…is the heirloom tomato salad at Hot & Hot Fish Club in my hometown of Birmingham, AL. True story.
Of all the great restaurants in all the cities in which I’ve lived – NYC, Austin, Atlanta and Birmingham – The Hot & Hot is still the reigning king of my little wanna-be-foodie heart.
It’s always my first choice when I’m home to visit. I love everything about it. I love the open counter with a direct view of the chefs in the kitchen wearing long-brim fly-fishing hats,
the historic building it’s in (once was the home of “the Upside Down Plaza” – apparently a seedy, yet supa-popular nightclub from “back in the day”), the AMAZING amount of hometown gossip you can glean from loitering in the ladies’ room long enough, and, of course, the SPECTACULAR food that I’ve enjoyed there for years.
BONUS: Last night we got to have a little chat with chef and owner Chris Hastings! He’s such a cool guy – we chatted restaurants and food and he filled me in on his favorite Atlanta spots and asked me about mine. We had a brief convo about restaurants with beautiful food and snotty service, during which Chris made a comment that “Food church is dead.” I couldn’t agree more… these days it really is all about good food and an earnest attitude – which is exactly how I’d describe his restaurant.
Food church may be dead, but chef as a celebrity certainly is not. I heart you, Chris Hastings!
If your travel plans ever take you to Birmingham (or you have an extra couple of hours to spend on a dinner commute from Atlanta) I suggest Hot & Hot 100%.
3. Last but not least, some Jewish Guilt: My gorgeous Grandmother is one of our #1 readers and casually dropped the fact that though she reads daily, her mug has never graced the pages of the Q+DD. Well, Miss Henni? This one’s for you!
What a wonderful weekend. I miss Sweet Home Alabama already! Thanks DK+DK!