Thursday, March 11

Seeing Stars Thursday morning I headed out to the mining town of Bessemer to visit the legendary Bright Star Restaurant. Opened by Greek immigrant Tom Bonduris in 1907, the Bright Star is Alabama's oldest restaurant still in operation. Bill and Pete Koikos purchased the restaurant in the 1920s, and Bill's sons, Jimmy And Nick Koikos, are still there, greeting regulars and overseeing the expansive menu that includes fresh fish (Roy Moore is pictured here, holding one of the many fresh red snappers the restaurant will serve in a day), steak and some outstanding pie. Speaking of pie, today I also visited with George Sissa at Niki's Downtown. Born in Greece, Mr. grew up in Birmingham, where his father ran a handful of restaurants downtown. George Sissa bought Niki's Downtown from the Hontzas family (the same Hontzas family that still has Niki's West) in the late 1980s and is serving up some traditional Greek fare, Southern specialties, and the absolute best fudge pie I've ever had.