Winter Restaurant Week BONUS: Rowe's Service Station

FullSizeRender (4)Winter Restaurant Week is officially over, but I have one last meal to write up. Being a blogger for these events has been a really fun experience. I've gotten the chance to connect (or reconnect) with dear friends over delicious meals and eat new meals at fancy joints and old favorites. With all that done, I'm also excited to go overboard on fruits and veggies for the next week or so. As y'all know, I'm all about some rich food, but I need to bring a bit more balance back into my life. But my last meal before reestablishing healthy eating patterns was a great one to end on: brunch at Rowe's Service Station. When Haley and I got there, it was just about full, but we were able to quickly snag a table. FullSizeRender (5)In the interest of sampling as many of the brunch menu offerings as possible, I ordered The Shop Floor, while Haley got the Eggs Concord.

They'd pretty much thrown everything including the kitchen sink onto my plate, and it looked delicious. There was a lot of food on both our plates. Luckily, it's solid, tasty, rich Southern food -- AKA the best kind. The home fries were crispy and tender, the flaky biscuits were topped with rich, chunky gravy, and the fried eggs were salty. What brought it home was the crispy-around-the-edges bacon, sausage, AND country ham: not one, but THREE breakfast meats. Seriously, who can say no to that?

With this post, I relinquish my title of Birmingham Restaurant Week blogger. With that said, I got to be part of the first annual Winter Restaurant Week, and I'm looking forward to seeing what other additions they have in mind.

For more coverage and information about future developments, visit the Birmingham Restaurant Week website.

I dream of brunch time

Green eggs and ham on the left, shrimp and grits on the right. Sunday brunch is one of my favorite meals of the week. I ate with my parents every week for a long time, but for the last year, it's been the one meal Adam and I share where there is only a cursory time limit. Brunch is a great option for people who work outside of the city because it offers lunchtime prices for some variations on restaurants' signature dishes. It also allows chefs room to play with ingredients they might not use in lunch or dinner courses.

The first place Adam and I had brunch together was Ore. I was lured out by the promise of delicious chicken and waffles and was not disappointed. Since then, the inside of the restaurant has been redecorated with chalk, flags and signs and reopened as Saw's Juke Joint. The space now has a grittier feel to match its cuisine and new music venue status. Opened as the third part of the Saw's brand, the no-frills approach to plating does not detract from the quality of the food. Instead, your focus is shifted to the food.

Almost half of my green eggs and ham was packed away in my stomach before the spice in the jalapeno Hollandaise built up. The yolk of the perfectly cooked egg mixed with the sauce, and the ham and biscuit tempered the peppery heat well. When I handed the rest over to Adam, I wished -- and still do -- that I had taken more time to savor it. His shrimp and grits was covered with rich sausage gravy. The gravy and cheese grits blended into a rich bed for the generous helping of shrimp on the plate. I was full long before the plate was empty, and will be going back soon to try more of the brunch menu.