It’s My 5th Blogiversary

5th blogiversary

Five years ago on January 2, 2013 I took a leap of faith and wrote my first official blog post.

Wow! Time has flown and I’m so grateful to have had each of you along the way for the ride. I’ve published more than 900 posts simply because I love words, and from time-to-time have something to say. There have been ups and downs, life changes, challenges, celebrations, events, random musings, inspiration, too many testimonies to count and food. What’s next? I don’t know, but I can’t wait to share it with you.

And as always, remember…Life Gets Better!

@AngelaMichele316

Galley and Garden

Rarely comes the opportunity to WOW  me with cuisine, ambiance, tastiness, coziness, elegance, newness and feeling far from home while being right in my figurative backyard all at the same time. I felt that and then some during in impromptu Girls Night Out because it’s pay day and been a long week experience while dining at Galley and Garden.   The stately restaurant is located in the heart of Birmingham’s Highlands district and is a sight to behold upon approach. The building is simply beautiful. The staff is engaging, attentive and so very knowledgeable about their offerings. The menu is one which might stretch your palate and your pocketbook, but it will be worth every single drop and every single dime, even if you have to tilt the bowl of ice cream over to enjoy the last of its cool, tongue-tingling, lusciousness.

Wood-fired Manchester Farms Quail
Wood-fired Manchester farms quail with fingerlings, foraged chanterelles, prosciutto, pistou and scuppernong jam

 

Southern fry basket of gulf oysters, okra and green tomatoes
Southern fry basket with gulf oysters, green tomato and okra

 

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Pork belly flatbread

 

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Maine Lobster and Ravioli with bacon, mushrooms, boursin and cuttlefish ink aioli

 

 

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LAMB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

White Chocolate and Blueberry Bread Pudding with Cream Angaliese and Creme Fraiche
White chocolate and blueberry bread pudding with cream angaliese and crème fraiche

 

 

Ice Cream
Homemade Ice cream just before it was covered with Sherry Wine (I hear is was the “Best. Thing. Ever”)

 

 

Me. Happy and Content.
Me… Happy and Content.

What the Duck?!?!

A fun-filled birthday celebration at Grille 29 honoring my bonus sister Theresa was already on level 10 before the exceptionally friendly server came out to announce the night’s features. Before even arriving at the restaurant I’d decided I was ordering the small grilled chicken Caesar salad, their addictive sweet tea with water on the side, and a warm sour cream cake to share so I wasn’t listening to what he was saying until he said gumbo. I’d experienced their gumbo before and quickly blurted out, “Oh, is this the chef’s special four meat gumbo?” To which he replied, “Nawwww, girl. This is his SPECIAL duck and bacon gumbo!” What the duck?!?!? Duck and bacon in gumbo? Duck and bacon in gumbo that I can actually eat because I didn’t run the shellfish “make my face swell” risk? Oh my goodness. I was immediately transported to a Donald and Porky wonderland in my mind and salivating mouth.

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I ordered the gumbo. As the teens of today say, “It gave me life”! Well, not literally, but the meat, sweet, and tender pieces of fowl mixed perfectly as the clear starring feature along with the pork was everything I could have imagined if I had the culinary courage to imagine duck and bacon together in a bowl with plump rice, strongly-flavored stock and all the Cajun  accompaniments required to call a stew in a bowl an actual gumbo.

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That dish, worth every bite, caused me to completely change my order from salad to braised short ribs with garlic mashed potatoes and sweetly sautéed green beans. (Don’t ask me why because I have no answer.) Others ate ginormous barbecue shrimp, perfectly prepared calamari with hidden treats of fried red peppers nestled among the squid, a delightfully fancy cured meat and cheese board, and lobster quesadillas as appetizers which we all sampled.

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The entrees ranged from more quesadillas, their famous Salad 29, Scottish salmon brulee’ with a caramelized onion almost as good as the seafood, more short ribs and other tasty treats.

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Regardless of what we eventually ate the clear star of the show was the duck and bacon gumbo, of which I had to reluctantly share with my sister who ate it off of a saucer with a fork and of which made us all break out into random acts of celebration include hands swinging in the air,  hips wiggling in the seat, lip smacking and across-the-table high fiving. It was THAT good!

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@AngelaMMoore316

The Perfect Note Strikes Just the Right Tune

I had the opportunity to visit a new spot in my area, Hoover, Alabama’s Perfect Note, a quaint spot for live music and delish dinner and brunch. Only opened since April 2016, in the old Piccadilly restaurant space off of Highway 31 past the Galleria Shopping Mall, The Perfect Note is just what the city needs to combine the best of both worlds, music and food, and is surely on its way to being an amazing fixture in our community.

What drew me in was an invitation to hear a live tribute to His Purple Majesty Prince Rogers Nelson (RIP) from Alabama-born musician Norris Jones while also enjoying FOOD. What made me return the very next day for brunch with some women from my family was the fun time I had the night before and, well, FOOD. Let me pause on the food talk for a bit and just say that Norris Jones was NOTHING short of ah-mazing!!!! He took us to church, to Paisley Park, to Donnie Hathaway-world, to Earth, Wind and Fire-place, to Jeffrey Osborne-town, Luther-land and some other funky place called Chicken which made me holler! He and his accompanying band of young brothers and his vocal partner in crooning Connie Jackson are a well-kept secret, but hopefully not for too long. They were a TREAT!

Between the two days I was able to order or sample traditional regional favorites like Southern Style Crab Cakes and Fried Green Tomatoes which were DELISH and fried to perfection! Entrees like Chicken and Waffles with candied pecans and the most mouth-watering strawberry molasses were a hit. I could have used more seasoning on the fried chicken, but that might be my Lawry’s-spoiled palate speaking. We had Fried French Toast with molasses, Steak and Eggs, hashbrown potatoes, Croque Madame with a gruyere, ricotta, marscapone mixture which wows in the best possible way. Of course, the beverage partakers partook in elixirs including a signature Purple Rain during the night dedicated to Prince (RIP again) and Mimosa’s for brunch which were marked by multiple raised hands in the air and swinging hips and the audible sounds of, “oooooohhhhh” and “mmmhhhhmmmm”.

With one full month under their belts, the most genuiand plans for tweaking, continued improvement and eventual expansion I can’t wait to see how this happening hot spot continues to tickle taste buds and listening ears at the same time.

Perfect Note is offering the best in live music and food Wednesday through Sunday and located at:

1845 Montgomery Hwy S, Ste 201
Hoover, AL 35244

Reach them at:

Phone: 205-986-7280
mail: info@perfectnotelive.com
web: www.perfectnotelive.com 

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@AngelaMMoore316

Mama’s Cooking

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Mama’s Cooking

The words any child wants to hear from a Mama (who can cook) is “Come on over. I’m cooking.” The most recent Sunday supper my family enjoyed was extra-special because it had been three months or more since we’d gotten together as a family for a home cooked, southern Mama made meal.

On a rainy President’s Day 2016, an in-home accident changed my family’s otherwise normal routine and my Daddy’s life. Needless to say, with weeks of his hospitalization and drastic changes upon his discharge like dietary adjustments, therapy, doctor’s appointments, more than one dozens medications, limited mobility and around-the-clock watching we’d not gathered together for a meal made by Mama in far too long as she rightfully shifted her entire focus to taking care of husband. As my Daddy literally walks the path through to continued healing I had sort of settled in my mind that it’d likely be around the 4th of July or beyond before we gathered for some of our renowned family festivities. I would joke with my Mama in the weeks following my Daddy’s release from the hospital as she bragged on the healthy meals she’d prepared for them fitting to his new food way of life. In jest, but a bit serious, I would say how they could have at least invited us to eat the carb-counted, sugar-less, salt-reduced, same-time-a-day meals, which she would tout as “delicious”, and I believe had grown to appreciate them as a “date”. When life happens, it’s often the little things which mean so much that we missed the most. I’d missed my Mama’s cooking. So when the call came about a Sunday supper I did a little jig on the inside.

In no way doing it justice, take a peek at the picture of my Mama and quickly snapped pictures representing her reintroduction to the world as Best Cooking Mama in Maylene, Alabama! The grilled steak, fried pork chops, sweet potatoes, baked potatoes, black eyed peas, fried okra, brocolli, corn on the cob, and apple pie crumble were perfect. Even more perfect was the return to the routine which is my family. @AngelaMMoore316

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A Culinary Exploration of Cali-for-ni-a

Recently I was blessed to be able to travel to beautiful Anaheim, California to celebrate the milestone success of my special guy.

The trip was so excellent and so exclusive that I wasn’t able to take pictures during any of the corporate festivities. That means I don’t have anything to show for the food they lavished us with from the time of our arrival to the time we departed. So no photographs of the gourmet meals of filet mignon and grilled chicken. No quick pics of the Asian buffet, Mexican buffet, slider buffet, and sandwich buffet (with the best Orzo E-V-E-R). No visuals of the breakfast samplings so abundant and assorted they would rival any Cracker Barrel and Shoney’s combined (except they were gourmet). And no captured memories of the unlimited Mickey ears ice cream, cake pops, chocolate ganache dessert, churros and liquid elixirs of kiddie strength and much stronger.

Not to fret though, the beautiful Disneyland Hotel and ALL the nibblets of goodness around, and an hour and a half away in North Hollywood proved to be just the perfect sampling of food, food, food!

I won’t do it a disservice by trying to describe it all. Sometimes the pictures simply have to speak for themselves. I will say, the next time you’re in Anaheim for a trip to Disneyland, be sure to visit LaBrea Bakery in Downtown Disney for the crab cake sandwich, the fried chicken sandwich with crunchy slaw and a secret sauce, hibiscus lemonade and the perfectly prepared medium-plus burger oozing with juices and flavor.

When you’re adventurous do decide to hop in an Uber and travel all the way to Los Angeles in rush hour to realize why Oprah felt compelled to give Miss Robbie a show because the TJ’s Sweetie Pie’s fried chicken seasoned through and through, macaroni and cheese with abundant perfectly cinched cheese on top, collard greens choked full of meat, peach cobbler better than somebody’s southern Grandmama and lemony-sweet lemonade were enough to write home about. Or at least call and wake up your Mama like I did.  It truly was the BEST soul food this Bama bred girl has ever, ever had. Hands down. Sorry mama and all of my many matriarchs.

When you’re in the Disneyland don’t leave without the butteriest ear of corn you’ve ever had. And be certain to sprinkle visits to The Counter Custom Built Burgers in LAX and Uno Pizzeria Express in Chicago’s O’Hare airport (home of the planned layover to sample some pizza or Chi-town dogs) into your plans. And please, people, whatever you do, don’t ever leave the Happiest Place on Earth without enjoying the magic that is the Disneyland Hotel’s Mickey Mouse cookies, sans the milk for those of us intolerant:)

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Fried Chicken and Slaw with Secret Sauce at La Brea Bakery in Downtown Disney

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@AngelaMMoore316

Have You Tried Grille 29?

Have you tried Grille 29? If not, do yourself a favor and do so.

A Friday night friend-fest with two sisters I’ve known since high school ended up with a food experience etched prominently in our minds and mouths forever. Everything was special from the first course of four-meat gumbo cooked for hours with rice perfectly plump and enough meat to feed a small brigade to the closing act of cottony-soft, warm sour cream fudge cake and vanilla bean ice cream sprinkled with sugar and all things in between including the meal of filet mignon Oscar style with lobster macaroni and cheese and roasted asparagus….herb roasted, buttermilk marinated chicken with wild rice, green beans and garlic herb jus…and scottish salmon brulee crusted with brown sugar glaze and served with the most wonderful sweet potato hash I’ve ever had and a carmalized onion on the side.

As if this meal couldn’t have gotten more magnificent, the doting wait staff, cultured atmosphere, debonair manager (who looked as if he could easily be besties with Tim Gunn) and the personalized, tableside greeting from Chef Daniel Mitchell was exactly as their slogan noted…a sophisticated sizzle. I’d like to sizzle again soon! #sizzle

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Grille 29 is located in Birmingham, Alabama on the outer perimeter of Brookwood Village.

Grille 29 Birmingham

971 Brookwood Village
Birmingham, Alabama 35209
Phone: (205) 783-1295

Hours of Operation:
Sunday Brunch – 10am
Sunday – Thursday – 11am – 9:30pm
Friday & Saturday – 11am – 10:30pm

@AngelaMMoore316