So here we are at the Tutwiler, enjoying the newly remodeled rooms and wireless Internet access, relaxing after a morning of hanging out in downtown Bham.
For coffee and breakfast, Evan says, "Forget the large coffee chain on the corner of University and 20th street with the little goddess in the center of their logo. Birmingham's got our own coffee goddess, Lucy Bonds, owner of Lucy's Coffee & Tea." We were in love the moment we walked in, with the funky artwork from Naked Art on the walls, the mismatched old kitchen tables and ice-cream-shop chairs, and the jazz playing in the background. We couldn't have asked for a much better start to our weekend, with some old-fashioned cinnamon crumb coffee cake, a ham and swiss croissant, two cappucinos with perfect froth, and great friendly service, enjoying the jazz while we read the Birmingham News and the Birmingham Weekly.
A notice in the Weekly sent us over to UAB Visual Arts Gallery for an exhibit of Spider Martin's fashion photography from the '60s and '70s, including several photos at the classic, now-town-down railroad station, the Birmingham Terminal. Then we spent a happy hour at Charlemagne records on Southside, picking up some local music from Topper Price and Marian McKay and hearing more than we wanted to know about an old Alabama musician from co-owner Mike.
Next it was north to the area around the ACIPCO plant for some soul food at Eagle's Restaurant. We had seen an ad in City Scene advertising the restaurant's soul food, including oxtails and chitterlings. Let me tell you, this was some of the finest Southern food we've ever had. The outside is not encouraging, a narrow gray building with a burglar-bar screen door that doesn't open all the way, but the smell as soon as we got inside had us hooked. Fried pork chops, baked chicken and dressing, pinto beans, collard greens, candied yams, cornbread and fresh squeezed lemonade were flavorful with lots of pork fat, salt, sugar and generous amounts of herb and spices.
Tonight we've got reservations at the Veranda, so stay tuned...