Help near Trussville, AL? Limited transportation and picky eaters....
I'll be visiting family in Trussville AL this weekend, and I'd like to avoid awful dining. I'll be in a hotel by the I59/I459 junction. The family I'll be visiting are very picky, conservative eaters. I'll have some access to a car, but not always, and it's not likely I'll be venturing extremely far from Trussville. Is there any thing good worth eating in that area? I browsed past topics, but didn't really come up with anything.
Relatedly, is there any public transportation there to speak of, or does everyone just drive?
Also, I don't suppose there is a good cocktail bar around there?
emtilt, I live in the Trussville area. Welcome to our fair city. We are a fairly suburban area so ,unfortunately, there is no public transportation within the city. If you don't have a car, you'll have to walk or call a cab. All cab companies are based out of Bham which is about 15-20 miles away from Trussville, so it could take a long time and a lot of money to get around that way.
That area of Trussville (I59/I459) is not pedestrian friendly. It's an extremely busy area with tons and tons of traffic. There aren't a lot of hotel options there, so I'm assuming you're either at the Hampton Inn, Marriot or Hilton. If you're at the Hampton or Hilton, there is a Hooters fairly close (across a 3 lane road). Across the 5 lane highway, there's Habaneros (Mexican), El Cazador (Mexican), Lee Garden (Americanized chinese), Mizu (Japanese). These are all fine restaurants...not 5 stars, but good.
If you're staying at the Marriot on the HILL you can walk down (but then back UP) to the new Olive Garden or Red Lobster (no review necessary here!). The Marriot sits across the access road to the Pinnacle shopping center where there are many options, however, it's a fairly good sized outdoor facility so the walk will not be a picnic. In the perimeter buildings there's: Jim & Nick's bbq (good), Chili's (meh), Lone Star Steakhouse (ok), Cajun Steamer (ok), Red Robin (great custom hamburgers). Attached to the Pinnacle are: Five Guys Burgers (good), Rock & Roll Sushi (good), La Catrina (not ur usual Mexican, but good).
There's only 1 "bar" in Trussville (although many restaurants have a bar area) and it's Velma's on Highway 11 (just a couple of miles from your location). It's a dive bar...very small with karaoke sometimes. The only club "Tipsy's" is a college crowd hangout (don't know if that's your thing or not). For a cocktail bar experience you'll have to go into Bham proper.
I don't know what you mean about "picky and conservative". Is that no ethnic? Meat & threes? Steak & potatoes only?
I would suggest that you rent a car so that you can explore different areas of Bham and get some really stellar cuisine. Trussville has okay to very good restaurants, but not great. You won't starve, but you won't be wowed.
Thanks for your detailed reply! Looks like I'll be renting a car.
Yeah, picky and conservative is pretty much steak and potatoes, chicken, and no ethnic that hasn't been heavily Americanized. (I'm the outlier in my family when it comes to food.)
If I were to explore Birmingham proper in a bit more depth, what are the must-try restaurants (keeping in mind I'll only be there a few days)?
Depending on your price point & flavor preferences . . . I recommend:
Fine Dining ($$$$)- Highland's Bar & Grill-Southside (Chef Frank Stitt is routinely nominated for James Beard awards, Bottega-Southside (another Frank Stitt place - Italian), GianMarco-Homewood (great Italian), Cafe DuPont-Downtown, Ocean-Southside (unbelievable seafood), Hot & Hot Fish Club-Southside (Chef Chris Hastings is a James Beard nominee this year).
Moderate casual dining ($$-$$$) - Bettola-Lakeview area (great neopolitan pizzas & Italian), 26-Southside (sister restaurant of Ocean), Ollie Irene-Mountain Brook (another James Beard nominated restaurant), Chez FonFon-Southside (yet another Frank Stitt place-bistro food), Surin West-Southside (Thai,cheap at lunch, more expensive at dinner, good sushi).
Cheap eats ($) - Full Moon Barbq (various locations), Saw's bbq-Homewood (wonderful white sauce that can't be found anywhere else in Bham), Dreamland-Southside (famous for their ribs & peppery sauce), Purple Onion (various locations-great gyros, Chicken & Seafood Box-Trussville (great fried chicken, if a bit salty).