Feed your greed for speed

The hair at the nape of your neck standing on end, heart pounding, palms sweating, it must be love. No, wait, it’s not love it’s Indy. That’s right; this April 20th through 22nd the world’s best Indy drivers and their crews descend upon the technically challenging, 17-turn, 2.3-mile Barber road course.

Nestled in the hills above the Cahaba River, Barber Motorsports Park (https:// www.barberracingevents.com/) is an exquisite setting, with luxurious grassy hills from which you can watch the race if sitting in the grandstand isn’t to your liking, and strategically placed jumbotron screens to keep you informed of what’s going on elsewhere on the track. The Barber facility has everything you could want from a spectator’s point of view.

While you’re there, you’ll find merchandise vendors and concession stands scattered liberally throughout the park. If camping is your thing, you can arrange to camp out there. If watching the race doesn’t rev your engine, catch one of the trams that circle the park and go explore the Barber Motorsports Museum, where you’ll find more than 1,400 motorcycles spanning more than a century of production. At any one time you’ll encounter more than 650 pristine motorcycles on display there, representing more than 200 manufacturers from 20 countries. You’ll also discover a few very special cars at Barber including an extensive Lotus collection, and the 1964 Ferrari F-158, in which John Surtees won the 1964 Formula 1 Driver’s World Championship.

… and then, feed the rest of you

After all, no trip to Birmingham is complete without experiencing our food scene. From our soul food joints like Eagle’s Restaurant and SAW’s Soul Kitchen, to James Beard winning restaurants, such as Ovenbird, Highlands Bar and Grill, or Cafe Dupont. Birmingham’s food scene is remarkable. Depending upon your post-race mood you could top off your tank by discovering what makes the quintessential Birmingham hotdog special at Hot Diggity Dogs, (if a cocktail after your hotdog sounds like it might do the trick, make sure to step into the phone booth at Hot Diggity to enter the world of the Marble Ring), or you might pass the dogs for the pizza, of which you’ll find excellent choices at The Filling Station, Post Office Pies, or Slice.

Or, how about a libation?

You’ll find Birmingham’s bar scene to be high speed low drag. In the Avondale area, you’ll find everything from craft brews at Avondale Brewing, to cocktails at 41st Street Pub and Aircraft Sales (make sure to try their Moscow Mule). Heading west there are excellent choices in Lakeview – Sidebar, Tin Roof, and Birmingham institution, Lou’s Pub, and in the Loft District – The Atomic Lounge, Carrigan’s, The Collins, Rogue Tavern, Pale Eddies, and the Wine Loft, to name a few. If craft brews are the suds you like to sip, consider making the rounds at TrimTab Brewing, Ghost Train, or Good People.

Bottom line: from start to finish line, you’ll find an Indy experience at Barber to be just what you needed to keep your engine revved and your tank full. Let’s go racing, shall we?