Local Coffee Shops Transformed into Popular Fictional Diner

To celebrate the 16th anniversary of the first episode of Gilmore Girls, Birmingham coffee shops partnered with Netflix on October 6 and converted into the hit show’s own coffee shop, Luke’s Diner.  Lucy’s Coffee and Tea, Crestwood Coffee Co. and The Abbey were three of the 200 cafes around the country that participated in the pop up.

The pop-ups were open from 7 a.m. to noon, and the first 200 guest received free coffee. The shops included décor from the show, such as Luke’s signs, aprons, backward caps, and coffee cups covered in Gilmore Girls quotes. Even the staff at the shops wore Luke’s Diner branded aprons and T-shirts. Netflix also announced a new season which is to premiere around Thanksgiving time.  

Lucy’s, a coffee shop located on University Blvd, was thrilled to be one of the Netflix-sponsored coffee shops. Early on, the line wrapped around the block as Gilmore Girls fans excitingly waited for their free cup of coffee. The coffee shops said that social media was a big factor in whether or not a café was chosen to host a Luke’s diner pop-up.

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Coffee sleeves were adorned with Luke’s logo
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A line of fans awaiting their coffee
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Employees dressed up as characters for the occasion

  

Pepper Place is Back

Birmingham’s favorite farmers market is back on Saturday, April 9th. It is open from 7 a.m. to noon rain or shine.

Pepper Place began in 2000 in provide a connection between family farmers and the people of Birmingham, Alabama. Since then is has grown from a few tents to over 100 tents spread across parking lots and streets around Pepper Place. The market has hosted around 10,000 people every Saturday at the height of the season.

All of the vendors are based in Alabama and are the actual growers, joined by their family members and friends.

Shoppers can expect bedding plants, herbs, lettuces, asparagus, and strawberries to be in season for the spring and as it gets closer to summer blackberries, blueberries, peaches and mushrooms. Alongside of the fresh produce market goers can find bakers and cooks who serve food to eat and take home, from breakfast food to dessert. As well as food, Pepper Place hosts Alabama artists, artisans and craftspeople with unique items to decorate with or give as a gift.

The address is:
2829 2nd Avenue South
Birmingham, Alabama 35233

A list of vendors can be found here:

http://www.pepperplacemarket.com/vendors/

Cajun Cook-off this Weekend at Railroad Park

Here it comes! The Sixth Annual Girls Inc. Cajun Cook-off is steaming down the tracks to Railroad Park, “Bringing the Big Easy to the Magic City” Saturday April 9 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Hosted by The Committee of 25, which is the Girls Inc.’s Junior Board, and presented by Publix Super Market Charities, the cook-off will feature a family friendly atmosphere spiced with the Cajun aromas of foods such as jambalaya, gumbo, bread pudding, shrimp and grits, po’boys and more.

Twenty to 25 amateur cooks will prepare these dishes for the chance of taking home trophies from the taste-testing contest.

Live zydeco music by the Swamp Poppas will provide additional flavor to the day, accompanied by a silent auction, kids’ activities and a performance by Girls Inc. program participants.

Connie Hill, President and Chief Executive Officer for Girls Inc. said that the Cajun Cook-off, which is the organization’s largest annual fundraiser, expands each year in order to create a more “memorable and fun” experience for attenders.

“Through this year’s event participation and fundraising efforts,” Hill said, “Girls Inc. hopes to raise $80,000 to support our efforts to provide vital and innovative educational programs to school-age girls in Central Alabama.”

These programs are dedicated to “inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold.”

Tickets can be purchased at bhamcajuncookoff.com, $20 for adults and $5 for kids ages three to ten. Children under three years of age may attend for free.

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Photo courtesy of Connie Hill

 

 

More Than Just Chili

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For the past twelve years, on the first Saturday in March, the community of Birmingham convenes in one location to compete in a Chili Cook-Off. Friendly competition takes place, as 112 local businesses will compete to win the trophy for the “Best Chili”. On Saturday, March 5, 2016, the Chili Cook-Off will take place in the parking lot at Brookwood Village on Lakeshore Blvd from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. While the chili may make your taste buds dance, the true meaning behind this event is about the men and women that it supports.

LittleGirlThe Exceptional Foundation was founded in 1996 and was created in order to give adults with special needs a place to gather daily in the community of Homewood. There are numerous activities available including, bowling, art, volunteer service, swimming, basketball, softball, Special Olympics and dances. In order to provide all of the amazing outlets for these individuals, The Exceptional Foundation knew that they needed to find a way to raise money. The largest fund that they receive is from the Chili Cook-Off, which has raised more than $1.6 million.

The Chili Cook-Off brings the community of Homewood together, while raising money for a great organization. This event is more than just about chili; it is about people helping people.

 

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the gate. Children 12 and under enter free. For more information, visit www.exceptionalfoundation.org

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Photos courtesy of The Exceptional Foundation.

Top 3 Places to Brunch

When the weekend rolls around, it always seems fitting to gather with friends and enjoy brunch. This is a special meal to sit around at a table and enjoy delicious foods that satisfy both breakfast and lunch desires. Birmingham has many unique restaurants that cater to this appetite. Here are a few special brunch spots in the Birmingham area that have a pleasing atmosphere and delicious eats.

THE PANTRY BY STONE HOLLOW FARMSTEAD

17 Dexter Ave. 205.803.3585
Hours of Operation Monday Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday , 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. Closed Sundays

The Pantry is filled with high quality, locally grown and imported artisan food. Not only does the fresh food taste amazing, but the atmosphere matches the level of food perfectly-a quaint area with a rustic homey feel. Popular brunch dishes include avocado toast and Belgian waffles. The Pantry has a farm in Harpersville, Alabama. “This is where we source from and we have many different foods for sale inside of their Pantry location,” Deborah Stone, founder of Stone Hollow Farmstead said. Whether it is the lovely detail on their handcrafted meals or the details of decor, you will fall in love with The Pantry the moment you walk in.

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TRATTORIA CENTRALE
207A 20th St. N. 205.202.5612
Hours of Operation
Monday-Friday Breakfast: 7 a.m.-10 a.m. Monday -Friday Lunch: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Sunday Brunch: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

The locally sourced Italian cuisine at Tratotria Centrale will leave you wanting more. Located in the heart of downtown Birmingham, this sidewalk cafe specializes in pizzas, pastas, soups, salads and more. Most commonly around town, they are known for their Sunday brunch. Trattoria Centrale’s brunch is an experience you can not get anywhere else in Birmingham. You feel like you have been transported to Italy as you sit outside and people watch. While sticking to its Italian roots, Trattoria Centrale mixes in Southern ties to create an unforgettable Sunday brunch experience.

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OVER EASY CAFE
358 Hollywood Blvd. 205.639.1910
Hours of Operation
Tuesday-Friday Breakfast: 6 a.m.-2 p.m.
Saturday + Sunday : 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Closed Mondays

Over Easy is a great brunch option any day, in any mood. The cuisine is has options for everyone. Whether you want healthy or greasy, hearty or light, sweet or salty, Over Easy does it all and does it all really well. Local ingredients are used whenever possible. The food looks amazing and tastes even better. Over Easy has a simple and fun atmosphere and the most tasty unique breakfast dishes like specialty french toast and omelets.

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Coffee Corner

With the cool weather taking Birmingham by a pleasant surprise, we have mapped out the best coffee spots around town to keep you warm (and caffeinated) during this sweater weather season. Here are the first three coffee pit stops that we think are a must.

O’Henry’s:

Just across the street from Samford University in Brookwood Village is O’Henry’s Coffees. Inside, the quaint little shop is decorated with nick-nacks and cozy wall décor that will make you feel right at home. We recommend you start with the Caramel Latté. If coffee isn’t your thing, try the one-of-a-kind sweet tea, “Front Porch Estate,” paired with the Ginger Bar. You won’t regret it, we promise.

 

 

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Starbucks:

If you’re looking for something with a little more seasonal flair – then head on over to the beloved Starbucks in Mountain Brook. Just re-releasing their ever-popular Pumpkin Spiced Lattés, Starbucks has all the basic girls rejoicing with praise hands! All joking aside, this drink is “literally fall in a cup,” and if you have yet to taste this magical concoction – do yourself a favor and go try it. Right. Now.

Revelator:

Our recent favorite coffee spot is Revelator Coffee Company. Located in the heart of the city, Revelator gives off [I’m really cool] vibes that will make you want to stay just a moment longer. We suggest you go with their classic Mocha paired with Chocolate Chess Pie.

Go out and enjoy some coffee Birmingham.

Trader Joes Unveils Grand Opening of New Store in The Magic City

Now there is no need to visit Atlanta to encounter a Trader Joe’s. The tropical-themed grocery chain opened their doors to a new store in Birmingham, Ala. on Oct. 13.

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The Summit location is in the heart of all the action and ties in local Birmingham icons to their island décor.

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They also have a lot of pumpkin items to choose from to help get you into the fall spirit including pumpkin bagels and pumpkin cream cheese muffins.

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Trader Joes prides themselves on keeping their costs low and having healthier options to choose from. “I’m so excited Trader Joe’s is finally being brought to Birmingham because of their cheaper options to fit college students budgets,” said Elizabeth Goydich, Samford University Junior.

Greek Food Festival

The 43rd annual Greek Festival took place last weekend Oct.1-3 in downtown Birmingham.

The festival contained authentic Greek cuisine, live music and dancing and Mediterranean and Orthodox Christian souvenirs.

The Ladies Philoptochos Society first held the Holy Trinity-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral Greek Food Festival in 1972. The festival has grown and is now a popular event for thousands in the southeast. Each year proceeds are given to local charities.

For more information visit www.birminghamgreekfestival.net.

Wood-fired: Post Office Pies continues to shine

Post office Pies celebrated its one-year anniversary in March, and has continued to draw attention to the growing Avondale neighborhood from its home on 41st street.

When you walk into the transformed former post office, it’s hard to miss the two custom-built wood ovens that Post Office Pies is famous for.

Two of the three woodburning ovens used by Post Office Pies were built by on of the founding business partners.

 

The two ovens, constructed by one of the co-owners of the restaurant, bake the hand-made pizzas that keep locals coming back for more.

The chicken-pesto pizza at Post Office PIes offers pizza-lovers who prefer sauces other than traditional tomato an appetizing option. (Aperture priority; Shutter 1/13; f/4.5; ISO 800).

Expert chef John Hall, who grew up visiting his grandparents just a few blocks away, has made it his mission to elevate a food that speaks to everyone. Every pizza starts more than a day before it is served, with the dough proofing for over 24 hours before it is formed into a crust. Hall said this process gives the crust a unique taste and sets Post Office Pies apart.

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In addition to its pizzas, Post Office Pies offers a variety of fresh salads. (Aperture priority; Shutter 1/8; f/5.3; ISO 800).

There are also numerous gourmet salad options, including their popular beet and Brussels-sprout salads.

 

 

More information about the restaurant and a full menu can be found by visiting www.postofficepies.com.

Food Trucks in Birmingham

Get connected with Birmingham food trucks by using their twitter handles to find their daily locations. Try popular items from the menu and support local.