Weekly Wanderlust in Bham: Event Picks for 4/23/15-4/30/15

Welcome to the Weekly Wanderlust List! It features information about exciting, creative, yummy, and innovative happenings in the Greater Birmingham, Alabama community each week.  This week’s Weekly Wanderlust in Bham spotlights a multitude of events in Birmingham. Each unique event offers an opportunity to make a positive contribution to the community, support a local cause or business, engage with the fabulous citizens of our City, or enjoy an evening of fun. This week features the following events:

  • Magic City Art Connection
  • Ruffner Mountain’s Fourth Friday Music Series: Verdure
  • Corks & Chefs
  • Yoga on the Green
  • Birmingham Get Up!
  • Magic City Sweet Ice: GRAND OPENING!
  • Kreplach & Dim Sum – Yes, There are Jews in China
  • 6th Annual Dining Out For Life® Event



Magic City Art Connection


10154169_10152780143324097_2092605576191814733_nThe Magic City Art Connection will be held between April 24-25 from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., April 26 from 10 a.m. – 5  p.m. The event spotlights hundreds of artists and offer an opportunity for people to purchase their work. In addition, the following takes place over the course of the event: Corks & Chefs (a food & wine tasting experience), interactive art workshops for children, live music and performances on stage, art installations, pop-up cafes, and much more.

  • Where: Linn Park, at the central entrance points – Rev Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd (8th Ave N) or at 6th Ave N & 20th Street
  • Cost: Adults $5, Kids 12 & under free (Corks & Chefs requires extra ticket)
  • Website: www.magiccityart.com
  • Contact: (205) 595-6306


Ruffner Mountain’s Fourth Friday Music Series: Verdure


On  Friday, April 24th, Ruffner Mountain’s Fourth Friday Music Series will feature the music of Verdure! Verdure is an eclectic music outfit that the band’s front man, singer-songwriter, Chris K. Davidson describes as , “a layered, harmony-driven collection of songs that combines dashes of Ben Folds, acoustic Guster, and the Head and the Heart while fully maintaining their unique sonic identity.” Check out Verdure on the web at www.verduremusic.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/VerdureMusic. The BYOB show will take place at the Tree House and you can also bring food. Tickets are $10.00.  Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and music begins at 7:00 p.m.

  • When: April 24 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Ruffner Mountain Preserve, 1214 81st St S, Birmingham, Alabama
  • Cost: $ 10.00
  • Website: Ticket Link
  • Contact: (205) 833-8264

Corks & Chefs


The 18th annual Corks & Chefs will be presented by Kinetic Communications during the  three day Magic City Art Connection.  Corks & Chefs is the place where art, food, beer + wine meet. the event features delicious cuisine from many of Birmingham’s favorite restaurants. Over 8 talented chefs, 75 wines, craft beers, coffee, and tea are showcased each day of the event. A new tasting BBVA Compass VIP Lounge for VIP ticket holders will have exclusive offerings including a special food tasting with World’s Best Pastry Chef, Jordi Roca of World Famous El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain,  additional select wines, craft beer and champagne to taste, lounge seating, and private al fresco dining.

  • When: April 25-26, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
  • Where: Linn Park, at the central entrance points – Rev Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd (8th Ave N) or at 6th Ave N & 20th Street
  • Cost: $35.00 – $125.00 in advance
  • Website: www.magiccityart.com/corks-chefs/order-tickets
  • Contact: (205) 595-6306

Birmingham Get Up


The second annual Birmingham Get Up will take place on April 25 at 5 p.m.The event will be a festive night of music, food, drink, and plenty of  fun to benefit The Red Barn’s programs. There will be food from local vendors and beer from Good People and Druid City. The music line-up includes the following: Dead Fingers at 5 p.m., Trouble the Waters at 6 p.m., The Golden Monica at 7 p.m., and Banditos at 8 p.m.

Yoga on the Green


This is a beginners friendly Railroad Park Yoga Class sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield of Alabama. The class is free. However, all attendees will need to sign in and complete a wavier with the park staff.  The park also has clean yoga mats for you to borrow if you do not own personal gear. The following other free classes are offered each week at Railroad Park as well: Jazzercise® on Mondays at 6:00 p.m., Bootcamp on Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m., Zumba on Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m., and Happy Feet Fridays on Fridays at 6:00 p.m.

Magic City Sweet Ice: GRAND OPENING!


Magic City Sweet Ice is inviting the city to celebrate the Grand Opening of their store in West Homewood! The grand opening event will feature food, drinks, and door prizes!  Check out the company’s website magiccitysweetice.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mcsweetice.

  • When: April 25 at 12.00 p.m.
  • Where:  715 Oak Grove Rd, Birmingham, AL
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: RSVP
  • Contact:  (205) 907-2125

Kreplach & Dim Sum – Yes, There are Jews in China

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This event features Robyn Helzner who shares stories, photos, video and music to explore the extraordinary history of the Jewish communities in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Kaifeng; and traces their emergence as the fastest growing Jewish region in the world. This event is open to the public for free, but RSVP is required. Acclaimed for her concerts and recordings of Jewish music, Helzner officiated at the first Bar Mitzvah celebrated in Beijing, China, and served as the Cantor for the United  Jewish Congregation of Hong Kong. In addition, this event will also feature the Jewish Refugees in Shanghai exhibit.  It tells the stories of the difficulties faced by Jewish refugees on their journey to and from Shanghai in the 1930s and 40s, as well as their adaptation to the city and friendship with the Chinese people.  This exhibit has been put together by the American Jewish Committee and the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum. Reception featuring Jewish and Kosher Chinese including Kreplach, Dim Sum, Rugalach, Burekas, and Egg Rolls.

  • When: April 25-26, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Where: Levite Jewish Community Center of Birmingham, 3960 Montclair Road, Birmingham, AL
  • Cost: This event is free of charge, but registration is required. Please click here to RSVP.
  • Website: www.bic-al.org
  • Contact: 205-252-7652

Hope For Autumn Crawfish Boil

The Hope for Autumn Foundation Crawfish Boil is an event that features music, food, and fun. In addition, live music will provided by Rollin in the Hay and Downright. Proceeds from the event benefit area families battling childhood cancer and the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorder’s Developmental Therapeutics Program which seeks to find new treatments for children with difficult to treat cancer. The menu will include crawfish cooked by Louisiana native John Hein, hamburgers and hot dogs for the kids, soda, water, and gives you the option to bring your own adult beverages. The children activities features various games, bounce houses, face painting, and balloon artists.

  • When: April 25, 3 p.m. –  p.m.
  • Where: Main Green of Ross Bridge, 4000 Grand Ave, Birmingham, AL
  • Cost: $30.00 – $35.00
  • Website: www.hopeforautumnfoundation.org
  • Contact: (954) 410-8362

6th Annual Dining Out For Life®


On Thursday, April 30th, help support AIDS Alabama’s 6th Annual Dining Out For Life event by simply enjoying a meal at one of your favorite local restaurants in Birmingham. Each of the participating restaurants will donate a minimum of 25% (upwards to 100%) of your bill to help fight against HIV and AIDS. Some of these restaurants include: Bottle & Bone, Post Office Pies, The J. Clyde, Urban Standard, The Grill at Iron City, and many more!  To learn more about AIDS Alabama, its mission, and services visit www.aidsalabama.org

  • When: April 30
  • Where: at participating restaurants in Birmingham, AL
  • Cost: Nothing extra, just enjoy a meal at a participating local restaurant
  • Website: Find the complete list of participating restaurants at www.diningoutforlife.com/birmingham/restaurants
  • Contact: (954) 410-8362


Until the Next Post,


Eat Drink Birmingham 2015: Recap



“Wine is wonderful. But let’s be honest – it can’t do everything. Real beer can do everything. Beer has bitterness to slice through fat, carbonation to refresh the palate, carmelized flavors to match those in your food, and sweetness to quench the fire of chilies.” – Garrett Oliver, Brewmaster, Photo Credit: Janece Maze

Last month, I attended Eat Drink Birmingham at Rosewood Hall in Homewood’s SoHo Square on March 12. According to the event’s website, Eat Drink Birmingham is a beer and food pairing experience created by the Alabama Brewers Guild and the Birmingham Originals. The afternoon proved to be a fun and fantastic sampling journey for foodies and brew enthusiasts of all levels. The event was a unique pairing between various Alabama’s craft breweries and many of Birmingham’s best independent restaurants. In a nutshell, Eat Drink Birmingham was a hybrid mix of a traditional beer festival and food fest that featured souvenir sampling glasses, unlimited samples for each attendee, and music from the Steel City Jug Slammers.


St. Stephens Stout: An Alabama Collaboration aka the prize gem of Eat Drink Birmingham, Photo Credit: Janece Maze

The event allowed attendees to check out the rich culinary flavor of the city by way of expertly curated dish and beer pairings from Alabama breweries and local restaurants. The afternoon was full of many great pairings of craft beers and dishes. I attempted to check out each of them. Honestly, I only sampled about one-third of the event’s menu pairings but enjoyed each sip and bite. The festival was also the first stop of the new limited edition St. Stephens Stout. The St. Stephens Stout is the creation of an Alabama collaboration between of all of the state’s breweries and the Alabama Brewers Guild. I am a huge fan of stouts and it is a phenomenal beer. I was lucky enough to receive a bottle to take home after receiving  the gift from a representative of the Alabama Breweries Guild after chatting about the festival. The crowd of taste-makers were also entertained by the sounds of the Birmingham’s own Steel City Jug Slammers. Make sure you check out this stellar band’s music via their website or on Facebook.

(Ratings of the Craft Beer and Local Dish Pairings)

Bellini’s Filet Fricasse and Fairhope Brewing Co (Take the) Causeway IPA

  • The Filet Fricassse and Fairhope Brewing (Take the) Causeway IPA was oh so good! The filet was tender, juicy, and full of so much flavor. In addition, it was served with savory roasted potatoes and corn. The IPA was delicious although I’m honestly not a fan of this particular type of beer. I am more of a porter and stout kind of gal. The pairing was OK but I felt like the filet would have benefited from another type beer that did not overpower its rich flavor. The IPA was good but the strong complex hoppiness of it felt more like a palate cleanser than a complement to enhance the dish. Overall,  both were great alone and just OK together.

Bellini’s Filet Fricasse and Fairhope Brewing Co (Take the) Causeway IPA, and a second helping of Silvertron Cafe’s White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Raspberry Coulis, Photo Credit: Janece Maze

Jackson’s White Chicken Chili with Cheaha Brewing Co. Old Reliable Ale 

  • The slightly spicy white bean chili was served with fresh cilantro and paired well with the Old Reliable Ale. The yummy chili was full of spicy notes from jalapeno peppers and cumin seasoning. It is definitely comfort food for a cold day and will leave you satisfied. I was more of a fan of the Old Reliable Ale that is a unique blend of an amber ale and a pale ale.  The ale initially strikes your palate as hoppy but finishes with the smooth subtle flavor of a good standard ale. According to the beer server this is a common California beer blend and I agree that it works well.

Ted’s Restaurant Souvlakia with Greek Slaw with Black Warrior Brewing Co. Black Warrior Blond 

  • The Ted’s Souvlakia and Black Warrior Brewing American Blonde was quite a pair. The subtle sour notes, rich lemon and oregano Greek marinated meat, and juicy flavor of the pork was enhanced by the refreshing and slightly sweet blonde beer in a way that complemented and highlighted both.

Ted’s Restaurant Souvlakia with Greek Slaw with Black Warrior Brewing Co. Black Warrior Blond, Photo Credit: Janece Maze

The Silvertron Cafe White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Raspberry Coulis with Avondale Brewing Co. Spring Street Saison 

  • I could seriously eat this all day but I am certain it would be a bad idea for my waistline. The white chocolate bread pudding with raspberry coulis was divine. I’m still craving another taste of this sweet pudding along with the refreshing taste of the crisp Spring Street Saison. This was my favorite pairing of Eat Drink Birmingham – hands down!


Homewood Gourmet Crawfish Tasso with Straight to Ale Monkeynaut IPA, Photo Credit: Janece Maze

Nabeel’s Greek Penne with Vegetables with Back Forty Beer Co. Naked Pig Pale Ale 

  • The Greek penne with vegetables was a tasty bowl of veggies, cheese, and a light sauce that balanced well with the acidic, hoppy, and malty goodness of Naked Pig Pale Ale.

The J. Clyde Fatso Pudding with Good People Brewing Co. El Gordo Imperial Stout 

  • The Fatso pudding and El Gordo paired well.  The nice smokey taste of the stout was full of fruity notes and balanced well with the rich chocolate, honey laced, and slightly nutty flavor of the pudding. I plan to revisit the pair the next time I visit The J. Clyde.

The J. Clyde Fatso Pudding with Good People Brewing Co. El Gordo Imperial Stout, Photo Credit: Janece Maze

 Festival Verdict: 

  • Eat Drink Birmingham is an outstanding event that features some of the best bites in Birmingham, craft beer in Alabama, and entertainment for its attendees. It is a great way to explore local restaurants and beer for anyone with a passion for food and drink. I had a great time mingling, eating, drinking, chatting, learning more about local restaurants and breweries, and listening to the sounds of the Steel City Jug Slammers. The only suggestion I have is to find a larger space for the event (in the event of rain) so that guests are not constantly bumping shoulders with one another. Other than that, I am looking forward to checking out Eat Drink Birmingham next year and you should too!

Photo Credit: Janece Maze

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Until the Next Post,


No Plans on 4/11/15? Come Volunteer with Project Homeless Connect


What are you doing this upcoming Saturday? No plans? Well check out the upcoming Project Homeless Connect service project. Hands On Birmingham and One Roof: Uniting Central Alabama to End Homelessness is seeking additional volunteers for the annual day of service on Saturday, April 11.  This innovative one-day event is about breaking the cycle of homelessness, increasing access to services, and ending chronic homelessness in Central Alabama. I hope each of you consider taking time out of your busy schedules on Saturday, April 11 to support this worthy cause! Visit http://www.handsonbirmingham.org/PHC to sign up and send me an email if you want to learn more about the service project. By the way, I’ll be onsite most of the day with the Hands On Junior Board and would love to see each of you there!