Friday, November 10, 2023

New Features At DeVinci's Pizza & Italian Restaurant


I recently had the pleasure of trying some new features at the famous De Vinci's Pizza & Italian Restaurant in Homewood, Alabama. Although I would normally get one of their signature dishes, The Mona Lisa or The Meatball De Vinci, I was introduced to a few GREAT new featured dishes that are sure to become crowd faves in no time. 

I started out with the Bruschetta Mozzarella, a new featured appetizer. One of the most amazing things about this traditional Italian bruschetta, it can be a small plate meal or a shared appetizer for a group. Topped with fresh tomatoes, melt in your mouth mozzarella, fresh basil oh and.....the drizzle of tasty balsamic reduction makes this a flavorful winner in my book. 

The Caprese Flatbread is definitely one that I'd highly recommend. It's a simple take on Caprese. Thin crust dough, a flavorful marinara sauce, cheese, fresh basil, cherry tomatoes and more of that tasty balsamic drizzle (for shizzle). 

De Vinci's is well known for their hearty sized entrees and the Creamy Lemon Penne pasta dish did not disappoint.  
A generous helping of penne pasta, with a dash of lemon zest, garlic cream sauce, fresh basil and fresh parmesan cheese. I added shrimp, but mushrooms and chicken are also optional. I would give this a five-star rating. Paired with a glass of Italian Zenato Pino Grigio, this was definitely THE highlight of the night. I'm hoping to see this become a permanent menu item. Run.... don't walk to get this dish! ★★★★★ 


The 2nd entree was a penne pasta with their zesty House Vodka sauce, topped with fresh basil and freshly shaved parmesan cheese. Ever have one of those dishes so good that you have to close your eyes after the first bite? This is that one of those dishes. All entrees are served with a side of their signature hot, buttered garlic bread. 

"Did you save room for dessert?" That famous question that we've all been asked just when we talk about how unbelievably stuffed we are. YES! Yes, I have room. Thankfully, I had only had small portions of all of the previous dishes, so I did have room. 

Their Italian Tri-Colored Almond Cake is a sweet ending to any meal. Three layers of cake with a thin layer of maraschino cherry sauce between each layer and a thin layer of chocolate frosting. A sweet ending indeed! 

De Vinci's does a tremendous amount of take-out business and can be found on several delivery apps. However, if you are looking for a nice date night spot or looking to impress someone with great Italian food, their menu is one that has something for every appetite. 

For more information about De Vinci's Pizza and Italian Restaurant, visit 

2707 18th Street South
Homewood, AL 35209

Thanks for reading & sharing! 

The Birmingham Restaurant Raider

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Dining With Locals


Over the years I have generated a mile long list of all of your restaurant recommendations. My goal is to avidly get to them all. It's always fascinating to hear about your experiences. Dining With Locals is a feature that allows locals & small business owners to give us the scoop on their favorite places around town. 

NAME: Abigail Witthauer

Career: Certified Canine Behavior Consultant, Owner of RoverChase LLC
Favorite Restaurant & Dish: "Of all the places I’ve eaten in the last year, I can’t stop thinking are both Automatic Seafood and Dread River. The place I go back to over and over again because it’s my favorite is Surin 280. My faves: The Super Crunch Roll, coconut soup, crab angels & lychee martini."

Visit or for more information about Abigail's work & her non-profit organization. 

 Mike King

Career: Certified Senior Product Specialist & Sales Rep at Edwards Chevrolet Downtown Birmingham
Favorite Restaurant & Dish: "The dealership keeps me pretty busy, but when I have the chance, I love a good meat & three restaurant. Jasmine's Cafe in Pratt City never misses. I can't pick a favorite dish because I love their entire menu and the opportunity to support a small business as much as possible. If you're looking for good home cooking on-the go, Jasmine's has a very diverse menu especially if you like country cooking." 

Shopping for a vehicle? Check out Edwards Chevrolet downtown & ask for Mike.

NAME: Nikki Frank

Career: 10-year-old student, entrepreneur & philanthropist 
Favorite Restaurant & Dish: "I really like seafood! Especially sushi & clams. But I love when my mom takes us to Speedy's Mexican Restaurant in Hueytown. The giant taco salad is my favorite!" 

Visit for more information about Nikki's organic, hand made products. 

If you would like to be featured in dining with locals, please send in your favorite restaurant, your business logo or headshot along with details of your small business or organization along with website information to

Thanks for reading & sharing! 
~The Birmingham Restaurant Raider
Est. 2009

*This month, The Birmingham Restaurant Raider brand turns 14! This concept was started in order to anonymously shine the light on local restaurants, cafes, caterers and food festivals. Thank you, friends & followers, near and far.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Make Your Way To Blue Sushi Sake Grill


Birmingham has some outstanding restaurants. I think we can all agree on that. It's always nice to find one of those spots that you'd go to over & over again. 
I recently visited one of my new favorite places, Blue Sushi Sake Grill in the Summit Shopping Community off of highway 280. 

We were celebrating a very special birthday so to be sure that we'd be guaranteed a table, I made a reservation via Thank goodness I did, because the place filled up within moments of us being seated. When using the reservation app, you are allowed to select your seating choice at many establishments. Booth seating is always my preference. Our server, Austin, recommended everything we tried. His attention to detail was superb. 

We started out with a couple of savory starters: A bowl of the traditional Edamame & The Coconut Crab Soup: roasted corn, sweet potatoes, yellow curry, coconut milk, cilantro, chili oil. 



Since we were celebrating, we decided to have a couple of items from their popular custom cocktail menu: The Strawberry Daisy and The Raspberry Mojito. These paired extremely well with all of the menu items we selected. 



Our sushi rolls consisted of the Rainbow Roll: bigeye tuna, salmon, yellowtail, ebi, crab mix, avocado & cucumber. The Spicy Tekka: spicy bigeye tuna & cucumber

Both rolls were outstanding. Our feature dishes included the Tuna Tower & The Salmon Poke Bowl. These were by far, two incredible dishes that I would definitely recommend to a first-time visitor. 

Click To Enlarge

The Tuna Tower: sesame and ponzu-marinated bigeye tuna, spicy crab mix, avocado and sushi rice, topped with black tobiko and wasabi sprouts, served with honey wasabi, mango and eel sauces. 

Click To Enlarge

The Salmon Poke Bowl: sockeye salmon, sweet onion, wakame and avocado, tossed in sesame dressing, served with nori crisps and cucumber sunomono.

Overall, Blue Sushi Sake Grill has all of the elements for a fun night out, date night or a special occasion dinner. Their menu variety combined with the outstanding service definitely puts them on my list of favorites. 

For more information or to make a reservation, visit their website at 

Blue Sushi Sake Grill
238 Summit Blvd
Birmingham, AL 35243

Also download or visit to start earning dining rewards. 

Thanks for reading & sharing! 
The Birmingham Restaurant Raider

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Hometown Fare Hits a Home Run


Hello All! 
Here's a short & sweet recap of a local dining experience. 

During a recent (and much needed) self-care day at Birch Tree Day Spa in the Ross Bridge community, I decided to check out the restaurant offerings in the area. In walking distance was a very quaint spot called Hometown Fare

The atmosphere was quite inviting. The dining area was very well lit with a "hometown feel.  They also have several shelves containing great wine selections for vino enthusiasts. It was AFTER the lunch rush, so I had the place all to myself along with another couple. 

The staff was super friendly and made the ordering process very easy for this first timer. The Hometown Burger, a popular menu item, was highly recommended. I added a side of a seasonal dish, the Mexican Street corn.

The Hometown Burger is 6 ounces of perfectly grilled beef surrounded by fresh, crispy lettuce, tomato, melted cheddar cheese & savory grilled onions on their signature branded brioche bun. The generous helping of the street corn was perfectly cooked and seasoned to perfection. I can't wait for this side item to make its way back to the menu. 

Overall, this is definitely a spot that I would HIGHLY recommend to anyone in the area looking for a great menu full of hometown cafe favorites without outrageous prices. I can't wait to return to this spot.  

They also have the most amazing 5-course fall wine dinner scheduled on October 13th. 
Click to enlarge.

For more information on Hometown Fare or to make a reservation for the fall wine dinner, visit

Visit them on Instagram @hometownfarerb/ & Facebook @hometownfarerb
Hometown Fare
3623 Market Street 
Suite 101
Hoover, AL 35226
(205) 957-6460

Thanks for reading and sharing! 
~The Birmingham Restaurant Raider
"Anonymously Raiding A Restaurant Near You"
Est. 2009


Thursday, July 13, 2023

Birmingham Restaurant Week - 2023 Summer Edition Returns July 20th through 29th

 BIRMINGHAM, Ala.June 30, 2023 Birmingham Restaurant Week (BRW) organizers are pleased to announce BRW 2023 - Summer Edition presented by Spire will take place Thursday, July 20 through Saturday, July 29. The 10-day event brings patrons the opportunity to indulge in two, three and four-course meals at a prix-fixe price at over 50 participating restaurants, bars and food trucks. BRW also has plans to host its most recent addition, a Food Truck Pop-Up Park July 20-22 in addition to crowd-favorite events like the signature BRW Preview Party on Tuesday, July 18 and Wineology on Tuesday, Aug. 1.

From fine dining to down-home cookin’, food and drink lovers with a taste for adventure can enjoy special breakfast, lunch and/or dinner prix-fixe menus ranging from $5 to $50 per person – making it easy and affordable for everyone to enjoy a taste of Birmingham’s diverse dishes and sips. Now in its 14th year, the 10-day culinary affair provides an opportunity for the public to revisit old favorites or experience new restaurants, allow local chefs to showcase delicious recipes that put Birmingham on the foodie road map, promote and support local restaurants, and most importantly, create real change around issues of food insecurity. BRW inspires diners to taste all that Birmingham’s thriving culinary scene has to offer.

BRW 2023 - Summer Edition will also include its annual Preview Party to kick off the foodie event, which will be held at the Sloss Furnaces Visitor Center (20 32nd St. N., Birmingham 35222) on Tuesday, July 18 from 5 to 8 p.m. Party goers will taste and see what more than 10 participating BRW restaurants will be serving on their menus. Restaurants include Avondale Common House, I Love Tina & Gina’s, Michael’s Restaurant, Nori Thai and Sushi, Roots & Revelry, Sabor Latino, Slice Pizza & Brew House, Taj India, Vino and others. Each restaurant will serve a signature bite served alongside drinks from Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Stella Artois and Wicked Weed with Adams Beverages, United Johnson Brothers of Alabama and Coca-Cola United. Complimentary valet parking will be provided by Parking Professionals at this typically sold-out event. 

BRW’s Food Truck Pop-Up Park will take place Thursday, July 20 through Saturday, July 22 and will provide a central spot for 10 BRW participating food trucks to offer meals to the public, located downtown at 32nd Street South and Sixth Avenue South, convenient to the business and residential districts of Southside, Lakeview, Forest Park and Avondale

* Preview Party Ticket Link:

For more information about BRW, visit BRW is active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @bhamrestweek. The official event hashtags are #BhamRestWeek and #BRW2023.

Thanks for reading & sharing!

~The Birmingham Restaurant Raider

Est. 2009

To view full page on PC visit

Monday, November 7, 2022

Say Cheese!!! It's time for the 5th Annual Magic City Mac & Cheese Fest!


Hey Birmingham!! 

The 5th annual Magic City Mac & Cheese Festival will take place in Birmingham Sunday November 13,2022 at Back Forty Beer Company This event is pet friendly and will have free activities for children. Beer, soda, water and a limited menu will be available through Back Forty!

All proceeds from the Mac + Cheese Festival benefit Community Grief Support to help fund free grief support groups, individual counseling and community education in the Greater Birmingham area.

This annual festival, which is dedicated to one of America's favorite comfort foods, attracts people from all over the southeast. Tickets are now on sale! Admission tickets$15 Early Bird Ticket Sales Admission tickets$20 General Admission (The day of the event) Admission tickets$5 Children ages 6-12 Children 5 and under FREE! Paid admission will get you into the festival to try UNLIMITED mac & cheese samples from popular local restaurants & businesses around town.


Back Forty Beer Company is located in Birmingham at 3201 1st Ave North across from Sloss Furnaces. 

The Birmingham Restaurant Raider is happy to be a 2022 event sponsor.

Select your sponsorship package by visiting:


If you or someone you know needs grief counseling, please visit


Thanks for reading & sharing!
~The Birmingham Restaurant Raider

*Community Grief Support is a non-profit organization formed for the purpose
of providing free compassionate grief counseling to those in need in the Birmingham area.