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Birmingham: Brick & Tin

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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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  1. 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

      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

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

        1. re: Dax

          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

            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

              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

                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

                  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

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

                    1. re: Big Daddy

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

                      ...aaaahhh...

                      1. re: deepfriedkudzu

                        Thanks.

        2. 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

            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

              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

                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

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

              2. re: Lugnut

                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

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

                  1. re: Dax

                    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

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

                    1. re: deepfriedkudzu

                      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

                        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

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

                        1. re: Lugnut

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