Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Blaze Pizza: Serving At The Speed Of Light

Birmingham's south side is growing faster than you can imagine. With several medical facility & business expansions happening, restaurant growth is at an all time high.
Blaze Pizza is one of the new kids on the block. The restaurant is  located on the corner of Richard Arrington Blvd & 7th Avenue South near UAB hospital, on the street level of The Waites, a mixed use residential & retail development. 

The restaurant's "Fast Fire'd" custom built pizza concept is definitely a hit with the busy locals in the area. In a society where everyone wants good food fast, Blaze Pizza is happy to accommodate. With an oven flaming at 535 degrees, pizzas are hot & ready to eat in 180 seconds.

Atmosphere: The atmosphere is bright with a moderate amount of seating. There is table seating and large booths in the rear of the restaurant. Actually they are large enough to probably seat 6 to 8 people. The menu boards are clearly visible right above the assembly line. 

Staff: The staff at the Birmingham location is filled with rock stars. Every customer that walked in was treated like a welcomed friend. The customer service standards here appear to be extremely high. I overheard as the concept was explained to all first time guests. The more you know, the more you go! Everyone was amazing!

What I had: The assembly line is filled with tons of fresh pizza toppings. More than my eyes could handle.

I opted for one of the pre-designed Signature pizzas. My delicious Green Stripe Pizza was hand crafted using fresh dough, topped with garlic, mozzarella cheese, chunks of chicken, red peppers, arugula with a drizzle of pesto. I decided to modify mine a little by adding green bell peppers, onions and olives... and extra cheese.

My side salad consisted of the Tomato & Mozzarella salad: wild baby arugula, romaine, grape tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, red peppers and balsamic dressing.

 For dessert, I tried the S'mores Pie. Mmmmm just hot, gooey sweetness all smushed together!  You get the idea. 

To wash it all down, I had a cup of ice cold blood orange lemonade. 

Additionally they serve beer & wine and have countless other pizza combinations. 
For more information about Blaze Pizza, visit BlazePizza.com   

Visit them between the hours of 10:30 a.m. & 10 p.m.
707 Richard Arrington Jr Blvd South
Birmingham, AL 35233
(205) 378-3888
 Follow them on social media @BlazePizza 

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


Monday, April 9, 2018

The 2018 Mudbugs & Music Event

It's that time again! The 2018 Mudbugs & Music event benefiting the Arthritis Foundation is happening on May 5, 2018 at the popular Cahaba Brewing Company. This event will feature all-you-can eat crawfish with tickets starting at only $10.00!

This annual pet friendly event welcomes craw fish lovers from far & wide. 

Come join us as we raise money for the Arthritis Foundation and enjoy live music from The Dozens Band  and Stephen McCullough.

Along with craw fish from Shindigs, there will be tons of kids activities as well as a silent auction & more! 

I get excited about local fundraising activities. I'm even more excited about this event because the 2018 honoree for this years event is someone that I have personally known since before she was born. Ella Grace Young, is a very talented young lady who  lives with JIA (juvenile idiopathic arthritis). 

After learning about this honor, we had a conversation about the event and what it means to her. 

Ella Grace
"Being the honoree of this event definitely makes me feel a part of a community. A lot of my friends think that only older people get arthritis, but being a teenager with JIA (juvenile idiopathic arthritis), I feel a part of a community of kids my age that are all dealing with the same thing. Camp Mash is a summer camp for kids with arthritis just like me. In fact, I met my best friend at camp and she doesn’t even live in Alabama! Knowing that so many other people my age are dealing with arthritis is comforting.  It also makes me so thankful to God that I can participate in events like this and those in the future."


"I hope that the organization of Mudbugs and Music and all future events like it will open up an environment for other kids to feel the upsides of dealing with arthritis. I know how weird this will sound but besides dealing with the pain, I am kind of thankful for having JIA!  With the way the Arthritis Foundation has supported me and so many other kids, I am actually happy that I’m able to be apart of things like this."

When asked if she plans to eat any of the craw fish, she responded,  "The irony is that I’ve never actually had craw fish before but I do plan on trying some at Mudbugs and Music!"

MAY 5,2018
1:00-6:00 p.m.
Cahaba Brewing Co
4500 5th Ave South
Birmingham, AL 35222

Click here to purchase MudBugs & Music Tickets 
If you can't make it to the event, click here to DONATE 

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

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

PROFILE: A Place To Hang Your Apron

This story is VERY near & dear to my heart. 

From childhood to adulthood, I ate at the Costa's Barbecue near Finley Boulevard in Birmingham. From blocks away, you could smell & see the smoke billowing from the chimney. Not only was it a place to get good food, it was a place where I had memorable moments with family, colleagues and developed many new friendships. The food & service were great! The ribs, the chicken, the veggies, the pies..... Ahhhh, the memories. 

Unfortunately they closed a few years back. 
Fast forward to 2018, this property is now available  & waiting on a new occupant! 

I recently did a phone interview with the current owner, Curt Ruttle, who is very familiar with the history of the Costa's brand and is passionate about making sure the building is occupied by someone with a potentially successful, but unique concept.

Here are the details: 
  • Although Costa's began it's operations from this site in 1983, the building is still in GREAT shape. 
  • Seating Capacity - approximately 85
  • It has drive through window capabilities
  • It has an alarm system
  • Several pieces of equipment will come with the building
  • There is approximately 4,100 square feet on the main level
  • The upper level is approximately 800 square feet inclusive of office space and dry storage
  • High visibility location with nearly 30,000 vehicles traveling the area daily
  • One block away from the historic Alabama Farmer's Market
  • The address is 2201 4th Place West Birmingham, AL 35204 
  • Surrounded by tons of established businesses
  • Only minutes from Downtown, UAB & Birmingham-Southern College
  • Fast access to I-20 & I-65
If you are not looking to open a meat & three, this would be a great option to expand your existing business, transition your catering or food truck business into a brick & mortar location. There are already two popular meat & three concepts in the area.

Smokehouse Steaks & Seafood is directly behind it and their business is booming. However, they are only open for breakfast and lunch. Nikki's West is a block up and their business is booming as well. Lots of people coming to eat in this area.
There are major future renovations planned in areas surrounding this property. 

A corporation just bought the Food Terminal directly behind this property and they will be adding over 500 employees to their roster over the next year and they will be working 3 shifts. The Hwy 78 bridge expansion  will be completed within the year as well.

If you would like to set up an appointment for a showing, please contact, Curt Ruttle via email cruttle007@gmail.com. Serious business inquiries only.  

Share this story with an aspiring chef! 

Thanks for reading! 
~The Birmingham Restaurant Raider
"Anonymously Raiding A Restaurant Near You"

*Click on the interior & exterior photos below to enlarge