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Feb 13, 2009 06:20 PM

weekend in birmingham

hi hounds-

i'll be in birmingham for a wedding in early march. i'm looking for recs for weekend breakfast and lunch spots, tea/coffee, and late night post-event noshing. i'm open for whatever - it doesn't need to be fancy, just good. all suggestions are appreciated.

thanks, y'all!

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  1. Hi Potterybliss -

    My recommendations are:

    Urban Standard, downtown on the North side, for lunch. Nice, hip soup & sandwich place, and great cupcakes. This entire fall & winter, they run out of their butternut squash soup every time I go there for lunch. Also breakfast - mostly pastries - and open until about 10pm, I think.

    Bottletree for sandwiches, quesadillas, and vegan/vegetarian fare. Another night spot.

    Tria Market in Homewood started serving brunch a few months ago and it's expanded it's restaurant since- they serve lunch and dinner now too. I haven't eaten there but I know the guy behind these changes, and he knows what he's doing.

    Sol Y Luna, and Cantina are good for Mexican food. Same owners; Cantina is a little lower-priced. Sol Y Luna has great tortilla soup.

    I've recently paid frequent visits to a little family-owned Thai place downtown - Thai House.

    And, if you like sushi, I moved here from Boston and was really surprised to find a place like Jinsei in Homewood. Pricey, but very good (just beware that there are some things on the menu meant to appeal to people who aren't into sushi, so order carefully).

    2901 2nd Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35233

    Sol Y Luna
    2811 7th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35233

    Urban Standard
    Birmingham, AL, Birmingham, AL

    Tria Market
    Birmingham, AL, Birmingham, AL

    Bottle Tree
    3719 3rd Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35222

    Thai House
    2131 7th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35233

    Jinsei Sushi
    1830 29th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35209

    3 Replies
    1. re: schavis

      Some great recs schavis, although I find Thai House to be a little hit or miss. I love Jinsei; everything I have tried there is awesome. When not ordered sushi, I love the miso cod, the kadoma tuna, and the tempura green beans.

      I lived in Boston from 1998 to 2006. Bham definitely lacks the variety of cuisines available in Boston but it has a lot more to offer than I ever expected (with perhaps the exception of Asian ethnic options).

      Potterbliss: your late night options are fairly limited, unless you mean before midnight. Mostly only fast food (and things like Purple Onion) past midnight here.

      Jinsei and 26 serve a little later than most.

      1. re: Dax

        P.S. - Dax, since we have both lived in Boston, have you found a good place to have pho here in Birmingham? There are days I wish I could blink my eyes and end up at Pho Pasteur...

        1. re: schavis

          The pho at Que Huong on Greensprings has pretty good pho. The have most of the usual varieties, like dac biet. Decent spring (or was it summer?) rolls and viet coffee too, plus bahn mi which are ok but not quite as good as Ba Le or Mei Sum in Boston. Also heard about another viet place in Hoover (?) but haven't tried it yet (I don't get to hoover often).

    2. thanks so much for the response! i've been looking through the previous posts about birmingham, and it seems like there's so much info that i'm having trouble sorting it out. this is quite helpful.

      5 Replies
      1. re: potterybliss

        Pottery, Just give us a list of your top 3-5 for each meal and we will be glad to help.

        I dont really need to add any more places in this post Dax and schavis got you started, and from what you just said you have already mastered the search function. :-)

        Except for this one suggestion...for Saturday lunch if you are in the Southside-UAB area...Botega Cafe or Cafe De Paris!

        Dax, FWIW, I have been to Thai House probably 10 times and have never had a bad meal there, sometimes service is hit or miss, but my food is always top notch. (I usually do not get sushi there, but it was solid the few times I have had it.)

        1. re: birminghamvisitor

          Thai House is right by my work so I go once every two weeks or so. What do you like most there? Drunken noodle was just ok when I tried it and the duck soup wasn't so great (both only tried once each) but I do like the spicy beef salad, although I can't say it's any better than Surin's.

          1. re: Dax

            Spicy Spaghetti is really good as are all of the currys. My favorite is the Shrimp Pineapple Curry! I also have had the stuffed chicken wings (Wings of Angels I think) and they were delicious.

            I have had the Drunken Noodle and frankly found it a bit odd, but good.

            We really like the spring rolls and the crab angel wonton things as apps. I have never actually eaten there for lunch, only dinner.

            1. re: birminghamvisitor

              I've only eaten there for lunch. perhaps I need to try dinner

            2. re: Dax

              I like the chicken larb, the coconut soup with shrimp, and pad thai. My boyfriend likes the basil rolls, Masaman curry, and the spicy beef salad - I agree with you Dax, Thai House's beef salad isn't better than Surin's - or my own :)