Iron City Grill mixes music with local food products.
By Jan Walsh
Photography by Beau Gustafson
Iron City Birmingham will entertain you and sustain you. It boasts a large entertainment venue, bars, and a full service grill. There are two entrances. The main entertainment entrance is 513 22nd Street South—landmarked by its massive marquee. And the entrance to the Grill is located at 2208 6th Avenue South. Iron City Grill serves lunch and dinner Mondays through Fridays, dinner on Saturdays, and is open only on concert Sundays at 4:00 p.m. Iron City Grill also has live music on Thursday through Saturday evenings and on Friday during lunch. The Place
Iron City Birmingham’s L-shaped building totals 22,000 square feet, divided into two main spaces of main entertainment/event venue and the Grill. The entertainment/event venue has a 1300 person (standing) capacity. It is available for large or small events, including weddings, luncheons, and receptions. There are three stages—the main stage and two smaller stages for intimate gatherings and local acts. There are two bars, one in the main event venue and one in the Grill. Iron City Grill seats 90 guests in a rustic, exposed brick, sky lit ambience.
For tonight’s dinner at Iron City Grill, we start with tasty cocktails of Mississippi Mule and Blueberry Lemonade, while enjoying the creative sounds of Lindsey Hinkle’s performance. As appetizers we select Iron City Pimento Cheese Balls and Fried Green Tomato Cubes. I love fried cheese and find the cheese balls like no other I have ever had. Fried cheese may sound simple, but cooking it without burning the crust while getting the cheese hot and gooey, is obviously not that easy. These pimento cheese fritters are cooked to perfection. The crust is golden with no air pocket between it and the piping hot, flavor filled, melted pimento cheese inside. They are drizzled with a spicy buttermilk dressing and local greens. The cool, acidic dressing pairs well with the creaminess of the cheese and add a bite of heat to the dish. The fried green tomatoes are also unique. Rather than sliced tomatoes, the tomatoes are cut into cubes and fried—think fried baby tomatoes. These tomatoes are then dressed with a blue crab citrus salad, local micro greens and creole mustard cream. The crisp on outside, moist on inside texture of the tomatoes is enhanced by the delicate greens, acidity of the citrus and heat of the cream. And a crowning touch of the crab adds another layer of beautiful flavors.
For entrees we select Iron City Cheesesteak and Herb Butter Poached Gulf Coast Shrimp. The cheesesteak is piled high with thick cuts of melt in your mouth tender, slow roasted beef that is smothered in melted pepper jack cheese, caramelized onions, and mushrooms. A large order of hot, golden fries accompanies the sandwich. The succulent, pink, poached Gulf Coast Shrimp arrive atop a lovely bed of McEwen and Sons Cheese Bacon Grits. Topping off this delicious dish are caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, and smoked local tomato aioli. We end the evening with a Chocolate Molten Cake. The moist, hot cake is topped with a generous helping of chocolate sauce that coats the top and drizzles down the side onto the plate alongside the raspberries, freshly whipped cream and chocolate candy accent.
Published, B-Metro magazine, May 1, 2014, Taste column, Favorite