Food for thought: Bahama Breeze a cool place

Though it may be 250 miles from Birmingham, the beach is just a drink or nibble away at Bahama Breeze. Andy Locks is general manager of the Caribbean themed restaurant. He said Caribben food has mass appeal.

&8220;Its such a melting pot of different cultures,&8221; Locks said. &8220;So we can use curries from India or heavy creams from French dishes. It includes a very broad variety. &8220;

ATMOSPHERE

If you are looking for the full experience, grab a table outside on the patio, especially on a weekend night when live music is provided. There is room for large groups around one of the fire pits or for tables of four under umbrellas.

Inside, everything from the color of cushions to the artwork on the wall inspires a beach-like feeling. The artwork is created by.

MENU

The drink menu is the place to start. It offers up a variety of fruity beach-inspired drinks such as the Bahamarita made with Cuervo Gold Tequila and real kiwi, mango and strawberry ices or the Mojito Cubano made with crushed spearmint, fresh lime, fresh-squeezed sugar cane and Bacardi Light Rum. The restaurant even has its own signature beer, a smooth amber lager, called Aruba Red.

A twist on the typical nachos, try the Tostones with Chicken. Pronounced &8220;toast-tone-ays&8221; these are thick slices of home-fried plantains layered with chicken, sweet peppers, mushrooms, onions and cheese, topped with fresh tomato salsa. If this or other starters like the coconut shrimp or roasted Cuban bread don&8217;t fill you up there is a plethora of entr/e options.

Locks said the menu gives customers the best of both worlds, Caribbean and Americana.

The most popular dish is the Jerk Chicken Pasta. It includes slices of jerk chicken breast, fresh asparagus and mushrooms mixed with bow-tie pasta and topped with a parmesan-herb cream sauce. If you want to go the more authentic Caribbean route try the Seafood Paella, pronounced &8220;pie-ay-ah.&8221; This is a traditional casserole with shrimp, sea scallops, mussels, chicken, fish, Spanish sausage and peas, cooked with

yellow rice.

SERVICE

Be prepared to wait a while if you go on a weekend night. Especially now that the weather is warm, some waits can be an hour or more long. But once you get inside waiters are attentive and seem to know the menu well. If you want more adventure ask them about some of the more authentic dishes.

FIND IT

101 Resource Center Parkway

Birmingham, Al 35242

995-0059

Sun. – Thur.: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Fri. – Sat.: 11 a.m. to 12 a.m