Speak Out and Be Heard
I am afraid to say I kept quiet for too long. I have been harboring a secret right by our office in Avondale that I have been dying to spring. There was a little hole in the wall restaurant that I could not wait to let you know about. But I did for too long.
And it was going to be our Pulitzer Prize discovery, right here in the neighborhood.
I was waiting for just the right time for our Anonymous reviewer to dine there with Bunny, and for one of them to write about it (these days I can’t tell which of them it will be). And then it was too late.
Too bad, because it was such a juicy secret, literally. I used to love going just across the street from the Birmingham Weekly in our edgy Avondale neighborhood, walk just past the Avondale brewery and join lots of local policemen and neighborhood residents for fresh vegetables, chicken, oxtail, or even chitterlings at the Quick & Split. I even promised to take several celebrity chefs in town there.
But that is all over now. The building is sold and the QS is closed.
That is too bad, a loss for our food culture. But it is being replaced by something new and good. Avondale Brewery owner Coby Lake bought the building and Brandon Cain, currently chef de cuisine at Ocean (he even prepared my Valentine’s dinner while Robby and I tasted wines at the bar), is going to be the executive chef of a new neighborhood place, another Saw Barbecue location.
But according to Brandon it is going to be more fancy than your typical neighborhood barbecue, as you might expect from the Ocean chef de cuisine, without losing its local hole in the wall feel. I wouldn’t even be surprised to see some sort of barbecue egg roll with edamame and sea kelp, but now I am just conjuring up things I know nothing about when I should have told you about the QS when you could have tried it. So now I’m feeling guilty. But I have to say my seared scallops at Ocean were on a par with the delicious oxtail at the QS. I will miss it.
At least I spoke up about the new place in time, as they are trying to open in March.
And in keeping with the sentiment of being heard, we have opened up a new place for you to express your opinions in the Birmingham Weekly.
For example, a few weeks ago I expressed my opinions based on my personal experience with Gore, Clinton, the country girl, Fidel Castro, and even Newt Gingrich. And I must have had a huge impact because Newt Gingrich went straight from winning convincingly in South Carolina to getting drubbed in Florida. But just like a horror movie creature, he cannot be counted out yet.
So Lori Hamilton expressed a further opinion that one of Newt’s programmatic proposals is racist. And coincidentally right now while the Bingo re-trial is going on there is a controversy over whether the author of the Alabama’s new immigration bill is racist or not for calling Greene County African-Americans aborigines. And even sports commentator Paul Finebaum is talking on the radio as I write this to George Wallace, Jr. about his father’s legacy and what he really meant by standing in the schoolhouse door (I guess football season is really over now). You see that race issue has surfaced in Alabama before.
You can read about opinions on the subject in our new section Speak Out! on page 7. See what Lori has to say about Newt Gingrich and tell us if you agree. I have already had my say on the subject of Newt.
And I have already got another issue for you to burn a hole in your pants, about the Birmingham smoking ordi nance proposed by Johnathan Austin (who was misidentified last week in the Seen photos at the 3000Bar Super Bowl party—but it was bound to happen sometime, but yes this time we did spell his name right—it is not Jonathan). And if you look in Seen we got the spelling of Jamila Kindall this time, too, which is a good thing because she is just starting her fundraising effort to go to the London Olympics, and we certainly want you to make out your checks correctly.
But back to the smoking. Marty of Marty’s, one of our advertisers, already put some material under our door arguing that banning smoking in bars will hurt revenues, and we certainly do not want to do that. And I think that is a good subject on which to literally air out our differences of opinion. Marty’s is a great place. I have heard some good music there and had the best hamburger in town. But the smoke in there!
Well, send us your opinions and we will print them.