Three members of the BLC enjoyed a nice walk through Downtown Birmingham to panini juggernaut, Brick and Tin (www.brickandtin.com). Joey was out this week enjoying one of America’s lovliest beaches. Brad made this week’s selection.
Greg: Brick and Tin is a restaurant which my coworkers rave about. It is right up 20th street from our office and a nice walk on a spring day. I perused the menu prior and decided on a nice brisket Panini. I chose the side salad over the seasonal side of butternut squash. The salad was nice and fresh with an excellent ranch dressing. Our food arrived in about 15 minutes. The Panini featured a white BBQ sauce. However, I got a side of the red BBQ sauce to get a feel for all of the BBQ offerings on the menu. The white sauce didn’t too much for me as it was a little heavy without much flavor. The red sauce was better, but still lacking compared to true BBQ restaurants in the city. The meat was cooked properly and the bread was fresh. Overall, it was better than I was expecting, but the poor sauce made my selection a bad one. I came out under $10 and felt full when I left (at least for an hour or two). I am glad I got to experience the famous Brick and Tin, but this choice won’t make the Hall of Fame. It appears to be more of a social hotspot than a brotastic dining experience. Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 Bros
Blake: Brad likes to choose dainty joints. So when he told Greg and I that we were heading to Brick & Tin, I shouldn’t have been surprised to learn that it was a place which exclusively sold $10 paninis. And I was not looking forward to this one. My level of expectation has never been lower. I mean, I was looking forward to good company with good bros, but I was hardly excited about the cost v. liklihood of leaving full. When we arrived, I was surprised to see that despite the overdone, hip decor, we ordered at the counter. Good: no tip. I also made a pro-move by ordering a water, keeping the whole thing under $10. And finally, a new menu item had been added since the last web update, a ballpark dog, or something like that. It was a giant polish sausage on a hoagie-type bun. And it was really good. It was covered in peppers and onions and the mustard served on the roll was fantastic. It was the best part of the meal. It had a little salad on the side, which was also very good. The verdict? While my extremely minimal expectations were blown away (I was prepared to award this place the first 0 in BLC history), $10 is still too much to pay for one polish sausage on a hoagie and a tiny salad. It tasted fine, but as I’ve made clear, if I pay $10 for lunch, I expect to not be hungry two hours later. If I were awarding this score on a scale of Barabaras, it would get 5 Barbaras. This would be a great place for ladies who want to feel edgy and have a beer in the downtown banking district with their healthy sandwich on Friday. Unfortunately, this is not the mission of the Birmingham Lunch Club. Overall Rating: 2.5 out of 5 bros
Brad: You know what I enjoy? I like the scent of a man’s aftershave on my back the following morning. I like the sound of a lawyer crying. I also like the taste of a damn fine sandwich. I chose Brick & Tin this week. After turning over my previous two choices to user suggestions (hey, this isn’t a cheer-ocracy!), I decided to search deep inside myself… and Yelp! for delicious dining. Located on 20th a few blocks north of Railroad Park, Brick & Tin specializes in paninis, fresh sides with a unique twist and homemade soups.
I went with the brisket panini as I was drawn to the caramelized onions and white sauce. I chose a mixed green salad to complement my meal. The wait was not long. We ordered and were able to find a table – a hot commodity on Friday’s at lunch downtown. Our meal was served quickly and did not disappoint. The sandwich was tender. While the white sauce reminded me of Cream of Chicken soup (it was somewhat grainy), the onions were a treat. They blended together for a satisfying taste – not bbq and not bland. An enjoyable, if not indescribable, balance. It was a filling, yet light meal – something brisket is not known for and a welcome surprise. The salad was fresh with a vinaigrette and, while not anything I haven’t had before, completed the meal nicely. I had a water and escaped for under $10.
If you’re a sandwich fan, give Brick & Tin a try. The restaurant features some vaulted ceilings and a decent sized bar for sitting. While the place was full, we had enough space to feel isolated and enjoy conversation. I expected one thing upon ordering, got another upon viewing, and upon tasting the sandwich, still another. But it was all for the best. Enjoy Brick & Tin’s #take on the classics. I did. Overall Rating: 4 bros out of 5
Composite Bro Score: 3.17 Bros