This past week, I tagged along with my dear friend C.A. on a little trip to Birmingham.
We headed south and enjoyed some nice conversation and beautiful scenery, taking the back roads down to B-Ham. When we arrived, we decided that an early lunch was exactly the way that we needed to get started. I’d never been to the Cheesecake Factory, and since it happened to be right there, we parked and waited for them to open the doors.
Our waiter, Devon, was fantastic. He knew the menu backwards and forwards. A menu by the way, that is definitely the biggest menu that I have ever seen. What restaurants have a spiral-bound book for a menu?! So we discussed what we wanted to eat, and Devon shared his expertise. C.A . went with their creamy farfalle. She had me give it a taste ….and oh, my, word. I was wishing I could send my sandwich back and order the farfalle!
Although, I’d have had a hard time sending this back. I had the Chicken Avocado Club, and this was absolutely delicious. It had seasoned, grilled chicken, slices of fresh avocado on perfectly grilled bread. The sweet potato fries were crispy, which I love, but were a bit too salty for my taste. I’m pretty sensitive to salty foods though, but their flavor was great. I only ate half of this sandwich, because – well – we were at the Cheesecake Factory after all. We had to have dessert!
Once again, we turned to our wise sage, Devon for his recommendations. I have to say – he seriously picked winners. C.A. got the Peppermint Bark Cheesecake. Again….wow. But me? I was eyeballing the Kahlua Cocoa Coffee Cheesecake…until Devon mentioned the Dulce de Leche Caramel Cheesecake. Of course, that’s the one I went with. Just look at this! I’m so glad I saved my half of the sandwich and saved room for this beauty. It was definitely worth the trip down there.
We enjoyed our lunch and lively conversation with former Chicagoan Devon, then we headed over to Sax, so C.A. could do what she came for. You see, she’s a Jo Malone London Senior Stylist, and came down to network with the Jo Malone London there in Birmingham.
Afterwards, we headed over to nearby Homewood. Homewood is a suburb of Birmingham and where I attended the Food Blog South conference earlier this year. Just a block from where my conference was, is a lovely street lined with little shops and an iconic bakery – Savage’s Bakery. We stopped in there, and we both got boxes of goodies to take home.
We strolled through several of the shops along the way and enjoyed ourselves. Then we headed into O’Henry’s Coffeehouse before getting back on the road. I did this very same thing after my conference. Last time I got one of their amazing Nutella Mochas (mmmm!) but this time I chose a Strawberry Bomb – fruit smoothie.
I love the atmosphere in O’Henry’s…and the smell!!?? Man, I wish there was something that I could buy to make my house smell just like that. Short of roasting my own coffee in my house though, I’m afraid I am out of luck in that arena.
I do believe that C.A. and I need to start planning our next little day trip. Hmmm….where to next?