10 things to do in Birmingham

Sometimes locals forget how much there is to do in Birmingham. If you ever have a day without any obligations, set it aside for exploring; get out into the Magic City and see all there is to see. Need suggestions? Let this be your guide.

1. Breakfast/brunch at Another Broken Egg

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This cozy restaurant is the perfect place for breakfast or brunch (depending on how early you want to start your day). The food is freshly made and you’ll enjoy the French country atmosphere. Another Broken Egg serves pancakes, omelets, French toast and many other breakfast choices, satisfying the hunger of every breakfast lover.

2. Either Birmingham Museum of Art…

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Even if art isn’t your thing (it’s not my thing), I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t enjoy the Birmingham Museum of Art. You can easily find yourself spending hours in this museum without even realizing it, admiring the more than 24,000 works of art. With one of the finest art collections in the Southeast, you’ll find paintings dating back to the early 13th century alongside intriguing modern art.

3. … or Birmingham Zoo

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The Birmingham Zoo is a great attraction for all ages. Feed giraffes, have birds drink out of the palm of your hand, enjoy a sea lion show or simply check out all 800 of the animals that call the Birmingham Zoo their home.

4. Lunch at Mr. P’s

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Mr. P’s is your classic deli shop. Meat is sliced in-store for delicious signature sandwiches made right in front of you. The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is old-fashioned. A few favorites: the Blazer and the Fantastic Fred’s.

5. Picnic at Railroad Park

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Railroad Park is a beautiful space for residents and visitors of Birmingham to enjoy some fresh air in a city environment. I recommend getting your lunch to go, laying down a blanket on the green of Railroad Park and picnicking while taking in the amazing Birmingham skyline.

 

6. Either shopping in downtown Homewood…

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Downtown Homewood has much to offer in the shopping department. You’ll find locally-owned boutiques of all kinds. Downtown Homewood features stores offering children’s clothing, women and men’s apparel, accessories, home décor, maternity wear and so much more. Ambiance, pictured above, is a great example of the kind of shops you can find on this adorable strip.

 

7. … or Birmingham Botanical Gardens

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The Birmingham Botanical Gardens offers an escape from the city and a way to enjoy the outdoor air. Walk along the numerous gardens including the Crape Myrtle Garden, the Dunn Formal Rose Garden and the Asian Glade (pictured above) while enjoying seasonal flowers in the peaceful atmosphere.

 

8. Dinner at Little Donkey

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Little Donkey, which is located in downtown Homewood, is the place to go for fresh, unique Mexican food. From the chips and salsa to the slow-cooked meat, every food item is either bought locally or made from scratch in-house. The lively atmosphere and amazing food make for a great dining experience. (My personal favorite: La Taqueria with a side of Elote — corn on the cob with cotija cheese and ancho chili powder.)

 

9. Steel City Pops

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To cleanse your palate, stop by Steel City Pops, located conveniently next door to Little Donkey. With such a variety of unique flavors, there is something for everyone. Craving adventure? Try ginger wasabi. Want a classic? Chocolate is always available. All the pops are made fresh every day in the store with all-natural ingredients.
10. Visit the Vulcan

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To conclude your day in Birmingham, why not end it with a view? The Vulcan gives you an amazing perspective of the Magic City. Try to catch the sunset and watch the city transform from an urban metropolis to a sea of twinkling lights.
Using this guide, get out into your city. Explore and find things on your own. Birmingham is filled with many other great restaurants, attractions and places to shop. These are just a few fun and favorited places available to try.

By Abby Colella

Iron City Birmingham: A place of many talents

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Legends are born, not made.

At least that was the case until Iron City Birmingham opened its doors this past March.

Mark Creager, Iron City’s general manager, said that every aspect of Iron City was constructed with the customer in mind.
“We started with the customer. What’s going to make the customer the happiest, what’s going to give them the experience? Our standard here is leaps and bounds above the rest,” Creager said.

The venue, which has a 1,300 person standing capacity, is located in the heart of downtown Birmingham.

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The standing-floor of Iron City Birmingham is right in front of the stage and is surrounded by lofted seating.

“It’s a big enough facility that it’s still intimate for the crowds and for the artist. We wanted a platform that we could get legends on but not have the arena-sized crowds around them — to give back the very personal nature of music to the artist and to the customer,” Creager said.

Perhaps it’s that unique feel that has been drawing big names like Passion Pit, Ben Rector, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros to the Iron City Stage.

“There really is something for everybody,” said Kendall McPheeters, who recently attended a Passion Pit concert at Iron City. “I really enjoyed being so close to the band, but thought it was so cool how the different levels offered at Iron City catered to each individual’s needs.”

That’s exactly what Iron City planned. The main venue space where the central stage is located features three different levels: a dropped floor below the stage creates a more intimate space for the most dedicated fans, the main floor features the bar and a loft space surrounding the stage with several sets of tables and chairs allows for patrons to watch the concert from a more relaxed vantage point.

But Iron City isn’t just a well thought out concert venue — it’s so much more. The space is also available to rent out for private parties and it features two smaller stages for smaller-scale events.

Yet maybe the thing that sets Iron City apart from its local competitors is the fact that it’s not just a concert venue or place to hold an event—Iron City also boasts a full-service restaurant.

“You can come up here and have a dinner that’s not like bad bar food,” said Creager.

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Iron City Grill is a top-notch restaurant  just steps away from the concert hall.

Iron City Grill features a full service menu that is competitive in price and flavor to Birmingham’s Southside area. Open Monday-Friday for lunch and dinner and Saturday for dinner, the grill is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat before a show.

With all that it offers, what’s next for Iron City? “More, More, More,” Creager said.

For an up-to-date calendar and grill menu, be sure to visit www.ironcitybham.com.

By Sarah Anne Elliott

Photographs by Sarah Anne Elliott

Thumbnail photo courtesy of Iron City Birmingham

Over Easy

IMG_3382From its delectable dishes to its chic, midcentury modern décor, Over Easy has many qualities that make it distinct from other dining establishments. A baby on the Birmingham restaurant scene, Over Easy celebrated its first birthday in November, but it has been a crowd-pleaser from the beginning.  Everyone from college students to members of weekly Bible studies file in daily for a fresh spin on breakfast food.

In addition to traditional omelets and pancakes, the menu also features innovative creations like the spinach, mushroom, and goat cheese “Easy Does It” Omelet; the cheesy, bell-peppered “Lumber Jack” Potatoes; a spicy breakfast burrito called “Huevos Rancheros”; the popular oatmeal pancakes; and Over Easy’s unique signature concoction, “Italian Eggs Benedict,” which substitutes a polenta cake for the traditional English muffin and an Italian pesto cream for Hollandaise sauce.

Over Easy also strives to serve the best ingredients, including organic milk and eggs, violet-hued blue corn grits and local produce, all offered at reasonable prices.

Over Easy is located at 358 Hollywood Blvd. and is open Tuesday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and weekends from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit www.eatovereasy.com or call (205) 639-1910 for more information, or stop by and savor the scrumptiousness yourself! Please see the coupon below and either print it out or show your Samford ID to receive a discount on your meal.