iron city grill bbq tacosTuning Fork 

Iron City Grill tunes up with new menu, exec chef and general manager. 

By Jan Walsh 

James Claborn joins Iron City as general manager of the venue, private events, and restaurant. Ian Barker is the new executive chef of the restaurant, Iron City Grill. And together they resonate. Read “In Tune Takeover” on our News page. 

iron city grill james claborn chef ian barker Today we join the two to sample some of the new menu items. I go way back with these guys. So, it is more than exciting for me to see them settling into their new roles here. We start with small plates, aptly named “Sound Checks” of Sweet Potato Hummus, Grilled Wings, and Fried Green Tomatoes. 

The gluten free and vegetarian hummus is orange in color and smooth in texture. This perfect puree is accompanied by warm, spiced, pita bread points that are thick enough to stand up to the puree, without being crunchy and hard. Both melt in the mouth and whet our appetites without being heavy or filling. 


iron city grill sweet potato hummus

The wings are served with three house-made seasonal sauces. Today’s selections are Buffalo Blue cream cheese, Alabama White BBQ, and Cranberry BBQ. If you are a wing man, come here for the wings. They are meaty, tender, and among the best in town. The green tomatoes are fried to a golden brown and topped with flavorful pimento stuffed crawfish Etouffée and a scoop of sticky, Japanese rice—exceptional! 

Sandwiches and hand-helds, “Stage Hands” are actually the star of this show, as the new menu focuses on sandwiches.


iron city grill cuban sandwich  Today we try the Iron City Cuban Sandwich and BBQ Chicken Tacos. The scrumptious Cuban includes hearty cuts of slow braised cumin pork shoulder, apple cider brined ham, and Swiss cheese, which are accented by a spicy mustard, pepper jam, and pickles inside a pressed, toasty Cuban roll. If you love an authentic Cuban, here it is… The three soft tacos arrive overfilled with shredded chicken, creamy slaw, pickled red onion, jalapeno slices, and pepper jack cheese, and a side of cranberry barbeque sauce. They have it all: protein, creaminess, crunchiness, and just the right kick of heat. 

iron city grill fried green tomatoesWe are going back soon to sample the new dessert menu, “Encore” that Pastry Chef, Ashley Thompson is rolling out. So stay tuned…

View Iron City Grill Profile 

Little Bit Country 
galley and garden eggs benedict

Galley and Garden’s Country Ham Benedict satisfies my soul. 

By Jan Walsh 

I love farm egg Benedicts. No matter which bread or protein, I am in. 

And for those of us who grew up eating country ham, Galley and Garden’s Country Ham Benedict takes us back… Atop a warm, halved buttermilk biscuit, are thick, generous slices of country ham, fresh spinach, poached farm eggs, and house made hollandaise. The yolk runs down, onto the salty slices on first cut. And bite after bite, this comforting dish brings a down home deliciousness to the table. It is served with an arugula salad and potato hash. Highly recommended! 

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highlands baked Alaska A Heavenly Classic 

Highlands Bar and Grill’s Baked Alaska is birthday worthy. 

By Jan Walsh 

My husband, Kevin has a tradition of birthday dinner at the Bar of Highlands Bar and Grill. We always start with his favorite, shrimp cocktail along with crab claws and their divine cornbread. And we end with one of James Beard Foundation Awards’ Outstanding Pastry Chef 2018, Dolester Miles’ award-winning desserts. 

Tonight, he sees Baked Alaska, and says, “I have never had Baked Alaska. So, let’s have that. It arrives on a plate with “Happy Birthday” written in chocolate. Floating on a raspberry curd, the dessert is encircled with sliced almond bits that decorate the plate in a festive, confetti like fashion. 
Atop an almond cake foundation, the center is filled with a luscious, house made, cardamom ice cream and is ensconced in a decadent Swiss meringue. The almonds add texture to this creamy mound with a touch of crunch. And the curd adds a tartness that cuts the sweetness, balancing the dessert beautifully. 

View Highlands Bar and Grill Profile

El Zunzun chicken saladZesty ZunZún

El ZunZún’s chicken salad makes a light, healthy, and flavorful lunch. 

By Jan Walsh 

I don’t order chicken salad often. Not because I don’t like it, but because it can be a toxic mix of GMO fed chickens, GMO mayo, and who knows what? Not at El ZunZún. El ZunZún sources pasture raised chickens and avoids GMOs in the kitchen. So, I feel safe ordering this new menu item, which I found on their new to go menu.  

The chicken salad is a mix of chicken, red onion, cilantro, lime, and avocado—thus the light green color. It is served with large tortilla chips, cucumber, beets, and a scoop of their incredible guacamole. The chips are hearty enough to break off pieces to scoop this delightful, zingy, and refreshing salad. Highly recommended! 

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