Yo’ Mama’s, Salem’s Diner earn A+ food service scores in April

Salem's Diner Homewood Alabama
Salem’s Diner in Homewood. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now.

Several Birmingham area restaurants including Yo’ Mama’s in Birmingham, Edgewood Neighborhood’s New York Pizza, and Bell Peppers in Hueytown received 95 and above on their health inspection scores in April 2021.

As a public service, since 2018, Bham Now has reported monthly Jefferson County Department of Health restaurant scores. In April, over 100 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: 

Yo’ Mama’s – 98

Yo' Mama's
Yo’ Mama’s on 2nd Avenue North. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now.

Established in 2014, Yo’ Mama’s has become a mainstay on Birmingham’s 2nd Avenue North. Recently, this local treasure was the only Alabama restaurant to receive a James Beard Foundation (JBF) grant through the organization’s Food and Beverage Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans

Salem’s Diner – 100

Salem's Diner Homewood Alabama
Wayne Salem, owner of Salem’s Diner in Homewood

One of Birmingham’s legendary diners, Salem’s was named the best diner in Alabama by Mental Floss back in 2017. Filled with sports memorabilia, Salem’s is known for its Philly Cheesesteak sandwich. In addition to the great food, say hello to Wayne Salem the owner, a class act.  

New York Pizza – 96

New York Pizza
New York Pizza in the Edgewood Neighborhood of Homewood. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Located in the heart of the Edgewood Neighborhood business district, New York Pizza opened its doors in 1982.  Fun fact:  According to the New York Pizza, the ovens used at the restaurant over the past 30 years are vintage 1958 Baker’s Pride ovens that came out of an authentic pizzeria in New York’s Little Italy. We love NYP’s New York style pizza – but don’t forget their subs which are first rate.

Additional 95 and above scores:

Costa's
Costa’s Famous BBQ on Lakeshore Parkway. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Local 39 – 99

Seafood King – Homewood – 98

Mexico Lindo – 96

Costa’s Famous BBQ in Homewood – 96

Bell Peppers – 97

La Fresca – 95

Tostadas – 95

Margaret’s Bakery – 97

JCDH Website

Bell Peppers, restaurant, grits
Loaded Cauliflower Grits. Photo via Bell Peppers’ Facebook

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.

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  • 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.