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May 25, 2008 06:40 PM

Bham - 280 area

I am in Bham often for business and stay on Hwy 280. Any good, non-chain, non-bbq recommendations? I am looking for mid-price options.


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  1. I think most options on Hiway 280 are either chains or bbq. I find that Whole Food has very tasty food. Standard Bistro in Mt. Laurel is great, but can get pricey. If you like Asian, then you MUST try Ginza. They serve wonderful sushi and also Korea bbq. Thai Emerald serves really good Thai food. There's a really, really good Italian place called something like Amore. The tiramisu is wonderfully crispy but saturated at the same time. Yum! The Superior Grille is the only Mexican option I would recommend. It gets quite crowded because they are known for their social scene, but the food is actually pretty tasty. The food has a bright flavor that's unusual from most run of the mill Mexican places in town.

    1. Where on 280? And you're from KC? Maybe Ginza for Korean?

      4 Replies
      1. re: Dax

        Thank you both for your Ginza suggestion. I ate there tonight and really liked the food (since it was my first foray into Korean cuisine, the waitress suggested the hot pot rice and beef.) The entree was great but I really liked the two kimchees that came with it.

        I will go back when I am not dining solo and try the barbecue.

        My usual hotel is at I-435 and 280 - I live in KC, but am a relative newcomer there.

        Thanks again for the suggestions; I knew it would be a hit when I followed a large group of Asian businessmen into the restaurant.

        1. re: SFLisa

          When you come back, you should try Mudtown in Cahaba Heights. Near your hotel is a decent Chinese restaurant called Black Pearl in the Colonnade shopping center.
          Also in that area of 280 is a real Mexican restaurant called La Macarena, which serves authentic tacos and tortas (along with the usual fare) and has a Columbian menu as well. It's kind of hard to find, but it's on a street near the Arby's, and in a plaza with a bar called Hogan's. Here's a mapquest link:

          1. re: Big Daddy

            What is the story on Mudtown? I have seen it referenced a few times lately.

            1. re: Dax

              Mudtown is a true neighborhood joint on Green Valley Drive. They do (1/2 pound) burgers, catfish, fried green tomatoes, etc. Their masa catfish dish is pretty darned good, too. Casual atmosphere and bery family friendly (which can be good or bad, depending on your perspective). They have several taps, with a $2 draft special on Thursdays and a pretty good margarita discount on Mondays.
              Here's a link:

      2. Another nice option is Satterfields in Cahaba Heights

        3 Replies
        1. re: snobofwine

          For something more casual, Baha Burger and Taziki's are close by at the Colonnade. Baha specializes in upscale (but inexpensive) burgers, including Angus, turkey, chicken, pork, etc. Their sweet potato fries are very good.

          Taziki's is next door to Baha and is owned by the same folks, and it specializes in inexpensive Greek/Mediterranean dishes.

          1. re: pinotboy

            Also in the Colonnade is Lenny's sandwich shop. The chicken Philly with the hot pepper relish is a treat.

            1. re: SkippyLeBeef

              The suggestion of the Black Pearl in the Colonnade said it was a "decent" Chinese restaurant. I'd up that several notches personally. Their Hot and Hot Fish entree is a particular winner, and their special Hot and Sour soup is excellent, and plenty for 3 or 4 as an appetizer, or it would just about make a meal for one, at a very reasonable price. I've tried Wan's (also highly recommended by several local Chowhounds, and close to Mudtown and Satterfield's), and while Wan's has a nicer atmosphere, I've found both the food and the service at Black Pearl to be better. Prices for both, as I recall, are comparable, and a bargain for the quantity and quality of the food.

        2. If you like Italian, try Salvatores Pizza and Pasta
          4673 Hwy 280
          Inverness, AL 35242
          Phone: 205-991-2881

          3 Replies
          1. re: newynn

            I've read several posts recently talking about how good Salvatore's pizza is, so my wife and I decided to give the Inverness location a try this weekend. We were rather disappointed to say the least. The basic crust wasn't bad and the sauce was decent. I would have liked a bit more cheese, but the real problem was the sausage.

            We are purists when it comes to pizza, having been raised on Chicago thin crust pizza made by any of several neighborhood mom and pop pizza parlors. We'd order a plain Italian sausage, or we might add onion, mushrooms or black olives (but never more than one additional ingredient). We still order that way, which means that the quality of the sausage is paramount to us.

            The sausage at Salvatore's might as well be hamburger for all the taste it has. If there are any herbs or spices in that sausage, they certainly didn't affect the taste much. Even the texture was wrong. The store-made Italian sausage from Publix is far tastier, and, of course, the Italian sausage from Fresh Market or Whole Foods is much better still.

            Among local pizza places, the sausage that Tortugas uses on their pizzas, which we understand comes from Chicago, is definitely the best around. And the rest of their ingredients pass our test as well. We prefer their deep-dish pizza to their thin crust, but either beat anything else we've found around town.

            And, for those that aren't aware of it, Tortugas location just off 280 (across from Wal-Mart) is less than a mile from Salvatore's, so you don't have to sacrifice quality for convenience.

            1. re: iko.iko

              I myself am not a deep dish pie girl having grown up in the Boston area.
              My personal preferences for toppings/sauces have changed over the years, I am really into white pizza these days :)
              I also much prefer a chewy thin crust as opposed to the 'pastry' like style used for most deep dish pies.
              I have had occasion to try Tortugas (when they were on 150) and just didn't care for it that much.
              Guess it's a good thing that we have options these days as I remember when I first moved to AL the only pizza was Pasquales, Chef Boyardee or the frozen kind!

              1. re: newynn

                If there was some place here even slighly comparable to Pizzeria Regina here I would be a very happy man.

          2. another option is Edgar's bakery in the Colonnade. I don't know if it does a dinner and doubt that it does but breakfast and lunch should be good. If you want to come into town more there isn't better Italian in the South than Cafe GianMarcos (I lived in New Orleans previously and will swear by GianMarcos) or you can enjoy a sandwich at The Garage, a little difficult to find but worth the drive.

            Unfortunately for you Hwy. 280 is the epitamy of the suburbs and therefore it is most all chains that you can duplicate anywhere.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jelindsey

              The one time my wife and I ate at Tortugas the pizza sauce was really sweet and a total turnoff for us. Think we just got a bad pie or is their sauce always sweet?