World Games Have Begun

This is great. We have visitors in the Birmingham area from all over the world. Per twitter, the reaction to our town and facilities that I’ve seen can overwhelmingly described as laudable. Wait till these visitors get a few days of wandering around town to grasp the quality of restaurants we have here.

When you run into a tourist, tell them all about your favorite eateries. I’d love it if you mentioned us, but if your thoughts lean toward a Gyro from Sam’s Deli or tacos from El Barrio, spread the word. We have a ton to offer around here. Let people know.

We Have New Wines!

We do. I wasn’t just joking around in order to write a headline that ends in an exclamation point.  You’ll be pleased, I think.

The hero is a Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc. Les Roches 2020 from the Touraine appellation is the antithesis of the popular but overwrought Southern Hemisphere offerings with wads of citrus bourn from an extended growing season. This is pure Europe. Peach and other soft fruits – melon if you’re willing to chase it – follow a light body. It’s a sipping wine, an alternative to an ice-cold beer for when the Braves game starts up. Sit back and well… sit back.

Also new to the bar is a Chardonnay from the good people at Noah River, a Pinot Noir from Boen, a Chianti Colli Senesi from Castello di Farnetella, and a Malbec from Piatelli Vineyards out of Mendoza.

Seasons change and so do we. Look to this sight for further changes as the days sweat a mean streak through your otherwise kind heart. It’s hot out there, but it’s pretty comfortable in here.

Pull up a chair.

Are We Here or Not?

We’ve gotten that question a lot lately and we apologize for the confusion. We are definitely here despite the fact that we are not currently publicizing that fact. We are not being coy by intent.

With all the beautification taking place around us we felt the need to keep up with the Joneses and ordered a new awning and sign.

One of our employees let us shared with us the wonderful news that our sign was ready and set to hang. I say wonderful because this was way ahead of schedule.

We took down the old sign and awning, put up the new awning and called the sign guys to find out there had been some mix up on our end – not sure how our employee got the idea that the sign was ready because apparently that was far from the message the sign company left with us so she is currently sulking but that will pass – and in fact our sign was still several weeks away.

So yes, we are still here and we will be glad to field calls from those driving up and down 18th St. trying to find us amidst the construction and we understand that at least three times a day we will have someone come through the door asking if this is Edgar’s.

We are here, working, with signs following. See you soon and thanks for your patience.

Happy Days and New Wines

We have a new voice participating in the wine program. Meet Candy, in her own words.

Okay. now I’m pissed and this is going to overshadow Candy’s contribution if I don’t rein it in but why the hell did a standard scan of a jpeg – the format that’s been used to import all the pics on this site suddenly quit on me? That took thirty minutes to get her scan in here. I am the anti of the techno-savy. I fixed it by going the long way round, but damn if I wouldn’t like a sip or two of the above after that endeavor.

Enough. Really cool sparkling, my favorite summer white, and a nailed it on the ziti/lasagna pairing. This is the type of scary admission of actual restaurant industry competence that I’m wishing to avoid. It kinda makes it look like we know what we’re doing. We’re a dive. I will not brook otherwise publicly. Candy is hell bent on saying the quiet part out loud. Hush Candy. Hush.

P.O.E.T.S. Day! “I’m at the Beach” Edition Featuring the Inestimable Gerard Manley Hopkins!

Welcome to it, the one, the only – except where people are doing it other places – realization that life is short and meant to be enjoyed. Moments savored are the bread and butter of poetry and moments working are decidedly less savory. So break free and embrace the P.O.E.T.S. Day ethos: Piss Off Early, Tomorrow’s Saturday!

This editions invites you to release your inner sun worshipping and bad tattoo spotting urges that so often we reserve for the occasional retreat to the coast. Things are different at the beach. Beer is generally acceptable with lunch in the real world. It’s a-okay for breakfast here.

Unstrap yourself from the desk, tell the boss that you can’t get the part for whatever flugenator or semi-disfusation unit until Monday, tell the supervisor you have an oncoming bout of dysentery, whatever you have to do to get away and start your weekend early.

Continue reading

The Wonders of Homewood Vol. 8 Issue 6

Have you had a gyro at Sam’s Deli & Grill? It’s not life changing but there is no such thing as a life changing lunch. There is such thing as day changing lunch.

I go out of my way, plan meetings, and otherwise shirk responsibilities to eat there. Move about for the chance of this wrap. It’s fabulous.

Just yesterday I woke up at 6:03 AM and the damn thing was on my mind. They open at 9:00 so I had to wait, but it was worth it.

Continue reading

Chicken Chicanery: A Discourse (Kinda) on the National Origins of Chicken Parmesan and Why on Earth It’s Called Chicken Parmesan in the First Place

Chicken Parmesan carved out a place on Italian restaurant menus around the middle of the last century. The thing is, it’s not from Parma and by all evidence it likely originated outside the Italian borders. Most recipes call for mozzarella and/or provolone with a slight few tossing in Parmesan as a finisher. Shenanigans! It’s half-truths and misappropriation nestled in a lightly salted bed of al dente angel hair.

There are people with what sounds like a marvelously fun job if you’re into musty old books and getting shushed by librarians because you’re cursing at the disorder neglect has imposed on the obscure corner of the research wing you inhabit regularly fun. They scour old cookbooks and menus, literature, and diaries looking for the first mention of a particular dish. Imagine these food historians as a better fed version of Oxford English Dictionary etymologists.

Those slightly overweight sneezy people have pinned the first appearance of Chicken Parmesan in Italy as being somewhere in the mid-1950s. That’s two or three years after it popped up roughly simultaneously in the US, Argentina, and Australia – the three top destinations of the 23 million people fleeing miserable poverty beginning after the end of WWI and ending around the mid-1950s. It’s what’s know as the Italian diaspora.

Continue reading

P.O.E.T.S. Day – The Post Cinco de Mayo Version

Yes I drew you in with a Cinco de Mayo reference in the title and no this has nothing to do with Cinco de Mayo. Sue me. P.O.E.T.S. Day – The Post Cinco de Mayo Version

This is a celebration of a great supposedly Scottish tradition I read about in a mystery series set in Edinburgh. P.O.E.T.S. Day: Piss Off Early, Tomorrow’s Saturday.

So weasel your way out of that cubical, fake an ankle sprain, have an aunt that doesn’t actually exist call about a house fire, unexplained abdominal pains are good. Get your way out of the office and to my bar a few hours before you’d normally piss off.

There’s a few decent apps that you can download that will place fake timed calls to your phone with whatever caller ID tag you want. The trick is to leave it out, open faced where people you work with can see it. When it rings with “St. Vincent’s Hospital” on the caller ID you are free to leave the office. Nobody is going to question. Just don’t get greedy. If you claim it’s your mother or kid in the hospital you’ll get a follow up question or thirty and there is the danger that they might meet your mom or kid in the future and ask how they fared.

Continue reading