Winter Restaurant Week: Bottle & Bone

IMG_1432At Bottle & Bone, the word of the day is always "bacon." Earlier this week, my friend Taylor and I ate lunch at the restaurant and bottle shop in Uptown. I hadn't been in there in almost a year, and saw that they'd rearranged the space, which culled their bottle offerings but opened up more room for tables. IMG_1434For the Winter Restaurant Week lunch, you choose between a half bacon flight and an arugula salad for the appetizer. Since there were two of us, we ordered both. The bacon flight was made up of two or three pieces of three different bacons. All were cooked so that they were nice and crispy (just the way I like it), but the results were different for each.

FullSizeRender (12)Next came the sandwiches. To maximize what we could taste, I ordered the burger with potato gratin, and Taylor chose the avocado BLT with chips. The modestly sized burger came with the standard toppings: cheese, lettuce, tomato, and creamy sauce all on a buttered and toasted bun. Because there was one piece of bacon leftover from the flight, I added that onto the burger. It was tasty, but make sure you're hungry: it's rich and a bit on the greasy side. The potato gratin was also rich, but who can resist potatoes and cheese?

FullSizeRender (13)The avocado BLT was an interesting combination. It was served cold, so the rich and creamy avocado played off the more intensely smoky notes of the chilled (but crunchy) bacon. The mild tomato rounded it out, while the lettuce provided a little crunch to finish it off.

For dessert, the chocolate cookie was a nice, lighter way to top things off. Crunchy edges, white chocolate chips, and a soft center made it a nice way to wrap up the meal.

For more #WRW2016 coverage, check out the Birmingham Restaurant Week website.

Birmingham Restaurant Week: BYOB

The back wall Yesterday I made my first stop as a Birmingham Restaurant Week blogger. In preparation, I've been drinking lots of water and trying (and mostly failing) to exercise every few days. I've also been struggling with how best to cover Restaurant Week while also treating my service industry friends well.

Though it's a fantastic, budget-friendly way to try out some of the best places in town, it's also a very difficult time for the people who work there. So if you eat out this week, make reservations, dress appropriately, and be on time. More importantly, be patient, be kind, and FOR THE LOVE, TIP WELL. It's your server's primary source of income, and prices are lower than normal, so be generous. </rant>

My first stop on Friday was for lunch at BYOB. Their name, which stands for "Build Your Own Burger" and "Birmingham's Years of Bands," is decorated entirely with photos of local musicians and memorabilia. Only local music played during service, and while I was there, I took a trip down memory lane listening to Wild Sweet Orange.

Then the food came out. Between the burger and the tots, the portions are large enough to satisfy even the hungriest guest. First came the cheesy tots. IMG_0425

Topped with garlic, cheese, cilantro, queso, scallions, and ghost pepper cheese, the tater tots were rich with a slight spice while still maintaining their crunch. I couldn't stop eating them. I may have spoiled my appetite for the burger.

FullSizeRender (3)And then there was the Topper Price burger. Highlights include the lemon aioli, 1/2 pound patty, and crisp veggies. It's rich and satisfying, and even though I ate a very early lunch, I didn't get hungry between then and dinner.

Adam and I will be coming back for brunch. Prices are extremely reasonable on their regular menu, and they had chicken posted waffles as their brunch special -- one of our favorites.

Check out the Birmingham Restaurant Week website and James Martin's blog The Sipologist for more Restaurant Week coverage.