Two Ways, Two Curbs

It’s Back! Hot and Hot’s Famous Tomato Salad

By Jan Walsh

Hot and Hot Fish Club’s famous Tomato Salad and Tomato Salad with Alabama Royal Red Gulf Shrimp are back!

Hot and Hot began curb service of the salads on Friday evening and sold approximately 150! Chef Chris Hastings’ tomato salads are available Tuesday through Saturday for dinner, Saturday for market hours brunch/lunch, and as a part of the special Mother’s Day Menu at OvenBird.

On Saturday, we order one of each for lunch. Kev opts for the traditional tomato salad, and I select the Gulf shrimp version. We pull up to the curb and are soon greeted by Idie Hastings. Unreal that she is the first person I have actually seen in person, close enough to talk to, since March. I miss her and all my people. It is a gorgeous day, and I long to eat our salads on their patio—but must head home instead.

Wisely, the tomato stacks, which typically consist of six, thick, hearty slices each are packed in sets of threes. I do not have the Hastings’ touch to stack six. So, I leave them as they arrived, beautifully appointed with bacon on top, and plate our salads onto my antique Meissen. And I finish with a drizzle of balsamic over it all. The tomatoes are dead ripe, and extraordinary for this early in the season. Among their bed of veggies are crisp, golden, fried okra and tender kernels of sweet, white corn, which I expect is Silver Queen, please my palate. The beautiful bacon adds protein and texture. Each bite is bursting with freshness and takes me back to my childhood days on the family farm. And the plump and succulent, pink shrimp transforms my tomato salad into an elegant entrée salad. Highly recommended, as always!

Mother’s Day orders can be placed by calling OvenBird at 205-957-6686 or email at All Mother’s Day orders must be placed before noon on Thursday, May 7. Pick up times on Mother’s Day are 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

Hot and Hot’s tomato salads are available Tuesdays through Fridays from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m. Saturday lunch hours are 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 until 10:00 p.m. To order call 205-933-5474 or order online.

View Hot and Hot Fish Club Curb Menu

Three Chefs, Three Curbs

This week’s curb includes farm burger, Gulf red snapper, and chicken fettuccine.

By Jan Walsh

I miss chefs. So, my curbs for the week feature Bellini’s Ristorante, Dyron’s Lowcountry, and Watkins Branch Bourbon and Brasserie. Each of these restaurants are chef driven, with far too much talent to put in a box. But these guys are rising to the occasion—satisfying my craving for chef cooked meals.

For lunch we took a drive to Watkins Branch Bourbon and Brasserie. After calling our order in on the way, it was ready to pop in our trunk upon arrival. Back home all of chef, J.P. Holland’s fare traveled well—even the fries are fantastic. Kev’s hand patted, thick, and meaty farm burger was cooked to order, medium plus. It is topped with lettuce, tomato, and onion. Each scrumptious bite of this chef burger speaks to the quality of his beef. My crab cake app is enormous and chock full of fresh crab. I swoon over having such a chef made delicacy for this at home lunch. And the bird atop my Greek Salad is a real beauty. The grilled white meat chicken is warm, and the salad filled with fresh, local veggies is cold, rounding out my healthy, fulfilling lunch.

View Watkins Branch Bourbon and Brasserie Curb Menu

Someone on Facebook tagged me on Birmingham Restaurants post/share of Dyron’s menu this week. She also wrote a brief review of her own raving about their Dyron’s fried chicken.

Although I have had it countless times in the restaurant and for takeout, it prompted us to order it again—this time from their curb menu, along with fried green tomatoes, and sunrise caught red snapper. Chef Randall Baldwin’s Tanglewood Farms’ buttermilk chicken is golden, crunchy on the outside and white, tender, and juicy on the inside—as always. It is served with a punchy, baked mac of gobetti and cheese,
bacon braised collards like my grandmother’s, a tasty iron skillet gravy, and thankfully—cornbread. Oh, how I have missed chef made cornbread!

View Dyron's Lowcountry Curb Menus

The succulent snapper whispers the secret of its freshness in every bite. It is served with stewed, crooked neck squash, with bacon, Vidalia onion, and blistered cherry tomatoes. And I add to this delicious dish bites of fried green tomatoes rather than having them as an app. Dyron’s snapper satisfies my longing for fine dining seafood—for now.

We picked up Bellini’s a couple of weeks ago, for dinner just before their kitchen fire. So, I delayed publishing its review until they were quickly back up
and running.

View Bellini's Ristorante Curb Menus

Bellini’s is currently serving both lunch and dinner, including both a curb menu and family menu, plus a third-party delivery option. We ordered early at 4:00 and skipped lunch today to have a feast of the family meal of chicken fettuccine, Italian salad, and bread prepared by executive chef Ryan Zargo. Ribbons of fettuccine arrive steaming hot and is loaded with white meat chicken—comforting food. And the salad is a beautiful array of fresh tomatoes, olives, carrots, croutons, and a lovely vinaigrette. When I ordered I thought this would provide us leftovers for a couple of days. Whoa! Not only was it enough to feed a family, half of it fed us for three days. And the other half is in the freezer. Food security.

Are you miss chefs too? Take that craving to the curb. All of the dishes in this review are highly recommended.







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