Sunday, March 7

Feta Grits? As luck--or fate--would have it, I have arrived in Birmingham the day before the Magic City's mascot, Vulcan, is to be reopened after five years of TLC. As I sit here and think about it, this is no accident. Greek mythology says that Vulcan invented a device that made strings of dough. So there you have it: the classical history of Greeks and food...and Birmingham. It is precisely this relationship that has brought me here. This afternoon, fresh from the interstate, I headed for Yanni's restaurant for a late Sunday brunch. Owned by John Calamas, Yanni's is tucked away in the Vestavia City Center (restaurant interior pictured here) and is a thoroughly modern addition to the city's long history of Greek-owned restaurants. I dined on champagne poached salmon egg rolls with tzaziki sauce, with a bowl of feta grits on the side. New South, indeed! Tomorrow I visit George Sarris at The Fish Market downtown, but not before I drive up Red Mountain and say hello to my new friend Vulcan.

I welcome your comments, inquiries or suggestions while I'm on the road. Send them to acevans@olemiss.edu