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Reviews

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.

The Places
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 opened their second location in 2008, near Liberty Park on Overton Road.  Its ambience emulates the original Billy’s with exposed brick and a moose head hanging near the bar. It also boasts a spacious outdoor patio, upstairs lounge, and a stage for bands.

The People
Restaurateur, Terry Humphryes, is also an accountant and the owner of Humphryes and Arnett PC in Birmingham. Humphyres co-owns Live Bait in Orange Beach: Live Bait, Live Bait Too, and Live Bait Wharf in Orange Beach— totaling five restaurants. In this local, family business, Paul Humphryes is the VP of Operations, and Wes Humphryes is the General Manager at Billy's in English Village. At the Overton location, the General Manager is Brandon Puckett. And Leigh Ann Callaway is the Marketing and Special Events Manager.

The Catering
Billy's offers catering and caters to a number of premiere special events, including the Honda Indy GP of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park. And Billy's is the exclusive restaurant/bar inside the park, trackside.

Favorite Fare
Billy’s Overton location is just up the street from my residence. And after two years of dining here, I have many tried and true recommendations: fried olives, hand-cut and breaded mozzarella cheese sticks, chicken fingers, cheeseburger, chicken quesadillas, popcorn shrimp and hand-cut steaks.

Today we order brunch and lunch menu items that I have never tasted, while sipping long tall Mimosas on the patio. Crab Claws (half fried and half  sautéed), Eggs Horatio for me, Billy Philly Sandwich—for my husband from Pennsylvania—with a double baked potato. And we will split a banana pudding for dessert.

Generous portions of crab claws arrive with a tasty cocktail sauce. The succulent sauteed claws are served in a large, deep bowl of buttery herb sauce, with a flavor all its own. And a mound of fried claws—golden, crisp on the outside and succulent on the inside—fill a platter. I could make a meal of these.

The Chicken Philly is a colorful array of grilled with onions, peppers, topped with melted provolone cheese, on a fresh, hot hoagie. Playing center stage in every bite is Billy’s famous chicken. A touch of heat and crisp textures of the peppers and onions synthesize with the creaminess of the mild, melted cheese—making a newfound Philly favorite. The sandwich is also available with the traditional steak, rather than chicken.

My duo of two steak tenderloin medallions are nested on English muffins and topped with poached eggs. Sides include a bowl of grits and fresh melons. I pour the grits onto the plate along side my entrée. The eggs are cooked to order, so the yolk spills over the steak, bread and onto the surrounding buttery grits on first cut—integrating the egg’s wholesome freshness with the entire dish—delicious!

The final course of banana pudding arrives on a large plate with a mound of whipped cream resting on the four corners of the plate, and a generous serving of banana pudding in the center. The pudding is banana filled with crumbles of vanilla wafers on top. Not too filling and not too sweet, the creamy, scrumptious pudding makes a delightful ending to this delicious Saturday brunch/lunch on Billy’s patio.

Published, B-Metro magazine, April 2011

Categories: Casual Fare, Reviews
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