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Bella Cucina

611 Doug Baker Blvd. (The Village at Lee Branch, off Hwy. 280, near Greystone)
A 2007 City Scene review calls it "a fresh, comfortable place to dine on tasty food," family-friendly, with chicken salad "arguably the best in town." Extensive lunch menu, big on salads, plus sandwiches, thick milkshakes. Evening menu includes crab cakes, crepes, and northern Italian dishes. Pear salad, mozzarella caprese, Lobster ravioli got high marks. Beer and wine available; breakfast on weekends.

Posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2007 at 10:50AM by Registered CommenterDeborah Lockridge in | Comments6 Comments

Reader Comments (6)

I used to work here back when it was an O'Carrs franchise. Pat and Al Sheeler, the owners, have taken this restaurant above and beyond the so-called "legendary" O'Carrs brand. Unlike the Carrs, who own the original O'Carrs in Homewood, Pat and Al actually listen to feedback from their customers and employees, resulting in a dynamic, always changing, and always improving restaurant experience. What originated as a static deli sandwich menu has grown into a full-blown dining experience, complete with a soup and sandwich combo (I can't tell you HOW MANY people would ask for this when it was still an O'Carrs, and the Carrs would never oblige!), gourmet salads that improve upon those offered at other O'Carrs restaurants, and an excellent hot dinner menu that is a gourmet treat. I don't know of any other restuarant in Birmingham, besides Bella, where you can choose between an awesome (and better than the "original") chicken salad sandwich, spicy crab cake salad, and chef-designed crepes for dinner, not to mention their excellent wine selection.

The Sheelers have built this restaurant from the ground up, and the fact that they are still trucking away despite tension between themselves and the Carrs because of their refusal to limit their customers' options is a testament to their commitment to good food and a superior customer experience. They're good people, the Sheelers, but they have good food, too.

November 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterOTM Girl

Bella is a great place. Low key, relaxed, good food, never a long wait. When the weather allows (which in the Ham is often), you can sit outside. We bring our Maltese and enjoy the outdoor ambience. As a side benefit, Joe's upstairs has live music that filters down. The food is very good. At dinner, they have added some great entrees to their regular menu. Bella never disappoints.

March 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDavid McLain

I agree that Bella is a great place and I always take my daughter there for lunch on our girl-dates. We order the same thing every time and we're never disappointed.

My only negative comment is the portion size of the chicken salad seems to be significantly less than O'Carrs and even the portion size originally served by Bella. The same thing seems to have happened to the cheese plate...it seems smaller each time we visit.

November 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLong Time Fan

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