I've lived in Birmingham for 15 years now and have kind of hit the wall when it comes to eating out. I live in town and have a set list of restaurants that my friends and I tend to go to week in and week out. There can be anywhere from 1 to 15 people when we have dinner (about 2-3x/wk)and most folks are not very adventurous when it comes to food (no seafood, not too spicy, not too ethnic, not too expensive, etc). We typically go to La Paz, Surin, the chain restaurants around the Summit (not worth mentioning), Silvertron, etc. If it's a close friend who is more adventurous w/food, we'll meet for Korean, Vietnamese, or seafood.
What are some of your favorite general, locally owned restaurants around town that would be more receptive to the generic american palette mentioned above? What are some of your favorite more ethnic, daring shall I say, places in Birmingham that wouldn't cost an arm and a leg (i.e. Hot & Hot, Highlands, the other Stitt restaurants)?
If at all possible, let's limit the restaurants to be in the downtown, 5 points, Homewood area and no further down Hwy 280 than the Summit.