Blueprint on 3rd reopens. And I am first in the door.

By Jan Walsh

I have not been to a restaurant in more than two months. And it has been 56 years since I have gone this long without dining out… When I was seven years old, after I moved from my Grandparents farm, I started eating at restaurants daily. Growing up with my own restaurant house accounts, I was signing tickets at an early age, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Yet since March I have been ordering and reviewing curb take home meals, including Blueprint on 3rd. We supported Birmingham restaurants, and they fed us well. But there is nothing like dinner in a great restaurant: valet in waiting, professional service, pristine plates, gleaming wine glasses, fabulous food, and owners whom I love. Tonight, I have it all—again!

The valet greets us at the curb and parks our car out front. Dean, Jenny, and Brandon Robb welcome us inside. They are grateful and delighted to be open. And it is wonderful to walk through the door. Inside, the tables are six feet apart. We walk through the dining room towards the outdoor balcony, overlooking the patio outside where we are seated. Although it started to sprinkle on our way, the clouds break and the late afternoon sun comes out as soon as we are seated.

We toast the opening with The Chronic Martinis. This luscious, tart cocktail is made of rum, CBD, cranberry and blood orange, lime, and agave is the ultimate chill. We look over executive chef, James Huckaby’s menu.

For starters, I want everything Southern: fried green tomatoes, fried okra and pickles, tomato salad, and of course… cornbread basket. The fresh, fried green tomatoes boast a thin, fine crust, and are nestled into a bed of creamy remoulade. And they are crowned with a taste of ‘Orleans—deep, dark Voo Doo shrimp. The basket of crisp, golden, okra also includes addictive fried pickles and a delicious dill yogurt. Dead ripe Sand Mountain tomatoes are dressed with pink eye purple hull peas, baby cucumber, farmer’s cheese, and fried onions, and green goddess. Highly recommended! And I would come here for this cornbread and hot honey butter. Oh, my!

For entrees, Kev orders the Blueprint Burger and fries and pairs with a Cahaba Blonde. And I opt for the fish of the day paired with a glass of Sancerre. Here is the beef… Kev’s double patty burger is a sensational synthesis of beef layered in creamy, buttery Chiriboga bleu cheese, charred onions, crispy smoked bacon, and Dijon mayo. And my red fish is a beauty! This succulent, filet is served with veggies bursting with farm freshness: green beans, field pea relish, and sliced tomatoes. Hearty in potion but light in style, it leaves room to share dessert. We end our back to restaurants dinner with a piece of their Gooey Butter Cake, which is enhanced by Chef Huckaby’s sweet strawberry sauce… simply delightful.



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