10 food allergy friendly restaurants in Birmingham

Real and Rosemary is one of the food allergy friendly restaurants in Birmingham
Delicious food at Real and Rosemary. Photo from Real and Rosemary via Facebook

Are you looking for food allergy friendly restaurants in Birmingham? Not only do these restaurants provide allergy-free foods—they serve a slice of the ordinary, a plate of belonging, and a rare opportunity to feel like a normal person in a restaurant.

Here are our top 10 picks for food allergy friendly spots in Birmingham.

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3 ways a built-in entertainment center can jazz up your Birmingham home

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Photo of Tim Meehan in front of his built-in entertainment center by Closets by Design
Tim Meehan in the home where he grew up. Photo by Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

About a decade ago, Tim Meehan inherited the Homewood home where he grew up. To update the home his parents bought back in 1957, he reached out to Closets by Design to design and build a new entertainment center.

This entertainment center helped provide the centerpiece of a home-wide renovation that’s bringing all the charm of his childhood home into 2019. Need a project done for your home? Check out Closets by Design.

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Wanted: developer for the old Banks School site in South Eastlake and Roebuck Springs. What happens now? (PHOTOS)

The old Banks site in South Eastlake has been vacant for 12 years
Developing this site could be transformative for Roebuck Springs and South Eastlake. Photo via Jeff E. Newman

For over 10 years, the 23-acre Banks school property in South East Lake and next to Roebuck Springs has sat vacant; now the City of Birmingham is taking steps to change that.

On Friday, November 15, they issued a Request for Proposals (RFP). The City’s looking for a developer who can buy the space and transform it into an asset for the whole Eastern side of Birmingham.

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Prepare for holiday travel with #protips for avoiding traffic and construction in Birmingham.

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Holiday travel in Birmingham means Thanksgiving meals with loved ones
Who wants to be stuck in traffic when you could be enjoying a Thanksgiving dinner like this? Photo via The Moellinger Family of Roebuck Springs

Maybe your 2019 holiday travel has you dashing to the airport, or maybe you’re road tripping to Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving. Either way, unexpected construction-related detours and traffic in Birmingham probably aren’t top of mind when you’re dreaming of turkey and dressing, pumpkin pie and football on the TV, right?

Thankfully, we’ve put together our best holiday travel #protips to help you get where you’re going with the least amount of hassle possible.

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No Shave November in Birmingham is all about men’s health. Enter our sweeps now.

No Shave November in Birmingham is a fun way to get everybody talking about men's health
That’s me and my husband Sean, who had to stop entering No Shave November contests at work because he always won. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

No Shave November in Birmingham means a lot of guys are putting down the razors to get people talking about some major challenges to men’s health. Enter our sweeps today by posting a picture of your beard or ‘stache on Instagram and tag @bhamnow between now and end of November. Use #BhamNowBeards. You could win a grooming kit from Freedom Soap Co.

While prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health aren’t the easiest topics to talk about, No Shave November makes raising awareness—and money—fun.

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We fell in love with Ikko in 5 Points South last week, and not just for the bubble tea.

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Man with fire at Ikko
Check out the fire element on full display in the kitchen at Ikko Japanese Ramen and Sushi. Photo via Bham Now

I may be one of the few people in Birmingham who hadn’t yet been to Ikko Japanese Ramen and Sushi until one cold day last week when all of that changed.

One of my fellow Bham Nowers who happens to be a wizard with photography equipment and I headed over there just after the lunch rush to see what caused other coworkers to gush about this place like a first crush.

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Ready to be the best leader you can be? Get tickets now for Momentum Conference 2020, March 11-12 in Birmingham

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Robyn Benincasa knows something about leadership. She's the headlining keynote speaker at Momentum Conference 2020.
I for one can’t wait to hear what Robyn Benincasa, the firefighter second from the left in this picture, has to say about leadership and teamwork in her keynote because she’s kind of amazing. Photo via Robyn Benincasa’s Facebook page

Alabama’s largest leadership conference, Momentum Conference 2020, is coming up March 11-12 at The BJCC, and if you’re a professional, you’ll want to be there.

Registering to attend this conference, which only comes around every two years, is an investment in your career, your network and your life that will pay off in spades. Know you want to seize the moment? Save your spot now.

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9 ways we can all support veterans in Birmingham

Vettes-4-Vets
Soldiers and supporters at a Vettes-4-Vets event. Photo via Vettes-4-Vets’ Facebook page

Today is Veterans Day, and we couldn’t think of a better way to honor our vets than to share nine ways to support veterans right here in Birmingham.

But first, if you’re a veteran, thank you for your service, and we hope you find something here that supports you or your buddies. Second, if you know a veteran (and who doesn’t?), then please be sure to share this piece with them so they and their friends can learn about all these great resources.

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5 reasons why Birmingham needs to know Brian Voice Porter Hawkins

Brian Voice Porter Hawkins at Starbucks
Brian Voice Porter Hawkins at the Starbucks Community Center in 5 Points West. Photo via Sharron Swain for Bham Now

In 2004, Brian Voice Porter Hawkins came back to Birmingham (he spent part of his growing up years in Ensley, then left for a while) and has been making a difference here ever since. From community development to art, poetry and gardening, he’s a man on a mission.

One recent foggy morning, I drove for the first time on some of the (very high / amazing / slightly terrifying) new 59/20 bridges over to 5 Points West where we met up for a coffee and a lovely chat. Here’s what I learned.

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Trans-Siberian Orchestra explodes on stage Dec. 11 at The BJCC—plus 5 December events. ***Win concert experience***

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Trans-Siberian Orchestra puts on quite the show
Sounds, lights, fire and more are what make a TSO show unforgettable. Photo supplied

Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s annual holiday show at The Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex is a big favorite you don’t want to miss. The show is Wednesday, December 11, 7:30PM at Legacy Arena at The BJCC. If you’ve ever listened to any radio station that plays holiday music, you’ve no doubt heard their rock opera versions of Christmas classics.

Psst! Also, after the show you can head to Uptown to make it a whole evening of fun. Know you wanna go? Get your tickets now. Keep reading to find out how to enter for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the show plus your very own VIP parking pass.

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Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra’s Kevin Fitzgerald wants you to come to a free concert Nov. 16. 5 reasons why.

Kevin Fitzgerald of the ASYO with a musical score
Just like writers read for fun, conductors read musical scores in their spare time. Here’s Kevin with his favorite Mahler score at Revelator Coffee on a rainy Thursday. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

The Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra (ASYO), conducted by Kevin Fitzgerald, is getting ready for their opening show on Saturday, November 16 at 2PM at the Alys Stephens Center and we’re all invited.

The theme is Russian Classics, and the free show lasts less than one hour. Kevin and I sat down last week and talked about why this show is a must-see for young music lovers and their families. Read on for all the details.

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5 South Asian groups in Birmingham promote peace and understanding across cultures

Notinee Indian Dance is one of the South Asian groups in Birmingham
Women from Notinee Indian Dance. Photo via Notinee Indian Dance’s Facebook page

If you’re not from South Asia, you might be surprised to learn about these five South Asian groups in Birmingham. And, there are more: Birmingham boasts Telugu and Tamil communities as well as groups of Pakistani physicians.

What this means for the majority of Birminghamians is that if you’d like to get to know your neighbors better while learning about other cultures, you’ve got plenty of opportunities right here in town.

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7 places to get the most delicious chicken soup in Birmingham

Pho - basically Vietnamese chicken soup with noodles in Birmingham
Pho—Vietnamese noodle soup—at Saigon Noodle House on 280

It’s gonna be cold in Birmingham this weekend, and what better way to warm up than with a nice comforting bowl of chicken soup. Since I grew up in a house where chicken soup was referred to as “Jewish penicillin,” it’s my ultimate go-to for when someone’s sick.

It’s also the most comforting thing I can imagine eating when the weather turns really cold, like it’s about to do this weekend.

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5 reasons you should try geocaching in Birmingham if you love being outside

Joel Bullock and his son geocaching in Birmingham
My brother-in-law Joel Bullock and his son on a geocaching mission. Photo supplied

If you love scavenger hunts and outdoor adventures in Birmingham, geocaching (pronounced geo-cashing) may be just the sport you’ve been waiting to discover.

Keep reading to find out what people love about geocaching and how you can get involved.

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Wondering what to do with all that candy? 5 Halloween candy buybacks in Birmingham

Birmingham, Asbury United Methodist Church, trunk or treat, Halloween, candy
So you’ve got all that candy. Now what? Photo via Asbury United Methodist Church

Now that your little trick or treaters scored big, are you really gonna let them eat all that Halloween candy? If you don’t want to listen to endless begging for candy all. the. time. you probably want to know about 5 Halloween candy buybacks in Birmingham.

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