For the last three years, more than 2,000 people have congregated in DeBardeleben Park for one of the most anticipated events of the summer: the Bob Sykes BBQ & Blues Festival. There, guests can enjoy the summer sun while listening to local and national blues acts, grabbing a plate of Bob Sykes’s famous ribs, or watching kids play on the inflatable slides. Crafts and activities draw festivalgoers’ attention throughout the day, with the food booths attracting crowds all day, as well as the face-painting booth and cool picnicking spots under the trees. Blues music filters through the open air like frisbees who can’t find their owners, culminating with artist Nikki Hill as the sun sets over the park.
A portion of the festival's proceeds benefit Hands On Birmingham and the Bessemer Education Enhancement Foundation.
Since 1950, the family-owned Whataburger has served up its iconic burgers and fresh, made-to-order meals with a commitment to excellent customer service. Now headquartered in San Antonio, Whataburger has grown from a lone Corpus Christi burger stand to a thriving family of more than 750 locations across 10 states. In addition to lunch and dinner, the restaurants' 24/7 hours and fully fledged breakfast menu have made them popular destinations for early morning and late-night dining.
Besides the classic Whataburger, the modern menu includes options such as the jalapeno and cheese Whataburger, the Whatachick'n sandwich, and the Whataburger Jr., which is a regular Whataburger that doesn't know how to tie a tie. The breakfast selections remain rooted in hearty Texas tradition, with crispy honey butter chicken served atop biscuits and taquitos stuffed with scrambled eggs.
After eating at Bryant's Seafood World, diners often rave about the made-from-scratch hush puppies served warm to tables. Those hush puppies are tasty, but be careful not to fill up on them; if you do, you might miss out on other house specialties such as peel-and-eat shrimp, oyster po' boys, and all-you-can-eat crab claws. The restaurant also serves up fried chicken, ribeye steak, and an assortment of desserts. Pair your meal with wine, cold beer, or a cocktail such as a hurricane.
Classic Tex-Mex scents season the air at El Gringo, where a colorful mélange of nachos, chimichangas, and fajitas grace plates. Nachos and guacamole commence feasts before juicy cuts of sirloin transform into sizzling carne asada. Veggie quesadillas, enchilada-and-burrito combinations, and fried ice cream get washed down with buckets of beer or margaritas pulled up from local tequila wells.
One might not expect to find an authentic Cajun seafood restaurant on the outskirts of Birmingham, but it's hard to question Jubilee Joe's credentials. Owner Kash Siddiqui sources much of the restaurant's shellfish, fish, and alligator from Troy Landry and his son Jacob, fishermen extraordinaire and stars of History Channel's "Swamp People". As chronicled on ABC 33/40, the duo sometimes visits the restaurant: an upscale seafood shack with tiled floors, modern hanging lights, and framed illustrations and photographs of seafood.
Though there's a chance the Landrys are just dropping by to say hello, they might also be stopping in to sample the chef's authentic Cajun cuisine. Jubilee Joe's menu features pots of seasoned low-boil shrimp, crawfish, and crabs, as well as Southern staples such as fried green tomatoes, grouper, and bayou oysters. The culinary team stacks po' boy sandwiches with catfish, lump crab, and gator tail, and crafts entrees such as blackened tilapia, New Orleans–style blackened chicken, and crawfish alfredo. Once a year, they bring the food out of the restaurant and into the Oak Mountain Amphitheatre for the Crawfish Boil. The event highlights the chef's signature dish amid live music and family-friendly activities designed to appease the angry Lord Crawfish, sending him back into the ocean depths for one more year.
Established in 1954 and having garnered the Birmingham magazine 2010 award for Best Dance Classes, Dale Serrano Dance Inc. and its troupe of talented instructors lead children of all skill levels, aged 2–18, in classes ranging from jazz and ballet to hip-hop, tap, and cheer. Budding ballerinas gracefully plié and gallivant about the class, and musical-theater mavens learn the ins and outs of stage performance. Dancers who commit to additional months of vigilant rehearsal and practice can showcase their talents at the year-end recital or opt for impromptu performances at nearby weddings and city-council investitures.