Thursday night date nights are one of my favorite things. It’s almost like a pre-celebration because there is only one more day of work standing between you and the weekend!!! Honestly, it’s the best time for date night, if you ask me.
This Thursday night, Philip and I decided on Fig Tree Cafe, tucked behind a spa (I believe it’s called Resultz) in Cahaba Heights. We evidently parked in the back, which really seems like the front because it is directly off the main road (Cahaba Heights Road). If you park on the same side we did, the door labeled “Fig Tree Cafe” is really the kitchen! Enter at your own risk! If you walk around to the other side, there is a door up a tiny set of steps! (That’s the correct one.)
This restaurant truly is unlike anything else in the area. It is a tiny, refurbished space, that only has about seven tables. There are unique pieces of art hung on the walls, including the coolest iron sign that says “eat”. Honestly, if the place weren’t so tiny, I would’ve tried to make a run for it! Just kidding 🙂 The second I walked in the door, I knew the food was going to be impressive. Sometimes, you just get that vibe. Anyone else know what I’m talking about?!
We were seated under the “eat” sign (gosh, it was so tempting) and ordered a delicious Napa Cabernet, accompanied by the calamari. The calamari was buttery fried to perfection, and served with a lemon wedge and what I think was a dill aioli. (Apologies, Chef Holland, if I guessed wrong!) It was the most delicious way to start the meal. Also on the starters menu, you’ll find fried green tomatoes, crawfish egg rolls, fried bacon, crab cakes and more! It was evident the calamari was fresh. It felt like I had just come off the beach after a long day and walked in to find a fresh seafood snack!
For dinner, Philip ordered the Chicken Fried Chicken, which was atop a fluffy and delicious bed of homemade mashed potatoes. In addition to this southern delicacy, he enjoyed a side dish of collard greens. I decided on the Shrimp and Grits. This dish was remarkable; a cajun spin on a southern staple. The shrimp were fresh, the grits were soaked in broth all day, for optimal taste, and they were topped with sautéed onions and peppers.
Owner/Chef Jon Holland came over after our meal and was incredibly inspiring. He opened Fig Tree Cafe in May of 2014. The Chicken Fried Chicken and the Shrimp and Grits evidently launched the restaurant! Chef Jon is extremely passionate about cooking, and this restaurant is his baby. When he introduced himself, he genuinely wanted to hear feedback on his art. He also highly recommended coming in for brunch. The brunch menu has such character! One of the best sellers is Mimi’s Truck Stop Special; a huge waffle made with local Truck Stop Honey beer, named after a sweet woman who regularly dines at Fig Tree Cafe. Among this are the Shrimp Omelette, the Crab Cake Situation and the Fig Tree Hash. It’s so much fun being a foodie and discussing cuisine with the chef that prepared what I was privileged to eat! The whole night, Chef Jon was carrying on conversation with his guests, in between creating and plating the food!
This whole dining experience was so personal and so delicious. I have yet to go to a restaurant in town, where the dinner chef or owner came out and specifically checked on my meal and asked me my genuine feedback. That truly made the best impression and I will return as soon as possible for more of Chef Jon’s amazing creations.