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Jun 28, 2008 04:15 PM

Best Fried Chicken-Best Fried Green Tomatoes.Birmingham Al

I'm on the tail end of a three state Fried Chicken Wing eating frenzy and I'm circling through Northside Birmingham Alabama looking for the original Green Acres Cafe on 29th Ave North,the others are unaffiliated.

Riding through the old neighborhoods north of downtown proper I'm amazed at how beautiful Birmingham is.The houses are enormous 3-4000 sf Craftsman style homes built in the 1900-1925 range.The lawns are neatly manicured and towering American Hardwoods are everywhere.If I lived in Bham this would be my neighborhood.

I amble along until like magic Green Acres just sort of appears.It's changed considerably but is in the same location.A new brick facade provides the portal to the deliciousness I used to know and love.

Walking in everything is new and different.New walls,new tables and new chairs.I say a silent prayer that the Gratton Family is still in charge.YES.I spot a familiar face and then another.I'm in the right spot.

The joint is flat packed at 2 in the afternoon.Everybody's kicked back watching "Tougher than Leather"on the teevees and the sweet smell of frying chicken fills the air.I join the queue and a few minutes later here comes the chow.

I ate lunch at Princes Hot Chicken yesterday so my bar is REALLY high right now for fried chicken.

Green Acres does not disappoint.

The 5 wings appear with a side of hand cut fries and two discs of FRIED GREEN TOMATOES.They're not even on the menu and instead serve as a sort of fried lagniappe.

These are the best fried green tomatoes I've ever eaten.Ever.

The wings are beautiful.Golden hued,juicy but crisp on the outside.I requested them salt and pepper style and that is the only seasoning they have or need.

The crowd begins to clear out so I make my way to the jukebox,punch in some Whodini,Latimore,R Kelley and Earth Wind and Fire and rear back with an ice cold Miller Lite....yes,here comes the glow.The good food,the cold beer the friendly's all coming together for me once more in this old haven of goodness.I miss the $4 pitchers of Michelob from when Mr.Gratton himself ran the joint but I can't worry about that when Soulville Records and Tapes,the great old vinyl shop around the way is now a beauty supplies store!

The humanity.

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  1. Sounds tight. I have lived in Bham for 10 years and have never been. I have no excuse....

    4 Replies
    1. re: SkippyLeBeef

      I'm only fortunate enough to eat a couple meals in Birmingham per year so they absolutely must count.I can't take any chances.Each morsel has to be of utmost deliciousness.

      I have this mission statement in mind as I walk through the doors of the Original Green Acres Cafe[opened 1949] a few days back. It's lunchtime and the joint is pretty crowded;a small pack of church-looking ladies have descended on a big pile of wings in the middle of their table,a young couple are necking in the corner over by the jukebox,a group of young bucks are swapping lies and laughing uproariously up near the order counter.The sweet sounds of Willie Clayton provide the soundtrack

      Just another day at Green Acres I reckon.

      Recent discussion on the current state of Fried Chicken Wing dining in B'ham on the South board has left me bemused.No one's ranting about the legend;Green Acres.It's as though people were discussing barbecue on the Texas board and nobody has a word to say about Lockhart.

      My platter arrives and it's tight.4 nice sized wings[not the big bionic wings off chickens that've been so pumped full of hormones they look like condors].A nice tangle of house-cut fries[shoestring]are also on the plate.That's it.No need for accoutrements.Simply seasoned with salt and pepper and properly fried,this is the best fried chicken in Birmingham.

      As usual I've eaten my body weight in fried chicken in Kentucky,Tennessee and Alabama over the past couple weeks and Green Acres takes the prize once again as finest.

      Hey Dax,if you're buddy NAB comes down from the barrens of Massachusetts make sure y'all pay a visit to one of the great fried wing meccas of the South.I'd love to read all about it.

      2724 29th Avenue North
      Birmingham, AL, 35207
      Phone: 205.328.8099

      1. re: scrumptiouschef

        It looks like those wings (at the 4th ave location) are up for some type of reward. I am trying to hold costs down right now with a new house but need to get out there soon.

        1. re: Dax

          That's some good news.I've eaten at the 4th avenue location a couple times and while it's good the mothership over on 29th ave north is the real deal.Glad to see the Gratton's making bank in these hard times.

      2. Seeing as how I've heard about the infamous Seafood and Chicken Box for as long as I've lived in Trussville, I've simply got to try it now that they've reopened in their new location after closing in Centerpoint several months ago. They just opened last week, so I'm going to give them a little time to work the kinks out. From what I hear, don't go in there with speed on your mind as every order is made to scratch. Nothing is premade and waiting under a heat lamp. I've heard equally great things about their chicken AND their shrimp. Alas, no green tomatoes I'm afraid. Has anyone ever eaten at the old Centerpoint location?

        3 Replies
            1. re: hlsess

              It's at the end of the Kmart strip mall on Chalkville Road in Trussville.

        1. Looks like Green Acres is in a league of their own. Kudos to them! Up for Hoodie Award from Steve Harvey . . .

          1 Reply
          1. re: sheilal

            After reading about Seafood and Chicken Box in the previously mentioned thread, we visited them at their old location about a week before they closed - was *excellent*. They've only been open at their new location a bit over a week now. We were there last Sunday and they were absolutely packed - the word is out! The chicken we got that day was every bit as good as it was at the old location.

            There is a 25 minute-or-so wait as everything is cooked fresh to order.

            Highly recommended.

          2. Wow, I've lived here 17 yrs and not tried either place. Will have to do that soon. I had never even heard of Green Acres. How did I miss that?