10 spots: That use Local Ingredients


Ollie Irene's

Ollie Irene

The first thing you’ll notice when you walk into this Mountain Brook Village gastropub is the huge chalkboard listing all of the local farms that provided the evening’s meat and produce. The Southern, seasonally focused menu features an array of fantastic cocktails, delicious house-made charcuterie and elegant-but-hearty entrees.

2713 Culver Rd., Mountain Brook; 205-769-6034; ollieirene.com

Little Savannah

“Local” goes beyond just food suppliers at this Forest Park joint; rotating exhibits of Birmingham art hang on the walls. Don’t miss the frequent Community Farm Table dinners, which honor farmers by making a three-course family-style meal out of their handiwork.

3811 Clairmont Ave.; 205-591-1119; littlesavannah.com

Highlands Bar & Grill

Birmingham’s most famous restaurant was serving up Alabama’s best long before the eat-local movement became trendy. From Gulf shrimp and oysters to Harpersville goat cheese and veggies grown in Coker, the menu is full of local favorites.

2011 11th Ave. S; 205-939-1400; highlandsbarandgrill.com

Bettola

Some of the eggs for this authentic Italian restaurant come from its own private flock of hens at Hollow Spring Farm outside Pell City. And more local meats and vegetables grace the wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas and house-made pastas as well.

2901 2nd Ave. S; 205-731-6499; bettolarestaurant.com

Shindigs Catering

No expensive restaurant rent means this food truck can bring you innovative burgers made from sustainably raised meat and local toppings for a great price. Track it down on UAB’s campus Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; downtown on Tuesdays and Thursdays; and at Railroad Park Saturdays.

205-538-1170; shindigscateringtrucks.com

Urban Cookhouse

The owners are so committed to local farmers that they launched the Homewood Farmers’ Market soon after opening. Now they’re opening a second location at the Summit serving tasty, family-friendly food made from some of the same ingredients sold at the market.

2846 18th St. S, Homewood; 205-879-0883 and 205 Summit  Blvd., Ste. 102; 205-969-6700; urbancookhouse.com

Brick & Tin

In addition to its menu, this downtown sandwich shop offers a “source guide” detailing the farmers and ranchers that raise its meat and grow its produce, the vast majority of them in Alabama. The list of options is short and simple, but they’re all made with the utmost care.

214 20th St. N; 205-297-8636; brickandtin.com

Dyron’s Lowcountry

Its cuisine may be from South Carolina, but the ingredients used in it come from Gulf fishermen and area farmers’ markets. The place has a way with grits; you can get ‘em topped with shrimp or braised pork. Don’t miss the excellent Sunday brunch, either.

121 Oak St., Mountain Brook; 205-834-8257; dyronslowcounty.com

Trattoria Centrale

The pair of young chefs that run this hip downtown pizzeria have serious chops, having worked at some of the best restaurants in the country. The lunchtime pies, topped with whatever’s local and in season, are reliably excellent, and there’s also a line out the door every week for both Friday-night dinner and Sunday-morning brunch.

207A 20th St. N; 205-202-5612; trattoriacentrale.com

Hot & Hot Fish Club

Chef Chris Hastings’ long list of local purveyors includes suppliers of everything from heirloom tomatoes and greens to cornmeal and rice. The innovative menu shows influences from Latin America and Europe, but at its heart, it’s pure Southern.

2180 11th Ct. S; 205-933-5474; hotandhotfishclub.com

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