Southern Treats

It must be fall, and better yet Halloween, with a trek to Birmingham. When I tell diners I’m headed to Alabama for the weekend they look questioningly at me and say “Really? One purpose?” Yes, really and most definitely on purpose. Birmingham is were SS and John are, where Miss Audrey Rose is, where Bodie is and my whole Southern extended family – thanks to SS.

My first night in town and I was given the option, a new restaurant SS had heard good things about or Saw’s BBQ. I’m always looking for something new, so Ollie Irene’s it was. Ollie Irene is a cute little place in Mountain Brook Village, sandwiched between Smith’s Variety (a wonderful gifts and notions store) and Western Grocery (a gourmet influenced market).

Ollie Irene had a great down-to-earth décor with a welcoming feeling, although I wasn’t sure my jeans, tennies and sweatshirt were going to cut it on attire. This is the South and gentlemen still wear a coat out to dinner occasionally. Anyway, I ordered shrimp bisque and make your own crostini; SS had gnocchi and mixed southern peas; John had slow cooked pork and mashed potatoes; Miss Audrey was a bit deflated when she learned there was no kids meal so she settled for “fries” (pick you battles, SS always says!)


After a bit of a delay, we decided John’s slow cooked pork must have been slow cookin’ indeed, dinner was served. At first glance we thought we might leave hungry, but quickly learned the portions were just right it was just that our expectations of the portions were a bit more based on the price.

Well, two nights later, with the travesty of the Auburn home game against Ole Miss NOT televised (OMG!), I suggested Saw’s BBQ (one of John’s favorites) since he had to listen to the game on the radio. SS had introduced me to Saw’s last year and I was a bit taken aback by the vinegary sauces. This time I ordered the pulled pork sandwich and cole slaw with a sweet tea. The sandwich was great; it really didn’t need sauce with such tender and flavorful meat. The cole slaw was still too vinegary for me (SS says it’s because of my bad pickle experience as a kid – she was there, she would know!) and the sweet tea was great.


So the Southern indulgences were off to a great start, with more to come.

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