Birmingham, AL: A New Food Truck, a New Barbecue King, a Chef Leaves; Here’s your Birmingham Food Beat Week in Review

Zoe's Kitchen, the fast-casual Mediterranean-style restaurant chain that was founded in Birmingham, had a big opening day on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday. (AP photo/Richard Drew)

By Bob Carlton  |  AL.com

Zoe's Kitchen, the fast-casual Mediterranean-style restaurant chain that was founded in Birmingham, had a big opening day on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday. (AP photo/Richard Drew)
Zoe’s Kitchen, the fast-casual Mediterranean-style restaurant chain that was founded in Birmingham, had a big opening day on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday. (AP photo/Richard Drew)

Another food truck hit the streets, one of Birmingham’€™s rising-star chefs moved away, and the Alabama tourism folks crowned a new state barbecue king.

In case you missed any of that, here’€™s what happened this past week on the food and restaurant week in Birmingham:

Jeffrey Hansell, one of two Birmingham chefs named a regional finalist for Food & Wine magazine’€™s The People’€™s Best Chef 2014, has left Veranda on Highland after two years there and moved to Covington, La., to open a restaurant in that town’s historic Southern Hotel.

Click here to read about Hansell’€™s new restaurant and the Veranda’€™s plans to hire his successor.

Saw’€™s Street Kitchen, the new food truck from the owners of Saw’€™s Soul Kitchen in Avondale, made its debut on the Campus Green at UAB on Wednesday and has started roaming the streets around Birmingham, including a scheduled appearance at the Saw’€™s Spring Fest on Saturday.

Go here to find out what’s on the menu.

The Alabama Tourism Department revealed the winner of its statewide 2014 Alabama Barbecue Bracket, and in a huge upset, Smokin’€™ On the Boulevard, a little roadside shed in Florence, topped the much bigger and more established Jim ‘€˜N Nick’€™s Bar-B-Q out of Birmingham and Bob Sykes BarB-Q from Bessemer in the final round.

Click here to read the story behind Smokin’€™ on the Boulevard’s hickory-smoked ribs.

McDonald’€™s restaurants throughout central Alabama held their annual McDonald’€™s Biscuit Bake-Off, and the judges selected Arleen McCain of the McDonald’€™s in Ashland as this year’€™s biscuit-baking queen.

Read about how McCain plans to share her $1,000 prize here.

Zoe’€™s Kitchen, the Mediterranean-style fast-casual restaurant chain that was founded in Birmingham, had a big opening day on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.

Go here to find out how Zoe’€™s stock soared.

And on Saturday, Birmingham’€™s Pepper Place Saturday Market, which Deep South magazine named one of the region’€™s 10 best farmers markets, opened the 2014 season with a new crop of fresh-from-the-farm Alabama produce.

Click here to read all about the new season at Pepper Place.

http://www.al.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2014/04/a_new_food_truck_a_new_barbecu.html