Wake up the day with breakfast at Niki’s West, a Birmingham institution, where they serve up a heaping helping of Southern favorites: country ham, cheese grits, cathead biscuits with sawmill gravy, and eggs any way you like ‘em.
Then walk off some of that fine meal at the Pepper Place Saturday Market. This seasonal spread of Southern foods is a delight to wander through. Farmers’ stalls are filled with peaches, peppers and tomatoes. Local chefs demonstrate their skills at outdoor kitchens. Live Southern music and the smell of fresh-cut flowers fill the air.
Begun in 1923, Golden Flake Foods (Utz Quality Foods) is now among the largest snack food companies in the country. This popular tour takes visitors from the potato bin to the final packaging of a dozen different potato chips, corn curls and fried pork skins (loved in the South with a little hot sauce sprinkled on). And everyone gets to sample along the way.
Time now for lunch at The Irondale Café, the Original Whistle Stop Café of “Fried Green Tomatoes” fame. People come from all over the world for the restaurant’s Hollywood connection and for a good Southern meal of country fried steak, succotash, okra, cornbread, turnip greens, fried green tomatoes, banana pudding or black bottom pie and sweet tea. Then learn about a whole new concept in cookies—the bite-size cookie—at Bud’s Best Cookies. Watch as the wire-cut and rotary cookies roll off the lines at a rate of 3,500 a minute.
If the group has saved room for supper, check out the fresh Gulf oysters and Athenian snapper at The Fish Market. This Birmingham eatery is a good example of the Greek immigrant influence on Birmingham’s rocketing dining scene.
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