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May 15, 2007 10:54 AM

Soul Food:Birmingham....Green Acres[29th Ave]R3 Cafe....

What is the current state of Soul Food eating in B'ham?I used to love to go to Green Acres[the original on 29th ave N.]Mr.Gratton on the grill since 1949 and his 12 year old granddaughter working the register.Great food and ambience[jukebox filled w/Funkadelic and Curtis Mayfield 45's...ice cold Michelob pitchers]R3 cafe on the west side had Pan Fried Porkchops,Howlin Wolf on the juke and a "knock and we'll let you in"policy regarding admission.Brochettes Q and Bayou on 4th ave N was the real heavy hitter in the bunch.Chef Curtis Giles' Wings and Pieces creation gave me Chow based fever dreams...What are the current restaurants plying their trade in Fried Chicken,Whiting,Oxtails and Greens?I'm not talking about the Greek run Meat and 3's[I know the legends]I want to roll through the Northside chowing down and no,I have no problem watching my back when I eat so "bad neighborhood" means nothing to me.

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  1. I'm not a meat & three person myself, so I can't offer any first-hand reviews. However, I have several friends who work at and around the airport. They swear by VJ's on the Runway.

    1. It looks like their are a number of Green Acres Cafes in town. Will try and get to the original soon.

      Cannot find any info on the web about R3 Cafe on the West Side or Brochettes Q and Bayou.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Dax

        The one on 29th seemed closed today, or at least the open signs were not lit and no one was parked out front on the street. Will try one of the other locations soon; there are a number of them.

        1. re: Dax

          Glad to hear of a hound on the ground in Bham gunning for the sweet spots.Family Reunion Cafe 1515 SOUTHWEST PEARSON AVENUE BIRMINGHAM AL 35211 is another spot worthy of your attention. This is classic soul food in a tiny joint on the west side.There's a beautiful painting on the outside of the building that has to be seen to be appreciated.Daily specials with all the Greens,Pork Chops and Oxtails you can dream of.The Original Green Acres[29th] is the only one worthy of note...I don't think the others are even related.See if you can find Chef Curtis Giles[formerly of Brochettes]he is the Soul Food king but has proven difficult to track down in the last couple years.I spent many a glorious afternoon driving around North and West Bham sussing out tiny neighborhood spots that oft time do not have a yellow pages listing[because they don't have a business phone-it costs 3 times as much]One method is to seek out the Health Inspection rating,google the address and then venture into some neighborhood you didn't even know existed.Note the beautiful,old run-down homes as you hunt.Birmingham is a beautiful city with great period architecture and a hidden soul food scene that is a culinary treasure.

          1. re: scrumptiouschef

            You're not off the hook on the soulfood reviews.Did you make it out to Family Reunion...or the original Green Acres?I'm counting on you to school the Bham hounds on where to find the real deal for Bham's finest underground cuisine.

            1. re: scrumptiouschef

              I saw this post Saturday and google'd Family Reunion. I'd love to say it's great but I could not even find the road (which is apparently Pearson Ave SW by the way). Maybe next time. I did see an interesting place way the hell out on 6h Ave almost to MLK that was something BBQ and Burgers that looked interesting. I wrote down the name but then cleaned my car Sunday so no idea what the name is.

              1. re: scrumptiouschef

                Tried the Green Acres on 4th Ave North today. Well it was interesting. I ordered the pork chop plate which comes with one deep fried chop, fries, two pieces of white bread and some lettuce/tomato (I made the sandwich). Ordered it with hot sauce and ketchup since everyone else was too. Not bad for $3.10 plus tax but skillet fried is 100x better. The order of fried okra for like $1.25 was hot, greasy and salty, but definitely pre-frozen. Still delicious in its own right.

                Not bad overall but I still need to get to the original after I cholesterol levels stabilize.

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. Just posted a review today at www.bhamdining.com of a little place called Eagle's restaurant, just south of the ACIPCO plant. They actually advertised for a month or two in City Scene. Not much ambience, but the food was delicious. Fried pork chops, candied yams, baked chicken and dressing, pinto beans and greens. (We didn't try the oxtails, but they did have them.)

            1 Reply
            1. re: bhamdining

              Wow,talk about a step back in time.I used to love this little joint.I believe the cook's name was Shep and if memory serves he was from Tennessee[I saw no reason to hold that against him].The workers from ACIPCO would all horde in there at lunchtime so we'd try to arrive by 11:30am or so so we could have our pick of the daily blue plates.That neighborhood was some prime picking for soul food.There's a little spot due east of there that bills itself as a sandwich shop but the Fried Chicken was the house special[and it was in an old woodframe house convert].Thanks for the post.I can't wait to get back to Bham and hound on down.