Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Birmingham Restaurant Week 2018 "Get In"

Hey Birmingham!  The ninth annual Birmingham Restaurant Week (BRW) 2018 will kick off this Friday, Aug. 10 to Sunday, Aug. 19 with more than 70 restaurants set to participate in celebration of our city’s acclaimed culinary culture and love of local. During the 10 days of BRW, take the opportunity to dine at the restaurants you've been wanting to try for reduced prices. Restaurants will offer prix-fixe lunch and/or dinner menus for only $10, $15, $20, $30 or $40 per person. That's a deal!

Whether you're a Mexican food lover, barbecue aficionado or just a meat & potatoes eater, there is something for every appetite.

Don’t miss out on this awesome opportunity to experience Birmingham’s unique and thriving culinary scene! For more information about BRW 2018 and its events, visit for a list of menus and participating restaurants. 

Don't miss a week full of food & fun filled events included in this years BRW. 

Aug. 11 | 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. | Social Venture - Woodlawn

Aug. 11 | 3 - 5 p.m. | Whistling Table
Ticket Link:

Aug. 13 | 6 - 9 p.m. | Rojo Birmingham

FOODIE BIZ 1.0 (A business development workshop)
Aug. 17 | 8 a.m. - noon | The Annex Culinary Incubator
Ticket Link:

Aug. 18 | 1 - 3 p.m. | 5 Point Public House Oyster Bar
Ticket Link:

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

Voted as one of the Top 40 Alabama Blogs, News Websites & Newsletters To Follow in 2018 Via @FeedSpot

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

King Of The Grill BBQ Cook-Off Presented by Regions Bank

If you love barbecue, have I got the event for you! 

The Junior Board of Growing Kings is hosting the inaugural "King Of The Grill" Barbecue Competition and you do not want to miss it. This event will combine fundraising with the opportunity to enjoy lots of barbecue samples provided by all of the competitors.

At this time cook team slots are STILL available. Restaurants and corporate sponsors are more than welcome to sign up. The competition will be judged by individuals from Platinum & Presenting level sponsors. 

The event will take place on Saturday August 18, 2018 from 11 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Parking will be available around the perimeter of the competition. Just go to the area blocked off on 55th Place South 35212 between 1st Ave North & 1st Ave South.
The winner this year will take home the King of the Grill title AND a brand new Kamado Joe grill sponsored by Alabama Power!

Dishes will be judged based on Taste, Aroma, Appearance and Team Spirit. Teams will be competing for a chance at six different highly coveted titles: Best Chicken Dish, Best Pork Dish, Best Beef Dish, Best Sauce, People’s Choice, and Best Overall.

EARLY BIRD $15.00 TICKETS are available now, but going fast! There are only a limited number available. Kids 10 and under are Free!!

To get early bird tickets for only $10.00, use my discount code RRAIDER5

Register your team today by emailing

Can't make it to the event?
The kids would love your donation. Visit

~The Birmingham Restaurant Raider
"Anonymously Raiding An Event Near You" 

  Voted as one of the Top 40 Alabama Blogs, News Websites & Newsletters To Follow in 2018 Via @FeedSpot

Growing Kings is a Birmingham based mentoring organization that has approximately 500 kids in grades 4-12 participating in various developmental & education activities. Founded in 2009, the organization has worked hard to transform the lives of young men throughout our city so that they may become productive members of society under the guidance of passionate mentors. 
Connect on Twitter @GrowingKings
On Instagram @growingkings


Monday, August 6, 2018

The Magic City Mac & Cheese Fest Returns!

The 2nd Annual Magic City Mac & Cheese Festival benefiting the Community Grief Support organization is just around the corner & The Birmingham Restaurant Raider has signed on as a sponsor for this years event! 

After an overwhelming response in 2017, the festival will now be held at Brookwood Village on Sunday September 9, 2018. 

This annual festival dedicated to one of America's favorite comfort foods attracted a few thousand people last year. With a spike in ticket sales, it appears that number will more than double this year. I encourage you to get an ADVANCE ticket for $15.00. Tickets at the gate will be $20.00. Kids 12 & under are admitted for only $5.00 and kids under 5 are FREE! Paid admission will get you into the festival to try UNLIMITED mac & cheese samples from great local restaurants & businesses around town.

A partial list of vendors includes several of my favorite spots: 

The Southern Kitchen and Bar
Newk's Eatery
The Cheesecake Empori-Yum!
Swamp Monster BBQ
John's City Diner
The J. Clyde
California Pizza Kitchen
Sol's Sandwich Shop and Deli
Irondale Café
Sky Castle Birmingham
Nothing But Noodles
Sherry's Café, Cakes, & Catering
Mason Dixon Bakery and Bistro
Ivory LeShore's Gourmet Bread Pudding & Cheesecake
Fetch: A Treat Truck For Dogs
Simply Infused Olive Oil Shop
Vintage Comfort Food Co.
Joel's Southern Cooking
Katie's Plates
Carlile's Barbecue
Panoptic Catering
Brick & Tin
Smiley Brothers Specialty Foods
And MORE to be announced.

Click here for tickets:

"Community Grief Support is a safe place where people grieving the death of a loved one can find hope and healing and meet with others who have had this experience and understand. Together they learn how to regain control of their lives in an environment of care, comfort and healing." They offer counseling for individuals, couples & families.

Be sure to stop by the donation table. 😃
Can't make it to the festival? 
Donate what you can to CGS at

For more information about the festival, please visit

Thanks for reading & sharing! 
~The Birmingham Restaurant Raider
"Anonymously Raiding A Restaurant Near You"
Est. 2009
Voted as one of the Top 40 Alabama Blogs, News Websites & Newsletters To Follow in 2018 Via @FeedSpot

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Celebrate Caribbean Month At Customs International Cafe

Months after they were awarded the 2018 Shelby County Small Business Of The Year, Customs Cafe is celebrating Caribbean Food month all during the month of August. 

We've obtained a pre-released copy of their menu featuring items designed by their guest chef for the month of August, Tamara Saunders. 


Rasta Pasta – 12.50
Creamy Pasta with Jerk Chicken. If you love creamy,spicy, and decadent, then this pasta is for you. Rasta Pasta is a pasta dish with jerk chicken, that has been sauteed with bell peppers, then tossed in a spicycreamy sauce. Served with plantains and Caribbean Corn.

Jamaican Beef Patty 6.95
Make it a combo – add chips & a fountain drink – 8.95
Don’t let the name fool you. It’s a delicious meat turnover. Flavorful ground beef stuffed into an amazing buttery dough, then baked. Very popular in Jamaica.

Plantains 4.00
Enjoy our plantain slices as a side order or appetizer.

Rum & Raisin Cake with Ice Cream – 6.95
This tropical treat is also enjoyed in the Southern U.S. during the Holidays. Made with Bacardi Rum and a sprinkling of raisins this delicious, mini-bundt cake is topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Ginger Lemonade – 3.00
A Taste of Jamaica makes this lemonade with the perfect amount of Ginger served cold over ice. 

Bacardi Ginger Lemonade – 6.00
Enjoy a refreshing cocktail. We add Bacardi Rum to Ginger Lemonade and serve it ice cold.

Their Caribbean Music Night  is August 10th 4 pm - 10 pm and will feature a few different items.Traditional items such as Jerk Chicken, Pork, or Fish with cabbage and plantains will be available. Additional menu items: Curry Goat, and Oxtails. Featured beverage: Bacardi Ginger Lemonade.

Customs Cafe is located at 1845 Montgomery Hwy, Suite 207, Hoover, AL  35244 (in the Hobby Lobby Shopping Ctr.)
(205) 987-0176

Facebook – customscafe , Twitter@customscafe, Instagram @customscafe

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

Monday, June 25, 2018

Dining out with Locals Featuring Aimee Johnson

 Couldn't let the month end without featuring this extremely special person.

Meet Aimee Johnson, Executive Director, Alabama & Florida Panhandle | Alzheimer's Association
When asked about her favorite local restaurant, she said, 
"My favorite restaurant is Alloy Thai.  It is the best food in town and my son is the chef - Josh Haynes.  He says he is a great chef because I was an awful cook!!!!"
Aimee's role with the Alabama / Florida Alzheimer's Association is a very important one.  Although June is National Alzheimer's Awareness Month, Aimee makes this mission part of her life's work & continues the fight through community awareness.

Walk to End Alzheimer's - 9 across the state of Alabama
Held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, the Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. This inspiring event calls on participants of all ages and abilities to join the fight against the disease!
When you participate in Walk, your fundraising dollars fuel our mission, and your participation in the event helps to change the level of Alzheimer’s awareness in your community. The Alzheimer’s Association provides free, easy-to-use tools and staff support to help participants reach their fundraising goal. While there is no fee to register, we encourage participants to fund raise in order to contribute to the cause and raise awareness.
June is Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month 

June is Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month – a time to shine a purple light for the millions of people living with Alzheimer's. Especially during the month of June, we need your help by mobilizing friends, families, neighbors, co-workers and customers to help bring an end to Alzheimer's disease. 
The Birmingham Restaurant Raider is a community partner & will continue to use this platform solely to focus on local restaurants, festivals and other causes in the Birmingham area.   
 Please sign up for a walk in your area by visiting
If you have not had the opportunity to try Alloy Thai, you are missing out! Subscribe to their page for updates on street market pop-ups, private dinners and more by going to
Thanks for reading & sharing! 
~The Birmingham Restaurant Raider
"Anonymously Raiding A Restaurant Near You"



Friday, June 22, 2018

Dine Like A Jet Setter At Customs International Cafe

Known for their international themed menu, Customs Cafe in Hoover, Alabama offers a wide variety of foods from around the globe. Each month they feature food from a different continent. Customers can experience dining at a quint little cafe in Germany or France without the pricey plane ticket.

During the month of June, Customs celebrates the French culture by featuring a variety of French inspired dishes.

We recently tried the Quiche Lorraine: Flaky pie crust filled with eggs, Swiss cheese, bacon bits and spices baked to a creamy, savory perfection. Served with a “tres Francais” carrot salad, fresh grapes and French bread.

This month they are also featuring a crowd pleasing French onion soup, a Monte' Cristo sandwich  and a Roasted Pear Tart for dessert.

Media Night 2018 at Customs allowed us to sample a variety of cuisines along with beverage pairings all in one night. Owners, Chef Craig Cassiday & Teresa White graciously hosted a group of food writers from the metro area. Everyone was greeted with a glass of Prosecco. 

Features of the tasting included: a German first offering (Ein), a Cuban second offering (Dos), an Italian third offering (Tre) & a French fourth offering (Quatre). 

Inspired by Germany, the first tasting was their Old Berlin Beer Cheese Soup, served warm with a side of their signature cheese wafers.
This was paired with a Dresden Spritzer.

Dresden Spritzer
The second item we tried was the Cuban Pork Slider: Moist, smoked pulled pork in Mojo sauce served on a soft yeast roll & paired with a perfectly mixed Classic Mojito cocktail. 


Next on the list was the warm & cheesy Italian Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage, paired with a glass of Barbera D'Asti.

Finally, paired with a glass of Baron & Gustier Vouvray, was the incredible  French inspired Roasted Pear Tart: Flavored with almond, pear, apricot, and butter…these individual tarts are addictive so order two! They have a crisp sugar pastry base spread with frangipane and topped with a roasted pear half then sealed with apricot glaze. In other words..... it's darn good! You definitely won't leave one morsel of this tart on the plate. 

Customs Cafe is the 2018 recipient of the Shelby County Small Business of The Year award. Stop by to congratulate them soon. Don't forget to ask for your passport!

Their cafe also doubles as an event venue for receptions, meetings and more!

Customs Cafe
1845 Montgomery Hwy, Hoover, AL 35244 
(205) 987-0176

Thanks for reading & sharing! 
~The Birmingham Restaurant Raider
"Anonymously Raiding A Restaurant Near You" 
Est. 2009

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Zoo, Brews & Full Moon BBQ 6/16/18

Join me this Saturday at the Birmingham Zoo  for a fun filled day along with presenting sponsor Full Moon Barbecue from 5:30-8:30pm for the fourth annual Zoo, Brews and Full Moon Bar-B-Que event. 

There will be live entertainment by the fabulous Union Road Band.

Enjoy drinks from over 20 breweries from all over Alabama and the southeast. In addition to beer, there will be plenty of other libations, including wines and non-alcoholic beverages. Attendees will enjoy tasty dinner provided by Full Moon Bar-B-Que.  There will be chances to get up close & personal with a few animals, walkabouts, train & carousel rides, special kids activities and much more! A few VIP tickets are still available. 
Enjoy added features such as caricature drawings,  splash pads, sand art crafts, face painting, lawn games and more!

Get your tickets today!

General Admission:
Under 3: FREE
Under 21: $20
Designated Driver: $20
Over 21: $35
Children’s tickets include admission, dinner and attractions. Adult tickets include admission, a hearty bbq dinner, attractions, and select servings.

VIP Pricing:
Under 3: FREE
Under 21: $50
Designated Driver: $50
Over 21: $75

VIP Adult tickets include select servings, admission, dinner, attractions, early admission at 5pm, VIP parking spots. VIP Children’s tickets include admission, dinner, attractions, early admission at 5pm, VIP parking along with a gift. 

This is a rain or shine event. No refunds will be issued.

 Bring the family & see you there!

Thanks for reading & sharing,

The Birmingham Restaurant Raider

"Anonymously Raiding A Restaurant Near You"

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Celebrate National Burger Day at Mooyah!

Monday just got a lot better! May 28th is National Burger Day and the team at Mooyah wants you to celebrate with them at one of their 3 Alabama locations.

The fast casual concept took off several years ago in Birmingham & Tuscaloosa. Mooyah provides a family atmosphere and largely appeals to all age groups. They have an amazing menu full of unique items. According to franchisee, Jordan Barrow, Mooyah takes lots of pride in their menu items preparing them from nothing but fresh, high quality ingredients.

Their Cheddar Bacon Burger is made from "Fresh, Never-Frozen Certified Angus Beef®, Cheddar Cheese, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Grilled Onions, BBQ Sauce, Non-GMO Potato Bun". I tried this burger along with a serving of fries and sweet potato fries. 

Folks, the bun alone is something to write home about as they bake their own bread. Trust me, this bun is the business. 

I also tried the Double Diablo- "2 Fresh, Never-Frozen Certified Angus Beef® Patties, Pepper Jack, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Jalapeños, Cholula, Real Mayo, Non-GMO Potato Bun."
If you like spicy, this is perfect. This burger delivers a real flavor punch! I also had a serving of their house made queso cheese dip which was a tasty companion for my fries.

Although famous for their amazing burgers they also have tasty, hand crafted shakes. These shakes are made with REAL ice cream which makes a BIG difference when you're  a milkshake snob like me. They come with a sturdy spoon and a wide milk-shake straw. You will need both. 😀

If you're looking for a place to celebrate National Burger Day, you won't be disappointed with Mooyah! 
With their friendly service, family atmosphere, fresh ingredients and gluten free options, it's definitely a place that I will return to. 

Please support Jordan Barrow & his family by visiting one of their locations. 

Mooyah Burgers Fries & Shakes has 3 locations statewide.
2112 7th Ave South
Birmingham, AL 35233

3439 Colonnade Pkwy
Suite 1000
Birmingham, AL 35243

1130 University Blvd
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

Click here to download the app Mooyah App and earn FREE food & rewards. 

Thanks for reading & sharing as we #RaidBham.
The Birmingham Restaurant Raider
"Anonymously Raiding A Restaurant Near You"

Been to Mooyah? Send your comments to & let us know what you think.