Superior chefs at unusual Alabaster locale

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Who would think you would find two award-winning chefs producing their fine food in a BP Station just across the tracks in Alabaster?

I can vouch for the truth of it!!

Many people in the area had been telling me about the wonderful &8220;soul food with a flair&8221; served there, so of course, a couple of friends and I had to try it.

Recently we picked up take-out luncheon plates and sat down to talk with Lynn and Jay Roberson who own the restaurant.

It was toward the end of a busy day; they had served about 300 customers and were working on a large catering order. We knew they were exhausted, but you certainly could not see that in their upbeat and enthusiastic attitude.

Three years ago the Robersons were looking for a location for their first independent restaurant.

Jay had served as chef at The Summit Club and at Riverchase Country Club.

Lynn had catered for the past ten years.

A relative owned the BP Station and asked them to come there. They moved in and very quickly outgrew the space. Lynn told us that they are looking for a larger site so that they can expand their hours and have room for more employees.

They do want to stay in the Alabaster area.

She remarked &8220;We love what we do.

We have excellent customers and we&8217;ve made really good friends here.&8221;

The atmosphere in Capers is very casual with disposables and very limited seating, but there is nothing &8220;casual&8221; about the food.

Our lunches were delicious.

We shared our selections of Shrimp Creole over Rice, Smoked Sausage & Sauerkraut and Grouper with Cream of Artichoke Sauce ($1 extra).

Our vegetables were Baked Sweet Potato Casserole, Mixed Turnip and Collard Greens, Italian Green Beans, Sweet Cream-style Corn and Stewed Okra & Tomatoes.

We loved all of the entrees; the shrimp were fresh tasting and the sauce just-right spicy.

The grouper and sausage and kraut were every bit as good.

All of the vegetables were fresh and nicely seasoned – no canned taste here.

We sampled the Ever-lovin&8217; Banana Pudding and the Strawberry Spoonbread.

Both were sinfully scrumptious.

There were plenty of bananas in the pudding and it was laced with whipped cream – not diet food, but surely worth the sacrifice.

On the day we visited, Angie Roland was having a late lunch.

When asked why she eats at Capers, she said, &8220;Because I&8217;m full when I leave here and the food is excellent.&8221;

She told us that she is a mail carrier and that she certainly doesn&8217;t want them to move far away from her route.

Her remarks seem to reflect the feelings of many of their customers.

A typical lunch menu at Capers includes choices of seven entrees, thirteen side dishes, five salads and two desserts.

One of the desserts always offered

is the banana pudding.

A meat, two vegetables, bread and a drink come to $8 and that includes the tax.

The dessert is free if you are a new customer.

In addition to the lunch menus, Capers offers a large and varied catering menu.

The catering service can be &8220;drop and go&8221; or full service for groups of two to 2,000.

Once you&8217;ve tried lunch at Capers Comfort Foods, you understand how they earned the many awards decorating the walls in the restaurant.

There&8217;s a picture of Lynn as a 5-year-old showing her pickled shrimp and cream puffs, and

Jay began working at Savage&8217;s Bakery at age 13.

Capers has won 14 awards in the last two years in the Birmingham competitions. The restaurant was also, for two years, voted the best take-out food in the Birmingham area.

In another competition, Jay came in as the second best chef in Birmingham.

We join those customers who enjoy the fine food these acclaimed chefs offer.

We also enjoy the friendliness there and certainly will support their search for a larger building &045; as long as it&8217;s in a nearby location.

Capers location:

151 Industrial Road, Alabaster


Monday-Friday 10:30-2:30

Menu Line: 620-3382 (Menu information after 9:45 each day