Monday, October 16, 2017

A Taste Of Louisiana 2017

Hey Birmingham! I am SEAUX excited about this event!!

Get ready for the 2017 Taste of Louisiana Food Festival & Cook Off.
Come out & join the fun as restaurants & cook teams from all over join together to cook up many of your favorites.
If you like gumbo, ettoufee & red beans n' rice along with other Loo-si-anna style favorites, this is the event for you. This year's Presenting Sponsor is Cajun Steamer Bar & Grill.  The proceeds will go to benefit the Sid Strong Foundation for pediatric cancer research & also to fund scholarships for several deserving local students.

Attendees will have the opportunity to taste unlimited samples of several authentic Louisiana recipes prepared by professional and amateur "Cookin' Crews".

There will be Zydeco dancing, a children's area and lots of other activities to enjoy.

Avoid the lines & buy your tickets to this event today! Visit

 Save the date: Saturday 10/28/17
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
100 Ben Chapman Drive
Hoover, AL 35244  


Tickets: $15.00
Free for kids 12 and under
Tag your photos using the hash tag #ATOL17

                                            PRESENTING SPONSOR                                            

To learn about sponsoring this event,  please visit
Can't make it to the event? Donate to the Sid Strong Foundation for Pediatric Cancer Research

Thanks for reading & sharing,
~The Birmingham Restaurant Raider
"Anonymously Raiding A Restaurant Near You" 

 *Disclaimer* Although I'm promoting this event, this does not mean that The Birmingham Restaurant Raider is in any way shape or form happy about LSU beating Auburn this past weekend, I'm still bummed about that šŸ˜¢

Friday, October 13, 2017

NEW EATERY: Ooka Chinese & Japanese Restaurant

If you have not figured it out by now, I LOVE trying new places.
The recent opening of Ooka Chinese & Japanese Restaurant on Valleydale was a pleasant addition to the area. As their website states, Ooka offers a wide array of authentic Japanese and Chinese Food, such as Hibachi Chicken, Shrimp Tempura, Szechuan Beef, Chicken Udon, Seafood Delight.

Are they any good? My inquiring taste buds wanted to know.

Atmosphere: I loved the atmosphere inside of the restaurant. The decor was derived from a contemporary concept. It has an uptown feel perfect for a date nite or intimate conversation with a few close friends. There is table & booth seating. The only thing I wasn't fond of was the dim lighting. I personally prefer a brighter atmosphere during lunch. The lighting would be perfect for the dinner crowd.

The Meal: For lunch, I started out with the traditional Miso soup. Then I selected one of the items from the Hibachi menu. The Chicken Hibachi lunch featured a mound of warm chicken & vegetables including mushrooms, broccoli, onions & zucchini along with a healthy portion of their fried rice. This dish also comes with a serving of two sauces for dipping. One, a ginger dressing and the other a creamy house-made sauce, with flavors especially blended for chicken.

The Service: Awesome staff. I was greeted with a welcoming smile and my server was MORE than accommodating. As long as my water glass is never empty, I'm happy.

Overall Experience: I definitely plan to return to Ooka. If their food & service remain consistent, I'd definitely say that this place is here to stay.
I'd love to try their sushi & a few selections from the Asian Fusion menu on my next visit.
They also offer take-out. 

*Ask your server for a punch card. You get a free meal after your 9th lunch!

Thanks for reading & sharing,
~The Birmingham Restaurant Raider
"Anonymously Raiding A Restaurant Near You"

2005 Valleydale Rd Suite #6
Birmingham, AL 35244
(205) 518-5590 

If you received this write up via email, click here to view the colorful site!

Pop-Up Dinner At Rojo Birmingham 11/6/17

Chef Zach Meloy of Atlanta’s Better Half, the brick-and-mortar concept that grew from the beloved PushStart Kitchen, is hitting the road and heading to Birmingham to host a rousing pop-up at Rojo Birmingham  on November 6. Rojo, located in the Highland area of Birmingham, is renowned for its Latin and American cuisine and has been praised locals and celebrities alike, notably by Bob Dylan.

Chef Meloy spent a few years in Birmingham while attending college at Samford and discovered his interest in a culinary career during this time while he also worked under Frank Stitt at Bottega. Meloy is looking forward to returning to his old city to bring a taste of what Better Half has to offer and showcase his Latin-Southern “mash up” cuisine.

The evening will begin with a cocktail reception featuring select Better Half cocktails and canapes at 7:00 p.m. Following the cocktail reception, guests will sit down at 7:30 p.m. to enjoy a three course pre-fixe menu with wine pairings. Candies and cordials will follow to close the evening.

Cocktails + Canapes
Grilled Fennel Wedge Salad, Feta Buttermilk Dressing, Bitter Orange
Celery Root Hashbrown, Smoked Trout, Egg Yolk, Celery Root Salad, Trout Roe
Grilled 48-hour Beef Rib, French Onion Flan, Roasted Oyster Mushroom, "Funyuns"
Whipped White Cheddar Baklava, Burned Honey, Chipotle Pecan GarrapiƱada
Three Apple Tart, Apple-Smoked Marshmallow
Candy + Cordial

Tickets for the pop-up are $100 per diner and include tax and gratuity. A portion of the ticket sales for the evening will go to benefit the Alabama Environmental Council.  The organization is celebrating its 50th year and is one of the oldest environmental group in Alabama.   Tickets can be purchased on Brown Paper Tickets. Rojo is located at 2921 Highland Ave South, Birmingham, AL 35205

Thanks for reading & sharing,

~The Birmingham Restaurant Raider

Monday, October 2, 2017

RECAP: 2017 Breakin' Bread Food Festival...


If you missed this years Breakin' Bread Fest, you missed out on a beautiful day of fun & great food.
I most certainly encourage you to make it out next year. 

Thanks to Sloss Furnaces, Birmingham Originals  and all of the wonderful sponsors who came together to raise awareness and funds for Jones Valley Teaching Farm’s Woodlawn High School Urban Farm project. 


Subscribe to this page for updates on upcoming food festivals and other exciting reviews and more! 
For more information on Birmingham Originals visit

Here are the fun & exciting photos from the event. 
Enjoy! See you next year. 

(*click images for larger view)

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Breakin' Bread 2017

It's that time of year again! On Sunday September 24, 2017 Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham will be the site of the annual Breakin' Bread Food, Wine & Beer Fest featuring the restaurants that make up Birmingham Originals. 

Here's the 411: 
Breakin’ Bread, hosted by Birmingham Originals, is happening this Sunday, Sept. 24 at Sloss Furnaces from 1 to 5 p.m.! Breakin’ Bread will feature tastings of signature dishes from 32 Birmingham Originals member restaurants with proceeds benefiting Jones Valley Teaching Farm’s Woodlawn High School Urban Farm project. Wine, beer and non-alcoholic beverages will be available while guests enjoy an afternoon of celebrating our city’s food culture, musical entertainment and cooking demonstrations. Tickets are available now at - general admission tickets are $35 and VIP tickets are $99.


WHAT:         15th Annual Breakin’ Bread presented by Birmingham Originals
WHEN:        Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017 from 1 to 5 p.m.
WHERE:     Sloss Furnaces – 20 32nd St. N., Birmingham, AL 35222
TICKETS:  General admission tickets are $35 and for you big wigs, the VIP tickets are $99. 
CHILDREN'S TICKETS: 12 & under are free.
Purchase at

The Birmingham Originals consists of a group of independent restaurants in the Birmingham area whose mission is to bring awareness of the unique restaurant culture in Birmingham, AL. On Sunday attendees will get to try unlimited samples prepared by all of the following:

Since 2002, Birmingham Originals has donated more than $125,000 to local charities in the Birmingham area benefiting children and families. 

So grab the kids, grab some chairs & blankets and let's go raise some money!
Sloss Furnace
20 32nd Street North
Birmingham, AL 35222 
1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Don't drive. Get a LYFT & save $5.00 
Follow the action on social media. 
Want to know what to expect? Check out these pix from a previous event: PIX
Thanks for reading & sharing this story!

~The Birmingham Restaurant Raider
Anonymously Raiding a Restaurant Near You!

Friday, September 8, 2017

EVENT: The 2017 Signature Chef's Auction

The Birmingham Restaurant Raider is proud to be the exclusive on-line media partner for the 

On Thursday September 21st, some of the most famous Alabama culinary icons will convene at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Mountain Brook. This event will allow chefs to showcase culinary masterpieces for an audience of over 250 business industry leaders, local philanthropists and many socially responsible corporations while supporting a critical cause. The sponsors list includes local "community-minded" companies who have joined together to help give every baby a fighting chance. 

The impressive list of chefs includes: 

 In addition to all of the exquisite food samplings, there will be a silent auction beginning at 6:00 p.m.
 For more information on The Signature Chefs Auction, visit

Purchase: TABLE/TIX

2017 Birmingham Signature Chefs Auction 
Thursday, September 21, 2017 
Grand Bohemian Hotel Mountain Brook 
6:00 p.m. – 9:00  p.m.

Premature birth is the #1 killer of babies. Help the March of Dimes make a difference! 
Can't make it to the event? 

Thanks for reading & sharing!
~The Birmingham Restaurant Raider
Media Partner
"Anonymously Raiding A Restaurant Near You" 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

REVIEW: Avondale Common House & Distillery

What goes with an amazing day & amazing weather? Amazing food & amazing atmosphere. On this particular day, I ventured out to a spot in Avondale that has been buzzing for quite sometime. I have to be honest, I have received mixed reviews about Avondale Common House & Distillery. Some good and some not so good. You know me.... I have a "see for yourself" attitude. My hungry lunch date and I ventured out to this new spot and we were both met with impressive "everything".

Avondale Common House is located on the same block with Avondale Brewery, one of my faves & one of Birmingham's most popular outdoor venues.

We were greeted promptly upon arrival by their friendly hostess and opted for a comfortable table on the patio.  Our server, Tyler, arrived shortly with 2 glasses of  ice cold "city punch" in hand. (That's water, H2o,.... You get the picture)

He was very knowledgeable of the menu and was able to recommend excellent choices for us pretty quickly.

My date decided upon the Southern Fried Boneless Chicken Breast entree' : A moist & tender GENEROUS sized chicken breast, accompanied by an order of their IPA braised collards, smoked mashed potatoes and "sawmill" gravy.  Folks, this was a darn good entree'. Even though it wasn't mine, I still managed to scarf down  a small portion. The greens are kinda hidden on this picture, but believe me they're there.


I had a hankering for seafood so I opted for the Common House Shrimp & Grits: succulent, blackened shrimp, Andouille sausage, Cheesy cheese grits, peppers, onions and scallions. Amazing flavor. Amazing presentation.

Avondale Common House & Distillery also features an impressive variety of appetizers, sandwiches, salads & unique desserts not to mention great home made side dishes.

Their prices are not too bad either. Entree's range from $12-$20 dollars.

Overall, I was impressed with everything from "Greet to Eat"! Despite the mixed reviews, my experience was superb.
I plan to return very soon to try other dishes.

Thanks for reading & sharing,
~The Birmingham Restaurant Raider

"Anonymously Raiding A Restaurant Near You"
Don't drive. Get a LYFT
Avondale Common House & Distillery
4100 3rd Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35222


3rd Annual "Graze Birmingham" Farm-To-Fork Dinner

For the 3rd year in a row, Avondale Brewing Co. will host (ASAN) Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network's GRAZE: Birmingham event on Sunday, September 17th from 5pm to 8pm in their backyard. 

The freshest and finest Alabama eats will be served, picnic style, created by 17 "pairs" of local farmers and Birmingham chefs!!  Y'all come and enjoy these unique tastings, live music, specialty drinks and more!!
 There will be a WIDE variety of local farmer's, restaurants and other businesses on hand with flavorful dishes for your grazing pleasure.

TICKETS:    Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.** Buy your ticket by Thursday, September 7th and get an extra drink ticket (2 drinksinstead of 1)!

Sponsorship packages are available. Call (256) 743-0742. 

Event proceeds will support rural farmers who use healthy farming methods. 

According to their website, "ASAN has provided farmer-led training, resources, and a community of support for a growing number of sustainable farmers throughout Alabama. Our members are farmers, educators, business owners, and advocates who share a commitment to a food system that is dynamic, nurturing, just, and sovereign at all levels."

Can't make it to this graze-a-thon? Consider contributing to the ASAN or become a member. Membership includes:
  • ASAN bumper sticker
  • Access to member-only dinners
  • Discounted registration rates for the ASAN Food & Farm Forum(s) and other paid ASAN events throughout the year

Basic membership is available starting at: $25 for individual membership, $50 for farm/household membership, and $200 for business/organization membership.
It's for a good cause!

Thanks for reading & sharing! 
~The Birmingham Restaurant Raider
Media Partner for GRAZE Birmingham 2017

"Anonymously Raiding A Restaurant Near You" 
 Don't drive. Get a LYFT
Save The Date
Avondale Brewing Company 
201 41st St S
Birmingham, AL 35222  

9/17/17 5 p.m.-8 p.m.
(Rain or Shine)