Several months ago, I was contacted by a producer with the Travel Channel’s show, Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. She told me that they were shooting a show in Birmingham in January and found DeepFriedKudzu while doing research. She wondered if they could talk to me about the food scene here and where to go.
((of course!! wow, I was so tickled to help out with this project!!))
So before the show airs in a few hours, I want to tell you where I suggested they go, because I don’t know if every place they shot made it into the episode.
These are just some of the notes that we talked about, and that I emailed her later:
Go to Eagle’s. It is right outside the ACIPCO plant, they are in a small space, they keep the tv on too loud, but they love you. Ox tails. Pig feet and ears. Neckbones. Best chicken and dressing. Chitlins. Go to Eagle’s for sure!
Niki’s West: there is not a vegetable you can imagine that they don’t serve in their line. And when it’s busy the first guy/server actually YELLS at you “SIIIRRRR/MA’AAAAAM..CAN I HELP YOUUUUU…”
Green Acres is this small soul food place that has taken off so much that they have a handful of satellite restaurants across the city (maybe four or five). Great chicken wings — not like at the sports bars but the nice big wings. Also: 10th Ave Deli.
Also I mentioned:
Jim N’ Nick’s which…is controlling their (food) supply chain in a linear fashion, from raising the animals to how they are processed, also Bright Star, the Greek hot dog places in B’ham, Fish Market, John’s and John’s slaw which is a dressing much like comeback in Jackson MS… Again, Niki’s… The Greek story of food here is a good one.
Dreamland, but their original is in Tuscaloosa.
Saw’s — this was started by a man who worked for the Time/Southern Living magazines, and just went out on his own. In just a few short years, he’s got three locations that STAY busy. One is in a location that he really took a chance on because it’s been in decline for so long, and the neighborhood is only now starting to come back, and he/Saw’s is a big part of that. In another part of town, he’s in business with American Idol winner Taylor Hicks, and that one they are going after a juke-joint feel (although it just opened and it’s not quite there yet in appearance). His food is great. I love the barbecue over collards over grits. Yum.
Birmingham barbecue. you have to talk about Jim N Nicks which even though it’s a chain, it’s a chain because it’s so good and so successful. See my note above about what they’re doing.
Miss Myra’s is good barbecue, and for years she’s been serving it with white barbecue sauce.
My favorite ribs in the city come from Roadside Barbecue, which has great window paintings and can give you instant asthsma from their smokehouse depending on where you park outside. Those are good, good, good ribs.
Sorry if some of these notes seem disjointed above, but I wanted to give just the flavor of what I was describing to them.
I am *crazy excited* to see what made it into the show, and what else they found — like I heard about their visit to UAB, for something I totally didn’t know about, and I hope that’s included.
Something else fun is that they were looking for an interesting way to tie up the show, and I suggested Mrs. B’s on Fourth, which is where they have bean pies (Z’s too) and this terrific sign. I told them you could go out on the sidewalk and see the historic 16th Street Baptist Church from there. I love the idea of ending with this. Maybe!?!?:
You know where I’ll be tonight! Can’t wait to see!!
Tomorrow, I’ll post pics from when Av was invited out to the Bodnar farm (which…this part at the farm I think *has* to make it) and met Andrew who Av says is just terrific and fun, and where they filmed Andrew and Donald Link and some others cooking and talking about food. Yay!!