Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Have A Good Time at Mudtown Eat & Drink

If you check out their twitter profile, it reads "At Mudtown, you'll feel the friendly spirit, smell enticing aromas & enjoy a quality dining experience in a laid back setting." This is exactly true.
A visit to Mudtown to experience some of the most infamous dishes in the city is exactly what you need. Their reputation for having WORLD FAMOUS fried green tomatoes & a friendly atmosphere definitely was a huge draw for me.

Atmosphere: Mudtown has a very comfortable,  casual atmosphere. The restaurant offers covered outdoor seating, table & bar seating on the inside. There was great music playing, not too busy during the time of this visit. Mudtown is conveniently located  between residential and commercial areas. I imagine they attract a lot of the nearby residents.

The Meal: I had the Jamaica Smokehouse Press sandwich- a press grilled sandwich containing, tender pulled pork, sweet tomato aioli, seasoned and lightly smoked. Topped with Jack cheese & tomato chutney. My side dish consisted of an order of 4 of their "World Famous" fried green tomatoes, topped with delicious corn relish & a side of their house-made (unbelievable) white sauce for dipping. I think this sauce would be an amazing addition to various other dishes.

The Staff: The staff was friendly, accommodating and great with recommendations. Unfortunately, it was very hard to narrow down what I was going to order.

The Prices: The prices are not too bad. My entire meal with a large unsweetened tea was about $15.00 and was enough to take home for a 2nd meal. They have a wide variety of great sounding dishes. It was really hard to decide.

Room For improvement: Mudtown was actually voted "worst parking" in Birmingham by their customers and they definitely deserve that honor, LOL! However, the food makes up for it.

Overall experience: I enjoyed the atmosphere. Will definitely return to enjoy their outdoor seating before the cold weather creeps in and I would love to try their shrimp & grits and the T-bone and grits. They also offer Sunday brunch.

For more information on Mudtown Eat & Drink visit

Visit their Facebook page at Mudtown Eat & Drink

Follow them on Twitter at @mudtownalabama 
Leave your comments about Mudtown below.

Thanks for reading & sharing!

The Birmingham Restaurant Raider
"Anonymously Raiding a Restaurant Near You"

Click image for larger view

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Juice Bar- "Love At First Sip"

So the other day after I'd scarfed down a pizza (a small pizza) at a nearby pizza joint and picked up a cupcake from a local bakery, I was walking to my car and discovered a brand spanking new place. I've received a few inquiries about juice bar's in Birmingham but at that time there were very few that I could recommend. Now I can tell you that there is a great new option called Juice Bar in the Chase Lake area. If you are a weight watcher or just looking for healthier options at lunch or any time of the day, I'm here to tell you this would be a great idea. I decided to return to Juice Bar the following day for a "different" kind of lunch.

Atmosphere: Juice Bar has a great atmosphere. They have bar and table seating with great looking decor. The green accent color can be found just about everywhere within the restaurant's decor. There is also signage throughout the restaurant that explains the benefits of juicing. Several other displays inside the restaurant showcase the other products they have for sale such as T-shirts, local honey from the Fox Hound Bee Company, mason jars and tote bags. The inside is bright and inviting. Definitely will make you want to step in and check the place out.

The Meal: I had the house made spring rolls: generous sized spring rolls made of Romaine lettuce, spinach, shredded carrots, cucumbers, cilantro, mint and avocado all rolled up into deliciousness. The spring rolls are served with a side of house made peanut sauce for dipping. I also had the "sweet greens" juice drink: a blend of apple, cucumber, spinach, kale, parsley & lemon. This drink made me a fan of the Juice Bar! I was also given a sample of the kale & quinoa salad: salad with kale, spinach, organic quinoa and fresh-juiced lemon dressing. My "guilt free" lunch was quite filling.

The Staff: The staff was very helpful and knowledgeable about the products and explained the ingredients and benefits very well. They also explained the concept and history of the development Juice Bar. I was treated very well. Everyone was friendly and provided service with a smile.

The prices: The sweet greens juice drink was $5.50 and the spring rolls were $5.95. They have a variety of other raw food & drink options including fruit cups and parfaits and more!!

Room For Improvement: I saw no real issues at this time. However, I do think that with Juice Bar being surrounded by so many other options that typically draw huge crowds, there may be a little bit of a challenge being the "new guy" AND being a juice bar, which many people aren't familiar with.
If permissible, the staff should consider coming outside during the lunch rush giving out samples to people walking by who may have never considered going to a juice bar. Competitive? Sure, but there is nothing wrong with offering alternatives with benefits.

Overall experience: I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and all of the items that I had. I can't wait to return to try other items from their menu. I love the location of Juice Bar at Chace Lake and wish them a success. Hopefully this public account of my visit will promote a surge in visitors looking for alternatives.

For more information on Juice Bar at Chace Lake, visit
Follow them on Twitter at @JuiceBarBham 
Follow them on Instagram at
Or download the I Love Juice Bar app  for Iphone or Android 

Thanks for reading!

The Birmingham Restaurant Raider
"Anonymously Raiding a Restaurant Near You"

Kale & quinoa salad

Spring Rolls w/ a cup of "Sweet Greens" juice

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Oak & Raleigh- "How To Put the "D" In Different"

I'm always excited about trying new concepts. This new budding restaurant is aiming to "redefine local".  They are a family owned restaurant in the center of Homewood just few minutes away from the Oxmoor road exit. After reading the menu for Oak & Raleigh I was highly intrigued and ready to chow down on some of their modern & unique dishes.

Atmosphere: The atmosphere at Oak & Raleigh is vintage/contemporary (if that makes sense). As we approached the restaurant, we got a complete view of the inside through the front of the restaurant as it is completely glassed in. There are three large televisions above the bar area, a comfortable open lounge area and several bistro tables. There is a beautiful wooden wine rack that sits in a corner, along with shelves of a variety of brews. The simplicity of the restaurant is what makes it special in my opinion. They have an extensive and impressive beer & wine list including Alabama's own Morgan Creek. Oak & Raleigh also offers free WI-FI. There are also video games inside for your enjoyment.

The  Pâté, Pig & Pickle from the "Bar Food" menu

The New England Roast Beef  w/ loaded potato salad

The Pâté "B" & "J" w/ broccoli & cauliflower salad

Seeds Nitro Coffee

Friday, September 18, 2015

Another Broken Egg Cafe - "Not Just Any Old Hum-Drum Breakfast"

I get tons of inquiries about the availability of a good brunch menu in Birmingham. As the recommendations come in to me, they go out to you. For several weeks, I've received a lot of  recommendations to try a happening place in Mountain Brook called Another Broken Egg Cafe. Certainly if multiple people are encouraging me to try a place, there definitely must be something there.

Another Broken Egg offers outdoor, table and bar seating. The foyer had a small crowd of people waiting to be seated. We were given a 25 minute wait, but were seated after only a few minutes. Normally, my expectations are heightened when I have to wait to eat.  The atmosphere was busy, but organized. I'm always happy to see a full house. The decor is definitely in sync with the overall theme of the restaurant. Their signature chicken logo was strategically (and artistically) placed throughout the restaurant.

The Meal:
Over the course of two separate visits, my assistant and I tried the biscuit beignets-southern style  biscuit balls topped with powdered sugar with a side of honey marmalade, delicious baked bacon( I could taste the difference between baked & fried), cheese grits, city grits (OMG!!)- City grits, are made with Gouda cheese and topped with chopped green onion stems,diced tomatoes and crumbles of bacon. We also tried the seasoned country potatoes & the Mediterranean potatoes-roasted potatoes. The Mediterranean potatoes are topped with feta cheese crumbles and grilled onions. We tried their traditional buttermilk pancakes,scrambled eggs with cheese, turkey sausage links, a buttermilk biscuit and fresh orange juice. WHEW! Makes you almost wish you had been there, huh? Just wait until you see their menu.

The Staff:
Our service was extremely good. We didn't have to wait for refills or attention. Our servers during both visits were attentive, informative and accommodating. A restaurant with great food and sucky service is not worth a return, but that was not the case at Another Broken Egg Cafe.

The Prices:
The prices were not too over the top. Especially for the generous portions we received.  The price for shareable appetizers starts at $3.29. Items from the "Healthy Side" menu are priced  at $4.99 & up. A generous sized pancake will run you about $4.99. They also have a great variety of salads, sandwiches, beverages, coffees, specialty dished & more!! There are so many awesome things listed on the menu. Too many to mention here! However, the link to the menu complete with prices is included in this post. There are also several gluten free and vegetarian options.

Room for improvement:
No major complaints, however, I didn't see a children's menu. I think that would be an awesome revenue booster especially with the weekend crowds.

Overall Experience: Loved it! The portions, service & overall flavor of everything were impressive.

For more information on Another Broken Egg Cafe, please visit their website at

Follow them on Twitter @BrokenEggMB 

Thanks for reading!
~The Birmingham Restaurant Raider

Follow me @RestaurantRaidr

Biscuit Beignets

Seasoned Country potatoes w/ baked bacon

Mediterranean potatoes w/ city grits

buttermilk pancake

cheese grits

turkey links, scrambled eggs w/ cheese and a buttermilk biscuit

close up of the City Grits (a must try)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

What's Under Vulcan's Skirt?

I was recently granted with the opportunity to get an inside look at Vulcan's event space at the 2015 Vulcan Park & Museum's Open House.

Even though most people visit Vulcan to check out the infamous observation tower or tour the museum, Vulcan has one of the greatest event venues in Birmingham.

My assistant and I got an up close and personal look at the facility along with the opportunity to meet some of the catering gurus on Vulcan's exclusive list of hand picked local caterers. We also got to interact with corporate event planners, engaged couples and other attendees looking for the perfect place for their upcoming events.

We sampled White Russian milk shakes, an amazing mac n cheese bar, warm cheesy crab dip, Louisiana gumbo, home cooking, Moscato infused strawberries & much more! We had an amazing time, but enough about the small details, I know you're only here for the pictures.

If you are looking for a venue for large events, weddings, corporate meetings or any type of reception, contact the event staff at Vulcan by emailing them at

*Special Thanks to A. Scott-Franklin for the photography.

Chef Clayton's Food Systems

*Click photos to view larger images.*

The Happy Catering Company

Kathy G. & Company

Toppings for the Mac N Cheese Bar offered by Kathy G. & Co

Jazzy Lady Catering

Moscato infused strawberries offered by Jazzy Lady Catering

Gumbo display by Chef Clayton's Food Systems

Dreamland BBQ Catering

BBQ sausages offered by Dreamland Catering

Five Star Event Catering

Raspberry Tea fountain by Jazzy Lady Catering

Home Cooking by Jazzy Lady Catering

Camera Cake by Jazzy Lady Catering

Ginger crunch bites, turtle bites & sandwiches by O'Henry's Coffee Catering

Iz Catering

The Happy Catering Co

The mac n cheese bar - Kathy G. & Co.

Jazzy Lady Catering

Jazzy Lady Catering

Crab Dip created (and Perfected) by Five Star Catering

IZ Catering

Jazzy Lady Catering