For the first time, every member of the Birmingham Lunch Club could not make the meeting. Unfortunately, Joey had a business meeting moved at the last minute. Fortunately, the other three bros carried on the mission to eat sandwiches. They took the meeting to Momma Goldberg’s in Homewood.
Blake: The conditions for this week’s Birmingham Lunch Club stop weren’t most desirable: Joey had a business meeting that was floating in a four hour window near our scheduled lunch, so it was doomed. I had chosen Gus’s Hot Dogs, a venue only I had eaten at, to share in the magic of a Birmingham staple. When Joey finally had to admit he wasn’t going to make it, I called an audible: Momma Goldberg’s.
I had stayed away from this selection because Joey, Brad and I had had plenty of delicious Momma’s Loves. But Greg? Here ‘a a guy who went one time and had a chicken salad sandwich. He hated it and never returned. WHO DOES THAT? For a while, I’ve been determined to rectify that, and I felt this allowed that opportunity.
This journey was fruitful, in my discovery that Momma’s Nachos can be made with Cool Ranch Doritos. I did not try this newfound culinary masterpiece, however, because Brad and I decided if we were going to give Greg a proper visit to Momma Goldberg’s, it would be completely traditional. So Nacho Cheese, with, it was.
My review is going to be something I could write anytime, because I know how I feel about the place: at lunch, the service is miserably slow, but that’s due, mostly, to popularity, something difficult to fault them for. The atmosphere will never be that of the original location. There’s something special about the dive on the corner of Magnolia and Donahue. The sandwich is one of my favorites ever made, and it translates fairly well to franchised locations. It’s a fabric of Auburn that is slowly carving its spot in Birmingham’s culinary world. There is never a time I am not going to be in the mood for Momma Goldberg’s. I’m happy I could be with Greg for his corrected experience. And we got Christmas cups! Point deduction for service, only because it’s been deducted at other slow stops. Overall: 4 out of 5 bros
Brad: For the first time, life got in the way of the BLC. Joey had a meeting pop up and 280 traffic caused some unexpected issues. Blake, in the spirit of Christmas, decided to give Greg, a UAB alum by way of UA, a proper Momma Goldberg’s experience. Greg had been once before, but ordered a chicken salad sandwich. That would be like us going to Dreamland and ordering chicken fingers. Greg obliged. This also worked well because Joey, who is #family, has been plenty before and wasn’t missing anything.
We told Greg about the “Momma’s Love” and the unique nachos. He ordered accordingly and even complemented his meal with Cherry Coke – the same as Blake and me. Three bros enjoying the same meal. Isn’t that what the holidays are about? Who can forget cutting the coupons out of “The Plainsman” and driving with one eye open at 2 AM to soak up the alcohol that we spent the previous 12 hours consuming? And the first time you realized the “secret sauce” is simply Italian dressing, yet it tasted so right? Momma G’s has miserable service, and the lack of a “number system” leads to people inadvertently grabbing other people’s orders… nachos. But the place is worth it. While the atmosphere is not the same as the original, the food is. It is difficult to write a proper review for a place for which you have a natural bias. However, after last week’s disappointing deli experience, this was a delicious way to get back on track. Overall: 4 out of 5 bros. (If service was immediate, this would be a 4.5.)
Greg: Class. Tradition. Chicken Salad. One of these three does not belong when talking about Momma Goldberg’s. As others have noted, I had a bad first experience (with Joey) at Momma Goldberg’s about two years ago. It was easily the worst chicken salad sandwich I have ever had. I have eaten lots of chicken salad. Anyways, the other two bros insisted we make a return and I get the signature items. We kicked off lunch at 1 and the wait was very long. This has come to be expected at BLC, but I will fairly take away bros to be consistent. While the nachos were simple Doritos with some queso and peppers, they were quite tasty. The sandwich was a nice blend of meat and cheese with a zany special sauce. The easy way to my heart at a restaurant is to serve Cherry Coke on tap. Momma Goldberg’s had this and I liked it. The cups and ice were also high quality. The restaurant was a little cramped, but being in Downtown Homewood only gives you so much space. I am glad that the BLC went through such measures to make a trip to this establishment, it has been redeemed. Bro Overall: 3.5 out of 5 bros.
COMPOSITE BRO SCORE: 3.8 BROS