Breezing Through Birmingham

Trip Start Apr 30, 2010
Trip End Sep 05, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Alabama
Monday, May 3, 2010

Birmingham was a fairly short stop – well, we wanted it to be short but it turned out to be longer than we meant as it's sort of a confusing town.

Maybe we’re just not that smart but it took us a while to figure out their street system – it should be simple as all the streets are just numbered, but it’s one of those towns where the Streets go one way, the Avenues the other, and each one has a North side, and a South side (though the grid was on an angle, so you were never really going in the direction that the street sign said you were. So you would end up being on the corner of 12 Street North and 12th Ave South and be totally confused. They also throw in some Terraces, Places etc so if you found your way off 12th and 12th, you were likely on the corner of 12thPlace and 12th Terrace. It didn’t help our cause that the GPS batteries were dead...

We drove around a while hunting down a couple of places we had read about. One suggestion was the BottleTree Cafe, which was hyped up in our travel guide as having great, free, live music 7 nights a week and seemed like the hipster spot to go in Birmingham. Since it was early in the evening – maybe 5 or 6 – we thought it would be good to check out since it was a cafe and open during the day. Turns out the guide book lied and the BottleTree is actually closed on Mondays, or at least it was on this Monday.

But, the Culinary Trail took an upswing when we instead went to the Dreamland BBQ House. Dreamland is a traditional BBQ and smokehouse that housed HUGE brick BBQs that made me pretty jealous. The tables are plastered in local businesses’ advertisements – churches, divorce lawyers among others – and the main decor of the walls is hundreds of battered license plates from across the country (we did notice that the only Canadian plate was Alberta but didn’t have a spare QC to offer).

The food was awesome! The waitress brought us the typical appetizer first – a piled of Wonderbread slices and Dreamland BBQ sauce for dipping. Matt and I decided to order chicken and a slab of ribs. The dishes came almost immediately, slathered in Dreamland’s glistening, rich BBQ sauce. It was messy and delicious, and fuelled us right up! The waitress offered us the traditional dessert, Banana Pudding, but we were too full.

If you’re in Birmingham, definitely check out Dreamland!
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