Monday, January 23, 2017

"Around The World in A Day At Customs Cafe"

 I'm always excited to try a new restaurant. Having only been open a short time at this location, The Customs Cafe in Hoover is already causing a buzz among people in the area.
Their unique concept is one that will definitely be a great attraction for international cuisine lovers.
After having been located inside of the Hoover library for several years, they decided that it was time to move out into the spotlight. They recently opened a new location on Montgomery Highway.
The Customs Cafe menu features "Home-style Foods From Around The World". This month, they are featuring Cuban cuisine.

Thanks to Kay Carlton for the recommendation! 

Atmosphere: This fast-casual cafe is very nice. There is booth & table seating available. Even though the cafe is so nice it appears that they would have a hostess, orders are placed at the register prior to being seated. I challenge you to resist the delicious desserts just staring at you from inside the bakery display.Our table seats were very comfortable. 

The Meal: I opted for the 1/2 salad, 1/2 sandwich from the "Build Your Own Combo" menu.
 The gourmet chicken salad sandwich was filled with their original chicken salad made with two types of dressing, celery, pecans and spices accompanied by a pickle spear. The 1/2 Frances garden salad is a garden salad with organic mixed greens, shredded cheddar, cucumbers and croutons. 
My lunch companion had a hearty bowl of their featured Cuban black bean soup with Custom Cafe's cheese wafers. She also had the Polish stuffed cabbage casserole. Inside this dish you will find a  cabbage leaf stuffed with ground beef, light bell peppers, tomatoes, "secret spices" & rice rolled tight, topped with a flavor packed tomato sauce. This dish was accompanied by a generous helping of red skinned mashed potatoes and a warm roll. This is not a spicy dish (opinion).
After all of this deliciousness, we shared a HUGE slice of their key lime cake. This was a great ending to an amazing meal. 
The Staff: Everyone was friendly from the front of the house to the kitchen staff / chefs who brought out our meals. You can't get much better than this. 
The Overall Experience:  I cannot wait to go back. Their service and food combined with their atmosphere makes them a winner in my book. 

For more information on Customs Cafe or for catering, please visit their website at 
They are located at 1845 Montgomery Highway 35244

Thanks for following and sharing! 
The Birmingham Restaurant Raider
"Anonymously Raiding A Restaurant Near You" 
Half gourmet chicken sandwich,  half salad

The Polish Stuffed Casserole w/ mashed potatoes

Key Lime Cake

The Cuban Black Bean Soup w/ cheese wafers

Monday, January 16, 2017

Capers on Park Avenue "Offering Soul Food With A Flair"

If I had a dollar for all of the times, I've been asked, "Where's a good meat & three restaurant?" I'd be a millionaire. Well maybe not a millionaire, maybe a thousandaire. Ever so often a new name will be added to the list. This year, I can say with confidence that Capers on Park Avenue definitely holds a spot near the top of the list. Step inside of the old Bluff Park elementary school and you will find a re-purposed building. The building is now occupied by Artists on The Bluff , an art center that caters to artists and art students from all over. After viewing the wonderful art displays, my nose led me to a meeting with Chef Jay Roberson, owner & operator of Capers.

Chef Jay, while extremely humble & personable, has a highly impressive resume. After being educated under the tutelage of Chef Joseph Mitchell at The Culinary & Hospitality Institute at Jefferson State, he went on to become a highly sought after chef. He's worked at the prestigious Summit Club downtown, Riverchase Country Club and the city of Pelham. He and his wife Lynne are now currently operating Capers.
Since  they'd been highly recommended several times, I decided to stop in to see what all the fuss was about.

Atmosphere: Capers is a very nice, quaint cafe. There is a very impressive art display on one side of the seating area & lots of windows allowing in natural light. The restaurant can accommodate a  moderately large seating capacity. There are lots of people who appear to be regulars possibly from the area.

The Meal: I had the BBQ Pork Loin: A very hearty portion of smoky flavored, sliced pork loin, a blend of fire roasted veggies accompanied by the most insanely delicious mac & cheese I have ever had. (please don't tell my mom I said that) I would walk a mile for this creamy, cheesy mac & cheese. Don't forget, a cafeteria style meal is never complete without delicious, fresh baked corn bread. They also offer the option of fresh house made rolls. I boxed up half of my meal because I was nudged into having a slice of Capers' infamous Chocolate Chess Pie. OMG! This is a must have.

The Staff: The staff was amazing. Everyone from the front line servers, to the cashier and kitchen staff were very pleasant. To see the kind of passion, preparation and dedication that goes into making a meal happen at Capers makes me proud to do what I do.

Overall Experience: I love this place! The staff was super! My meal was outstanding and I shall return as soon as possible. Caper's serves a wide variety of meats, veggies and even select seafood dishes.

If you are looking for a great meat & three restaurant with comfort foods done right, stop in to visit Chef Jay, Chef Harold and their staff at Capers on Park Avenue in Bluff Park. If you are looking to have a meal catered or a place to take your large group for a great meal, contact them at
(205) 637-6766. 
Like them on Facebook by visiting their page
Capers on Park Avenue is located at
571 Park Ave
Bluff Park, Alabama.

Thanks for following me as I #RaidBham

~The Birmingham Restaurant Raider
All original. 
All the time. 
Est. 2009
"Anonymously Raiding A Restaurant Near You"

Try a slice

So much to choose from

Comfort food

The ever changing daily menu

Add a  little dash of something flavorful

Chef Harold Simmons (L) Chef Jay Roberson (R)

Rolls in Progress