One of the things that I miss the most about being away from home is the food. Of course family and friends are at the top of the list but food is definitely a close second. It’s something about the food in the place that you grew up in, its so comforting. Even if the people don’t know your name it still feels like home. I seriously took being able to go anywhere to get good grits for granted. Here in the DMV grits are pretty rare, you can’t even find them in the regular grocery stores. You have to look in the specialty stores and that’s usually just too much work. This particular trip home I had a specific list of places I absolutely had to go to and I want to share those with you.
I love the beach, any beach really but Gulf Shores has a special place in my heart. The sand is soooo soft it’s like walking on powder. Growing up in this area I thought that all beaches would be like that but I quickly learned that all beaches are not made equal.
Panama City is one of my favorite places to visit for relaxing. There is one place that I always have to visit when I go and it’s called Red Rae’s.
Rae’s is a small cajun restaurant in a shopping center that you could easily pass by if you’re not looking. We found it because it had a 4.9 rating on google and those are hard to come by. I have never had anything there that I didn’t love. This waffle is my favorite because of the fresh berries and crumbled pieces of candied bacon. The whipped cream is made in house and you can always tell the difference (well I can). It’s completely unpretentious and just amazingly, good food. There are plenty of other good restaurants in the area but this is one place I absolutely always have to go to.
Seafood is really high on my list of things that I can eat everyday. CAJUN SEAFOOD HOUSE is absolutely amazing. Its again another spot that you would easily pass by if you didn’t know it was there and we also found this spot through google ratings. It reminds me of a Pappadeaux’s with cheaper prices. The have the best fried green tomatoes covered with crab meat and the steampots are huge! They give you huge portions and its enough to share with the table. It’s another spot where you can go and get good food without the crowds and long wait times.
Nashville hot chicken has been all the rave since Hattie B’s opened in my hometown. Seriously when I lived there I know I went once a week. Although I never venture past mild I hear that the heat levels are nothing to play with. Their pimento mac and cheese is a must have. Go hungry and please believe me you will leave full.
Ok If you haven’t figured it out yet, I love waffles. This is the best chicken and waffles I have ever had and that’s saying a lot because I’ve had a lot of chicken and waffles. Yo’ Mama’s is a small restaurant that caters to the business area of downtown Birmingham. I was really pressed for time but I absolutely had to have some so I got it to go. My to go plate doesn’t do it justice so I had to add a picture of it really plated from the restaurants website. The chicken is sooooo good, I’m not sure what it is seasoned and breaded in but I could eat it everyday. The whipped cream is again made in house as is the syrup. Now the syrup is unlike any syrup you would normally get on a waffle. I’m not sure if it is honey, butter or pineapple syrup but it’s amazing. The hours can be a little inconvenient but if you get the chance PLEASE go! It’s worth it!
Now for my absolute favorite restaurant in Birmingham…
Everything on the menu is good. This is not an exaggeration, not even a little bit. There are four things that I have to have when I come and that’s the smoked wings (pictured below), fried green tomatoes, fried okra and the catfish and greens. The burgers get an honorary mention as well as the loaded potatoes. Actually everything should get an honorary mention because its soooooo good! I can’t leave Birmingham without coming to this great spot!
These are my go to’s and if you haven’t visited them then I hope that this post inspires you to go! What are some of your favorite restaurants when traveling?