The choice of restaurant was easy: Give a girl French lessons for five years, and she's got a built-in affinity for anything francais, mais oui. We trotted over to Chez Lulu, a bohemian yet refined French cafe tucked into Birmingham's English Village. (Think decor of Grayton Beach's Red Bar with less flip flops and sand, more ballet flats and white table cloths.) Lush reds, walls covered in scrolling-gold frames, and European food: Perfect ambiance for a new 21-year-old and her mama.
After bonding with my waiter Austin over mutual Samford University Bulldog love, he guided me to the cucumber soup. Gazpacho is one of my favorites, and Chez Lulu nails both summertime soups. Mom adored her roasted eggplant and caramelized onion served on focaccia bread, while I was tres satisfied with a goat cheese, pesto and tomato sandwich.
Adjacent to Chez Lulu and under the same ownership, the Continental Bakery supplied the fantastic bread of my sandwich. European methods are still used in the bakery for the pastries and breads made fresh daily. The quaint streets of English Village are lined with galleries and interior design shops (Did I mention a salon/spa and nail place?)
What about you? Where do you head to find your French fix down here in la sud des Etats-Unis? (that means "the south," y'all.)
p.s. Just to make you a bigger fan of Southern Living, you'll be happy to know they go all out for birthdays around here. Who says you need to take a day off of work for a "personal day" birthday? I'll stay right here, thankyouverymuch.
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