Friday, March 15, 2019

Exploring The City With Birmingham Taste Tours

Launched in September 2018, Birmingham Taste Tours founder Annie Reynolds brings the food tourism trend to The Magic City.

The food tourism trend has begun in the metro Birmingham area. 
Walking food tours have been a source of entertainment and education for locals
and tourists alike for years in other cities. Previously voted one of  Zagat’s 30 Top Food Cities , Birmingham was the only one not utilizing walking food tours as an economic stimulator and (let’s face it) a really fun way to eat the city. Birmingham Taste Tours currently offers a walking food tours.  
The Downtown Tour: a 3 hour guided walking, food, drink, and historical tour of the Downtown neighborhood. Customers will sample 4 to 5 eclectic tastings from our most authentic, locally owned restaurants.
They will hear about Birmingham's  culinary history and culture and the people who helped shape it.

The Downtown Brunch Tour: On the Saturday brunch tour you will visit at least 3 restaurants and our local food hall to sample many traditional southern brunch items. You’ll be given the opportunity to indulge in classic brunch cocktails as well.   

The tour will consist of a discuss about the ongoing revitalization of Birmingham and specific new developments that are currently underway. Learn about Downtown’s history and its expected growth in the coming years.

This 3-hour tour will take you within a 1.5-mile walk of some of the popular streets of Downtown, where you will find locally owned shops and weekend neighborhood markets as well. The goal is to leave the food tour participants with the impression that Downtown is no longer just a weekday destination.

 It's Nice To Have You In Pepper Place Tour:
Enjoy this newly appointed Entertainment District and bustling Farmer’s Market on this 2 1/2 hr walking tour. Guests will enter several local eateries and sample both food and beverage tastings along the way. You will also hear from local farmers and artisans at the market and be able to purchase directly from the vendors. $10 worth of market tokens will be included in your tour ticket to use as you wish. You will hear the history of Pepper Place, taste what it has to offer, and see the neighborhood’s new and exciting growth!

The goal is for the tourist to feel comfortable adventuring throughout the city while getting a taste of local cuisine. Quite simply, it is a way for a tourist to become a local in 3 hrs.
Locals will hear fun stories of Birmingham they may not have heard before and have the opportunity to eat at several of their favorite restaurants in one day.
At Birmingham Taste Tours, guests get more than just a meal. They get a memory.
For more information about tours, please visit their website at and also look for them on Instagram, Facebook and

If your restaurant/business would like more information about becoming a partner, shoot an email to

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

Monday, March 4, 2019

Food Excellence 101 at Jefferson State's Bistro ProVare

Incredible chefs often begin their careers standing on a stool next to their grannies & gramps or mom & dad. If you had the opportunity to watch your parents or grand parents make their famous recipes, consider yourself fortunate. In may other cases, becoming a chef starts with a 5- star top rated culinary school. Jefferson State's Culinary & Hospitality program is exactly that. 
Accompanied by two friends, I recently made a visit to the campus bistro  to check out this semesters lunch assignments to see if they made the grade. 

Atmosphere: The Shelby campus bistro seats roughly 40 people and also has a slightly curved counter with bistro chairs. There is an open kitchen and also a brick oven on site. It definitely has the feel of a contemporary cafe. The tables are set with an upscale place setting. 

The Meal(s): A variety basket of breads including triangular Parmesan crisps was delivered to curb our hunger. We each tried a different dish from the appetizer menu. I tried the Crispy Shrimp Spring Rolls with a dipping sauce hinted with Asian flavors. These light & crispy spring rolls were incredible. One lunch mate had the Vegetable Soup. This scratch made soup was made up of cabbage, tomatoes, beans, peppers and topped with delicious cornbread crumbles. Our other lunch mate had the traditional Cesar salad: Romaine lettuce, house made croutons, shredded Parmesan with a creamy Caesar dressing.

Our entree's consisted of the Slow Cooked Jerk Pork: A succulent, hearty pork dish atop red beans and rice & cilantro slaw. This was a very good Caribbean dish. I finished every morsel.

 My other lunch mates had the Pan Seared Scallops: Large, perfectly cooked scallops accompanied by fingerling potatoes, fried Brussels sprouts and creamed leeks.

 The other entree' we tried was the Steak Tacos: Delicious, cuts of perfectly seasoned steak in a soft pita shell, topped with citrus slaw, jack cheese and avocado aioli with a heaping helping of french fried potatoes.  Another amazing dish! Overall, everything was absolutely perfect.

Overall Experience: This was a great experience. The student chefs did a phenomenal job with everything from presentation to the meal prep & plating. We will definitely be visiting again!
*The menu changes often*

For more information or to make a reservation this semester at Jefferson State's Bistro ProVare, visit their website at

Bistro ProVare at Jeff State
4600 Valleydale Road
Birmingham, Alabama 35242
(205) 983-5214

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