Monday, March 21, 2016

REVIEW: Jubilee Joe's "Authentic Cajun Seafood that's Seaux Good!"

If you like seafood like I do, then you will definitely like the menu at Jubilee Joe's!! Although they are known for being one of the best places to get crawfish and their award winning gumbo, they have a wide variety of just about everything Cajun; crab, Po' boy's,  crawfish, shrimp, grouper and much, much more!

Jubilee Joe's has often been personally recommended by several people. Since I couldn't get full by staring at the menu, I recently took the time out to stop in for a meal. (Also note that they are also a winner of the 2015 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence.)

Atmosphere: Jubilee Joe's has a very pleasant atmosphere. I'd have to say that it definitely has a Louisiana feel to it. They have a bar that is stocked with lots of your favorite brews, ample seating and televisions for your viewing pleasure. My seat was facing the kitchen. I had the torturous experience of watching all of the other meals come out before mine making me hungrier by the minute. They also have outdoor seating to enjoy a meal on a day with great weather.

The Meal: I had the Wild Shrimp Platter. This platter comes with 2 side dishes; a Bayou Side and an On Deck side. I decided to have the shrimp grilled instead of fried with a side of homemade coleslaw from the On Deck side dish menu  and a side of steamed California veggies from the Bayou side dish menu. I was very pleased with the dish overall. The shrimp was grilled & seasoned just right and the coleslaw had amazing flavor. I was thoroughly pleased.

The Prices: The value / quantity seemed to be fair in this case. Seafood can sometimes have a
"market price". However, most of the menu items at Jubilee Joe's have set prices.
They also have a reasonably priced kids menu as well as a  great looking dessert menu as well. 

The Staff: The server that I had was pretty friendly. This  visit occurred after the mid-day lunch peak time. The restaurant only had about 3 tables seated, so there wasn't much noise or or any major concerns with service. There was only one small issue that I saw that could be corrected. A message was sent to their staff.

Overall experience: I enjoyed the experience! The food alone is enough for me to want to return. I am a seafood fanatic and a recent fan of crawfish so this will definitely not be my last visit.

The 2016 Jubilee Joe's Crawfish Boil will take place  April 23rd at 1:00 p.m. at
3050 Lee St. Pelham, AL 35124 
This event will benefit the Hand In Paw organization
*They will also have a crawfish race for kids ($50 gift card to Toys'R'Us) AND a crawfish eating contest where the winner will receive $500!!!!!!! *

You can also check out the the world famous, alternative rock band  Everclear ,who will be headlining the event.

Can't make it to the crawfish boil, make a donation by visiting 
For tickets please visit

Visit their website at

Follow them on Twitter at @JubileeJoes

Like them on Facebook

Thanks for reading and sharing!

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

*Click photo for larger image
The Crawfish Boil is a benefit of the Hand In Paw Organization

Friday, March 18, 2016


I recently received an invitation to attend an exclusive "pre-opening" event at the new Real & Rosemary restaurant in Homewood. The invitation included an advance copy of their menu.
As they were making their rounds chatting with the "who's who" of Birmingham food writers, I had the chance to speak with the owner, Jennifer Mims and her partner Nate Carlson about the concept. They basically wanted to take common foods and put a different spin on the preparation and presentation of such foods. After having tasted many of the items from the menu, I'd have to say that they put the "S" in success and garnished it with Rosemary!

I brought along my friend, A. Scott-Franklin to capture photo images of all of the great food being served & sampled. (BIG HUGS & BIG THANKS)
We tasted everything from flounder cakes, spice rubbed chicken, collard pesto dip, zucchini pasta, a BLT with fried green tomatoes, collard and fig salad AND a 200 year old family meatball recipe handed down to the Real & Rosemary head chef. (yes the recipe is top secret..... I tried)

Diners will be impressed with the simple but trendy decor at Real & Rosemary. The entrance displays actual rosemary & basil plants that surround the lighted outdoor seating area. The interior is modern with a touch of retro. The bar is fully stocked with wines and local beers. They will even offer several signature cocktails including a Rosemary inspired one called the Rosemary Gimlet. Stop in for their 4 p.m. happy hour if you're in the area.

We tasted a variety of dishes... no.... a TON of dishes offered by R & R. I won't go into detail about every last one, because I know you're only here for the pictures, right?
One thing I will say is that you will not be disappointed in the prices, the flavor OR the atmosphere.
I personally can't wait to go back. I'm told that their hours are currently 11-9 daily. They will also offer a kid's menu and dessert options.

Special thanks to Mackenzie for continuing to keep me in the loop during the entire process! You Rock!!

For more information about Real & Rosemary & to view their outstanding menu please visit their site 
Follow them on twitter at @RealAndRosemary
Like them on FaceBook at

Okay, next is the part where I bombard you with photos from the event.
                               (Click on photo's for larger view)

Thanks again for reading,

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

Fig & Collard Salad


Beet, Fig & Goat Cheese sandwich

Grilled Chicken sandwich w/ portobello mushrooms, collard pesto, red onion and arugula

A variety of stuff

Southwest Salad

Collard Pesto Dip

Honey Ricotta Dip

Flounder Cakes, Roasted Brussels w/ Butternut Squash

Spice Rubbed Chicken, Corn Polenta Cake & Charred Carrots

Slow cooked, handmade meatballs, Zucchini pasta & Orange Mint Peas


Friday, March 4, 2016

REVIEW: Mikey's Grill "Have An Encounter With Seafood"

When you visit the Mikey's Grill website it notes that veteran chef  Michael "Mikey" Lee was recognized at one of Birmingham's "hottest young chefs" in Birmingham Magazine several years ago. Mikey's Grill, located in Hoover is the result of that. Mikey's offers a wide variety of dishes including seafood items that have been kissed with creole & Cajun flavors. After reviewing their on-line menu, I decided to add them to the list of places to try. They are recognized as a 2014 winner of the "Diner's Choice Award". 

Atmosphere: I have to admit, when I saw the word "grill" on the sign, I assumed that it would be a sports bar. Mikey's is anything but. Inside the restaurant, there were linen table cloths, with matching sheer curtains. A nice wine rack sits just inside the doorway behind the hostess stand. There is a full service bar and plenty of table seating. This would be a great place for special occasion dinners and business meals.

The Meal: I actually combined 2 separate visits in this post. The first visit, I had a cup of their seafood gumbo. This gumbo was packed with tons of flavor and chunks of seafood in every single bite. I will admit, this is some of the BEST gumbo I've tasted so far in life. I also decided on the crab cake sandwich. I know you're thinking... crab cakes on a sandwich? It was pretty darn good. It was a lightly fried crab cake on a soft bun with lettuce, tomato and a light cream sauce. The sandwich was accompanied by fresh, fried sweet potato chips.  It was a pretty good sized sandwich. I was only able to finish half. On a separate visit, my lunch companion and I both decided to have a shared basket of sweet potato chips & 2 large bowls of gumbo. We also decided to try the alligator strips with remoulade sauce. WOW!! If you've been thinking of trying alligator, but haven't quite gotten up your nerve, I'd recommend the alligator strips appetizer at Mikey's for $7.75.

The Prices:  A cup of gumbo runs $5.75 & $8.75 for a bowl. Their impressive appetizer menu prices range from  $7.75 & up. Soups, salads & sandwiches from the lunch menu shouldn't break the bank either. They also offer a dinner menu that includes meals for a heavier appetite and lots of seafood delicacies.

The Staff: No problems with friendliness from this staff. Our server had a great personality and was very attentive. We were accommodated very well.

Overall experience: The food was enough to keep me coming back for more. I loved the flavor of everything I tried, the atmosphere, the staff and the sweet tea. I look forward to returning for more outstanding gumbo and possibly to have dinner soon.

For more information,directions or to make a reservation at  Mikey's Grill visit

Thanks for reading as I #RaidBham

~The Birmingham Restaurant Raider
"Anonymously Raiding A Restaurant Near You" 
Smaller "cup" of chunky seafood gumbo w/ soft rolls & crackers

Crab cake Sandwich w/ Sweet potato chips

Alligator Strips w/ Remoulade sauce

Larger "bowl" of chunky seafood gumbo