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Birmingham: Brick & Tin

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Big Daddy Jul 16, 2010 07:28 AM

Anyone been to the Brick & Tin panini place in downtown Birmingham? It's run by a Highlands and Hot and Hot alum. What do you think?

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    pinotboy RE: Big Daddy Jul 16, 2010 08:15 AM

    Been twice. It is excellent! He bakes his own bread, and it shows; in some ways, the bread is actually the star of the show.

    Don't go there expecting an enormous sandwich, or you will be disappointed. He does not load up the sandwiches with a lot of meat; rather, he uses a judicious amount of top-notch ingredients. I have had the Catalan (serrano ham, manchego cheese and heirloom tomatoes) and the Cuban (slow-roasted pork shoulder, country ham, pickled pepper relish and Gruyere cheese) and loved both of them.

    Get there early (no later than 11:30). The word has gotten out about it, and they are absolutely slammed by noon.

    10 Replies
    1. re: pinotboy
      Dax RE: pinotboy Jul 16, 2010 12:31 PM

      You were not kidding on slammed! I went today after reading this thread and there were no seats at 12:15 and a line 10 people deep at the counter. Even with 10 employees behind the counter, ordering and receiving my food took about 20 minutes. Call aheads for take out might be best. I had the cubano, which was pretty good although I'll still head out to Kool Korner for my cubano fix. Great quality meat, although not a ton of it. I really liked the pickled pepper relish. Smallish sandwich for $8 that came with one side. I choose the "heirloom" tomato soup which is probably best not to get to go, as it was served in a 3/4 full 5.5 souffle cup with no spoon. I liked the interior/vibe as well.

      Also ordered the "empanadas" for $3 which was actually just a single empanada with some greens on the side and some dressing. While the empanada itself was good, I'm used to them being around $1.50 each but considering the lack of availability in this town, I guess beggars can't be choosers.

      I'll definitely be back.

      1. re: Dax
        curej RE: Dax Jul 17, 2010 10:36 AM

        Glad to hear you found a place to buy empanadas Dax!

        1. re: Dax
          curej RE: Dax Jul 20, 2010 12:54 PM

          Ate lunch today at Brick and Tin. Very nice. I had the Cubano sandwich, my wife had the "Catalan". For a side I had the field pea salad which was excellent. Both sandwiches were delicious, and while not huge, were more than enough for this fat guy. We got an order of devilled eggs, too, apparently made with coarse Dijon (hopefully) accounting for the little brown floaters in the yolk mousse. They rested on a generous "bed" of thinly sliced ham that was to die for. (I thought is was prosciutto until I read their menu). We will definitely be back. I loved the space. I really hope more of this type of establishment can open up downtown.

          http://brickandtin.com/ in case you're curious.

          1. re: curej
            Dax RE: curej Aug 16, 2010 05:30 PM

            Went back for dinner tonight. The ham on the eggs which the menu states is shaved TN country ham tasted a good bit like the serrano ham on the Catalan. And there is a lot of it. Both were good - the tomatoes on the Catalan were great. I had the brisket this time, which was pretty good with the right mix of fat and the caramelized onions were perfect on it. The field peas were good the first few bites but I think I'm just not a big pea fan.

            1. re: Dax
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              Big Daddy RE: Dax Aug 16, 2010 05:55 PM

              The brisket is my favorite sandwich there, followed by the New Orleans. Like you Dax, I suspect the shaved country ham and the Seranno are one and the same. Which is too bad, because from what I've heard of Benton country ham (what this is purported to be) it is to die for. But I've sat at the counter twice now, and it seems like the thin slices on the sheet are going into both the deviled eggs and the Catalan, as well as the other sandwich with the shaved ham.

              1. re: Big Daddy
                Dax RE: Big Daddy Aug 17, 2010 07:18 AM

                I mean the ham is good whatever it is I just did not detect a major difference. I also tend to think of Jamon serrano as a little fattier, which is not a bad thing. With that said, they are all dry cured hams, so they are pretty much all good in my pork book.

                Here is a cool thread on the subject of worldwide hams ...

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/586399

                1. re: Big Daddy
                  deepfriedkudzu RE: Big Daddy Aug 25, 2010 04:30 PM

                  Hmmm...

                  I've made the pilgrimage to Benton's in Tennessee. Brought back a cooler-full.

                  Besides the famous ham and bacon, he also offer proscuitto. I wonder if they're using any of that. Excellent.

                  If you're ever anywhere close to Madisonville (east side of TN) it is *such* a treat to meet Allan. One of the most humble people anywhere...a great storyteller, too.

                  1. re: deepfriedkudzu
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                    Big Daddy RE: deepfriedkudzu Aug 26, 2010 10:17 PM

                    OH man, I must go. Where exactly can I find such porcine nirvana?

                    1. re: Big Daddy
                      deepfriedkudzu RE: Big Daddy Aug 27, 2010 12:46 PM

                      Do you mean the address for Benton's? It's 2603 Hwy 411 in Madisonville, TN.
                      bentonshams.com

                      ...aaaahhh...

                      1. re: deepfriedkudzu
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                        Big Daddy RE: deepfriedkudzu Aug 30, 2010 10:50 AM

                        Thanks.

        2. curej RE: Big Daddy Aug 21, 2010 06:39 PM

          Went to Urban Standard today...what a disappointment. Pales in comparison to Brick and Tin in the "hip downtown sandwich spot category". High prices, tiny sandwiches. The amount of meat in our (grilled swordfish, grilled chicken) sandwiches was comically small. The term "measly" comes to mind.

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          Urban Standard
          Birmingham, AL, Birmingham, AL

          12 Replies
          1. re: curej
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            Lugnut RE: curej Aug 25, 2010 03:11 PM

            Not to hijack the B&T thread, but you gotta get the Tomek's polish street sandwich at Urban Standard (good portions of 3 kinds of swine + pickled onions and trimmings). Agree that B&T is better though---just go early or call ahead to avoid the crowd. Coosa Valley (farm egg/basically an entire avocado/bacon) is the real deal. I pretty much just rotate between B&T and Trattoria Centrale for lunch these days...couldn't be happier to have B&T in the neighborhood.

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            Urban Standard
            Birmingham, AL, Birmingham, AL

            1. re: Lugnut
              curej RE: Lugnut Aug 26, 2010 02:06 PM

              Another good sandwich spot for lunch downtown: Red Cat Coffee House at Pepper Place, next to Cantina. Very happy with my turkey/spinach/hummus/feta wrap there today. Cool place, too.

              1. re: curej
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                Big Daddy RE: curej Aug 26, 2010 10:24 PM

                I can't get past the tacos at Cantina or the pork belly or proscuitto sandwiches at Bettola to get to the wraps at Red Cat. Mighty fine coffee beans at Red Cat, though.

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                Bettola
                2901 2nd Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35233

                1. re: Big Daddy
                  curej RE: Big Daddy Aug 27, 2010 10:43 AM

                  Pork belly, proscuitto sandwiches? How did I miss that???

              2. re: Lugnut
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                Big Daddy RE: Lugnut Aug 26, 2010 10:23 PM

                Does Urban Standard offer the Tomek's on any particular day? One thing I found tiresome is with the rotating menu there. You'd go hoping to get something at least OK like the Tomek's, only to find some drek. I take a great brisket sandwich at Brick&Tin or a shrimp or wet beef po boy at Bayou Deli any day over the chance Tomek's might be on the menu at Urban Standard.

                1. re: Big Daddy
                  Dax RE: Big Daddy Aug 27, 2010 07:26 AM

                  They have roast beef with debris po boys at Bayou Deli? Giddy up!

                  1. re: Dax
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                    Big Daddy RE: Dax Aug 27, 2010 11:41 AM

                    They bill it as roast beef in red wine demiglaze gravy. BTW: They're having a tasting down there today 4-7. 323 20th Street North.

                  2. re: Big Daddy
                    deepfriedkudzu RE: Big Daddy Aug 27, 2010 12:48 PM

                    Um, what's a "Tomek"? I'm lost.

                    1. re: deepfriedkudzu
                      curej RE: deepfriedkudzu Aug 27, 2010 02:46 PM

                      If you Google "tomek sandwich", a majority of the hits (first page anyway) are about Urban Standard. Funny!

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                      Urban Standard
                      Birmingham, AL, Birmingham, AL

                      1. re: deepfriedkudzu
                        Dax RE: deepfriedkudzu Aug 27, 2010 03:36 PM

                        Tomek Wrzesien is the owner of Urban Standard. I really like the polish street sandwich but it is a bit spendy.

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                        Urban Standard
                        Birmingham, AL, Birmingham, AL

                      2. re: Big Daddy
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                        Lugnut RE: Big Daddy Aug 31, 2010 06:58 PM

                        I don't think they rotate the menu any more, but I'm not positive about that.

                        1. re: Lugnut
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                          Big Daddy RE: Lugnut Sep 2, 2010 07:25 AM

                          It's been awhile since I went, because I grew tired of going on days when there was nothing that interested me.

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