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What Makes Birmingham One of America’s Best Food Cities, According to Celebrity Chef

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Andrew Zimmern visits Eagle’s Restaurant in Birmingham while filming “Bizarre Foods America.” (Photo by Tamika Moore,/AL.com)

Shauna Stuart | sstuart@al.com

It’s no secret celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern loves the food in Birmingham.

He’s been singing the city’s praises for almost 10 years since he filmed an episode of Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Food” here in 2013.

This past March, Zimmern threw a personal spotlight on several Birmingham restaurants through his newsletter and blog, Spilled Milk.

He gave rave reviews to a number of eateries including Eagle’s Restaurant, Miss Myra’s Pit Bar-B-Q, the Irondale Cafe, Saw’s Juke Joint, Ovenbird, and Automatic Seafood & Oysters.

Seven months later, Zimmern has more words of praise for Birmingham’s food scene.

Tasting Table caught up with Zimmern at this year’s Food Network New York City Wine and Food Festival.

When the publication asked the culinary critic his opinion on the most exciting food city in the nation, Birmingham was in the rundown.

“Best food city in America right now … I love all the little small ones that are exploding. My hometown of Minneapolis now is one of them.

Whether it’s Birmingham, Alabama, or … People knew about Portland, Maine, forever, but look at how many restaurants keep opening there. Portland, Oregon — I’m amazed at the small cities,” he told the publication.

“That’s where the action is.”