Taj India, The Rougaroux, Michael’s received 95 and above food service scores in November

Rougaroux - Forest Park
Are we in the Bayou? Nope, it’s The Rougaroux in Forest Park. Photo by Terri Robertson for Bham Now

Several Birmingham area restaurants including Taj India on Highland Avenue, Forest Park’s The Rougaroux and Michael’s in the Parkside District received 95 and above on their health inspection scores in November 2020.

As a public service, since 2018, Bham Now has reported monthly Jefferson County Department of Health restaurant scores. In November, over 200 local establishments that handle and serve food were inspected by the health department. These places include: restaurants, schools, nursing homes, daycare centers, hospitals, grocery stores and concession stands.

In this story we feature local restaurants that scored 95 and above.

Where Did We Get the Scores?

Birmingham, Jefferson County Department of Health
Jefferson County Department of Health. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Food service inspection scores are updated regularly on the Jefferson County Department of Health website. The database is easy to access and it goes back several years.We estimate approximately 10-15% of the restaurant inspections score 95 or above, while most local school cafeterias, for example tend to score 95 or above. 

Who made the local restaurant honor roll this month? Here are some notable local establishments: 

Taj India – 95

Birmingham, Alabama, Highland Plaza, Taj India
Taj India at the Highland Plaza. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Birmingham’s original Indian restaurant, nothing beats Taj India’s vegetarian dishes – navrattan korma and saag paneer (check out the entire menu –here). Fortunately, for the Highland Park Neighborhood, Taj India  announced last June their intention to stay at the Highland Plaza for the next couple of years. More naan for everyone!

The Rougaroux – 96

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The blacked catfish po’boy. Photo via The Rougaroux Facebook

This winter, if you are looking for some warm gumbo and a po’boy, no need to travel to New Orleans – visit Rougaroux in the Forest Park neighborhood. I know a number of gumbo connoisseurs in town, and to a person they rave about Rougaroux. It also doesn’t hurt that they are HUGE News Orleans Saints fans too!

Al’s Deli and Grill – 95

IMG 7057 Taj India, The Rougaroux, Michael's received 95 and above food service scores in November
Al’s Deli and Grill. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Ah – those gigantic loaded baked potatoes, aka, “bakers” at Al’s Deli and Grill. Imagine how many UAB students and 5 Points South party-goers have made the after mid-night run for omelette or gyro. A few years ago, a national publication named Al’s the best 24/7 restaurant in Alabama. Because of COVID –  they are now open 11am to 11pm.  

Michael’s – 96

MichaelsRestaurant 7315 Taj India, The Rougaroux, Michael's received 95 and above food service scores in November
Michael’s Restaurant outside entrance at Parkside. Photo by Nathan Watson for Bham Now

This past August, we could not contain our excitement about the reopening of the legendary  Michael’s Restaurant in the Parkside District – so Bham Now published a sneak peek video. Great location, great food – Michael’s is back! 

Additional 95 and above scores:

Eats Highland
Eats Highland reopens for lunch. Photos via Pat Byington for Bham Now

Original Hot Dog Factory – 98

The Grill at Iron City – 95

EATS Highland – 99

Spring Street Bar & Grill – 98

Bluff Park Ice Cream Shoppe – 98

Wing It – 98

Right to Know

Visit Jefferson County Department of Health’s Food Service website for the latest scores. These food service inspections are invaluable and help keep us all safe. It is our right to know.

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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