Birmingham -- Slow Food Festival
I went to the Slow Food Festival at Jones Valley Urban Farm on a blazing Sunday afternoon. And man, did I eat some great food.
Cantina served some very spicy tamales with roasted vegetables and soupy beans. Bettola made pizzas and those pizza sandwiches all day, a variety that included both the eggplant and proscuitto versions I tried.
The Trattoria folks downtown (formerly zaza's) made what they billed as an all-local sandwich with house-baked bread, Michael Deen's arugula, Wright Dairy cheese, Fudge Farms ham and a mayonaise spread that used McEwan's eggs. Wish they'd put it on the menu. It was that good.
Jim N. Nick's served tacos, with pork, chicken and beef cooked on a grill they brought. Another highlight was the veal slider with turnip chips, along with yogurt seasoned with sea salt, olive oil and reduced balsamic (better than it sounds, full of umami). Wish I could recall the name of the restaurant; it's down on U.S. 280 and specializes in serving healthy food.
But the highlight of the culinary offerings was the seafood boil Chris Hastings (Hot and Hot) put on with his family -- jumbo head-on shrimp, crawfish and Appalachacola crabs. Amazing.
A few other food stalls were out there (Bottletree, Salt Fine catering), as did McEwan's, Wright Dairy and Books A Million (selling local chef cookbooks as well as Michael Pollan and other educational books on the modern food industry and revolution).
There also was Good People beer, wine from local distributors (and more welcome on a blazing day) water. The music was good, especially the church choir that led off the day. And John T. Edge, the keynote speaker, was fun.
2901 2nd Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35233