All Time Favorites 2015-2016
A tried and true list of All Time Favorites!
By Jan Walsh
Not all of the Birmingham Restaurants 50 Favorites "All Time Favorites" Winners change every year. These are dishes that Jan Walsh has had more than once, and some many times through the years. The All Time Faves are added to with new restaurants each year and do change when she finds new All Time favorite. Some are just so tried and true they are just that "All Time Favorites" that can't be beat.
5 Point Public House Oyster Bar - Alabama Oysters:
Love raw oysters? 5 Point is your destination. Alabama's own Murder Point oysters are served on the half shell with house made crackers and house made hot sauce.
Lobster Brie Omelet - Another Broken Egg Cafe:
Catch this cream cheese filled omelette with Brie and sautéed lobster meat, topped with a light champagne butter sauce, diced tomatoes and green onions.
Kanisu or Kcsashimi - Asian Rim:
Kanisu or Kcsashimi sushi wrapped in Cucumber instead of rice, great for watching your carbs.
Shrimp Masala - Avo:
Executive Chef Joseph Rozario bringing new flavors to the menu at Avo including this exotic shrimp dish with Mid East curry and coconut rice.
Monos - Bamboo on 2nd:
Chef Abhi Sainju's steamed, succulent Nepalese dumplings of ground turkey and Alabama tomato vinaigrette are absolutely delicious.
Meat Lasagna - Bare Naked Noodles:
Made of all local ingredients, this wonderful lasagna is available in the Bare Naked Noodles Cafe and in three sizes frozen for at home meals. Perfect homemade meal without cooking!
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.
Reuben Sandwich - Billy’s Sports Grills, English Village & Overton: Grilled sandwich with corn beef or turkey, sauerkraut, and 1000 Island dressing on bakery fresh marble rye bread. 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.
Red Snapper and Blue Grits - Bistro 218:
Chef Tom Saab presents his red snapper atop a bed of McEwen and Sons’s Organic Blue Corn Grits, outstanding.
Daily Fish Special - Bistro V:
I can't bring myself order anything else. Chef Jeremy Downey's fish is most often a grouper or snapper and is always fresh from the Gulf. He serves it with seasonal veggies over a grit cake, consistently awesome.
Agnolotti - Bottega Cafe:
One of the best pasta dishes I have ever tasted... Chef Frank Stitt creates a plate full of cold weather comfort in this dish with butternut squash, sage, and hazelnut.
Anson Mills Farro Verde - Bottega Restaurant:
Whenever I see farro on a Frank Stitt menu, I order it. And his verde is one of the most beautiful ever. This colorful, earthy dish that achieves excellence with its mix of sliced beets, pureed carrots, walnuts, and Terra Preta Pea Shoots.
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.
Lobster and Shrimp Quiche - Chez Fonfon
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.
Delightful bites of lobster and shrimp in this favorite quiche of all time. It is a special, but I would love to see Chef Frank Stitt add a quiche to the regular Chez Fonfon menu... hint, hint.
Country Ham Sliders - Dram Whiskey Bar:
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.
BBQ 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.
French Fries - Flip Burger:
Flip Burger's french fries are fried in duck fat and are incredible. Don't plan to share an order. You will regret it.
Oyster and Champagne - Gallery Bar 1930:
Gallery Bar 1930 serves oysters, classic cocktails, and grower Champagnes. It is located alongside its partner restaurant, Vino and also serves Vino's dinner menu.
Sea Scallops - Galley and Garden:
Chef James Boyce creates seasonal scallop dishes that burst with local flavors and that complement his enormous yet delicate scallops. They are always cooked to perfection inside and out. James Boyce - Chefs' Secrets Cooking Video
Pear and Fig Filled Fiochi with Proscuitto, Butter, Sage, and Walnuts - GianMarco’s Restaurant:
I do not know how I did not discover the fiochi at GianMarco's until this year. But it has become an addictive habit. Now I must have it at least once a month and often find myself ordering it weekly. It is light, earthy and delightful. Highly recommended!
Seafood Stew – Highlands Bar and Grill:
I first had this dish on my birthday at Highlands. Chef Frank Stitt asked me if there was anything special I would like for him to make for me for my birthday. I said I just wanted seafood. That night he had several seafood dishes on the menu. But his seafood stew was the perfect dish because it included seasonal seafood. I recently ordered it again for a Christmas dinner when it was served with lobster, scallops, and more. If you can catch this dish, on the menu, order it!
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.
Paella - Iron City Grill:
Chef William Rogers makes an amazing paella in small batches at The Grill at Iron City. Learn how to make your own in his Chefs' Secrets cooking video.
Corned Beef Hash - Jackson’s Bar & Bistro:
Love corned beef but can't find it in a restaurant? Look no further. Jackson's serves this plateful of comfort for Saturday and Sunday brunch.
Sausage - Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q:
A great app for sharing is the generous ring of Smoked Pork Hot Link served with a cup of delicious pimento cheese and sliced serrano peppers. If you like it really hot, you will love this dish at Jim 'Nick's.
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.
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.
Baby Lobster Tails – Ocean:
Owner and executive chef George Reis masterfully prepares the finest of fish and seafood for dinner at Ocean. And his baby lobster tails are among his masterpieces. Three tails are coated in butter and his secret "The Love" spices and grilled over a hickory wood fire. They are not listed on the menu but offered as a special nightly. So listen up when your server describes the specials. This is one of my favorite dishes on earth!
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.
Piri Piri Chicken - OvenBird:
This moist and tender bird was ovenbird mackerel wood roasted over the spit and glazed with piri piri sauce and served over the best, braised black beans ever, with a lovely caramelized endive. OvenBird is Chris and Idie Hastings live fire restaurant.
French Dip - Primeaux Cheese and Vino:
My husband is a French Dip addict. So where better to fulfill his craving than a French inspired eatery, Primeaux.
Coddled Egg - Satterfield's:
On first cut the yolk of this beautiful farm egg runs down into the white souffle dish into the cheesy mix of crabmeat, mirepoix and kale. Gently folding in the egg white, with each bite, I savor every morsel. Love this dish, Chef Patrick Horn!
Lobster Ravioli + New Old Fashioned- Season's 52:Shrimp Cocktail – Shula’s Steakhouse:
Seasons 52’s novel take on an old fashioned cocktail arrives in a large low ball, over the rocks with a sidecar of Breaker Bourbon. The bourbon is poured slowly over a mix of apple bitters, Cherry Heering, and an orange wheel. And the drink is topped with a lovely, dark Bordeaux cherry and a rock candy stick—adding a touch of whimsy to this noble cocktail. Executive Chef Partner, Jabari Nix’s new appetizer of lobster raviolis resting on a rectangular plate is served steaming. Three delicate and delightful, al dente, white and black raviolis are filled with succulent, shredded lobster and are topped with roasted sweet, red peppers, shiitake mushrooms, drizzled with a lobster sherry sauce and chives.
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.
French Onion Soup - Slice Stone Pizza and Brew:
If you think Slice is just for pizza, think again. Although their pizzas are awesome, I admit, I also love the specials and soups that Chef Terrill Brazelton whips up with seasonal ingredients. And their French Onion Soup is the best I have ever had, dark and deep layers of flavor with the perfect ratio of cheese. I also love the presentation in a sourdough bread bowl. I so wish this were on the daily menu because I could eat it every day.
Hot Pastrami on Rye - Sol's Sandwich Shop and Deli: Layers of Sol's hot pastrami with lettuce and tomato piled high make this hot sandwich a find.
Atlantic Salmon - Sweet Tea: Atlantic Salmon with a bed of pasta and red sauce is a delicious and comforting dish.
Friday Pasta - Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe:
TGIF and that means a delicious pasta dish served on a bed of mixed lettuces with penne pasta and grilled chicken, tossed in homemade balsamic vinaigrette, topped with tomatoes, feta, and fresh basil. And best of all it is also served on Saturdays and Sundays.
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!
Greek Salad – The Bright Star:
Authentic Greek salad at The Bright Star is a lovely start to any meal here. A scrumptious house made Greek dressing is the crowning touch to this green salad with ripe tomatoes, feta, Salonika peppers, black olives and anchovies.
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.
Heirloom Tomato Pie - The Pantry by Stone Hollow:
I am in love with The Pantry. Period. I love their organic and Non-GMO fare and food products fresh from Stone Hollow Farmstead. But my fave dish is their Heirloom Tomato Pie. This hot cheesy tart is overfilled with a variety of Heirlooms. It is best in the height of tomato season but always good.
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.
100 Years of Port - The Wine Loft:
From the 10, 20, 30, and 40-year-old ports, in my 100 years of Quinto Do Portal port tasting, they are all lovely. But my favorite is the Portal 40 Year Old Aged Tawny Port. It is maple in color with a golden rim and hints of amber. Its nutty and honey notes are balanced with fresh acidity making for a
rich, round and smooth port.
Fish and Chips: Village Tavern:
Mary Grace Viado Howard is the Corporate Chef of all Village Tavern restaurants. So she gets to choose which location to call home. And she chose Birmingham—many years ago—and has lived and worked here happily since. Her scrumptious, scratch made, fish and chips pleases all including me! Learn how to make this dish at home along with her recipes for coleslaw and tartar sauce. View Chefs' Secrets Video.
Potato Latkes and Crostinis - Vino:
Birmingham boasts some lovely restaurant patios. But none are quite like Vino’s. This open air space has no hedges, fences, or walls. It is a white scape of space with white pebbles underfoot and small white lights in the tree branches above its candlelit tables. It lends itself to sharing apps and making a meal of them. A gorgeous array of crostinis and potato latkes—making quite the spread. The chickpea hummus and taziki crostinis are the favorite of the crostinis—yet all are delicious. We could make a meal of these and the scrumptious potato latkes, topped with sour cream. These hot, tasty baby hash brown style cakes go so fast, that we decide to order a platter of them. The huge, meaty claws melt in the mouth. And the lovely artichokes enveloping rosemary and feta add a touch of green to our appetizer feast.