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. 

Friday, September 30, 2022

Happy Raider-Versary


Ranked as one of the 45 Best Alabama Blogs & News Websites to read, The Birmingham Restaurant Raider concept was started out of passion and determination to bring awareness to local restaurants. Since 2009, I have been able to attract readers & followers from all over the globe, prior to the massive food blogger surge. 

Many of the personal conversations I've had with travel bloggers, notable journalists and food enthusiasts from outside of our area have definitely aligned with my mission. A memorable moment was an international call I had with a Vietnamese chef who'd seen my blog. We have a few social media friends in common and I'd long admired his work as well. We talked about local restaurants that offered some of the cuisine that he enjoyed preparing in his own kitchen. 

Other memorable moments include being invited to collaborate with national brands & non-profits for worthy causes. 

The best moments have come from watching restaurants in our area experience growth & expansion or having a restaurant owner email me thanking me for a glowing review. 

Over the years, I have been able to host a variety of giveaways in the form of cash, restaurant gift cards, food festival tickets, even several random anonymous restaurant tab payments. Giving back to people who read, share & follow my reviews and social media posts is one million percent the biggest reward of all. 

My reviews are always anonymous, because making a name for myself has never been the focus of this concept. I write original content from a consumer's point of view. If I can't write a positive review, I reach out to management alerting them of the problem. Do I have bad experiences? Absolutely! Handling them privately benefits the restaurant a great deal.... another reason for anonymity.

As a thank you to all of the readers & followers in the city, I will continue to give back. To celebrate 13 years of The Birmingham Restaurant Raider, I will be anonymously paying 13 restaurant tabs all over the city during the entire month of October. 

Will you be one of the "Lucky 13"?  You've got to eat to win! ๐Ÿ˜€

Also, I've partnered with (formerly Waitr) for the entire month of October. Visit their website and use the promo code: BHAMRAIDER for FREE delivery of your order of $12.00 or more! *Valid in Birmingham October 1st through October 31st. 

To get unlimited FREE deliveries, sign up for an ASAP Unlimited subscription and get the first 30 days free!!  

Thanks SO much for going with me on my quest to spread the word about ALL of the great food in Birmingham & surrounding areas. Your interaction means the world to me!!  

~The Birmingham Restaurant Raider


Monday, September 19, 2022

An Amazing Evening At Oakhouse Birmingham


I scheduled a meeting at Oakhouse Restaurant, a popular eatery just south of metro Birmingham in the beautiful community of Mt. Laurel. 

1️⃣ We shared a "Pork Belly & Grits" appetizer. Succulent maple butter glazed pork belly, with blue cheese crumbles over a creamy bed of smoked gouda grits. Simply divine. 

2️⃣ A glass of red wine for my dinner companion๐Ÿท and I had my tried-and-true Cahaba Blonde draft beer. ๐Ÿบ

3️⃣ We both had the 14 oz Ribeye Steak. I had mine "Oscar Style" topped with lump crab meat and cream sauce w/ grilled asparagus and a side of scalloped potatoes au gratin.

4️⃣ Finally, with little room left, we shared a decadent slice of bread pudding with a caramel and cream sauce. I highly recommend this heavenly dessert. 

Overall, Oakhouse provided GREAT service in a beautiful atmosphere which made for a beautiful MUCH NEEDED night out and an amazing dining experience. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ’•

For more information on Oakhouse Restaurant or to make a reservation, 

Instagram Link: @oakhousebham

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

*Please take a moment to visit the website for The Roverchase Foundation. 
Your tax-deductible donations help provide professionally trained service animals to aid people with disabilities. 
This is an Alabama based non-profit organization.

Monday, June 6, 2022

Porky's Pride Smoke House Serves Up Prime Cuts


After seeing a social media post about the "72 Hour Smoked Prime Rib" in the middle of the afternoon, I immediately made plans to have dinner at Porky's Pride in Warrior, AL. I called a dinner companion and we hit I-65 North heading to culinary bliss. 

A little back story. Porky's Pride was once located in Fultondale, Alabama then transitioned into a popular food truck, which still makes its rounds all across central Alabama including metro Birmingham. They have once again set up shop in a brick-and-mortar location in Warrior. 

Atmosphere: The gravel parking lot was packed leading us to assume that we might have to wait for a table. They have limited outdoor seating which we would have been happy to accept. However, we were able to be seated immediately when we went inside. The aromas coming from the kitchen hit us in the face as we anxiously waited to place out orders for the highly anticipated prime rib dinners.  
They do have a bar as well which was seemingly stocked with a nice array of spirits. This is definitely a "jeans and tee shirt" kind of atmosphere. Having just got off work, my dinner mate and I stuck out just a little bit. 

Service: The service was outstanding and friendly. We knew what we wanted so there was no need to even look at the menu. 

The dish of the day: The "72 Hour Smoked" Prime rib is smoked for 72 hours and comes with 2 sides, a house salad, burgundy/ bourbon mushrooms, bordelaise, horseradish cream, & Texas toast. Folks, run, don't walk to get this dish. *This is ONLY served on Friday's after 4 p.m. They have a great variety of sides. Choose from Smokey Baked Beans, Deviled Egg Potato Salad (which is excellent), House French Fries, Pasta Salad, Mashed Potatoes, Braised Green Beans, Creamy Cole Slaw, Seared Zucchini, Cheesy Grits, Vinegar Based Slaw and Mac & Cheese.

One of the most succulent cuts of meat I have had in the last several years.

Overall experience: Although it's about 20 minutes north of central Birmingham, it's worth the drive and we can't wait to go back.

For information about Porky's Pride and to see their full menu, visit them on Facebook:

Thanks for reading & sharing this post! 
Support small, independently owned businesses in Alabama. 

~The Birmingham Restaurant Raider
"Anonymously Raiding A Restaurant Near You"
Est. 2009

Follow us on Twitter  & "Tweet What You Eat."

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Food Truck Fun At the 2022 Pelham Palooza Outdoor Fest


The 7th Annual Pelham Palooza in the Park is
Saturday May 21, 2022, from 10:00 A.M. until 4:00 P.M.
Hosted by the City of Pelham.

๐ŸŒฎFood Trucks ๐ŸŽคEntertainment ๐ŸถDog Friendly ๐Ÿ‘จ‍๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿ‘ง‍๐Ÿ‘ฆ Family Friendly
Face Painting
Kids Science Expos
Educational Demonstrations
Tennis Lessons
And MORE!!! Charity Cornhole Competition benefitting
There will be vendors and plenty of fun for the entire family.
Parking locations: Pelham Middle School, Pelham City Pelham City Library, Pelham Park's dog park, Pelham Rec Center, Bearden Road entrance at the back of Pelham Park & Pelham Tennis Courts.

See you there!! 

The Birmingham Restaurant Raider

Monday, March 28, 2022

Great Honey For The Money at "On A Shoestring Trading Company"


On A Shoestring Trading Co., founded in 1982, is a family owned & operated antique shop packed with tons of vintage decor, furniture and more! 

Now, I bet you're wondering what this has to do with food. 

Not only do they have fantastic antiques, but they currently stock very unique craft honey selections in their Bluff Park location. 

Butchertown Brandy, Orange Blossom & Woodford Reserve Bourbon Infused Honey 

The current inventory includes the award-winning Cloister Artisan Honey. Founded in 2007, this brand offers everything from whipped honey, infused honey, traditional honey and gift samplers.  The shop also carries 100% all natural, gluten free products from Queen Bee Gardens.  

Pumpkin Spiced Whipped Honey

Sampler Packs
Whipped Lavender Honey

These flavorful, best-selling products definitely made the visit worthwhile and are available for a limited time only. 

Whipped Products by Queen Bee Gardens

Cream Honey Pralines with Pecans by Queen Bee Gardens

All of these products tasted incredible. Especially the infused honey. Add a spoonful to your next cup of tea or drizzle over a bowl of ice cream or a slice of cheesecake. These are sure to add a touch of flavor to any dessert. 

It was SO hard to share the pralines with my family. Each morsel was sweet & packed with creamy goodness! I can't wait to buy another bag. 

Pick up your products asap before they are all gone!

For more information on these sweet products and the vintage offerings of On A Shoestring Trading Co., visit them on Instagram and FaceBook.

On A Shoestring Trading Co.

601 Shades Crest Road, Hoover, Alabama 35226, United States

(205) 848-2127

Thanks for reading & sharing! 
The Birmingham Restaurant Raider
"Anonymously Raiding a Restaurant ( Or Antique shop) Near You! 
Est. 2009

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

11th Annual Bob Sykes BBQ & BLUES Festival


The Bob Sykes BBQ & BLUES Festival presented by City of Bessemer and Premiere Chevrolet is set for April 30, 2022. This event will combine the best blues music and legendary Bob Sykes Bar B Q at the beautiful DeBardeleben Park located in historic downtown Bessemer, Alabama from 12-8pm. Gates open at 11am. Be sure to bring your chair, or blanket and set-up your spot for the day to enjoy talented blues musicians.


Bob Sykes BBQ & BLUES Festival is proud to announce the music line up that includes Grammy winning blues legend Bobby Rush. AMG Album of the Year winner Robert Kimbrough Sr. Blues Connection and award winning blues musicians including Tullie Brae, Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’Blues , Hurricane Elaine Hudson, NJ Speights and Reggie Yarbrough and Company.

Van Sykes

Since 2010, the event has been a local favorite for festival goers. Attendees of the festival range from youth to adults. 2nd generation owner and pit master of Bob Sykes Bar B Q Van Sykes says, “Each year the festival grows, and we couldn’t do it without our sponsors and the support of the community.” City of Bessemer Mayor Kenneth Gulley says "The Bob Sykes BBQ and Blues Festival has been a great event for the City of Bessemer. We're looking forward to many more great years of barbecue and blues music in downtown Bessemer.” The festival has been chosen for numerous years as one of the top food festivals in Alabama by There is something to do for the entire family including a large kid's corner with activities and games. Children eight and under are free with a ticketed adult. Besides great music and bbq the festival offers a variety of booths including arts and crafts, outdoor exhibits, and a diverse selection of vendors selling tempting offers.

General admission tickets can be purchased at or visit Bob Sykes Bar B Q Restaurant.

The festival will give a portion of the proceeds to a local Alabama charity “Caring Men and Caring Women” that motivates, empowers, and encourages boys and girls through mentoring and various other resources to be positive decision makers and to help facilitate the process that will shape them into successful and responsible adults.

Thanks for reading & sharing! 


Monday, February 21, 2022

Birmingham Restaurant Week- Winter Edition 2022


BIRMINGHAM, Ala.Jan. 12, 2022 Birmingham Restaurant Week (BRW) organizers are pleased to announce the dates of BRW 2022 - Winter Edition presented by Spire. Happening Thursday, Feb. 17 through Saturday, Feb. 26, the 10-day event brings patrons the opportunity to indulge in two, three and four-course meals at a prix-fixe price at over 30 participating restaurants, bars and food trucks. BRW also has plans to host crowd-favorite events, Wine-O-Logy on Feb. 22, alongside a new cocktail-style event, Magic City Mix-O-Logy, on March 1

Watkins Branch

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. Known as Birmingham’s premier culinary and beverage event, BRW aims to support local restaurants by giving individuals incentives to enjoy the South’s most vibrant culinary destination one bite at a time. BRW helps to stimulate the local economy and boosts local love for Birmingham’s award-winning restaurant scene. 

Red Diamond Coffee Martini

Previously scheduled for January, BRW organizers decided to postpone the Winter Edition because of the recent surge of COVID-19 cases due to the highly contagious Omicron variant.  BRW will continue to monitor cases and seek advice from public health officials going forward. 

Sol Y Luna Patio

To safely serve patrons who don’t want to dine in, participating businesses will again boast to-go and/or curbside options as well as the traditional dine-in option. Additionally, many restaurants have made special accommodations to safely serve diners during the winter and to allow for al fresco dining no matter the weather by offering outdoor high-powered heaters, firepits, cabana tents and enclosed patios. 

Sabor Latino


“Birmingham’s culinary and beverage industry and its residents have been through a rough couple of years of heartbreak due to the COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide labor shortage, and Birmingham Restaurant Week 2022 - Winter Edition is a high note for everyone,” said Bill Stoeffhaas, co-founder of BRW and owner of Style Advertising, the organizer of BRW. “BRW’s 10-day culinary affair provides an opportunity for the public to revisit old favorites or experience new restaurants in the new year while allowing local chefs to showcase delicious recipes that put Birmingham on the foodie road map.”

Fat Charles' BBQ

Organizers expect approximately 30 to 40 Birmingham-area restaurants, food trucks, bars and coffee shops to participate in BRW 2022 - Winter Edition and join in on Birmingham’s renowned food and beverage promotional blitz. Those currently registered include: Ash Homewood, Aww Shucks, Bay Leaf Modern Indian Cuisine & Bar, Blueroot, Dread River Distilling Co., EATS Highland, El ZunZรบn, Farrelly’s Southern Bar & Kitchen, Fat Charles BBQ, Filter Coffee Parlor, Iron City Grill, Michael’s Restaurant, Moonshine Rooftop Bar at Elyton Hotel, Ovenbird Restaurant, Red Mountain Crawfish, Rojo, Roots & Revelry, Sabor Latino, Slice Pizza and Brewhouse - Lakeview, Slice Pizza and Brewhouse - Vestavia, Sol Y Luna, Steel Gastropub, The Current at Cahaba, The Gardens Cafe by Kathy G., The Fennec, The Yard Birmingham at Elyton Hotel, Tropicaleo, Vino, Watkins Branch Bourbon & Brasserie and Whole Latte Drip.


Diners can search participating restaurants and their special menus on the BRW website at via the home page and the Eat/Drink page powered by Bham Now. Users can view participating businesses by neighborhood, meal, price point, service or other desired option to aid in planning their BRW culinary plan of attack.


“At Spire, we understand the vital role restaurants and other businesses in the food and beverage industry play in a community,” says Joe Hampton, president of Spire Alabama. “That’s why we’re proud to continue our partnership with Birmingham Restaurant Week, support our local restaurants and provide the community with a way to connect through enjoying great food and drink. Restaurant Week has proved to be the perfect way to do that, and we’re looking forward to continuing to build an even stronger connection through the 2022 Winter Edition.”


BRW will again be promoted in local and regional media with both earned coverage and paid advertising in print, TV and digital media outlets, as well as through extensive social media campaigns. Participants of BRW can expect to receive multiple opportunities of multimedia promotion, an increase in sales, exposure to a large pool of culinary and beverage industry supporters and 10-plus days of constant promotion. 


Oven Bird

Stoeffhaas also noted, “During the pandemic, many restaurants were able to avoid closing their doors by offering curbside pick-up, to-go and delivery services, but now restaurants are facing labor shortages that are making operating normally challenging. With BRW, our goal is not only to promote locally owned restaurants but to provide assistance to them where we are able to. Without our restaurants, the vibrancy of our culinary community will diminish.”

Iron City Grill

According to a recent article by, Alabama has the nation’s 11th largest labor shortage. The largest of job openings have happened in food services, hospitality, health care and others. In August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that job openings increased to 10.9 million or about 6.9 percent from July 2021. As noted in Birmingham Watch, Birmingham-Hoover metro area’s leisure and hospitality industry had 50,500 employees in July. That’s up from 42,400 the same month in 2020 but still below the 54,400 employees for July 2019. Due to this, restaurants across the state and the country have increased wages. From July 2020 to July 2021, average hourly earnings for restaurant and hospitality workers have increased by at least $1.95 here in Alabama (from $12.92 to $14.87) - more than in any neighboring state during that same time. For individuals seeking a career in the culinary industry, there is no better time than now. 

Thanks for reading & sharing!