Newk's breakfast bananas foster french toast  Bananas Foster French Toast 

Newk’s Eatery, downtown, got my week off to a scrumptious start. 

By Jan Walsh 

I get a sneak peek tasting of the new scratch made breakfast at Newk’s Eatery before it launches. Today is Monday morning, before breakfast begins to the public on Thursday, April 19. And what a way to start the week—with mimosas and sparkling wine! 

newk's breakfast mimosa Newk’s Eatery downtown is the only location serving breakfast. And it is served daily from 6:30 until 10:30 a.m. at 611 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. South. The new
Breakfast Menu is extensive with something for everyone: baked French toasts, oatmeal and yogurts, scrambles with cage free eggs, croissants, sandwiches, muffins, and a variety of sides. 

We pair the bubbly with Bananas Foster French Toast, Farmer’s Market Scramble, and a Ham, Egg, and Cheese Croissant. All three dishes are delicious. Yet our favorite of the bunch and Weekly Food Find is the bananas foster. Two thick pieces of Parisian bread are topped with bananas foster cream cheese and sliced caramelized bananas. Dollops of house made whipped cream crown the dish that is drizzled with pure maple syrup. Flavorful notes of banana, vanilla, caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar, and a hint of nutmeg synthesize in this delectable dish. Who needs New Orleans when I have Newk’s?

bistro 21 surf and turf shrimp steak
Surf and Turf 

Bistro 218’s seafood and steak make my birthday special.   

By Jan Walsh 

This year for my birthday dinner, I choose Bistro 218. And our table awaits with a “Happy Birthday” card from Saab and Bistro 218, holding our reservation, verses a “reserved” card. This is “vintage” Tom Saab—authentically discerning down to the smallest detail. 

bistro 218 reservation As usual, tonight he is found in the kitchen cooking. Saab’s cuisine is consistently outstanding, in his choice of the finest organic and Non-GMO products, ever-evolving selection of menu offerings, and execution from product to plate. Thus, one entrée choice for dinner at Bistro 218 is never easy. Tonight’s difficult to choose among offerings include duck confit, shrimp risotto, Louisiana redfish, Lamb chop, sea scallops and more… 

Among the specialties, we choose Tenderloin Medallion and Jumbo Gulf Shrimp, which also becomes my “Weekly Food Find.” The thick beef tenderloin arrives atop a bed of potato gratin and veal glace. The tender beef is cooked to perfection, allowing its delicate beef flavor to shine through. The gorgeous gratin adds a creamy slice of toothsome comfort to the steak. Alongside the beef and potato, is a slice of roasted tomato and three enormous, pink, perfectly curled shrimp, which float above wilted spinach. Succulent in both texture and taste, the shrimp balance the plate with a splash from the sea. 

Everything on the plate is splendid, including the accompaniments and garnishes… More than just an accompaniment or added color, Saab’s wilted spinach is marvelous. It literally melts in my mouth and bursts with just picked, local freshness. And his roasted tomato is divinely distinctive—both earthy and fruity. I honestly would come here for a plate of the spinach and tomato! 

Bistro 218 is located at 218 20th Street downtown Birmingham and is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday nights. It also has a separate bar with its own lunch menus, which is also open for dinner on the same nights and is open for lunch Monday through Fridays. 

Highlands pork Schnitzel Pork Schnitzel 

It’s back at Highlands Bar and Grill! 

By Jan Walsh 

Chef Frank Stitt has brought back a popular dish from Highlands Bar and Grill’s past—Pork Schnitzel.

Just the word “schnitzel” sounds scrumptious. It also brings out my German heritage, tempting me to order it. But we are here tonight for our son, Ross’ birthday. And given both he and Kevin order it, I refrain and order something else. But afterwards as entrée envy overcomes me, my fork tends to gravitate to their plates, for a few bites. 

They both chose the optional fried farm egg, which makes a lovely and tasty crown atop the thin, tender cutlets. The savory pork is lightly battered and golden brown on the outside, white and moist on the inside. It is served over Anson Mills Grits with watercress and an incredible, complex, creamy Pommery mustard sauce. 

If you love the chicken scallopine at Bottega Café and love pork, this dish has your name all over it.