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Lunch in Birmingham AL

s
SCgal Dec 17, 2010 12:50 PM

Passing thru on a road trip near 20 and 65 Hwys. and looking for a good place for a casual lunch. Preferably local place-no chains. Thanks Birmingham!

  1. l
    Littleman Dec 17, 2010 01:36 PM

    Get off I 20 around Exit 125 and go S to 1st Avenue. Turn N on 21st Street to John's for good comfort food for lunch or dinner. Closed on Sunday.

    John's City Diner @ 112 21st Street North, Birmingham, AL 205 - 322 - 6014.
    http://www.johnscitydiner.com/

    8 Replies
    1. re: Littleman
      s
      SCgal Dec 19, 2010 05:54 AM

      Thanks! It looks great.

      1. re: Littleman
        Jannae Dec 19, 2010 08:28 AM

        We haven't been to Johns City Diner, but used to go to John's a few times a year. Do they still have the cornbread sticks to go with the cole-slaw (which I see is now a side dish?) And what about the sweet rolls?

        1. re: Jannae
          deepfriedkudzu Dec 19, 2010 12:22 PM

          I quit going to John's when they stopped being classic, old-line Birmingham and had their renovation...what, six or seven years ago now? It was such a big change that I think it put a lot of people off, me included. If I'm remembering correctly, their outpost in Trussville closed just this year. I tried it once. Eh.

          If you look at the entrees on John's menu now (http://www.johnscitydiner.com/menu.pdf) it's so jumbled:
          chicken & waffles
          mojo tacos
          meatloaf
          crispy duck
          ...but to be honest they have 'diner' in their name so I realize they're trying to find a good mix. I just remember when they were like some sort of downtown cousin to the Bright Star. Good Greek food. Lots of fish. Those fabulous old blue/turquoise booths. Waiters who had literally been there for decades.

          Jannae, I think they are still doing the cornpones and sweet rolls but can't be certain.

          I would not, though, suggest John's for an out-of-towner looking for one lunch in Birmingham.

          SCgal, casual no-chain lunch is easy to come up with -- would you like to be a little more specific? Are you looking for meat & three? Barbecue? There are a couple of places not too far off the interstate and you could eat at a Frank Stitt restaurant for lunch in a casual setting for not too much more money than anything else...

          -----
          Bright Star Restaurant
          304 19th St N, Bessemer, AL 35020

          1. re: deepfriedkudzu
            h
            haileyjm Jan 5, 2011 02:39 PM

            I am looking for the same thing. I am bringing a group to Birmingham in the Spring and want a non-chain restaurant. Suggestions please for groups? Thanks!

            1. re: haileyjm
              l
              Littleman Jan 5, 2011 03:13 PM

              What part of town. I love Highland's Bar and Grill.

              1. re: Littleman
                sheilal Jan 6, 2011 04:30 AM

                I don't think Highland's is currently serving lunch. Chez FonFon and Bottego Cafe are the only Stitt places that serves lunch.

                1. re: sheilal
                  m
                  mwr0978 Jan 6, 2011 09:18 AM

                  Urban Cookhouse
                  Brick and Tin
                  Trattoria Centrale
                  Chez Fon Fon
                  Bottege Cafe
                  26
                  these are all located a matter of mins from the I-65 I-20 interchange and all have websites w/ menus.

                  1. re: sheilal
                    m
                    mwr0978 Jan 6, 2011 09:22 AM

                    Oh, and for a more upscale type lunch Cafe Dupont is a great option!

        2. b
          birninghamsbestlunch Feb 12, 2011 07:47 PM

          I love local and especially family run resturants. I started a blog about my favorites in Birmingham. The blog is Birminghams Best Lunch. I try to list meals I really like not just the resturant.

          My very favorite hamburer is at Sammy's Sandwich Shop ( be sure to get the right Sammy's) - Hot Dogs is a longer list, there are many, Tacos I like Camp Taco - cool new food its Urban Cookhouse - odd sandwich's Momma Goldberg (small chain) - for Philly Cheese go to Gus's in Crestline - Bar Food, Otey's in Crestline (blackened chicken sandwich rocks) - Chinese Takeout - Chop Suey Inn - Deli - Chappy's unless you want a Ruben then its Max's.

          If you want to read more try birminghamsbestlunch.com

          -----
          Chop Suey Inn
          813 Green Springs Hwy, Birmingham, AL 35209

          Sammy's Sandwich Shop
          4921 Messer Airport Hwy, Birmingham, AL 35212

          1 Reply
          1. re: birninghamsbestlunch
            b
            Big Daddy Feb 14, 2011 09:19 AM

            Sorry, BBL, but I don't agree on several of your best lunches, especially Chop Suey Inn and Chappy's, and in my opinion there are many better taco places than Camp Taco(although I realize I'll get a fierce argument on that one).
            Even if I disagree, however, I do look forward to checking out your blog.

            -----
            Chop Suey Inn
            813 Green Springs Hwy, Birmingham, AL 35209

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