Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Bright Star Restaurant

 I have been on the road a lot lately, but last night we visited a most interesting place, The Bright Star Restaurant and I wanted to share it with you. This restaurant, the oldest in Alabama, was started in Bessemer (near Birmingham) in 1907 by Bill Koikos and is run today by his two sons, Jimmy and Nicky. It has been in its present site since 1914, a large restaurant that featured ceiling fans, tile floors, mirrored and marbled walls. There is also a series of murals painted by a European artist traveling through Bessemer.
This was a favorite eating establishment for Coach Bear Bryant and there is a lot of football memorabilia on display from players and other famous people like Sandra Bullock, who brought her father there to eat. As Jimmy was telling us goodbye last night, Lee Roy Jordan, who played for Alabama and then the Dallas Cowboys (and was inducted into the Hall of Fame), came in to eat. He and Jimmy are in the photo below.

 How many restaurants have you seen that have their own historical marker?

 But, let's get to the meat of the matter....the food. First we tried the Seafood Gumbo. I had read the reviews before going to eat there and new the gumbo had received rave reviews and awards. One reviewer did say it was more of a fish stew rather than a gumbo, which I can understand. Whatever you call it, it was very tasty.
They are known for fresh seafood, great steaks and delicious desserts, many with a Greek taste. One item on the menu that is popular is the snapper throats. Fresh seafood is brought up from the Gulf daily and hand cut there in the restaurant. My husband decided to try the fried snapper throats. The fish was very good, but there are a lot of bones, so if you don't like to pick fish bones try something else. There are many preparations to try!
 I tried the Greek Sampler, which features beef tenderloin, snapper and chicken, all prepared Greek style. I enjoyed the Greek Salad that came with it and I cleaned my plate. The chicken could be cut with a fork, as it was that tender. I had a sweet potato as my side item and it was wonderful.
 Our friends had the Choice K.C. Extra Cut (a thicker select cut of Black Angus Rib-eye) and Grilled Gulf Red Snapper with Crab meat. I tasted the snapper (very good!) and I noticed that the steak was devoured!

Now, moving on to dessert. Our friends ordered the Baklava Cheesecake (shown below)....all I can say is WOW! I will be getting that next time!
 My husband ordered the bread pudding, which he shared with me. It was very good, but I was still thinking about that cheesecake! I ordered a slice of coconut creme pie to go and enjoyed it the next morning. Even after being in the fridge all night, the crust was still flaky and delicious. I make pie crusts and I know a good one when I taste it.
It was interesting to me in reading the reviews that most people loved eating here with the few others not liking it. There were very few middle of the road reviews. Perhaps it was built up too much in some guests minds. I would definitely like to go back and try their lunch menu (which is not as expensive as the dinner menu).....and get a slice of that cheesecake! The whole experience was a Bright Star in my book!


Anonymous said...

I have been there many times. I miss home!

Jan Castle said...

It all looks delicious...I'm looking at that bread pudding.
Be sure to do a few laps before or after eating that cheesecake - LOL!!!
Paper Hugs,