In leaving Birmingham, I had to leave behind some new friends (thank god for facebook and blogspot), including Jenny, who I met in photography classes at Samford. Her daughter is one of the most precious subjects ever viewed at Samford and if you get to know Jenny, you will see that family is definitely as important to her as it is to me.
Anyway, Birmingham is so big and so diverse, we found that I knew of places that maybe she had not heard of...so she asked me to write about my favorite places in Birmingham.
1. Courtney's on 6th Avenue South. Home of the best homecooking you have ever put into your mouth and the best cornbread muffins. Go on Thursday - it's chicken and dumpling day.
2. Pastry Arts Bakery in Homewood. Home of Baby Bites. Two bite size cakes of sheer heaven - my personal favorite, the caramel.
3. Continental Bakery in English Village and Chez Lulu just next door. The breads are to die for as are the crossiants. Both will make you think you are in France. I could sit there for hours. Or, take a crossiant to the Botanical Gardens to nibble while you sit in the rose garden.
4. O'Carrs Deli - if you go to O'Carrs you must have chicken salad. It is not like any other chicken salad you have ever had. And of course, their warm cheesecake filled with gooey chocolate. Damn, I just gained four pounds.
5. Starbucks at Five Points. I don't care for the coffee that much - but the cast of characters that come and go in that place are wonderful. Try to get there on the mornings when the mandolin and accordian players are there. That is a concert worth sitting for while you sip your coffee.
6. The thai place on 7th Avenue South - I can't remember the name, but the chefs are obviously from Surin West but the food is cheaper here. It's down the block from The Burley Earl, where Anthony's used to be. (Now that should tell you how "birmingham" I am when I can give directions by what used to be located there)
7. Andy's Curb Market in Hoover. In the summer there are no better veggies than the one located at Andy's. Better prices than at Pepper Place Market.
8. Pepper Place Market - that being said about Andy's, Pepper Place is the best for finding all sorts of things besides veggies. The goat cheese guy is wonderful and the cake lady has wonderful rum cakes.