sheilal's Profile

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Sour cream substitute

Greek yogurt should do the trick.

Mar 07, 2014
sheilal in Home Cooking
2

ONE night in Birmingham

I live Hot & Hot, but IMHO they suffer from inconsistency . . . in food & in service. I was basing my recommendation on the criteria of "a somewhat snobby, very French boss". I've never had anything less than 5 star service and cuisine. And while it's fine dining, I always feel warm and comfortable there. There's not a bad table in the lot!

Feb 14, 2014
sheilal in Central South

Best Bottled Products not made by a Name Brand Co.?

John's Angel Hair slaw & dressing is kinda iconic here in Birmingham, AL. It's a french/catalina/thousand island hybrid that is traditionally put on finely shredded green cabbage. I always sprinkle a liberal smattering of freshly ground black pepper on top. It's delicious.

Feb 11, 2014
sheilal in General Topics

ONE night in Birmingham

Highland's Bar & Grill. Frank Stitt is the owner/Exec Chef and has been nominated many times for James Beard awards. It's fine dining at it's best. He owns Bottega (fine dining italian), it's sister Bottega Cafe (more casual), and french bistro Chez FonFon.

Highlands has a drink called "Orange Thing" that is wonderful. And they know how to make a proper martini. I highly recommend the baked grits as an app. Since 3/27 is on a Thursday, I also recommend the crab cake with beurre blanc. And they always have an outstanding selection of oysters.

Feb 10, 2014
sheilal in Central South
1

What are your strangest food habits?

Yeah, I know that it ends up in the stomach all mushed together, but the tummy doesn't have taste buds. :) Like all chowhounds, I savor each bite. I live to eat, not eat to live. Therefore, I don't want to muddle or adulterate the intended flavors of any dish. If I wanted collard greens juice in my mashed potatoes, I would have added it during the cooking process. That being said, I don't go to obsessive means to segregate the dishes.

Feb 07, 2014
sheilal in General Topics
2

What are your strangest food habits?

I have a tendency to eat my foods one at a time, but only if it's "pile" food. (e.g. pile of rice, pile of peas, etc.) Also, if there a liquid component to the dish, I don't like for it to touch other foods. However, that quirk does not apply to creamy sauces. I know, I know . . . a bit odd, no?

Feb 07, 2014
sheilal in General Topics

Need spots is birmingham

Dax, I agree that Dupont, Highlands, etc. are excellent choices. Unfortunately, there aren't any comparable places on the eastern side of town, which was the criteria paid out by the poster. On another note, there's a new place in Trussville that opened up a couple of months ago that I'm looking forward to trying. Marisco's La Perla Nayarita & Tequila Bar's menu reflects the coastal regions of Mexico. It heavily skews to seafood. Not your average Mexican food . . . can I get an amen!!!

Jan 15, 2014
sheilal in Central South

Need spots is birmingham

The east side of town is predominantly chain dominated. Konomi in Trussville is a very good Japanese steakhouse. Their sushi is very, very good. Rock n Roll Sushi is very, very good as well. The Irondale Cafe is a fine meat & three (cafeteria style). It was the inspiration for the Whistle Stop Cafe in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes. La Catrina in Trussville is a very pretty Hispanic restaurant with a menu that's a wee bit more adventurous than your average Mexican place. Taziki's is a casual Mediterranean place that's a local chain. Their lamb dishes are great. If you decide to go, try going on Friday or Saturday since they have a special on those days that's wonderful. Penne with grilled chicken, feta, balsamic vinegarette, mixed greens. It's a local phenomena.

Jan 13, 2014
sheilal in Central South

Need spots is birmingham

When you say "family", do you mean kid-friendly or elder-friendly (or both?)

Jan 10, 2014
sheilal in Central South

Steel City Pops!

Well lookey here . . . a write-up of our very own Steel City Pops on SeriousEats. http://sweets.seriouseats.com/2013/11...

Nov 12, 2013
sheilal in Central South

What new food(s) have you tried recently and how was it?

The La Croix coconut is great with rum! I just got the Peach-Pear. Wow!

Oct 01, 2013
sheilal in General Topics

Eater National-Birmingham

Dax, I read that too. I'm so disappointed that I didn't get a chance to try the place.

Oct 01, 2013
sheilal in Central South

Monday Lunch in Pilsen

Nuevo Leon's mole chicken is fabulous!!

Aug 05, 2013
sheilal in Chicago Area

21st Birthday- BHM

I highly recommend the lobster pot pie. I know that it's more of a cool/cold season comfort food, but it's awesome!!

Jul 17, 2013
sheilal in Central South

21st Birthday- BHM

Hmm, I don't know if I would consider Ocean "fun" necessarily, but it IS delicious & chic! If the purpose of the evening is to be at a trendy locale with great food, I recommend Bottega Cafe. If you want something a little hipper (but just as delicious), then try El Barrio in the downtown loft district. The chorizo meatloaf and grapefruit margarita are swoon-worthy! Having said that though, it's a small place so you'd have to go early if you don't want to wait.

Jul 15, 2013
sheilal in Central South

Sunday before Christmas in Birmingham

The Renaissance Resort at Ross Bridge in Hoover has a really good restaurant - Brock's. They are fully decorated for Christmas and sometimes feature carolers and such throughout the facility.

Dec 10, 2012
sheilal in Central South

Fine Dining - Birmingham

My vote is for Highland's. Hands down superior to H&H or Cafe Dupont. If you can make a reservation for a Thursday at Highland's, I would suggest getting the crab cake with beur blanc. It is legendary and fabulous.

I like Hot & Hot, but for high-end seafood selections, I prefer Ocean (around the corner & up the hill from Highland's. The lobster pot pie is to die for.

I like Chez FonFon (another Stitt restaurant), but know that it's more casual and very french. The fromage selection is wonderful.

I've not eaten at Bottega, but have at it's side-by-side sister, Bottega Cafe. Again, it's an upscale casual. They make a mean martini!

Dec 04, 2012
sheilal in Central South

Birmingham - ISO Italian Beef

Thanks so much for the report! Can't wait to try this place. My daughter lives in Chicago and we always go on a culinarily cullture exploration when I go to visit. I've never had an Italian beef there, so I've have to get one here and then there so I can compare. I've triedmany deep dish pizzas in Chitown (Giordanos, Uno, Gino's) and look forward to trying Tortugas' version. Do you have a comparison?

Nov 06, 2012
sheilal in Central South

What's the best supermarket coffee for home brewing?

Eight O'Clock coffee is my backup if DD isn't available. I especially like it for cold brewed french pressed coffee.

Oct 26, 2012
sheilal in General Topics

What's the best supermarket coffee for home brewing?

I prefer the whole bean DD to pre-ground DD. I did my own comparison 3 or 4 years ago, so I don't really remember the reason why I picked the bean. Also, the size of my grind also affects the flavor too. Often times I grind to fine espresso and sometimes a chunkier grind - depends on how I'm brewing it.

Oct 25, 2012
sheilal in General Topics

Birmingham - ISO Italian Beef

A place recently opened in Trussville that has Italian beef sandwiches on the menu. It's Lulu's Chicago Style Eatery. Here's a link http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/45/171048...

Please report back if you go.

Oct 25, 2012
sheilal in Central South

What's the best supermarket coffee for home brewing?

I second the Dunkin Donuts recommendation. I also recommend grinding it yourself from whole bean.

Oct 16, 2012
sheilal in General Topics

Birmingham - ISO Italian Beef

I don't think I've seen it on their menu, but I'm sure that T-Bones could make you one to order. They make awesome sandwiches and looks like they have most the ingredients. Not sure if they have the au jus for wetting it though. It's be worth a shot at least. Good luck!

Oct 15, 2012
sheilal in Central South

Uses of corn flour???

I miss Sam's posts :( He always had just phenomenal insights and advice.

Sep 27, 2012
sheilal in Home Cooking

Birmingham-Thanksgiving restaurant

The Veranda always hosts a spectacular Thanksgiving meal. The food & service are always impeccable.

Sep 18, 2012
sheilal in Central South

Birmingham for Lunch

I suggest Bottega Cafe, Chez FonFon, or Cafe Dupont. These are really the only fine dining/impressive establishments that are open for lunch in the downtown/southside area.

Sep 10, 2012
sheilal in Central South

Aldi's --- what are you liking or not? August 2012

Refrigeration retards the ripening process a lot. I bought a bunch of ripened avocados around 8/26 and used my last one last night. It was a bit too mushy to slice, but it made great guacamole!.

Sep 07, 2012
sheilal in Chains

Aldi's --- what are you liking or not? August 2012

Their avocados are always so much cheaper than any other grocery store around here. Last week they were on sale for $0.49 a piece. I snagged 5 of those beauties. Publix was selling them for 1.99 each.

Aug 27, 2012
sheilal in Chains

Sabra Hummous

I buy the Aldis hummus and "doctor" it up a bit. I'll usually add a bit more tahini to make it a bit creamier. A dollop of chopped roasted garlic or Vietnamese "rooster" sauce and it's ready to devour.

Aug 20, 2012
sheilal in General Topics

BHM - Current favorite, light(er) dishes this summer at local restaurants?

I've eaten out quite a bit lately, but, sadly, I haven't had anything that blows my socks off. I don't know if I'm just choosing the wrong menu items, or if the restaurants I'm going to are just not up to snuff.

I was looking forward to Bettola's pizza, but it lacked the crispiness I've had in the past. It was a limp mess. The flavor was good, but I was disappointed overall.

Jul 17, 2012
sheilal in Central South