All Time Favorites
A tried and true list of All Time Favorites!
By Jan Walsh
Baby Lobster Tails - 26: On Monday evenings the daily special at 26 (Twenty Six) is Baby Lobster Tails. These hickory-wood fired, grilled babies are consistently moist, succulent, sweet—and to die for. I also catch this dish at 26’s partner restaurant, Ocean, on Tuesday through Saturday evenings as a dinner appetizer special.
Ruben Supreme – Another Broken Egg: Ruben Supreme
Fine cuts of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing on grilled rye bread—just what a Ruben should be. This classic, hot and delicious sandwich is served with pickle and country potatoes.
Crab Angels - Asian Rim: Four divine deep fried wontons of crab and cream cheese, served with a sweet Thai chili sauce.
Sonoma Sliders - Avo: Chef Ben Kirk’s tasty sliders are true to the style of this California cuisine restaurant and please all. Ground tenderloin with melted foie gras, caramelized onions on house focaccia with port-wine Dijon make this a long time popular dish.
Cheese Ravioli - Bellini’s Ristorante & Bar: The pasta for this dish is fresh and handmade. Each round envelope is generously stuffed with a beautiful combo of white cheeses. A flavorful, brilliant red, tomato sauce and a layer of
melted cheese top the ravioli, which is grated fresh at the table.
Eggs Benedict - Big Bad Breakfast: County ham and farm eggs star in this tasty, eye opening breakfast at Big Bad Breakfast.
Rib-eye Steak Sandwich - Billy’s Sports Grills, English Village & Overton: This hearty, marinated and grilled rib-eye is cooked to order and served on a bun with lettuce, tomato, and mayo. Tried and true—I have enjoyed this consistently delicious sandwich for many years, at both Billy’s locations.
Eggs Horatio - Billy’s Overton: Two steak tenderloin medallions nestle atop English muffins and topped with poached eggs. The eggs are cooked to order, so the yolk spills over the steak, bread and onto the surrounding buttery grits on first cut. Sides include a bowl of grits and fresh melons.
Crab Cakes - Bistro 218: Chef Tom Saab's outstanding crab cakes are full of crab not filler and fried to a golden brown in peanut oil.
Fish of the Day at Bistro V: Typically grouper or snapper atop a bed of fresh veggies and grit cake in an awesome sauce, chef Jeremy Downey outdoes himself daily with this special that is very special.
White Pizza Pie - Bottega Café: I fear that I am addicted to Bottega Café’s White Pie because their servers know it is “my usual.” This perfect balance of fennel sausage, onion, ricotta and provolone integrate into the pizza’s handmade dough that evolves into a divine, light crust in the wood oven. Just can’t help myself!
Gulf Red Snapper & Italian Succotash - Bottega Restaurant: Authentically Bottega—this grouper dish is both Southern and Italian. The snapper is pink on the outside, white and and flaky on the inside. And the succotash is a scrumptious mix of fresh field peas, corn, zucchini along with hints of basil.
A Taste of Three Ice Creams - Brock's: A Taste of Three Ice Creams makes the perfect end to any meal at Brock's, located at Renaissance Ross Bridge Resort and Spa.
Grilled Shrimp Quesadillas - Cantina Tortilla Grill: Grilled Shrimp Quesadillas spark up my day. Warm tortilla envelopes hot, succulent, grilled shrimp with a spicy mix of black beans, yellow corn and roasted bell peppers.
Lobster and Shrimp BLT – Chez Fonfon: Big bites of lobster and shrimp, apple smoked bacon, tiny bites of tomato, red onion and leaves of romaine synthesize into a marvelous medley of flavors accented by fresh chives, parsley and shallots. This magnificent dish is enjoyed as a Wednesday special in the summer months.
Buster Crab Sandwich - Dixie Fish Co: A whole soft shell crab is fried to a golden brown in this wonderful sandwich topped with lettuce and tomato.
Soupa Avgolemono - Dodiyos Dodiyós’ signature soup of Chicken and Orzo Soup, “Soupa Avgolemono” both comforts my soul and satisfies my appetite. This creamy lemon-and-egg soup includes tasty strips of shredded white chicken meat and bites of orzo. And the last wonderful bite is as piping hot as the first.
Country Ham Sliders - Dram Whiskey Bar: Chef Ben Kirk’s Country Ham Sliders from the “Victuals” list are four small and light buttermilk biscuits, filled with layers of thinly sliced Benton Farms (Tennessee) country ham, and served with apple butter—brings back childhood memories of Granny’s ham and biscuits.
Big Daddy Chicken Sandwich – Dreamland Bar-B-Que: One half pound of hickory barbecue smoked chicken—chopped, sliced or pulled—is piled high on a warm bun, along with Dreamland’s legendary sauce and dill pickle slices. BBQ does not get better than this, unless you pair it with their tasty, toasty cheese fries.
Fried Crab Claws – Dyron’s Lowcountry: I am a huge fan of Dyron’s Crab Claws. They are available fried or marinated. But I like the fried so much that I have yet to order them marinated. Huge meaty claws are fried to a golden brown—served with lemon wedges and Dyron’s old-fashioned cocktail or citrus vinaigrette.
Specialty Order Brunch Burger - Flip Burger: Not on the menu but can special order this awesome burger of grass fed beef and farm egg at Flip Burger.
Grouper - Galley and Garden: Gorgeous grouper with the best sweet potatoes ever and a delightful fried greens on top.
Fettuccini Alfredo with Gulf Shrimp - GianMarco’s Restaurant: Ribbons of fettuccini, with Old World texture and earthy flavors are lightly tossed in Alfredo. Rich white sauce adheres to each noodle, synthesizing both the structure and flavors of each. And large, beautiful, pink Gulf Shrimp—simply sautéed with butter, salt and pepper—crown the pasta with their succulent goodness.
Friture de la Mer – Highlands Bar and Grill: Frank Stitt’s’ Friture de la Mer makes a delightful appetizer for sharing. But sometimes I make a meal of it by keeping it all to myself. Generous, golden portions of fresh fried grouper, shrimp, and oysters are accented by the acidity of fried lemons and the crunch and heat of the fried peppers. And Highlands’ divine, Sauce Rémoulade adds creaminess to the dish.
Tomato Salad – Hot and Hot Fish Club : Fresh peas, fresh corn, fried okra, and chive aioli intermingle with a stack of colorful fresh Beefsteak, Golden Delight, Rainbow and Sweet 100 tomatoes. A slice of crunchy Apple Wood smoked bacon is atop this tomato tower. Chris and Idie Hastings offer this divine dish during summer, when local tomatoes and other vegetables in the dish are in season.
Heirloom Tomato Quiche - Iron City Grill:
A tomato lover's dream filled with Heirlooms of all colors.
Old Fashioned Holiday - JT's Lounge: Make any day a holiday with this special cocktail at JT's, located at Renaissance Ross Bridge Resort and Spa.
Root Beer Float - Jackson’s Bar & Bistro:
Three Olives Root Beer Vodka—a blend of imported English vodka with flavors of root beer—is the foundation of this drink. Served in a lowball, it is dark on bottom—mixed with Coke— and white on top with a mountain of creamy vanilla foam.
Nashville Style Hot Chicken - Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q: If you like it really hot, you will love this dish at Jim 'Nick's.
Baked Chicken Greek Style - Lloyd’s Restaurant
: The lovely half chicken arrives on a large platter along side the large baked, skinless potato—both in the chicken’s jus. Mild, rich Greek flavors enhance this delicious chicken and tasty potato.
Spaghetti & Sicilian-Style Meatballs - Nabeel’s Café & Market: Ribbons of spaghetti are tossed in an Italian sauce, made from a family recipe. The sauce is mild, not spicy. The spaghetti has an old world texture and heartiness. And the Sicilian-style meatballs are medium in size, allowing the sauce’s flavors to incorporate throughout. This divine dish is a bowlful of comfort. This dish is served as a Saturday lunch and dinner special.
Gulf Coast Crab Cakes – Ocean: Owner and executive chef George Reis masterfully prepares the finest of fish and seafood for dinner at Ocean. And his crab cakes are among his masterpieces. Two golden Gulf Coast Crab Cakes filled with luscious lumps of delicate white crabmeat are complemented by yellow kernels of fresh, roasted corn and caramelized shallot relish with lemon dill tartar.
Twenty Dollar Burger - On Tap Sports Café: Here’s the beef! More than a burger, it is a meal. Two, stacked, half pound, handmade Angus beef patties are topped with Swiss and American cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, brown potatoes and On Tap’s homemade queso. It is served with fries or chips.
Hereford Beef Filet - Satterfield’s Restaurant: This hickory grilled, tender and juicy Hereford Beef Filet is perfectly cooked to my order and liking—medium.
Lobster Flat Bread - Season's 52
All the flat breads at Season's 52 are delicious. And this seasonal lobster bread is sensational.
Rack of Lamb - Primeaux Cheese and Vino
Chef Ric Trent makes handmade pasta for delectable and artistic lamb chops dish that is not on the menu but a special for dinner at times.
Creme Brulee - Satterfield's Restaurant: Desserts are amazing at Satterfield's including their dreamy creme brulee. Owner Becky Satterfield is a pastry chef, and it shows in every bite.
Shrimp Cocktail – Shula’s Steakhouse
Due to the enormous size of the shrimp, the Shrimp Cocktail is served curled into the curve of a plate—rather than hanging over a stemmed glass or small bowl. The firm, delicious shrimp are chilled to perfection and accompanied by Shula’s famous cocktail sauce, which is rich and complex with a touch of a tangy heat. If there is a better Caesar salad or shrimp cocktail anywhere, I have not found them.
The Lakeview Pizza - Slice Stone Pizza and Brew: The old saying, “as easy as pie” does not apply to the making of Slice Stone Pizza and Brew’s signature pie—The Lakeview Pizza. The Lake View Pizza’s depth of flavors come from its layers of ingredients: braised short ribs, caramelized onion, roasted cherry tomatoes, Asiago, finished with arugula, red onion and horseradish sauce. Chef Terrell Brazelton shares the first step to making this pizza—braised short ribs.
The Cuban - Sol's Sandwich Shop and Deli: Cuban is a pork lovers delight. This delicious sandwich is made of roasted pork, honey ham, Swiss cheese, tasty pickles and spicy mustard.
Atlantic Salmon - Sweet Tea: Atlantic Salmon with a bed of pasta and red sauce is a delicious and comforting dish.
Whole Roasted Lemon Herb Chicken - Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe: Whole Roasted Lemon Herb Chicken can be ordered in half or in one-fourth sizes, with white meat only as an option. The top quality, and deep flavors of this moist, slow roasted, beautiful bird made it love at first bite. It is served with a tasty deep, dark reduction of onions, white wine, and fresh oregano. The fragrant, long grained and free flowing basmati rice makes a perfect side to both the chicken and its reduction. This dish comes with a Classic Greek side salad and thin, crisp—so good they are addictive—pita chips.
Peach Cobbler - Ted's Restaurant: The Peach Cobbler is chock full of peach slices and is topped with a crisp, golden and sweet crust. The crust and fruit meld together in each scrumptious bite. Just like your grandmother's cobbler!
Seafood Gumbo – The Bright Star: No wonder The Bright Star’s Seafood Gumbo is so good. Preparing it is a four-hour process. Chef Austin Davis starts with fresh fish stock, chicken stock and a host of seasonings then adds fresh fish that were cut into filets in house. It is available by the cup and the bowl during both lunch and dinner.
Chocolate Fondue – The Melting Pot: The Melting Pot offers many chocolate choices for dipping and swirling. My pick is Disaronno Meltdown with silky white chocolate swirled with Disaronno Originale Amaretto and flambéed tableside. Select among the tray of dippers—fresh strawberries, bananas, pineapple, Rice Krispies Treats, marshmallows, bites of cheesecake, pound cake and brownies.
Lasagna of the Day - The Silvertron Cafe: Made with chef Marco Morosini’s handmade pasta, this comforting dish comes with a side salad. It arrives hearty in portion, piping hot with layers of handmade pasta, ground mild and sweet Italian sausage, green peppers and onions with the perfect of ratio of sauce.
Ham & Brie Sandwich - The Wine Loft: Each Wednesday evening The Wine Loft offers a special meal and deal. Recently the ham and brie sandwich was served with fresh arugula, a drizzle of strawberry compote on warm ciabatta bread. Along with the sandwich there were two new wine pairings to choose from—all for only $10.
Lobster Rolls - Todd English P.U.B.: Tender, succulent lobster claw meat make this one of the best sandwiches in Birmingham. Order with skinny fries and slaw for a meal full of comfort.
Beef Tenderloin Tacos - Village Tavern: Executive chef Mary Grace Vaido offers tacos in threes. Three warm, flour tortillas are overfilled with bite sized tips of beef tenderloin. These tasty tacos also include shredded lettuce, a luscious lime crema, hot salsa and fresh guacamole and are served with black beans and rice.
Lobster Bisque - Vino: The Lobster Bisque Vino's Lobster Bisque is as wonderful a bisque as I have ever tasted. This creamy goodness is filled with bites of lobster and is topped with a bite of crab and a touch of olive oil, highly recommended!