Erika Preval - Simply Put

Tag: Birmingham

24 HOURS IN BIRMINGHAM – WHERE TO EAT

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It was around this time, a couple of weeks ago, that the girls and I decided to take an overnight trip to Birmingham. Not being our first visit, there were already a couple of favorites we looked forward to stopping by, but we wanted to try some new restaurants, too. There’s plenty to do in Birmingham, but if you’re looking for places to eat after your trip to the Science Museum and Civil Rights Institute, here are my picks for good eats on a casual road trip (with or without children).

BREAKFAST

No trek to Birmingham is complete without a stop by Continental Bakery. Our first visit to this Mountain Brook treasure was thanks to a Google search for crepes years ago. This whimsical bakery has delicious coffees, cakes and a fridge full of noshes from it’s dine in option Chez Lulu. It’s their variety of croissants that has the girls smitten, though. Top picks: Nutella and Cinnamon Sugar croissants and the daily frittata.

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LUNCH

Pulling into Birmingham, we opted to delay checking into the Westin and drove straight to El Barrio. There’s a full bar and some booths, but you’ll likely be seated at a communal table. The girls loved their steak tacos – everything is on the side; a build your own experience that’s great for my “picky” eaters. My veggie quesadilla was super yummy, as was the salad accompanying it. The churros are perfect for sharing and delicious, so you’ll want to save room for them.

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Before heading back to Atlanta, we enjoyed lunch at Southside’s FIVE Restaurant and Bar. Unassuming on the outside, this place is a total feast for the eyes once you open the door with artwork and chandeliers galore. The menu is simple, and they created a virgin version of their Strawberry Lemonade for the girls. Shared the fried shrimp sandwich with one daughter; the other had chicken bites from the kids menu. Both were perfection! Enjoy the cocktail menu. Skip the dessert.

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DINNER

Staying overnight, you’ll likely have only one dinner in Birmingham. Wait till dusk, and head to the Avondale neighborhood’s Post Office Pies. You’ll find a chalkboard menu of their pizzas and salads on the wall. Choose your pie and order a local beer from neighbor Avondale Brewery and one of their craft sodas for the younger guests (Coffee Vanilla Bean and Orange Rosemary are the girls’ favorites). This place is no frills, so anticipate eating your slices on Kraft paper – not plates. Adults only? Enjoy the music and nightlife after dinner.

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DESSERT

Birmingham has no shortage of great bakeries. Savage’s, one of our favorites, has been around since 1939 and you’ll find it in Downtown Homewood. If you’re considering an impromptu picnic their deli has you covered. I’m a fan of their cinnamon rolls and cheese straws (and red & white striped bags), but always grab one of their signature Smiley Face cookies for photo ops.

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Edgewood Creamery was a new find that the girls are still talking about. A cozy space filled with options to put inside of your waffle, cake or sugar cone, this was a fun stop before heading over to Vulcan Park for a closer look at the icon you’ll see throughout your stay in the Magic City..

Pop Quiz – Name That Tableware

I recently traveled to Birmingham, Alabama, to cheer on my daughter’s club volleyball team. Before checking into our hotel, she and I decided to stop by a local antique shop – Urban Suburban. While exploring the store, I happened upon the treasure pictured below. Hint: If you’re having a sandwich with crusty bread, it would likely come in handy at your table…

Can you name this nifty tool from the past?

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The Crumb Scraper was most often used before dessert was served, to clean crumbs and other food particles from the table. Found largely in the mid-late 1800′s, these tools were sometimes accompanied by small brooms that would also assist in the removal of debris. Crumb scrapers, though still in use, are much smaller in scale and less ornate than those pictured above.

If you’re near Birmingham, I highly recommend a visit to Urban Suburban. Recently voted Best Antique Store 2012 by readers of Birmingham Magazine, the shop has great pricing on many charming items from the past.

Urban Suburban | 5514 Crestwood Boulevard | Birmingham, AL 35212 | 205.592.0777