Marble Ring

I first heard of it via a friend at work and what they told me intrigued me.

“Its a speak easy” they said. Well that got my interest immediately.
I went looking online and found out where they are.

If your familiar with the Avondale area of birmingham this should be steps you will know pretty quick.

Go into the heart of avondale at the corner of 5th avenue south and 41st street across the park from Avondale Park.

There you will find on the corner Fancy’s On Fifth.

If you go around the corner there is a sign that leads you up the stairs to Hot Diggity Dogs. You continue up the stairs to the 2nd floor and once there. Look for the blue police box.. 

Step inside and there is a phone.

Pick up and someone inside will answer and ask how many in the party. At one point I heard they used a password for entry that you had to figure out from the clues in the booth but apparently this has been phased out.

Once you tell them how many in short order the door opens and you go inside (At this point its a surreal moment as its truly almost the SpeakEasy effect) into the main part of the bar.

Look closely at the 2nd image. See the matrix in the back with the round lights?
Those are semaphores that when you pull the rope at your seating area turn on a light to let them know that you need something. If you don’t pull it they leave you along.

My friend and I ordered from the waitress who was dressed accordingly for the period including the hair waves.
She had a gin fiz and I had the death in the afternoon>

Yes that is my hat  and steampunk shades (was a cold day)

The drinks were super cold as they should have been and well mixed with the death in the afternoon being the most unusual version of an absynth drink I have tasted to date (its champaign and absynth instead of water w/sugar).
We had a fantastic experience and the wait staff were outstanding.

On a 1-5 I would give them a 4.9


Roots & Revelry

I went to R & R in the Thomas Jefferson building on April 16th while studying for the bar.

I Found it by accident when looking for something different for lunch.
First some back history on where it is should be mentioned.

The Thomas Jefferson Hotel was finished in 1929 and at the time was one of the tallest buildings in Birmingham. They installed then what is now the only surviving Dirigible mooring tower.

It served as the TJ till 1972 when it changed names to the Cabana Hotel.
At that time A radio station was broadcasting from the top floor of the hotel.
It finally closed in May of 1983 when it was being used as a cheap monthly rent building.

Recently revamped and converted into 98 Condominiums it has seen a lot of traffic even without the Restaurant.

Now that we are all up to speed on the building.
The restaurant is on the 2nd floor at the corner where the Ballroom and the balcony are located.

I went there not expecting such a great place for having been open for such a short time.

When you come up the stairs their door creates a mystery unto itself as its frosted such that you  can’t even begin to see whats inside. 

Once the young lady at the front desk had seated me I was blown away by the overall look to the whole room..
At the south end of the room is an enormous mural along with one of 2 gorgeous art deco chandeliers (not sure of their origin frankly)

The other end is the bar that I want to sample at a later date also with the 2nd of the chandeliers.

Looking toward the outside its the original enormous windows that look out onto the balcony that is original to the building.

I looked over the menu and saw they had a French Dip sandwich with prime rib and raw cut fries.

I must admit I’m not much of a french dip fan but theirs is great. Not Salty or flat but was very good and a little tangy. The white sauce is a champaign aioli that goes well with the rough cut fries. The Tea they serve has a slight hint of Blackberry in it and is not overly sweet.

The entirety of the experience was great. Service was good but as others have observed they are not fully ready for full on constant service.

I will be revisiting them again to see if there is any difference in their service.

The images below are of the balcony and terra cotta wall pieces out in front of the restaurant.

Brixx Wood Fired Pizza

Brixx wood fired pizza

This past new years eve I went to a new pizza place while out for the afternoon. We found Brixx wood fired pizza in Hoover after finding out the hard way that Wolf Camera was no longer in business in Hoover.

Brixx wood fired pizza

We went end and the first thing that struck me was the overall atmosphere. Its light but artsy in manner. It wasn’t crowded as you can see but it still was busy. Now one thing that did strike me was that they had fully thought out the space they were in and the acoustics. Those panels you see hanging from the ceiling are not design primarily but are acoustic baffles to cut down on the noise from a space with no carpet and little to absorb the inevitable echos that would occur.

We were seated and their menu is rather well laid out and diverse. They have not just pizza but other pastas and salads. If you want more toppings than they have on any particular item they will add it and the list they can put on is extensive.

I ordered the Bronx Bomber with sausage and baby spinach with pesto sauce instead of the normal tomato paste sauce.Brixx wood fired pizza

My fellow eater got the Caesars Salad

Brixx wood fired pizza

The pizza was tasty, crust wasn’t too crisp or too soft, the pesto sauce was good and not too oily as well as the toppings were all very good. My fellow eater said the salad was great but with one small Mehh to it, Usually this type of salad is served with Romain Lettuce but this came with iceberg (Ugghh in my book but I was told it was still good regardless).

The service was prompt, She didn’t leave us hanging for refills or suggestions on what we should follow it  up with.

As far as pizza goes out of 10 I would give them 8.0

Jacksons Steak house in Pensacola Florida

Jacksons Steakhouse Pensacola Florida

For my 49th Birthday I decided to treat myself and went to Jacksons Steakhouse in Pensacola Florida while there for 2 weeks to study for the Bar Exam.

For a week I had been hearing from everyone that they were THE place to go for steak.

I went in the evening and only waited about 45 minutes to get a seat.
I asked for a place where I could see the most of the restaurant.

The atmosphere is cozy yet still open enough that it doesn’t feel as if you are in a stuffy older restaurant that the movies used when there were high meetings of business or government that was overbearing.


Jacksons Steakhouse Pensacola Florida


I ordered the Filet Mignon Medium Rare with the Garlic Potatoes and Sautéed Green Beans.

Meanwhile they brought me a hard cider that was good with the meat.

Jacksons Steakhouse Pensacola Florida

The steak was superb!! lightly crusted outside from the grill with medium rare inside that was very flavorful. The potatoes were in no way what could be considered pre-processed as they were fresh, with a few lumps not including the lumps of garlic that were in them of roasted garlic. The beans were nicely sauteed but not overdone. They were crisp and yet fully cooked with an olive oil and herb glaze from the cooking.

Next was desert. Now at this point as I was there for my birthday I thought I would go all out.

I ordered The Creme Brulee  with a double shot of Remy Martin Louis XIV Brandy.

The Brulee was exquisite as any fantastic custard of its type would be. The top was not burned and the creme portion was fantastic

I have had steak in many areas of the country but other than a long gone steakhouse in Waco Texas the steak at Jacksons was by far the best I have ever tasted.

“PF Changs” Birmingham, Alabama

PF Changes Birmingham Alabamma
PF Changes Birmingham Alabama

Went to PF Changs which I had been to previously but I never really took the time to enjoy the meal fully.

I chose this time to sit at the bar which surprisingly has comfortable chairs.
As I am of the persuasion to get the darkest beer I can find I asked the bartender what dark beer he had.  He brought me a “Left hand” Brand Nitro infused Milk Stout. Even though it was in a can he was one of the first I ever have had as a bartender that actually knew how to pour a stout so as not to make an enormous head that you must deal with when you drink it. I give him enormous kudo’s for that.

Left Hand Milk Stout
Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout

He came back and I ordered the mandarin beef with white rice & hot and sour soup and Hot Saki.

First he brought me the soup with the requisite noodles that come with soup.

Hot and Sour Soup
Hot and Sour Soup

Unlike the normal hot & sour soup at Chinese restaurants the soup was creamy rather than the usual watery soup. The noodles were enough for it without adding huge pieces that you have to fuss with trying to get them on the spoon along with the soup. Its rich and has multiple tones of the mushrooms and the meat that I assume is chicken along with the tofu pieces. the milk stout actually complimented it.

Mandarin Beef w/Hot Saki
Mandarin Beef w/Hot Saki

Next he brought out the Mandarin Beef with White rice and the Hot Saki.
The Beef as always is lightly crispy on the outside but tender and actually juicy on the inside. Considering its done in a very hot wok thats surprises me every time I get it. The sauce is slightly spicy but not overly so and compliments the meat. The white rice? Well its white rice and thus really can’t be made either good or bad unless you undercook it.

Overall the bartending was fantastic and the food was fabulous as well.

We don’t have many Asian places here that are not chain owned but I will endeavor to get to as many as I can for comparison.

“Bodacious Brew” in Pensacola Florida

Bodacious Brew in Pensacola Florida
Sign above the entrance to Bodacious Brew in Pensacola Florida

When in pensacola in Summer of 2015 studying for the Bar Exam I came across this place.
The decor inside could be described as hipster mixed with rustic.
Wood theme over all with the metal chairs you expect to see in a bar out in the middle of nowhere. Comfortable but minimalist.

Bodacious Brew in Pensacola Florida
Bodacious Brew in Pensacola Florida
Bodacious Brew in Pensacola Florida
Bodacious Brew in Pensacola Florida
Bodacious Brew in Pensacola Florida
Bodacious Brew in Pensacola Florida
Bodacious Brew in Pensacola Florida
Bodacious Brew in Pensacola Florida

They make coffee by several methods but the one that drew me was Syphon style.

The water is heated from beneath in a kind of stacked boiler contraption with the cool tank at the top which syphons the water through the coffee before ending up in the container they pour from. Its an interesting process to watch and the smell from it just say “HEY WAKE UP NOW!!!!”.

Bodacious Brew in Pensacola Florida
Bodacious Brew in Pensacola Florida

I ordered the “British wrap” which is a light dough wrap around Eggs, Bacon and Cheese.

The Syphon made coffee with whole cream was very good and the wrap was excellent.
The wrap texture was somewhat soft but not gooey. It held its contents well but was not so stiff as to be like a tortilla that makes you have to bite through it hard.  The eggs were well done and seemed to be of the organic variety and not the normal store bought ones. The cheese was sourced as evidenced by the rough edge and texture of it. All in all it was a very good sandwich.

The whole place had a comforting sense to it and when I talked with people that were sitting near me they seemed as relaxed as I was.

Were I asked where in Pensacola I would recommend for wake up coffeee or breakfast this would be in my top 3.


Introduction to a new type of foodie site

Welcome to Bama Lawdog Foodie,

Just as a bit of an introduction I was legally blind for the 1st 48 years of my life and depended on the other 4 senses to make up for the one large one I was missing.

As such I have keen sense of smell & taste etc that gives me a unique perspective on how food is.

In spring of 2015 I had eye surgery and gained sight I had never had before.
It was like an epiphany. Colors and contrasts I had never even thought possible. But surprisingly even taste and smell diid not get any abatement.

I began looking at food in a different way. Not just as good stuff to put in my mouth but rather a symphony of color, texture, smell & taste combined.

The reviews I place here will be as a result of that epiphany and all that came afterwards.

I will endeavor in the reviews to give the reader as much of the experience as I had with pictures when feasible.