Heading south to Birmingham, Alabama
I’m sorry it’s been a bit of lag since my last blog post about my wine tasting trip to Traverse City. Since that time, I flew to Iowa for a fundraiser, spent a day advocating for cancer survivors in Lansing, and headed down south for sunshine and fun (in between working, catching a cold, and getting excited that our weather is finally warming up). Whew, it’s been busy (and fun!).
Last weekend, I flew to Birmingham, Alabama for a girls’ weekend. So much fun! Two of my other friends and I visited a good friend and her family who are down there for a few years for work. It was awesome to spend time together as we all used to do, plus explore Birmingham and the surrounding communities. This was a first time visit for the three of us so we were excited to see the sights.
We got a great taste of Birmingham, Hoover and other areas, thanks to my friend and her husband. I admit I was surprised by how built up and busy it is! I thought traffic in metro Detroit was backed up at times (and oh, it is). The area sits at the base of the Appalachian Mountains so the scenery is rolling and pretty. Even though it rained one of the days we were there, temps were still in the mid- to high 60s and sunshine was abundant the other days.
While my favorite parts of the trip were admittedly our daily morning walks and drinking coffee on the porch overlooking the mountain view (girl time like this seems so rare with our busy lives), we were able to experience lots of good food, drinks and sights. Here are some of my favorite food and drink stops:
Mudtown Eat & Drink: This small restaurant offers an inviting and friendly atmosphere. My girlfriend raved about the fried green tomato sandwich, but I couldn’t get into the fried or green part of the sandwich. lol. It’s not all fried on the menu. Mudtown offers a variety of sandwiches, salads and delicious side items, including fresh fruit. There is also a great menu of craft beers.
Steel City Pops: You might think, big deal, another Popsicle (I admit that I did). But these are not just any old pop. These are fabulous. The pops are made with fresh, local and organic ingredients when possible, are gluten-free, and completely natural (including any sweetener). They have standard flavors, and rotate through a variety of flavors. Some are interesting – avocado, buttermilk, lavender lemonade. I tried a strawberry lemonade and peanut butter (amazing).
Hop City: This spot offers a store filled with a huge selection of craft beer, wines, supplies and more, as well as a bar with 60 craft beer draft choices, and an outdoor beer patio. I did a flight of Alabama beers, and loved every one!
The Marble Ring: If you’re looking for a fun place to visit on a date or with friends, check out this place. The Marble Ring is styled after a 1920’s speakeasy, from the decor to the wait staff’s outfits to drink options. And finding it. You enter through Hot Diggity Dog restaurant, then enter a phone booth and pick up the phone to speak with the host, who either puts you on a wait list or lets you enter (via the back side of the phone booth!). It’s really cool. We sat outside on the covered patio that offers multiple private seating areas. We really enjoyed this stop on our tour.
Front Porch: This was our final stop before heading to the airport. I loved the rustic chic decor and big fireplace in the middle that separates the restaurant/eating area with the bar. The restaurant describes its food as “upscale southern cuisine,” and they do have a good menu of small plates, pizzas, salads, sandwiches and more. The bar serves plenty of craft beer and wine too.
It was a fantastic visit, made even better with the company of great friends (and her family, including two little girls who I absolutely adore!).