Reviews › Casual Fare

Miss Dot's chicken recipeMiss Dots’ herb roasted flat top chicken hits the spot.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Miss Dots is named for Leola Rogers, whose nickname has been “Dot” since she was a child. She has also been cooking Southern style since she was eight-years-old, when she first cooked on a wood burning stove.

Taco Mama margaritas From heat to sweet Taco Mama’s margaritas have it all.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Taco Mama has a motto of “Stay hungry, and be thirsty.” But no one is hungry or thirsty for long at Taco Mama. The menu offers build your own tacos, burritos, burrito bowl, nachos and quesadillas, taco and burrito baskets, and an array of specialty, handcrafted margaritas.

Eli's Jerusalem GrillEli’s Jerusalem Grill serves healthy, organic fare.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

What is a man to do when he cannot find a place to eat? When Eli Markshtien, and his wife, Laurel and family, moved to Birmingham he could not find an Israeli restaurant. So he opened his own and began cooking his grandmother's recipes—solving the problem and also fulfilling his dream of his own Israeli restaurant.

ashley mac's saladsTry Ashley Mac’s Salad Trio at three locations.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Ashley Mac's is open for lunch and dinner at three Birmingham area locations: Cahaba Heights, Inverness, and Riverchase. And all Ashley Mac’s restaurants are locally owned by Ashley and Andy McMakin.

revolve shrimp Revolve Kitchen and Brew is handcrafted, original, and ever evolving.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


Revolve Kitchen and Brew is a social beer garden featuring American fare with a Southern drawl. The restaurant takes pride in being a made from scratch restaurant. So there are no freezers or microwaves in this kitchen. Chef Sean Butler smokes all the briskets, turkeys, pork bellies and more in house. Sauces, dressings, pickles, kraut, condiments, and dips are also made from scratch. And it shows in every bite. Revolve’s fare is paired with local, craft beers, premium liquors, and wines by the glass. 
Iron City Grill Veggie PlateThe Grill at Iron City’s veggie plate is over the top.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


Executive chef, William Rogers creates a bit of drama on The Grill at Iron City’s Alabama Grown Veggie Plate.
another broken eggAnother Broken Egg whips up a new spring pancake.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


There is a new short stack in town. Another Broken Egg’s Blueberry, Goat Cheese and Lemon Pancakes are made for spring.

sol's turkey wrapPita and Pasta

Grab a tasty lunch at Sol’s Sandwich Shop.  

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


Sol Bajalieh opened Sol’s Sandwich Shop and Deli in 1968, in the original John Hand building. Today his three sons: Chris, Jason, and Jeff carry on their father’s legacy at 2 20th Street North, Suite 120. Sol’s serves breakfast and lunch, and offers catering.
Bare naked noodles lasagnaBare Naked Noodles fresh pastas incorporate local ingredients.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


I first “met” Linda Croley at her Bare Naked Noodles booth one Saturday at Pepper Place Market last year. Croley greeted me with a warm generous smile and helped me choose pastas and sauce to take home. From the first bite of the first batch, I was incredibly impressed with her handmade pastas filled with local ingredients. Since that time I have bought other varieties, which I keep in the pantry and freezer so that a delicious meal of local ingredients is ready to make. So I am especially delighted that Croley has evolved her pasta business to open Bare Naked Noodles new café.
jim n nick's baby back ribs Jim ‘N Nick’s celebrates 30th Anniversary!

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


The word barbecue surely does confuse some folks. It is commonly spelled many various ways: barbecue, barbeque, Bar-B-Q, Bar-B-Que, and BBQ. The word also refers to a cooking method and a cooking apparatus—a barbecue grill. But no matter how we spell it, we Southerners know the difference between barbecuing and grilling. Grilling is fast and hot, using direct heat from low-smoke fuels with flames coming into contact with the meat. Barbecuing is a slow process over indirect heat from high-smoke fuels, without the flame coming into contact with the meat.
taziki's birmingham dolmades wineCalling all vegetarians to Taziki’s Mediterranean Café.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


Dolma is a type of stuffed vegetable dish common in the Middle East and in Mediterranean regions. In Greece the dolma is typically a meatless dish of rolled vine leaf stuffed with rice. And Taziki’s Dolmades are authentically Greek.
big-bad-breakfast-benedictBig Bad Breakfast opens along Highway 280.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


Big Bad Breakfast recently opened at 5361 U.S. 280.  Here the most important meal of the day truly is breakfast. Thus the eatery is open from 6:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. seven days a week—offering an expansive breakfast menu, along with a selection of lunch items.
on tap craft brews On Tap Sports Café’s Beer Wall has it all.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


On Tap Sports Café has been a favorite neighborhood pub since 1996. Now with four Birmingham metro locations—Galleria, Inverness, Lakeview, and Fultondale—On Tap draws regulars from all around.

LLoyd's restaurant ham plate

Lloyd’s Restaurant serves home cooked meals on Highway 280.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Much has changed since Lloyd’s Restaurant opened in 1937. But one thing that has not changed is the comforting, Southern style goodness coming out of the kitchen at Lloyd’s—and their friendly staff, who serves it.


Jim 'N Nick's ribsJim ‘N Nick’s ribs make Memorial Day memorable.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


No need to fire up the grill for my Memorial Day gathering. Rain or shine, I bring home Jim ‘N Nick’s hickory smoked spareribs instead.
Have your pick of in season veggies at Ted’s Restaurant.

By Jan Walsh

Photography By Beau Gustafson


There is nothing more satisfying to this Southern belle than a fresh vegetable plate. As a child I helped my grandmother pick veggies—okra, squash, corn, turnips, pink eye peas, tomatoes and more. Then I watched as she cooked them—incorporating decades of expertise.
Make a meal of this popular appetizer at Billy’s Sports Grill.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


If you love nachos and seafood, Billy’s Sports Grill has an appetizer that you will
want to make into a meal.
On Tap Sports Café serves a serious $20 Angus Burger.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


Tired of wimpy burgers that leave you asking, “Where’s the beef?” Try On Tap Sports Café’s $20 Burger.

Enjoy fresh, healthy fare at Taziki’s Mediterranean Café.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


A Greek vacation inspires a Mediterranean café in Birmingham. Wholesome ingredients and innovative ideas from the Greek Islands, Mediterranean markets, and Mom's kitchen synthesize, creating the dishes that make up the café’s fresh and healthy menu. Then Taziki’s Mediterranean Café sprouts one after another locations across the Southeast—also adding many scrumptious new dishes.

Dreamland’s pork spare ribs are good to the bone.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


Why the name, “Dreamland”? John “Big Daddy” Bishop opened his first Dreamland Café in Tuscaloosa in 1958—the same year Bear Bryant started coaching at the University of Alabama. Big Daddy was a brick mason who wanted another income to support his family. So he prayed for guidance. And legend has it that God told him in a dream to build a café on the land next to his home. And Big Daddy did just that. Since that time Dreamland has opened several locations in Alabama and Georgia, including our own Birmingham Dreamland.
Ted’s Southern cooking serves a loyal following.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

You can’t miss Ted’s Restaurant. It is located at 328 12th Street South with the large, original “Ted’s Cafeteria Restaurant” sign on the corner. Recent updates to the interior make lunching here more appealing. But it is not ambience that draws the crowds. We go to Ted’s for a taste of what busy Southerners miss—but have no time to cook—fresh meat and three, home style fare.

Pair pizza and Peroni at Slice Stone Pizza and Brew.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


I love to try “new” restaurants—a few months after they open. Today we lunch at the new family owned and operated pizza restaurant in Birmingham’s Lakeview District. Appropriately located in the stone building at 29th Street South, Jeff, Chris and Jason Bajalieh opened Slice Stone Pizza and Brew here in 2011.

Cantina Tortilla Grill serves fresh and flavorful Mexican fare.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Cantina Tortilla Grill at Pepper Place is the original Cantina location. This successful restaurant sprouted other taquerías in the Birmingham metro area, on Highway 119 and at Patton Creek.

Big Bird

Lloyd’s Baked Chicken Greek Style is highly recommended. 

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Lloyd’s has been serving American and Southern style cooking for 74 years. Founded in 1937, the restaurant is a Highway 280 landmark. I can recall when it was “in the middle of no where.” Yet through the decades, as its neighborhood changed into a bustling area, Lloyd’s has remained true to its identity of a family style restaurant with friendly, attentive service and an extensive menu—all things Southern veggies, BBQ, steaks, steaks and more. 

Enjoy awesome food in a casual mood at Billy’s Sports Grills.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Billy’s Sports Grills offer terrific food, comfortable ambiences, and friendly service.


In 1979 the original Billy's Sports Grill opened as a bar and small kitchen serving simple sandwiches in Mountain Brook’s English Village. Billy's Chicken Sandwich quickly became the signature dish. Also immediately popular were Billy's Famous White Sauce and Hot Mustard Sauce. In the years that followed, Billy's menu expanded to include signature sandwiches, salads, wraps, steaks, and most recently fresh seafood for lunch and dinner.

Billy's Bar and Grill opens second location, Billy's On Overton.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Every neighborhood needs a Billy's. Liberty Park, and nearby Mountain Brook area residents, just got one. Billy's On Overton is the brother restaurant to Billy's Bar and Grill in Mountain Brook, a longtime neighborhood favorite of many who live, work and shop in English Village. Satisfying the need for an upscale sports bar and grill, the new eatery on Overton opened its doors in April 2008. Those of us who live in the area have watched, waited and been looking forward to this for months.

Billy's Sports Grill's Santa Fe Salad is big on flavor.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Billy's Sports Grill in English Village is a family-owned, neighborhood pub Located in English Village. They offer an extensive menu featuring appetizers, grilled burgers, steaks and salads. And the Santa Fe Salad is a favorite for those who want, not just a salad, a meal.