Friday, February 23, 2018

That Hot New Spot Called Metro Diner

If you're looking for a restaurant that has it all, Birmingham's Metro Diner is tailored for you. 
Known for their great breakfast and even more amazing lunch & dinner menus, Metro offer an outstanding variety of just about everything to suit every appetite. 

After hearing rave reviews and having many people recommend this place, I decided to see what all the fuss was about and decided to journey down to Metro Diner for lunch. 

I arrived during the peak of the lunch rush and was greeted & seated within seconds. My drink order was taken pretty quickly. It was a challenge to be starving and having to watch all of the other customers receive plates piled high with different menu items such as burgers, chicken & waffles and other mouth watering dishes. 

Atmosphere: Metro Diner has the ultimate "retro" diner feel. The decor is old school yet modern. There is booth & table seating. The restaurant is spacious enough to accommodate a moderate crowd.  

Staff: The server on my first visit was very attentive. The orders are taken table side with an electronic tablet style device. I studied the menu before arriving so the ordering process went like lightening.

What I/ We had: On my first visit I went solo. I had the Meatloaf Plate. If you order this, please warn your taste buds. The flavor is MIGHTY! You'll get 2 thick slices of their famous meatloaf, a warm baguette and a helping of deliciously seasoned grilled veggies & red skinned mashed potatoes that ARE better than your mom used to make. Thank goodness for the baguette bread, I needed something to wipe my plate!

On my second visit I went with a lunch mate. 
I wanted to try something different so I opted for the Chicken Salad-Salad, an extra large scoop of their home-made chicken salad made with grapes, celery, mayo & pecans on a bed of garden salad w/ a vinaigrette dressing. 

My companion had their home-style pot roast, a generous helping of beef roast & slow cooked vegetables with red skinned mashed potatoes and gravy & a baguette. 
Both dishes were extremely delicious, but extremely filling. 

Overall experience: Impressive. Metro Diner is a great place to dine. The atmosphere was good, the food was good and it's definitely a great place to go with a group with different appetites. I definitely plan to go back. The only issue that I had was that they were out of the salted caramel cheesecake on my first visit. I was, however, able to eat a slice on the 2nd trip. I scarfed it down before I could take photos. (Sorry) It's a popular seller and I recommend ordering it when you place your food order just so you don't miss out. 

For more information on Metro Diner visit
Twitter @metrodiner
Instagram @metrodiner 

180 Inverness Plaza
Birmingham, AL 35242

Thanks for reading & sharing this post! 
~The Birmingham Restaurant Raider
"Anonymously Raiding A Restaurant Near You"

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Eating Healthy Has Great Taste At The Joyful Food Company

Did you make a diet change at the beginning of the year and are finding it hard to stick to eating right? Did you make it through your Whole 30 plan?

Well, if not, don't feel bad. Lot's of people fell off of the wagon after a few short weeks. As your gym membership collects dust and your healthy meal kits sit lonely in the fridge, I just want to let you know that there's hope!

The team at The Joyful Food Company has everything you like to eat and more! As Alabama's only 100% Paleo/Gluten friendly food store, they are capable of catering to many of us with special diet requirements or those of us that just want to "clean up" our diets.

*Click photos to enlarge

Elizabeth & Rebecca, the delightful owners of the Joyful Food Company have developed a delicious menu that is not only healthier than most, but actually tastes amazing! They have baked goods, weekly features, guilt-free snacks and even family sized meals. Among the heat & eat family meals are the ready to bake Shepherd's Pie & their infamously delicious Paleo Chili. These items and more can be found in the coolers inside. 

On my recent visit, I was given the opportunity to learn about all of the wonderful products they offer. Their website displays an impressive menu. Whether you are looking for gluten free, nut free or dairy free products, there is definitely something to suit your needs.

 In addition to their own great grab-and-go products, the store is stocked with several local brands. There are popular items from Hornsby Farms,  Piper & Leaf, hand crafted aprons from Thimbletree Studio and much, much more.

 For my lunch I had the Cranberry Walnut Chicken salad bento box. In addition to the chicken salad,  was a serving of plantain chips, savory nut mix and a small serving of salsa. I'm a chicken salad snob. This chicken salad was THE BOMB! It also comes in much larger sizes in their take home containers. 

 For desert I had a couple of their scratch made Chocolate Chip Blondie's. Now, I know you're wondering how can something that sounds SOOOO good be healthy AND taste good. Well trust me on this one. The Blondie's are made using almond butter, free range eggs, honey, organic/fair trade chocolate chips, sea salt & baking soda. Theses melt in your mouth sweets are definitely going to fly off the shelves.

I topped it all off with an ice cold lime flavored LaCroix Sparking Water from their beverage cooler.

For more information on the products listed above or for delivery, please visit
Use Promo Code JOYFUL at check out for 15% off your first order. Follow them on Instagram @thejoyfulfoodco/
Check out their Facebook page

Thanks for reading & sharing this story!  
Enjoy additional photos below.

Thimbletree Studios Aprons

Grain-Free Granola Snacks

Piper & Leaf Tea

Elizabeth, Owner/Baker & Rebecca, Owner/Chef

All products are stamped with a shelf-life date.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Dining With Locals In Birmingham

Hello Birmingham!!

Although I have an "anonymous" 😎 persona, the main focus of The Birmingham Restaurant Raider is to put restaurants in the spotlight & give locals the inside scoop on Birmingham restaurants. 

"Dining With Locals" is a new feature that highlights people & small business owners throughout various parts of town. 

Name: Elaine Lyda
Career: Public Relations Agency Owner
Favorite Restaurant & Dish: Bob Sykes Barbecue
"Bob Sykes BBQ is a family owned & operated restaurant with some of the BEST barbecue in the state. My favorite dish is the BBQ pork sandwich and their smoked turkey is also very tasty!"
 Elaine Lyda Public Relations

NAME: Maurice Mercer
Career: President & CEO of Kat's Grocery Delivery, The Premier Grocery & Prepared Food Delivery Service
Favorite Restaurant & Dish(es):
"I love the gumbo from Cajun Boys and Our PoBoys in Pelham. In Birmingham, I like Cheeseburgers at Mugshots in the Uptown Entertainment District."

NAME: Marjorie Driver
Career: Team Lead Software Developer, Regions Bank
Favorite Restaurant & Dish:I LOVE the Dalai Lamba Melt & The Corn Dog at

NAME: Terry Gray
Career: President, First Response Workplace Conduct Solutions
Favorite Restaurant & Dish: My favorite place is Niki's West Restaurant on Finely Avenue. The Greek chicken is my favorite dish." 

NAME: Abigail Witthauer
Career: Certified Canine Behavior Consultant, Owner of RoverChase LLC
Favorite Restaurant & Dish: Surin of Thailand
"The Supercrunch roll & coconut soup are my all time favorites"

NAME: Van Sykes
Career: Second generation owner/ operator of Bob Sykes BBQ
Favorite Restaurant & Dish: "Other than the fantastic barbecue at Bob Sykes, I like to have an order of the snapper throats at The Bright Star Restaurant."

NAME: Dr. Thomas Dudney
Career: General and cosmetic dentist for over 35 years in Birmingham.
Favorite Dish & Restaurant:  "There are so many great restaurants in Birmingham it is hard to pick one, but I choose Bottega where the menu always changes and the pasta dishes are great. For steaks, my favorite is Fleming's."

NAME: Penelope Witthauer
Career: Executive Director of The RoverChase Foundation
Favorite Restaurant & Dish: "I love to eat brunch and The Village Tavern at The Summit has a wonderful brunch menu and great coffee. My favorite is the omelette with spinach & Gruyere cheese with a side of fresh fruit."

NAME: Arica Scott
Career: Owner of Honey Sweet Things Accessories & Honey Sweet Tees Custom T-Shirts
Favorite Restaurant & Dish: "I like Real & Rosemary. Their menu is WONDERFUL! One my favorites is the collard pesto dip with sliced baguette bread for dipping. You can taste the freshness in all of their food. It definitely leaves you wanting more." 
(On-line & Pop-ups)

For more information on other great restaurants & promotions visit the site at 

What are some of your favorites? 
Let me know!