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Birmingham, Alabama

We continued the Bon Appetite tour to Birmingham, Alabama.

First stop was the gorgeous hotel. We were set up at the AAA Four Diamond Property Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa. The greeting committee wanted us to get a taste of Alabama, so we had Golden Flake Potato Chips, Buffalo Rock  Ginger Ale and The Peanut Depots fresh peanuts awaiting us.

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We did the Alabama wine trail, stopping at Ozan, Morgan Creek Vineyards and Vizzini Farms. One stand-out wine was the bottle of Chocolate Raspberry wine at Vizzini, and the peach wine from Ozan.

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Dinner was at the very popular restaurant ran by Chef Frank Stitt, Highland’s Bar and Grill. The special libation of the day was the St. Croix Melon, which I had to have. Deciding between Triggerfish, Pompano and Apalachicola Flounder, I went with the triggerfish.  The table split the Stone Ground Baked Grits, and I sampled the beef Carpaccio.

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The next morning we took a trip to Jones Valley Urban Farms. This unique non-profit turns donated property into farmland and reconnects people to food while educating them on sustainable agriculture and healthy living. We had charismatic Southern Chef Clayton Sherrod demonstrate how to make his famous shrimp and grits, and sampled fresh fruit, bacon, cathead biscuits with Alaga syrup and eggs.

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We took a quick stop at the Peanut Depot, which has been producing peanuts for 100 years.

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More Southern Food awaited us at Nikki’s West. This cafeteria-style eatery features the best food for low prices. I opted for the BBQ, friend tomatoes and pasta salad.

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One of the best dinners we had was on the last night at the Hot and Hot Fish Club. Mostly fish and seafood, the menu is an eclectic mix of  Southern and Seafood. Owned by a Chef Chris Hastings’, the menu focuses on local, organic produce and farm raised meats.  I tried the Idie’s Icepick, made up of  Earl Gray iced tea, Absolute Citron and Simple Syrup.  Known for the Tomato Salad, the chef send out mini salads for the table. Followed up by some of the most authentic and tasty Asian Spring Rolls I have ever had.  Finally the main course arrived, which I opted for the fish. For desert, the donut trio completed the meal.

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