|Little Donkey Kitchen and Bar|
Last night, Jennifer and I were invited out for a preview night at Little Donkey, the new Mexican restaurant in Homewood, just south of Birmingham. As if we needed another Mexican restaurant... But this is something fresh and new. It's not typical Tex-Mex. It's somewhere between Southern food and traditional Mexican fare. Nick Pihakis, a founder of local BBQ staple Jim n Nick's, is behind this bad boy. So after gorging ourselves and taking a few notes, here are my thoughts before it opens this Tuesday.
The first thing you notice when walking in is the open kitchen. This is becoming more popular in restaurants. It's a great aesthetic measure, and also lets you know they really aren't just messing around in the kitchen - it's 100mph. We had two seats at the bar, which was great as we were able to see everything they were doing, as well as the selection of spirits on hand that will be likely featured in LeNell's drinks (LeNell of the same spirit store in Brooklyn). I was pleased with the selection of bourbons and rye sitting on the counter as you can see above.
The bar was a bit tight, but it was a great atmosphere and everyone was talking to each other about the food. Something I really liked was that they were taking the orders on iPads, which were sent to the kitchen, where they viewed the orders on iPads, as you can see below.
The decor was mostly great. The booths and high-tops looked rustic. The walls were warm and inviting. It felt like you could relax there for hours. The only thing that stuck out were the tables. They looked like something out of a Jersey diner. But I'm not really going for the tables.
We ordered a beer first. They only had 5 on tap, but they were great selections - local and regional beers of each general type. A dark lager, two Good People brews (Pale Ale and Snake Handler), Avondale's Spring Street Saison, and one more that was a traditional American-style lager (gag).
During the meal, we had a cocktail - their signature tipple created by LeNell... The Donkey's Daddy. It featured bourbon and tequila (right?), augmented with a hibiscus tea syrup, lime juice, and other secret ingredients. It could include eye of newt, and I'd still drink it. It was crisp and refreshing, but despite the fact it was pinkish, it felt manly to drink.
|Little Donkey Chilauquiles|
|Little Donkey Salad|
|Little Donkey Drunken Hog|
|Little Donkey Brisket and Fish Taco|
We had to wave them off to stop getting food so we could get out to another event we had. I'm looking forward to the opening Tuesday, and depending on LeNell's cocktail-slinging, maybe a new favorite hang-out. You should do yourself a favor and go eat there as soon as you can.
Just leave a seat or two open for me at the bar.