide between a wood and an iron.
  • What's the difference between a car and a golf ball? Tiger can drive a golf ball 400 yards.
  • Tiger Woods is so rich that he owns lots of expensive cars. Now he has a hole-in-one.
  • Tiger has a new movie coming out. It's called Crouching Tiger, Hidden Hydrant.
  • Stephen Colbert: "Tiger always gives 110 percent. That is why he gave 100 percent to his wife and still had 10 percent left over for his alleged mistress."
  • Conan O'Brien: "One of the women who claims she slept with Tiger Woods says they never talked about golf while having sex. However, contractually Tiger was obligated to talk about Nike, Gatorade and American Express."

·         What don't Santa Claus and Tiger Woods have in common?    Santa Claus stops after just 3 Ho's!!!

 

Friday, December 4, 2009

Study Reveals the Angriest Americans

Andrea Thompson-senior Writer
livescience.com – Thu Dec 3, 2:35 pm ET


Anger is more likely among the young, those with children at home, and the less educated, a new study finds.

A national survey of 1,800 Americans aged 18 and older questioned participants on how and when they feel angry in order to build "a broader social portrait of anger in the United States," said study researcher Scott Schieman, now at the University of Toronto.

These angry emotions range from mild annoyance to yelling and feelings of outrage.

While anger is a normal human emotion, it could be detrimental if you hold on to it too long. And those who express their anger might actually live longer than those who keep it bottled in, one study found.

The results of the survey, conducted in 2005 and to be published next year, showed several key connections to anger.

For one, people under 30 experienced anger of all forms or intensities more frequently than did older adults. This was mainly due to the fact that young people are more likely to be affected by three core stressors that can trigger angry feelings, Schieman said:

* Time pressures
* Economic hardship
* Interpersonal conflict at the workplace

Time pressures had the strongest link to anger, especially low-grade versions termed "feelings of annoyance," the study found.

Those who were under financial strain tended to report higher levels of anger, a connection that could be particularly important in today's flagging economy, Schieman noted. The financial influence tended to be stronger among women and younger adults.

Having children was also associated with angry feelings and behaviors, such as yelling, particularly in women, the survey found.

"There's obviously a lot of joys and benefits that come with parenthood," but other aspects of parenting, such as having to discipline a misbehaving child, can cause feelings of anger and annoyance, Schieman said.

Those with fewer years of education were also more likely to report feelings of anger and were less likely to respond proactively in a situation that made them angry (for example, talking about what made them angry).

"It underscores the power of getting more education," Schieman said. Education has been linked to feeling more self-control, which could be why those with more education tend to manage their anger more proactively, he told LiveScience.

Schieman's findings will be detailed in a chapter of the forthcoming International Handbook of Anger, to be released in January 2010.

Crisco


A little old guy is walking around in a supermarket calling out, Crisco, Crissssssscoooo!'

Soon an assistant manager approaches and says, 'Sir, the Crisco is in aisle 3.'

The old guy replies, 'Oh, I'm not looking for the cooking stuff. I'm calling my wife. She's in here somewhere'

The clerk is astonished.

'Your wife's name is Crisco?'

The old guy answers, 'Oh no, no, no. I only call her that when we're out in public.'

'I see,' said the clerk.


'What do you call her at home?'

'Lard ass.'

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Words of Wisdom from those we look up to

Real Quotes from Real Athletes

Baseball season has ended. Football season saturates the
airwaves and our consciousness. Basketball season is just
beginning. We thought some real quotes from our better educated
athletes might be timely – and entertaining.

) Chicago Cubs outfielder Andre Dawson on being a role model: "I wan' all
dem kids to do what I do, to look up to me. I wan' all the kids to copulate."

) New Orleans Saint RB George Rogers when asked about the upcoming
season: "I want to rush for 1,000 or 1,500 yards, whichever comes first."

) Upon hearing Joe Jacobi of the 'Skin's say: "I'd run over my
own mother to win the Super Bowl," Matt Millen of the
Raiders said: "To win, I'd run over Joe's Mom, too."

) Torrin Polk, University of Houston receiver, on his coach,
John Jenkins: "He treats us like men. He lets us wear earrings."

) Football commentator and former player Joe Theismann:
"Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a
guy like Norman Einstein."

) Senior basketball player at the University of Pittsburgh :
"I'm going to graduate on time, no matter how long it takes."

) Bill Peterson, a Florida State football coach: "You guys line
up alphabetically by height.." And, "You guys pair up in
groups of three, and then line up in a circle."

) Boxing promoter Dan Duva on Mike Tyson going to prison:
"Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He
went to prison for three years, not Princeton."

) Stu Grimson, Chicago Blackhawks left wing, explaining
why he keeps a color photo of himself above his locker:
"That's so when I forget how to spell my name, I can still find
my clothes."

) Lou Duva, veteran boxing trainer, on the Spartan training
regime of heavyweight Andrew Golota: "He's a guy who gets
up at six o'clock in the morning, regardless of what time it is."

) Chuck Nevitt, North Carolina State basketball player,
explaining to coach Jim Valvano why he appeared nervous at
practice: "My sister's expecting a baby, and I don't know if I'm
going to be an uncle or an aunt."

) Frank Layden, Utah Jazz president, on a former player: "I
told him, 'Son, what is it with you? Is it ignorance or apathy?'
He said, 'Coach, I don't know and I don't care.'"

) Shelby Metcalf, basketball coach at Texas A&M, recounting
what he told a player who received four F's and one D: "Son,
looks to me like you're spending too much time on one
subject."

) In the words of NC State great Charles Shackelford, "I can
go to my left or right. I am amphibious."