Eric Velasco

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About Eric Velasco

Eric Velasco is a freelance writer based in Birmingham. He has written for local, regional and national publications for nearly four decades, and was a longtime contributor to Birmingham Magazine. When he’s not cooking, he’s eating.

Where to find Alabama’s best biscuits

2022-08-06T15:32:06-05:00By |Food & Drink|

What is it about Alabama biscuits? The best—airy and light—are a quintessentially Southern food that is equally at home in a diner or inside a temple to haute cooking. We’re talking all-American biscuits, the bready cousin to the unleavened, hard, flat and often sweet English-style biscuit that we’re more likely to call a cookie. Leavened with baking powder and salt instead of yeast, a Southern biscuit is at home on the side of a breakfast plate, patiently waiting to be slathered in syrup or used to sop yolk released by a sunny-side up egg. When sliced, biscuits are the perfect holder for breakfast, lunch, or dinner sandwiches.

How banana pudding came to be a beloved Alabama dish

2022-07-29T15:42:15-05:00By |Food & Drink|

Banana pudding. Few foods are more quintessentially Southern than sweet, creamy ’nanner puddin’. Perhaps that’s why Alabama plays host to the first-ever Major League Eating World Banana Pudding Championship on Friday, August 5. Akin to televised hot-dog or chicken-wing eating contests, 10 people who gorge for a living will compete for a $3,000 total prize purse at Madison’s CrossPointe Church.

Will an Alabama farmers market be voted the nation’s favorite?

2022-07-13T20:36:12-05:00By |Food & Drink|

The Bailey Cove Farmers Market in Huntsville leads Alabama at the quarter-way mark in balloting for the America’s Farmers Market Celebration, a summer-long promotion that allows local-food fans to vote for their favorite direct-from-grower outlets. The competition, sponsored by the American Farmland Trust and the Farmers Market Coalition, carries a $10,000 prize package for the top five vote-getters nationally. But the overall goal is to boost awareness and customer loyalty to all places where farmers and cooks connect.

Get a taste of Ironwood Kitchen + Cocktails in Homewood

2022-07-13T09:46:05-05:00By |Food & Drink|

At Ironwood Kitchen + Cocktails inside the Valley Hotel in Homewood, out-of-town guests and locals alike get a taste of Alabama, prepared with creative flair. “Bangin’ Bama Collards” appear frequently on the menu at the restaurant located on the main floor of the boutique hotel, which opened in early 2021. Platters that form the base for Ironwood’s signature appetizer, The Hanger (brown sugar chipotle bacon), are shaped in the state outline.

Get a taste of the countries competing at The World Games at these restaurants

2022-07-05T11:24:59-05:00By |Food & Drink|

When Birmingham hosts The World Games 2022 from July 7-17, athletes from more than 100 countries will compete in more than 40 events, from acrobatic gymnastics to wheelchair rugby. Their friends, family, and fans will visit, too. And when they’re hungry, they’ll find there’s lots more to local restaurants than just Southern “vittles” and American standards like burgers and hot dogs (although they can enjoy many great examples of those here, too). We’ve compiled a list suggesting great places to try food from 24 participating countries. Whether you’re a visitor, or an Alabamian caught up in the fervor of an international contest you just watched, here are Birmingham restaurants to go to when The World Games inspire your hunger.

Where to get barbecue for Fourth of July

2022-06-25T12:38:22-05:00By |Food & Drink|

Barbecue may be the perfect Fourth of July food. Whether it’s a slab of ribs at the lake, or pulled pork on a picnic blanket before the fireworks start, some folks can’t fathom the Fourth without barbecue. Sure, you can cook it yourself. But buying from your favorite local barbecue restaurant ensures you get the best-tasting meat without having to suffer in the heat. Instead of pork, maybe you’d prefer Alabama’s classic chicken with white sauce, or the Texas-style smoked beef brisket that’s gaining popularity all over the state. We’ve got you covered with this list.

The story behind Baumhower’s Victory Grille’s 40+years of success

2022-06-24T15:38:58-05:00By |Food & Drink|

Bob Baumhower had a stellar football career, losing only four games as a defensive tackle for the Alabama Crimson Tide in the mid-1970s and going on to become a five-time All-Pro while playing for the Miami Dolphins in the National Football League. But his second career as a restaurateur arguably had an even greater impact for sports fans across the Yellowhammer State. He introduced Buffalo-style chicken wings to Alabama when he opened his first eatery, Wings and Whiskers, in 1981 on the UA campus in Tuscaloosa.

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