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Oct 29, 2007 10:13 AM

Biscuits in Birmingham

Apparently it's next to impossible to find a decent biscuit in Austin, TX. After having moved here from the NC biscuit-belt, I often find myself craving a good biscuit on a Sunday morning after a hard couple of nights.

I'll be coming to Birmingham in a couple of weeks to see my hound on the ground, Dax. And I'm going to want biscuits on a Saturday and maybe Sunday morning, and I know Dax won't be making them for me (although he better be tending to his smoker). After a cursory search of the board, I seemed to have come up with Cedar Point Restaurant and Bogue's as a couple of options. I like biscuits and gravy, but will probably also want some good salty country ham on a biscuit too. Maybe even some sorghum molasses. Drive-thru places are A-okay. Sit-down is fine too, but I get the feeling that a place like Bogues is probably packed to the gills with a mile-long line on a weekend morning, and I don't want no part of that. Bojangles does put a smile on my face for the biscuits, but not crazy about their country ham, and I can get a Chik-fil-a or Popeye's chicken biscuit around here. So, preferably a good local place that has good gravy and good ham, and great biscuits.

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  1. Nab,
    I served some time in B'ham and I can tell you you won't find a better biscuit than Cedar Post Cafeteria in Centerpoint.Every item on their menu is made from scratch and it shows.The Cream gravy is outstanding,the salty ham very good and the "white meat"delicious.You may also enjoy a Fried Baloney Biscuit from their extensive breakfast menu...and don't skip the Fried Eggs which are perfectly cooked.

    Are you driving in or flying?Information needed because Northport is on the way from Austin and barbecue is available there that puts the Lockhart trinity to shame.Archibald's is well known in Central Alabama and has to be tasted to be believed.It is the best barbecue I've ever other place is even close.

    Don't skip Family Reunion Cafe in the west end either.Great outsider art greets you as you walk up to the door and once inside this humble mecca of Deep South Soul food you will be amply served some of the finest Oxtails,Chitlins,Greens,Fried Porkchops etc of your life.A sign on the wall establishes the ground rules:Be Grown or Be Gone.

    Another don't miss is Green Acres Cafe on 29th ave north.There are other locations but this is the original and deliciousness is available here.Mr Gratton[rest his soul]is gone but the family carries on his tradition of excellence at inexpensive prices.

    In the believe it or not category one of the finest Fresh Fish houses I've ever eaten at is in B'ham as well.The Fish Market near UAB is phenomenal.A constant stream of trucks from the Gulf pull into the parking lot with fresh bounty caught hours before.The special board will take your breath's run by Greeks and they have their game face on on all the Greek preparations.

    Got a sweet tooth?Head out to west end again to Marsh Bake Shop where everything is made from scratch and simply delicious.This joint has been around since the 20's and will change your perspective on fresh pastries.

    Meat and 3? Get thee to Charlie's on Arkadelphia Road[which may have a new name] near Birmingham Southern University.Run by a tiny Vietnamese woman who turns out all the southern classics with a focus on fresh vegetables cooked with care.

    Birmingham is a criminally underrated food town.Fine dining abounds[all those places are heavily lauded here so I won't bother]but the real deal is Soul Food,Greek and Meat and 3.I love your Austin posts and look forward to reading a deep Birmingham report on your return.

    2 Replies
    1. re: scrumptiouschef

      chef, thanks for the many recs. i'll actually be flying in to b'ham from a quick trip in NC, so i can see myself getting some eastern NC cue in me, and droppin in to some meat & threes, and hopefully a few great biscuits along the way.

      lemme get this right though -- it's Cedar Post Cafeteria in Centerpoint, and NOT Cedar Point Restaurant, right ?

      i can feel that saltburn right now ......

      dax get the smoker, dax get the smoker, dax get the smoker, dax get the smoker

      1. re: scrumptiouschef

        I enjoyed a recent soul-affirming breakfast at Cedar Post.The biscuits are note perfect,the Country Ham a perfect restorative,the eggs perfectly cooked,the service[Belinda]spot on with all the sugar pies and darlins you can imagine.I live in Austin and we have no place that can even come close.

      2. Bogue's is right by the house.

        No smoker yet. Might try to remedy by then but I have so much crap to buy already. We'll see.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Dax

          Went to Bogue's to breakfast this morning...pretty good, but I thought it was a little overpriced...had the Lumberjack and Coffee and it was 12.50 w/ tip...and the Biscuts and Gravy are nothing to write home about IMO.

          I love the Biscuts at Green Acres on 3rd South, but they frequently run out, and are only open Tu-Fri....I'm not sure about the other locations.

          1. re: birminghamvisitor

            Good tip on Green Acres. I tried to go to the original once for meat and 3 per chef above's rec but it was closed. Maybe I'll try this Green Acres on 3rd Ct. South (? per yahoo yp).

            Courtney's on 7th Ave South works in a pinch when I'm at work and craving biscuits but not sure the biscuits are made from scratch.


            1. re: Dax

              Also the "center cut ham" on their ham biscuits is not the delicious country-fired ham I was seeking.

        2. Cedar Post rules. They are one of the few places that serve breakfast "all day", which is Tues.-Sat. 5:30am-2:30pm. Be aware that service may be slow at lunchtime since most people are there for the meat 'n two plates (which are excellent).

          1 Reply
          1. re: laurelglen

            As a follow-up, Cedar Post opens at 6am, not 5:30. Their waitresses were extremely friendly. However, their country-ham and biscuit was no better than what you would get at Hardee's or Jack's, just much cheaper ($1.49). I will likely try it again one day for their salt-pork (another item hard to find in Birmingham).

          2. I don't know if you've made it here yet, but other than coming to my dad's house, you're not gonna find any good biscuits in town. Now, I haven't made it to Ceder Post Cafe yet, but it's next on my list. Maybe I'll see you there. Anywhoo, as for a meat & 3. There is none other than Niki's on Finley Avenue. Also owned by Greeks but this has been a Birmingham staple for years. There is no other place in Birmingham you can find cafeteria style food where everything is seasoned well and you don't need to add anything except for maybe some pepper sauce. Although it's run by Greeks, you know that the 'Sistah's" are in the kitchen.

            And Scrumptious Chef is right, you cannot beat the fish market for the price, quantity and freshness. If it's Chinese you desire, there is no better place in town than Shangri-la. It's on the backside of Montclair Road. You'll have to look up the address, but the egg rolls are made fresh and are exquisite, the Hot & Sour soup, let's just say you've NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD. I promise you. Even if you stop in for lunch (lunches come with entree, fried rice, soup, a wing and egg roll) you won't be disappointed, the lunchtime soup doesn't have seafood in it like the dinner menu does. Everything is fresh and cooked to perfection. Nothing is overcooked, the rice is not sticky, it's just excellent. But check out any food review on the restaurant, they always get 5 stars.

            Be sure to let us know where and how everything went.

            5 Replies
            1. re: jwu

              I picked up a menu and was delighted to see that Shangri-La has peking duck and another version of duck and cannot wait to try it. However the rest of the menu reads like typical Americanized Chinese food. I have yet to find a restaurant that could stand up to even some of the weaker ones in a major city's Chinatown. Either way, I'll try Shangri-La and keep looking for the best each place has to offer. Thanks for your input, this is about the only way I keep finding such places so far off my beaten path.

              1. re: Dax

                Let us know how it goes at the Shangri-La. I'll share my views then on one of the most highly-praised Chinese restaurants in town.
                By the way, a friend says the off-the-menu stuff at Red Pearl is much more authentic Chinese. He just asked the woman at the front cash register what's new and authentic. HIs meal included stir-fried pea shoots.

                1. re: Big Daddy

                  Had dinner at Shangri-La tonight. The spring rolls seem made to order and were delicious with lots off fresh vegetables (julienned carrots, celery and other stuff). Hot and Sour soup was excellent and stocked with lots of shrimp and pieces of scallop - interesting preparation. I ordered a szechuan special which was advertised as spicy beef, chicken and seafood with vegetables. It wasn't spicy even after I requested extra hot. Whatever, it was pretty good with lots of shrimp but little beef and sauteed mushrooms and vegetables. I should have gone with the fried duck which was my first choice but followed the waiter's advice that he prefers the other dish. I want to get back and try some more menu items but it just seems to be Americanized-Chinese food, albeit prepared with lots of fresh ingredients. I need to get back to Red Pearl and ask about off the menu items.

                2. re: Dax

                  I regularly get take out from Shagri-La and I'm generally pleased. It must be noted that this place is a pretty typical Americanized-Chinese food eatery.

                  The soups there are consistently good. Wonton soup there is quite tasty and actually comes with shrimp, chicken, pea pods, mushrooms and bamboo shoots. The shrimp are particularly tasty and not overdone.

                  As far as entrees go, I've never had anything I've been displeased with, but I would recommend the duck. While I haven't had the Peking version, the other choice is quite tasty. It was crispy and the choice of sweet and savory spices for flavoring was quite apparent.

                  I will say that they are not always consistent although. I've had General Tso's Chicken that was quite hot before, and other times quite mild.

                  1. re: djjazzyjeffmby

                    I too am a ShangriLa lover...I get it delivered frequently. And I always get my Tso extra spicy, b/c it comes mild somtiems...and Mild Tso is worthless IMO.