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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!

Bless My Heart

Ted’s Restaurant serves Southern fare with a Greek accent.

By Jan Walsh

Entering Ted’s I see smiling faces holding pitchers of iced tea. I look forward to being called pet names, such as “dear” and “honey.” And if I am a real sweetie I might be “darling” today.

Bistro Valentine 
Everybody loves Bistro V!  
By Jan Walsh 

Bistro V is packed as we enter for our 5:00 p.m. Valentine’s reservation. Not a table open other than ours. Ahh, with 300+ requesting reservations, they opened early. although none of us knew what would be on the menu, we regulars knew it would be special. Locally owned by Executive Chef, Jeremy Downey and Pastry Chef, Emily Tuttle Shell. And their Valentine menus is not price fixe but expanded with many special offerings. 

Our Ocean 
For fresh seafood, all roads lead south… to Southside. 
By Jan Walsh 

Our favorite seafood restaurant, in the world, is located at 20th Street South. Chef George Reis’ Ocean Restaurant has it all. Fresh fish, shrimp, oysters, scallops, and more from the Gulf of Mexico, lobster from Maine, and an array of sushi. But you don’t have to be a seafood lover. Ocean is also a destination restaurant for carnivores, with the finest cuts of beef grilled to order over hickory wood. 

French Fortress
From hot soup to warm dessert, Chez Fonfon wards off winter. 
By Jan Walsh  

Dashing up the sidewalk towards Chez Fonfon, a cold blast whips our umbrella. From the antique globes within, the arched frosted windows illuminate a welcoming glow. And as we arrive at 11:00 a.m. sharp, the doors open to toasty temps and friendly smiles inside, including from its owners Chef Frank and Pardis Stitt.