Thursday, October 21, 2010

Trattoria Centrale - Great Pizza! Great Service!

When I stepped inside the doors it felt as if I were not in downtown Birmingham anymore. I had somehow  walked into an eatery with an upper east side flair. First of all let me say that I LOATHE standing in line. But in this case I was standing in line facing a window full of the most delicious pizza that I would ever taste. The anticipation of a couple of slices of pizza kept me focused.
Atmosphere: Busy, bright, contemporary, chic booth & table seating. Not a very big restaurant but very nice in appearance. The enormous brass espresso maker is definitely a conversation piece. They also offer an impressive array of wines. There is optional outdoor seating.
Staff: Very friendly, knowledgeable & fast
What I had: Two very generous slices of pizza, one cheese & one veggie w/ a mixed green salad w/ a light vinaigrette dressing. Also had an Orangina beverage (this is a citrus drink made of lemon, mango & orange juices)
Price: My lunch was about $10.00
On a scale of 1- 10 I give Trattoria Centrale a 9.5
Their menu contains a wide variety of Italian dishes, coffee drinks and desserts.
This is a good place to take that "indecisive" person in the bunch. There is truly something for everyone! Follow them on Twitter

Friday, October 15, 2010

Five Star Sunday Brunch at the Crestline Seafood Company

Nestled behind a big beautiful tree on a cozy corner on Church Street in Mountain Brook is a hidden gem called the Crestline Seafood Company. With a name like that, I expected to walk in to see a place that was half seafood market & half cafe. To my surprise, it was actually a very quaint & inviting restaurant.

The first review is from 10/3/10, one week after the debut of their Sunday brunch. My friend and I arrived shortly after 11:00 a.m.
Atmosphere: quaint, modern, very bright , w/ semi-exposed kitchen so that you can view & smell the delightful creations. They also have outdoor seating & great music at a moderate level.
Wait staff: Very friendly, knowledgeable & accommodating
Price: Average prices for a nice simple brunch. My meal was $9.95 my companion(s) $7.95 & $9.95.
What we had: On 10/3/10 I had the shrimp & grits topped w/ bacon bit creole gravy w/ side salad w/ raspberry vinaigrette dressing. This is the BEST salad dressing EVER!!
 My dining companion decided to try the home-made waffles topped w/ fresh cut strawberries w/ bacon. We also were able to get a couple of glasses of mimosas (AFTER  12 noon of course)
On 10/10/10 I had a repeat of the Shrimp & grits with slightly more gravy than last time. I personally prefer less and will specify less this time. My dining companion had the blackened salmon w/ creamy slaw. The slaw is more of a gourmet recipe than a typical "southern" slaw.
On a scale of 1-10, I give The Crestline Seafood Company a 9

If brunch was an Olympic sport, I would say they get the gold.
Sunday Brunch is served from 11-2 each Sunday!! Call for regular hours of operation I'm sure you will not be disappointed!
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You can find their full menu at

Thursday, October 14, 2010

D's Tamales Hueytown, Alabama "Tamale Heaven"

This is not your average place. The tamales are not average tamales. Technically I could go buy a can of Hormel's tamales in the can. Which is what I have done for many years. But after tasting the home-made tamales made from scratch at D's, it's good-bye Hormel there is a new tamale king in town!
Here is what you can expect:
Atmosphere: A "U" shaped lunch counter filled with Hueytown locals. There is also convenient parking and a television inside.
*This is also a favorite dining spot for the Hueytown police (as observed)
Wait Staff: Very attentive
Menu: Aside from the headliner, there is literally something for everyone. Burgers, wings & a variety of other delicious dishes that are not listed on the menu on the website.
Price: My meal including drink cost under $7.00
What I ordered: The 3 tamale combo. Inclusive of nachos with an amazing cheese sauce, black bean casserole (OMG!! a must have) & 3 mild tamales.  On previous occasions I have ordered the hot wings. They are superb!!
On a scale of 1-10, I give D's Tamales  an 8.
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Hurry! They open at 11:00 a.m. &  close at 8:00 p.m. 5 days a week