A Visit to Vizzini’s

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A visit to Vizzini Farms Winery  will get you a nice meal, some excellent wine, and pleasant surroundings. Located in Calera, just south of Birmingham, the winery was started in 2005 by Tom and Deborah Vizzina. Tom was born and raised in the Birmingham area.

The Bistro at Vizzini’s is open Monday-Saturday and serves many dishes using vegetables fresh from their onsite garden. The Chicken Tetrazzini Salad is exceptional, but the menu also carries an assortment of pizzas, pastas, paninis and more.

Customers may take advantage of a wine tasting and tour, getting a little history of the winery along the way. As part of the tour we took  a peek at the lovely vegetable garden and grape vines.

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There is a wide selection of wine to choose from, including red and white. Some carry locally influenced labels, such as the Collegiate Collection for both Alabama and Auburn fans. My favorites were Miss Scarlet, a sweet red wine, and the Appling Riesling that has a hint of green apple. We had part of a bottle of the Viognier with our lunch, and had the remainder of the bottle corked to take home. We also took advantage of a Living Social Coupon and ended up taking away two souvenir glasses as well, so keep your eye out for those Living Social and Groupn deals!

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Tip Top Grill

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I think it won’t matter what you order at the Tip Top Grill because you’ll be so enthralled with the view. However, for a breakfast that is good and economical, it can’t be beat.

 

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On my first visit I ordered a ham and egg sandwich. And I said “yes” to the question, “Do you want mayonnaise?”  I DO like mayo, but I’ll never go as far as the man who plans to be buried in a Duke’s Mayonnaise jar. Anyway, it was tasty and a perfect start to a great Saturday morning.

 

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The restaurant  overlooks the Oxmoor Valley  Golf Course and a Lover’s leap. Quite a combination. The Lover’s Leap is a dramatic  set of limestone boulders that protrude out over the valley. One Indian legend says an Indian brave, weary of the attentions of an Indian princess, took her to the high crest where he stabbed her with a bone knife. Then, in remorse, he gathered her in his arms and leaped off the bluff.

 

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Next time I want to try out the lunch menu. Or, better yet, dinner and a sunset.

 

588 Shades Crest Road

Hours: Mon – Fri: 6:30 am – 7:00 pm; Sat: 6:30 am – 3:00 pm

89% like it at urbanspoon

“Hot Bama” Brown at Baumhower’s

 

4445 Creekside Avenue – just off John Hawkins Pkwy.

Hoover, AL 35244

205-403-7474

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Last Friday night we went out to an early supper at Baumhower’s. After perusing the online menu, I’d already decided to try the sand-wedge they are famous for – the “Hot Bama”. It’s featured in the “100 dishes to eat in Alabama before you die!” It’s a good thing I tried it last week, because I could have died waiting at the courthouse while getting my driver’s license. But, that’s a blog for another day.

So, the “Hot Bama” Brown was excellent. It features their Almost-Fried Turkey piled up on a slice of sourdough bread, smothered with cheeses and mushroom-beef gravy, then topped with bacon and tomato slices. It comes with a side of mashed potatoes with MORE gravy.

Next time I go I want to try either the Gulf Wild Shrimp & Grits or the Catfish Po’ Boy.

Baumhower’s 

Nino’s Italian Restaurant

2698 Pelham Parkway –  Pelham, AL  35124

Phone: (205) 620-1116

Hours: Sunday noon-8pm; M-T-W 11am-9pm; TH-F-S 11am-10pm

Nino’s Italian Restaurant in Pelham was a treat! A big thank-you to Mel for gathering us together there. The hospitality was great, thanks to co-owner Walter Caron. They accommodated us all at one long table. Walt read off the specials to us and was patient as we asked him to repeat some of them. I enjoyed the Shrimp and Crab Ravioli in Pomodori sauce.

This is a kid-friendly place, as you could tell when Walt held Mel’s little boy, Jacob.

I will definitely go again and would like to try Mel’s fav Hawaiian Pizza.

You can read more here: Ninos Italian Restaurant 

 

 

The Egg & I

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4741 Chace Circle

Across from Plaza at Riverchase in Hoover

205-982-8477

M-F 6am-2pm

Sat-Sun. 7am-2:30pm

We ate here on our trip to Birmingham in early March and it was fantastic! I got the Strawberry Banana & Walnut Waffle – it was delicious! It is made with fresh strawberries, bananas and walnuts topped with powdered sugar and whipped cream. There is so much on the menu that I wanted to try, so I definitely plan to return as soon as possible. The service was good and the staff was friendly.

Other Plusses:

  • 10% Senior discount on food
  • 15% Military discount on food
  • Kids’ Menu
  • Free meeting room available

Next time I want to try: The Cambridge Skillet (Diced ham, bacon and hollandaise sauce on a bed of ranch potatoes with melted cheese and two eggs any style. Served with an English muffin.)

You can read more here: 

http://www.theeggandirestaurants.com/locations/hoover.html

Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q

This time, in March, we visited a different location. We got the same great service as before. I had the smoked turkey which was served with a white sauce. I had it on the side; which was good as it was a tad hot for me. I also used some of their other BBQ sauce. I had the collards, which were also too spicy for me – I think I liked the creamed collards better. I had the mashed potatoes with gravy; I’ve had better. Over all the best thing was the turkey. And, of course, the company – Chuck, Erica, Tammy, and Temperance.

Address: 1810 Montgomery Hwy S, Hoover, AL 35244

Southern Legacy

During our house hunting expedition we have been able to check out  few more eateries. Last night we went to Southern Legacy on John Hawkins Parkway (Hwy. 150) in Hoover. It was a good choice. I got a fried green tomato BLT so I could compare it to the one I got at Saw’s back in November. It was delicious, but not stacked quite so high. This time I was able to pick it up and bite it! I also got the sweet potato fries. They serve craft beers as well as daily specials. I hope to go back on a Friday to try the Shrimp Po Boy. You can take a look at Southern Legacy here: http://www.legacybbq.com/

Pluses: good service, menu variety

Next time I want to try: The Shrimp Po Boy

Jim ‘n Nick’s Bar-B-Q

2831 Greystone Commercial Blvd., Birmingham, AL 35242

While visiting Birmingham for the first time, we visited this restaurant we’d spotted on the way to our hotel. It was an excellent choice.

Our waitress, Stephanie, was knowledgeable and friendly. We went the first time on a Saturday night and it wasn’t too crowded. I had smoked ham and tried creamed collards for the first time. I liked them, and the helping was just right because I could not have eaten a large portion of them. The ham was tender and moist and I took some back to the hotel for breakfast the next morning.

The next afternoon we went back for lunch. it was very crowded but worth the wait. Stephanie stopped by our table and spoke to us. The night before she had recommended the “Loaded Mac” so that’s what I ordered this time. It was delish – mac-n-cheese topped with roasted pork.

One thing that drew us back was the freshness. Stephanie had explained how their food was made fresh every day and there were no large coolers to hold any pre-made items.

Pluses: They carry local craft beers; they sell their BBQ sauce and cheese cornbread mix ; they also sell T-Shirts.

Interesting: One of the appetizers is deviled eggs.

Next time: I’d like to try the BUTTERBEAN & SMOKED MUSHROOM HUMMUS which is a southern take on traditional hummus, served with cornbread and celery.

Saw’s Juke Joint

1115 Dunston Ave, Birmingham, AL

We sought out this restaurant on the email advice from a guy who works at a local brewery. The first sign it was going to be good was the music playing over the speakers.

My Fried Green Tomato BLT was so tall there was no way I could bite into it, so I attacked it with a fork and knife. My side was grits which arrived nice and cheesy.

Pluses: craft beers

Interesting: Deviled eggs as a side

Next time I want to try one of the stuffed taters (there are 8 on the menu)