Monday, July 13, 2015

Review: Relish Cafe Hits The Bullseye

 If I were to tell you that one of the BEST meat & three restaurants is located right in the middle of a gun store would you believe me? Unbelievable, right? Well, that's what I said. After reading an article on-line about this new spot, I decided to grab a fellow food (and gun) enthusiast and travel to the Hoover Tactical Firearms & gun-range. The entire facility is located off of Lorna Road in Hoover in the old Bruno's grocery store location. Relish Cafe has taken over the cafe located inside of the gun store. It's an interesting place for a restaurant, but if you are in search of a meat & three with great options, this may just be your place.

Atmosphere: Quite nice for the location. The cafe set up very nice. There are several tables available for a moderate sized crowd. If parking is ever an issue during your lunch break, don't worry. They have a huge parking lot with lots of space. The cafe is next to the gun range, but the secure, enclosed gun range is relatively sound proof and will not disturb your lunch time chat.

The Meal: Relish had a great selection on their meat & three steam table upon our arrival. I had the chicken n' biscuits: a savory mixture of white meat & veggies with golden, buttermilk flavored biscuits baked on top, a side of fresh collard greens and (real) whipped sweet potatoes. My lunch mate had the hamburger steak with a side of fresh collards and some of the best mac & cheese in Birmingham. Our moist cornbread rolls were complimented with a serving of melted peach butter made with Chilton County peaches.According to the Relish website, they use local, fresh ingredients.

The Prices: Our meat & two veggies came to $8.00 per person. They also offer other variations of meat & veggies. For instance a meat and one veggie is only $6.00. They also offer a snack bar menu consisting of such dishes as hamburgers, grilled cheese, chicken fingers and cooked to order pork rinds. There are also salads available for the lighter appetite. The kids meals are only $5 bucks.

Overall Experience: I absolutely cannot wait to go back. Meat and three restaurants are far & few between.
Relish also offers food catering cervices, corporate catering & private chef services.
*Note* Meats & veggies are available from 11-2 Monday-Friday. The snack bar menu is available from 2-7 Monday-Friday, Saturdays from 11-7 and Sundays from 1-5. I have a feeling that whenever you go, you will enjoy it.  

For more information on Relish Cafe visit
Follow them on Facebook
Follow & tweet with them on Twitter at  @Relish205

 *Click photos for larger view
Hamburger steak, Mac & cheese w/ collards

Chicken n' biscuits w, sweet potatoes & collards

Review: Melt Birmingham-"Reinventing The Sammich"

The food truck phenomenon has REALLY taken off in the city of Birmingham. It always makes me proud to see a food truck business expand to a brick & mortar location. One name that has been consistently suggested over & over is Melt. Melt has infamously taken the grilled cheese sandwich to another level. Their menu shows that a little creativity can make thousands of hungry locals flock to their food truck and their restaurant in droves.

Atmosphere: The restaurant is spacious and can accommodate large groups. They have plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. This is a casual dining spot that sits right in the heart of Avondale. At the time of my visit, there was a very nice crowd. The indoor seating was filled close to capacity. It was busy, but not so noisy that I could not enjoy the conversation with my dinner companion.

The Meal: We had a shared appetizer of the "That's How Matilda Rolls"- rolls of flash fried mozzarella & cheddar cheeses combined with red pepper flakes with a side of marinara for dipping. These were VERY good. If you like Italian blend cheeses, you will love these. My main dish consisted of a recommended Melt favorite, the "Flyin' Hawaiian" - a Pretzel bun loaded with smoked ham, a slice of cajun spiced grilled pineapple and melted habanero jack cheese. This was complimented with a side of amazing Greek pasta salad. My dinner companion opted for the "Food Truck Nachos"-A bed of freshly prepared house made chips, topped with succulent pulled pork, sliced fried jalapeno peppers, nacho cheese sauce, fried jalapenos, green onions AND if that's not isn't enough... jalapeno ranch. But wait... there's more! To top it all off, we shared an order of three deep fried, double-stuffed Oreo cookies, dusted with powdered sugar.

The Service: The service was very friendly. I would have liked more frequent refills due to the dishes we ordered, but no real complaints about the actual service.

The prices: The prices at Melt are extremely reasonable. The starters & shareable items range between $3 & $7. This includes soup. If you'd like to try one of their signature salads, they range from $7-$11 bucks, sandwiches $7-$12 & sides from $3-$5. They also have a great looking kids menu.

Overall experience: I enjoyed the atmosphere and everything we ordered. I didn't feel ripped off and still hungry at the end of my meal, so I'd say that's a good thing. They have some other great looking menu items I'd like to try such as their infamous grilled mac & cheese sandwich. I shall return!

For more information about Melt Birmingham check out their website at
Follow them on Twitter at @meltbham 
Follow them on Facebook at

Thanks for reading,

~The Birmingham Restaurant Raider
Their house made 41st Street Mustard is amazing!

The "Matilda" rolls

The Flyin' Hawaiian w/ Greek pasta salad

The Food Truck Nachos

Deep fried Oreos