Dining in the ‘Ham…That’s Birmingham, Folks

Good Japanese cuisine can be found at Surin West on 1918 11th Avenue South.  This Birmingham restaurant is the place to go for thai food and sushi.  For lunch try the yum yai salad with shrimp & chicken in a sweet and sour dressing, the spicy beef salad, spicy eggplant noodles, and roasted duck with red curry.  All lunch specials come with coconut tofu soup.  But if it’s sushi you want, try the kaboom maki which is shrimp tempura-like roll, dished up with a salad and a spicy curry sauce. Another good choice is the salmon skill roll.

If you love seafood, then a Birmingham restaurant you should check out The Fish Market on 612 22nd Street.  The fish is fresh and the portions are huge.  Customers can choose either grilled or fried halibut, snapper, catfish, rainbow trout, frog legs, and flounder.  Shrimp lovers can have grilled or fried shrimp, shrimp and crabmeat salad, coconut shrimp, or shrimp kabob.  Other shellfish include scallops, alligator, crawfish, and oysters. Sides include fries, Greek-style home fries, fried pickles, cabbage, lemon-butter pasta, and steamed broccoli. There is always a crowd here, so if you are doing dinner & a movie, plan accordingly.

Like Indian food?  Then one Birmingham restaurant not to miss is Taj India on 2226 Highland Avenue South.  There is something here for everyone including vegans.  For starters, try the chicken or vegetable pakora which is similar to tempura.  Entrees include lamb badami, goat meat curry, shrimp spinach, fish malabar, chili shrimp, lamb tikki masala, chicken madras, kori gasi shrimp, and lamb or chicken vandaloo.  Tandoori food is an Indian food treat and Taj India offers several entrees. Examples include tandoori chicken, tandoori fish tikka, tandoori shrimp phuljhari, and mixed grill.  All entrees are served with basmati rice.

If you enjoy organically grown food, the Birmingham restaurant to visit is Cobb Lane Restaurant on One Cobble Lane South.  Open for lunch and dinner, customers can feast on fried green tomatoes, chicken divan, stuffed pears, red tuna, warm feta salad, shrimp & grits, chicken salad, fried asparagus, and braised beef short ribs. Brunch is served here as well and features cinnamon rolls and omelets. The late world famous chef Julia Child said that the she-crab soup was the best she had ever tasted. Reservations are not necessary, but suggested, as this eatery gets crowded rather quickly.

For a beautiful and elegant dining experience, the place to go is Ocean at 1218 20th Street South.  This contemporary Birmingham restaurant was voted best restaurant, best chef, and was given four stars by the Birmingham News.  Customers can enjoy fresh seafood from around the oceanworld in such entrees as oysters, peel & eat spicy shrimp, sushi, tuna tartar, crab cakes, poached lobster chop salad, lobster pot pie, grilled salmon, and an entree called “James Brown Soul Roll” with tempura fried alaskan king crab, jalapeno, cream cheese, carrots, and cucumbers. Reservations can be made online at their website, oceanbirmingham.com.