Birmingham, Alabama’s Ghost Zoo and some Espresso

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So our next stop is Birmingham, Alabama and we had a quick layover in Chicago so here are some snaps of our grub sesh at Harry Carey’s there which is pretty much a bullshit wanna be gluten free restaurant.

So we wanted a sit down restaurant to grub for our 2 hour layover, got right into Harry Carays after 5 minutes. Staff was excellent but the only reason we ate here was because their menu said “Gluten-Free Menu Available” which I asked for once we waited for 5 minutes and sat down, then our server informed us they have not printed new ones.

 

I emailed their main management and will let YELP people know this place is no longer gluten-free friendly and has a menu that is clearly dated. The 3 stars however is for their burger (no bun) with cheese, pickles, lettuce, bacon and french fries are excellent. The quality of beef and service here make this place worthy if you are not gluten-free or chose the no bun option on a burger. Anyways, hit read more to check out our hotel views, and a stop at the local Zoo… DOH!?! We also hit up a badass coffee and pop shop.

First let’s rent a car

As usual the lady was a racist piece of shit and rude as fuck, but we got a super sweet Fiat 4 door which they call an SUV lol this thing was a fucking micro machine vehicle. Brand new though so can’t hate to hard, and it sounded like a rice burner so I made cool noises with the engine.

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Supposed to be renting at Alamo but nobody was there, bitch was like I’M OVER HERE.

Dinner at Taziki’s

So the first nigh in Birmingham just had time to grub some dinner before a few drinks and cocktails and decided to hit up a spot called Taziki’s. Well the staff and service was for the 2 stars, they were great in helping and asking if I needed anything. However the lack of 3 stars is purely based on authenticity and quality of food. I’ve ate all over and probably over 50+ Greek, Leb, Afgan, you name it type of food. They don’t have kabobs here or anything that’s really marinated. What did I get? a plate full of under seasoned rice, under seasoned beef, and a Greek salad thrown on the side of it.

tazikis

The Taziki sauce… named after the restaurant? Wow what a sham, I got a watered down tartar tasting sauce with huge chunks of celery on the inside… there was hardly any sauce. Tried to mix it with my over cooked beef that was tough to pull apart and tasted like nothing… the Taziki did little to flavor it.
If your looking for some real good Greek/Med food look elsewhere, the night I went, I personally did not enjoy it nor think it was authentic. Beautiful restaurant, beautiful interior and clean bathrooms, if they would switch up the quality I could def see this place earning more stars.

 

Waking up to a beautiful view at the Embassy Suites

So the next day I had no clue what to see, after Phoenix I was thinking that was the end of the mountain reign of views, but bam another beautiful sight to see in the morning.

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For $113/night with free wifi, free alcoholic drinks, free snacks (chips and hummus) none the less this hotel is legit. The missing star is for our bed once we arrived smelt like horrible odor, we told them and they changed the sheets within 15 minutes so not that bad. The hotel is late 80’s early 90’s which in my opinion is the coolest thing ever, I love it.

embassy

The beds are comfortable, there was two sinks, a huge counter with fridge and microwave, many lamps, any accessible outlets for plugins and charging your phone. Also a balcony door to access the beautiful Alabama views. This hotel is totally awesome for a few nights stay, no complaints here.

hotel

This hotel is epic, beautiful, flash back, retro vibe to it and is pretty clean with great staff. The charge for coffee in the lobby is pretty crappy but the drinks make up for it. I’d stay here again.

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Lunch at Yo Mama’s

Typed in gluten-free within my area, this place popped up #1 within few miles and it looked good from the photos and decided to drive over. Park on the street, walk in to this swanky modern cool building with half brick half kitchen design.

chicken

Beautifully designed from the entrance to the logo, and how the entire restaurant is laid out.


The Food

Being gluten free it’s hard to trust “gluten-free” things but she informed me it’s not corn flour it’s Goya based which I’m sure is rice flour. I ordered the chicken wings & waffles and the lady had hot wings and fries with slaw.

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You walk in to a small space with screens showing the menu.

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This is by far the best gluten-free food I’ve ever had/tasted and food in general in the last 10 years of my life. Those waffles and homemade syrup are some of the most decadent tasting with such rich flavor profiles and the light and fluffy waffles is 5 star. Her french fries and hot wings were also amazing being gluten-free and the fries were seasoned perfectly and tasted crunchy to the last bite.

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This family owned business working hard on the inside cooking up some of the best food you will ever eat. If you haven’t been here this is the only place you should be thinking to go next time you go out for lunch. They are only open till 2:30PM so get there quick!

 

Trip to the Birmingham, Alabama Zoo

Do not come after 3, they say no rush but at 4:30 close gates and exhibits and don’t refund your money if your unhappy. This zoo closes at 4:30 not 5. However I did love most of the Zoo but this stuck up cunt who worked there and didn’t let us see the cats can go fuck herself.

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Welcome to the Birmingham, AL Zoo!

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Beautiful views driving in

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Don’t bring you shank

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This Zoo itself and animals is 5 star as usual for my Zoo visits, but being to over 30 Zoo’s in the USA this was a first to be rushed out of a Zoo at 4:30. Not once I have ever been embarrassed of a Zoo’s staff except for this place, these people wanted to get home at 5 and not worry about customer service what so ever.

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Love the views at dusk here

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the lustrous black swan

flamingo

Chillinlingos!

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Cool flamingo shot

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They could use some a maintenance

turtle

Are you turtle enough for the turtle club?

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This guy was chillin

dragon

A REAL LIFE DRAGON WHAT?A?!!?!?!?!?!?!?

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Cool turtles rollin about

lizard

This is like a fruit roll up lizard what he should be named

So if you come PRO TIP: This Zoo takes 2 hours or more to complete, so don’t come after 3PM. They also kick you out at 4:30. The Zoo itself is pretty damn dilapidated and probably one of the worst looking, dirtiest zoo’s I’ve ever been to. Blame it on Winter months but have you seen the Cleveland or any Zoo’s up north? They still keep the Zoo up-kept, thanks but no thanks. Should have let me seen my darn cats.

 

Hipster Coffee at Octane

Needed some jolt after the Zoo and found the best local spot for coffee. Octane!

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Octane, Birmingham’s premier coffee shop

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Upon arriving with the super sweet sign outside, you walk in and notice a separate room with a huge coffee grinder and espresso machine and 50lb bags of coffee beans lining the shelves which makes this place legit.

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We ordered the espresso, cappuccino, and a white chocolate mocha. All three of these drinks were some of the best coffee I’ve ever had, they were excellent! The espresso comes with a glass of soda water that helps cleanse your palette after each sip which is pretty cool if you ask me.

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Cappuccino was excellent

 

 

Steel City Pops

So you’ve heard of Mexican La Palatera or ice cream shops, this is like the modern version of that. It’s also right next door to Octane coffee and has some of the best ice cream pops ever. White version of La Palatera and they do it 10000 times better. Fuck all that bullshit Mexico style corn, sour cream, unhealthy bullshit this place is all organic, non-gmo.

steel

Excellent Popsicle, organic, non-gmo, gluten free cake pop kind of Popsicle, and they are so delicious. I had the gingerbread cheesecake and let me tell you I ate it in like 3 seconds basically inhaled it. The shop smells so good like a bakery and has a beautiful interior with TV’s to tell you whats up, the outside is also legit and looks sweet.

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If you need espresso after go next door to Octane, excellent little shopping center for snacks.

 

Room service that night

salad

Got hungry after the Zoo and coffee and got a decent Cobb salad which wasn’t bad, the next day we flew out, see below.

airport

Got to the airport an hour early this time and there was 0 line of course that’s how it works!

airport

This was cool at our airport, next stop Sacramento, CA for a layover and then off to New Orleans, LA.

That’s all for Birmingham, AL was a lot cooler than I expected, but let’s go to NOLA.