As I continue my new life here in Birmingham, I am constantly made more aware of the quaint eateries that focus on growing, preparing and serving locally grown crops. Being a nutrition student is probably the main reason for this, but nonetheless, I have acquired a respect for the restaurants I review that take part in this progression. Birmingham is slower to adopt new principles like this, but I am very inspired by it and hope to see it grow! (Pun intended!)
The Pantry is one of these great places that does pride itself on locally grown produce and goes the extra mile to provide the most natural nourishment. Today I was able to test it out and I was more than pleased! First of all, the environment of this place is too great! It is located in a tiny, refurbished house in Crestline Village, right behind Tracy’s Restaurant! There are precious picnic tables, complete with umbrellas, that are located in the front yard. This makes it a wonderful option on a warm spring day! Upon walking in, you’re greeted with rustic wood, refurbished tables and tons of fresh food, as well as the most refreshing cucumber / lemon water. Today we sat inside at a little table near the display case that housed freshly made sauces, salads and house made cheeses. We began by munching on complimentary pimento cheese and crackers that were to die for! This was probably my favorite part of the meal.
Between the two of us, we ordered the Organic Chicken Salad and the FarmStead Salad. Both were amazingly fresh and light. I will say, I ate at 12:30 and I am pretty hungry writing this! Next time I will have to make sure I add in some protein by opting for their free-range, organic chicken! My friend Katherine ordered the chicken salad and it looked amazing! One of the reasons why she loved it so much was because it does not have as thick of a mayonnaise base, like most other chicken salads do! My Farmstead salad was so fresh! The greens were topped with roasted walnuts, marinated tomatoes, chèvre (their house made goat cheese) and an amazing balsamic reduction. Katherine’s salad was compiled of greens, roasted beets, Candied Buddha’s Hand lemon, a scoop of chicken salad and a side of blueberry dressing. Both options were spot on and delicious!
I would recommend The Pantry to anyone with a taste for local produce with amazing flavor and cheese! From what I’ve heard, women love this spot, which is obvious, but men, I would encourage you to branch out and try it too! They have an extensive sandwich and panini list, as well as filling entrees!