Reviews › Fine Dining

 Lunch at Troup’s Pizza is handmade for everyone. 
By Jan Walsh 

Today is a blessed day. The daughter I never had, Rachel Duncan, is home from England with her family. Like me, Rachel and her husband, Richard Duncan have two sons. And Richard Phillips, who is like a son to me, drove her from their hometown of Oneonta for a day trip. We start with an early lunch at Troup’s Pizza in Cahaba Heights before going back to my house for the afternoon. 


Owners of Bistro 218 and Bocca Ristorante, Birmingham native and professionally trained chef Tom Saab and wife, Christina Saab are opening their third Birmingham location. Coming to 2308 2nd Avenue North, scheduled to open in August. 

Le Patio 
Lunch with my sons on Chez Fonfon’s patio is delicious and delightful. 
By Jan Walsh 

Today we “travel” to the South of France for lunch, at Chez Fonfon’s patio. This oasis of blooming hydrangeas and lush layers of green, surrounding the bubbling water fountain, soothes the eye and the soul. “The Boys” are home for Mother’s Day week, and we are the first ones on the patio. I am seated across from them so that I can see both in one view. Neither have been on the patio before and they are captivated. 

Last Chance 
We landed at Ocean’s bar for the final Tuesday Takeover. 
By Jan Walsh 

Ocean Restaurant reopened on Tuesday nights last fall. And to get the party started they launched Tuesday Takeover, featuring half priced sushi, buy one get one raw oyster specials, and brought back their famous Lobster Pot Pie! 

Spring Freshness 

The Red Cat welcomes spring with seasonal beverages and fare. 

By Jan Walsh 

Today we are lunching at The Red Cat at Pepper Place, one of its three locations. Spring 2024 Specials are now in season. So, we order the whole menu!

Counting Candles 

From birthday bubbles to blowing out the candle, dinner at Bocca is extraordinary. 

By Jan Walsh 

This year we celebrated my birthday at Bocca Ristorante. They start dinner service at 4:30, which we take advantage of because we like to eat dinner early, and natural light is best for my food photos. A valet is waiting as we arrive. And we are not the only ones who have early reservations. Gathering on the sidewalk are four young couples dressed in evening gowns and tuxedoes. Must be prom night. Glad I dressed up. 

The Grand Buffet
Easter Brunch at Grand Bohemian is a feast for the eyes and all appetites. 
By Jan Walsh 

I am not easily impressed. Yet The Grand Buffet at Habitat Feed and Social is the best I have ever experienced. Fine cruise lines are the closest, comparable buffets. On this Easter Sunday, we are seated at the table of our preference on the patio, which is also reminiscent of the deck of a luxury cruise ship. It is 75 degrees with a light breeze. Everyone is wearing sunglasses, and ladies are in sundresses. And over and above the rails are views of Mountain Brook’s Lane Parke rooftops.  

Sandwich Season
I love Birmingham Breadworks in the springtime. 
By Jan Walsh 

Birmingham Breadworks has the best sandwiches! Each is made to order with their freshly baked breads made of flour, water, and salt. And the lunch menu has nine tried and true sandwiches plus a seasonal sandwich. 

Bay Leaf Buffet
Never had Indian food? This buffet is for you. 
By Jan Walsh 

Bay Leaf Modern Indian Cuisine and Bar's buffet is back! The self-serve, open buffet offers everything from salad to desserts, and many dishes in between from mild to spicy. The buffet is served from 11:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. and available for dine in or takeout, for only $15 per person. Regulars line up for Bay Leaf’s buffet. But I find it is also a great opportunity for those who have never tried Indian cuisine or who want to try more Indian dishes without committing to a full plate of a single dish. Kev prefers mild. I want the heat. So, it is also perfect for us. 

The Whole Quesadilla 
From queso to cookies Taco Mama feeds us well.
By Jan Walsh 

Our Taco Mama is The Summit location. But with nine locations in the Birmingham metro area, you can easily find your own Taco Mama for dining in, pick up, delivery, and catering. You may also order online where Happy Family Take Out Meal, Taco and Nacho Bar, and Margarita Mix by the gallons are popular. And for patrons with allergies, Taco Mama also has an Allergen Menu with symbols for fish, shellfish, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, and eggs, alongside each menu item that contains these common allergens. Mama has thought of everything!