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Birmingham -- Taipei 101

I didn't have a great experience either - I think we waited around 45-55 minutes for an order of four maki rolls. We looked around the dining room and did not see any other parties eating sushi so I'm not sure where the hold-up was at the sushi bar. When we did receive the sushi, I thought it was mediocre. The rolls were small in comparison to competing area sushi restaurants (Ginza, Sekisui, Surin) and didn't contain a lot of fish/veggies on the inside of the rice. I wouldn't go back to eat at Taipei 101 since there are much better sushi restaurants in B'ham to choose from.

Feb 21, 2010
mb123 in Central South

Spending a 3-day weekend in New Orleans, Looking for great restaurant

I was there this weekend and ate at Galatoire's for Friday lunch and Cochon for dinner. Galatoires is a nice classic New Orleans experience, slow paced, and service will help you with your celebration (they get the whole dining room to sing Happy Birthday to patrons). But you will pay $$$$ for Galatoire's.

Most of the time hotel restaurants stink, but in NOLA it isn't necessarily the case... don't rule something out if it's attached to a hotel.

I used to live here and didn't think Commanders was ever that great, but perhaps I didn't order the right things the times that I ate there.

Cochon is more casual and was incredibly delicious. Try getting several small plates/boucherie instead of a main dish. My favorites were the boucherie plate and the roasted corn cava w/heirloom tomatoes (probably seasonal). You could reasonably eat at Cochon, ordering 4-5 small plates and a few drinks, for $65-75.

Sep 21, 2009
mb123 in New Orleans

Birmingham - new Vietnamese?

Thanks so much for the info! Is it the same owner as Pho Que Huong or different ownership?

Aug 22, 2008
mb123 in General South Archive

Birmingham - new Vietnamese?

I heard a rumor that a new Vietnamese restaurant is opening in Hoover. Does anyone know anything about this or can confirm it is true?

Aug 22, 2008
mb123 in General South Archive

Urban Standard - Birmingham, AL

I have eaten lunch there once. What I had was good, but I left feeling hungry. Spent $8 for lunch and it wasn't enough food. I don't require a lot of food to be full, so I think most people would be leaving hungry. When I eat at Chez Lulu, I leave hungry too, but it is good.

Aug 22, 2008
mb123 in General South Archive

Birmingham - (reasonably) healthy eats?

I wouldn't give credit to any restaurant in B'ham for serving all healthy foods. Instead you must be selective on the menu and avoid certain things. On the obvious side, fried foods or creamy sauces or dressings are going to be unhealthy/fattening. But then there are some things that aren't so obvious when eating out. You mentioned pita chips at Nabeel's. They are delicious but they are fried (and thus quite fattening). Someone mentioned chicken coconut soup at Surin. Coconut milk is an very fattening food (though you can make this easily at home with reduced fat coconut milk and it tastes just as good, to me). Also, Indian food can be fattening, particularly any creamy spinach-based dishes (and poppadums are fried). Some sushi is laden with fat if you choose rolls with cream cheese. Thus, while some cuisines are inherently healthy, it is possible to make less healthy choices.

So, the rule of thumb is to stick with grilled or steamed foods if you are trying to avoid fat, skimp on the dressings and sauces, and keep bread intake low. Eating out frequently makes it difficult to eat a low fat diet, since you don't really know what is being used to cook your food.

Jul 11, 2008
mb123 in General South Archive

Birmingham Indian restaurants

Like you I prefer Silver Coin. I recently ate at an Indian restaurant on NYC's "Indian Row" called Haveli's, which was just a tad bit better than Silver Coin. They had this pickled cabbage condiment to put on the naan that was incredible. Anyhow it is nice to have an Indian restaurant in B'ham that is excellent like Silver Coin.

Taj has a nice Holi dinner- I don't know if Silver Coin does similar type events during Holi or Diwali.

Feb 01, 2008
mb123 in General South Archive

Birmingham - Soups

I ate at Thai House three times. The last was far worse than the first and I won't go out of my way to return.

The cafe at Little Professor in Homewood had a very nice tomato bisque.

I love Chez Lulu's peasant garlic soup. I recently emailed the restaurant to see if they'd send me the recipe (I knew they wouldn't but it does not hurt to ask). She suggested I email the Food Sleuth (column in Friday's City Scene) and request that the recipe be featured in a column so that the restaurant can get free advertising. I emailed the author behind Food Sleuth; she said she's already asked for that recipe a few times.

The coconut soup at Taste of Thailand has more coconut milk than Surin's; I think Surin puts more chicken broth in theirs. Both are good, though.

Feb 01, 2008
mb123 in General South Archive

sushi in birmingham?

I have eaten sushi at Sekisui and did not like the it that much because the chef really likes to put mayonnaise in the maki sushi. I don't like mayo on anything.

My favorite place is Ginza, and I don't live anywhere near it, but will drive in 280 traffic to eat there. This is the first sushi restaurant in B'ham that has ever served eel correctly, to my knowledge. It is not supposed to be served cold/refrigerated. Ginza serves eel in maki/nigiri somewhat warm, and it practically melts in your mouth. Ginza has a nice selection of maki - a bit more creative than usual. I also enjoyed their tuna sashimi.

I haven't tried Jinsei because I heard it wasn't good. Now I am hearing that it is good? How are the prices?

Dec 18, 2007
mb123 in General South Archive

Birmingham Pizza

I ordered a pizza from Rocky's this weekend. It was the worst pizza I've eaten in Birmingham. The toppings were only on the middle section of the pizza (including cheese), so about 2/3 of it was just dough and sauce. The sauce is from a jar - definitely Ragu or something similar. The crust has no flavor. This is overpriced pizza for college students.

Sep 25, 2007
mb123 in Central South

Birmingham Pizza

With DeVinci's you definitely get your money's worth. The pizzas are loaded with toppings and I can't eat more than one or two pieces. (I can eat half of a large at Papa John's in one meal.) However, I'm not crazy about how they put the toppings under the cheese before baking. They'll put the toppings on top of the cheese if you request it. Also, their chicken always tastes funny, like it has been frozen for three months, or it was put on the pizza frozen and thawed out while cooking.

I agree that New York Pizza is good basic pizza. Some of their pizzas are better than others. Toppings for a large can be up to $2 each so you could easily make a $30 pizza.

Dave's is overpriced and I haven't had anything there that was remarkable.

Davenport's is excellent if you like thin crust, but a little pricey.

I tried Baker's Famous Pizza in Bluff Park recently and did not like it - tasted funny.

Salvatore's in Hoover (on 31) makes a great pizza and it smells so GOOD in there. However, don't order enough for leftovers as the reheated (in the oven) pizza wasn't good and the cheese was rubbery and wouldn't melt again.

I'll have to try Rocky's next, after reading the above positive mentions of it.

Sep 21, 2007
mb123 in Central South

Thai House in Bham

They don't have sushi yet, but are planning to offer it soon. The dinner menu already lists the sushi that will be available.

I have visited Thai House twice for dinner. There are some positives and negatives in comparision with Surin West...

The menu is not as extensive as Surin's. The service was more attentive. The prices are lower (for dinner). The atmosphere was quieter.

I tried the Paht Woon Sen and Chicken Panang. Both were a bit better than Surin's. The thing I like about Thai House is that they cook the dish to order. Surin, on the other hand, has a big pot of cooked chicken, tofu and vegetables, and they make the dish and then put the unflavored items from the big pots into your already-cooked noodle dish, stir it up, and serve it. Thus the meat/tofu in Surin's noodle dishes does not have any flavor. At Thai House, the veggies and meat in the Paht Woon Sen were obviously cooked in whatever spices/sauces that flavor the dish. I liked that a lot.

We ordered the Paht Woon Sen during both visits, and the second time they put those little canned mini-corns in it, and they were disgustingly sweet.

We also tried a basil stir-fry, which was good but not remarkable. The chicken coconut soup is good, and generous with chicken and fresh mushrooms. (Surin's is also very good, but they are a bit stingy with ingredients other than broth.)

I'd like to try the sushi when they start serving it.

Sep 21, 2007
mb123 in General South Archive

Bagels in Birmingham?

There's Crestline Bagels but I haven't tried them. Einstein Bagels is opening 5 franchises but they haven't bought the real estate yet.

Sep 06, 2007
mb123 in General South Archive