In an interview with the Birmingham News, concert promoter Brian Teasley explained the vision behind Bottletree Café: "We wanted to open a place that would serve food we wanted to eat, show films we liked to see, and play music we wanted to hear." It turns out Teasley, along with co-owners Merrilee and Brad Challiss, has pretty good taste: according to Esquire, which ranked the café as one of the country's best bars, "This place is already stealing thunder from every small music venue in the region." FlavorWire backed up this endorsement by ranking Bottletree Café as one of The 10 Greatest New Music Venues of the 21st Century. Since opening in 2006, the venue has hosted Rogue Wave, Band of Horses, and other indie-leaning rock groups.
But the accolades don't stop there. The venue also has attracted praise for its vegetarian-centric menu. Birmingham Weekly rated the café's brunch among the city's best and devoted a full-out love letter to the lunch menu, which was reintroduced in August 2012. The award-winning vegetarian chili ranks among house favorites and makes a repeat appearance in cheese-smothered nachos. Tofu plays a centric role in entrees and desserts, and black-bean patties made a fiber-rich substitute for beef in burgers, or a biodegradable substitute for frisbees in games of disc golf.
Inspired by Southern-cooking traditions and flavors found right on its owners' Harpersville farm, The Pantry by Stone Hollow Farmstead designs "eat clean" cafe menus that transform local produce into fresh, sustainable, seasonal farm foods. Each day, its charming cottage-style Crestline Village home fills with the aromas of hearty soups as well as "one-pot" meals, which are simmered in traditional cast-iron cookware. These meals celebrate the work of Stone Hollow's farmers while highlighting the diversity of Southern agriculture. This eatery also doubles as a specialty food boutique, serving artisan products such as goat cheeses, preserves, and honeys that are made in small batches at the Farmstead. Onsite events such as recreational cooking classes and twice-monthly food and drink tastings give visitors even more ways to interact with local food that are easier than trying to speak fluent "cow" so they can finally ask where all that milk really comes from. The Pantry also moonlights as a one-of-a-kind venue for parties and events.
Chefs at LeVi'an Grill & Bar treats guests to comforting dinners of grown-up pub fare, dishing up baked potatoes smothered in barbecue chicken, grilled tilapia over wild rice, and club sandwiches on pita bread. Guests can mingle over cocktails in a stylish lounge decked out with leather furnishings, or they can soak in the sounds of the live blues and jazz acts that perform each week.
The flavors of Mexican, Caribbean, and Tex-Mex cuisines mingle on Mexibbean Island Grille's small but mighty menu. The kitchen prepares tacos four ways: Mexican style with onions and cilantro; fajita style with cheese and grilled peppers and onions; Texican style with lettuce, cheese, and tomato; and island style with cabbage, lime, and chipotle cream. Plates of spicy jerk chicken join Texacali chicken-fajita sandwiches smothered in pepper jack cheese and grilled veggies, and drinks such as soda and tea quench thirst or help tamp down cowlicks.
The police aren't on to him––yet. But Capone can't leave anything to chance. He's bullet-proofed the hardwood floors with sand. He's dug secret tunnels, and rigged escape hatches on the roof. Despite his preparations, though, he never feels quite secure. With a final glance over his shoulder, he heads to the stone patio to kick back some contraband suds with Dillinger.
A lot of stories like this one fly around High Point restaurant, where the digging of the tunnels in the basement may or may not have been funded by Al Capone. Though these rumors are gospel to owners Ron and Jama Turner, they make sure that their eatery offers visitors more than just stories. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the three-story compound brings to mind a quaint ski lodge with its large courtyard and verdant hedges. Inside, the dining room is flooded with natural light from large bay windows, and a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace sits atop the original 1920s hardwood floors.
Then, there's the food. At dinnertime, dark wood tables populate with fresh seafood and steaks in wine and butter sauce. The menu also bespeaks bayou influence, with zesty preparations of jambalaya, crawfish, and New Orleans–style barbecue shrimp. While spooling seafood pasta around their forks, patrons can question servers about High Point's catering services or question the owners about whether the fountain out front was ever used by Capone to make homemade gin.
In an effort to find a healthy alternative to fast food without sacrificing speediness, the creators of Pita Pit began assembling their signature sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night snacks. Now under new management, each location features thin, Lebanese-style pitas that encircle lean, grilled meats and fresh veggies, all grilled to order at all hours of the day. Sandwich selections span the spectrum from gyro meat and falafel to turkey and prime rib. All dishes can be now be catered or delivered. The staff also empowers customers to make healthy choices by displaying nutrition information for each bread, meat, and post-meal toothpick and corralling a selection of healthy sandwiches. Pita Pit now also accepts Bama Cash.