Re:A few days in Alabama
Fri, 12/11/09 4:24 PM
Okay, now that I am back from vacation, this trip report needs finished up.....
On Saturday afternoon, I met the wonderfully named Roadfooder will_work_4_bbq for lunch at Niki's West. We weren't supposed to meet until 1:00PM, but she called me at 12:30 to let me know she had just arrived. Since I was driving around just a mile or so away, I was there just a minute later. Lynn was waiting for me outside. Being tall, blonde and possessing a big smile, she was easy to spot!
If you haven't been to Niki's before, this place is a Roadfood classic. It is a big place, with a long cafeteria line, sits across from the giant produce warehouses and specializes in vegetables with a Greek influence. This is my favorite restaurant in Birmingham.
We went through the cafeteria line and worked in concert to make sure we covered most of the vegetables, which at Niki's West, isn't easy. From a menu I took with me, here is their roster of available vegetables:
steamed rice, fried okra, boiled new potatoes, large limas, boiled okra, spinach, rutabagas, broccoli, banana pudding (no, that isn't a misprint), homemade dressing, mixed beans, broccoli/rice, fresh green beans, boiled okra & tomatoes, boiled cabbage, beets, green baby limas, apple cobbler, baby carrots, fresh mashed potatoes, northern beans, pinto beans, english peas, collard greens, zucchini & tomatoes, sweet potatoes, peach cobbler, rice pudding, pasta shells, macaroni & cheese, fried green tomatoes, black eyed peas, corn, turnip greens, yellow squash, stewed tomatoes, bread pudding, stewed apples, cheese grits
Whew! That is a lot of vegetables to sort through. Here is what our table for two looked like after we unloaded it from the tray.
Sorry for the poor quality of the photos, but here is what we ended up with: stewed tomatoes
macaroni & cheese
fried green tomatoes
green baby limas
and yellow squash.
There wasn't a loser in the bunch, but the stewed tomatoes (with the breading in them), the corn and the squash being the standouts. A big thanks to Lynn, since I probably wouldn't have tried the corn or stewed tomatoes without her.
For my main entree, I went with a Saturday special, Cajun catfish. It tasted just fine, but truthfully, by the time I took all my photos and sampled all the vegetables, the fish was already strating to get cold.
Dessert was a mixed bag. Lynn's chocolate cream pie
was delicious, but my coconut cream
was nothing special. But the disappointment of my entire trip was the banana pudding. In a previous trip report, I said the banana pudding here (which is one of my very favorite desserts) was the best I have ever had. So, you can imagine how much I was looking forward to it. Unfortunately, my banana pudding
tasted gummy and old. What a let down!
Despite this set back, my meal here at Niki's West was a real highlight of the trip. And a lot of that had to do with meeting Lynn, who is a really nice person and a lot of fun to talk with. Here we are
at the end of the meal. Thanks for the company Lynn!
233 Finley Avenue West
<message edited by buffetbuster on Fri, 12/11/09 4:31 PM>