Spice up Birmingham Restaurant Week with these 5 International Options!

We all love southern comfort food, but it’s always fun to branch out and try something different. Birmingham Restaurant Week is a great opportunity to do just that! This year features quite a few restaurants that serve up some international fare! We set out to try five restaurants that highlight food from various countries!

Customs Cafe

Customs Cafe Monte Cristo

*Customs Cafe Monte Cristo*

Our first stop this year was at **[Customs Cafe](https://www.facebook.com/customscafe/)** in Riverchase. The owner, Teresa, set the bar high by serving up some amazing French cuisine! Originally located in the Hoover Library Cafe, **[Customs Cafe](http://www.customscafe.com/)** is now in the Hobby Lobby shopping center. Each month they feature food from a different country! While they do keep a consistent “standard menu” you can try a new dish from around the globe each month! (Join the “Passport Club” to get discounts each time you eat!) ![Customs Cafe Quiche](https://s3.amazonaws.com/happenins-in-the-ham/2018/08/Customs-Quiche-2.jpg)
*Customs Cafe Quiche Lorraine*

Be sure to check our *[Facebook]()* to see everything we ate, but here’s a little taste! We highly recommend the hearty *French Onion Soup* and their killer *Monte Cristo* sandwich! Between the creative atmosphere and incredible food, we were hooked on our first trip and when we walked out we were sure to get our **[Customs Cafe](https://www.instagram.com/customscafe/)** Passports!
##Fero ![Fero Spaghetti and Meatballs](https://s3.amazonaws.com/happenins-in-the-ham/2018/08/Fero-1.jpg)
*Fero Spaghetti & Meatballs*

Next up on our International Culinary Adventure was **[Fero](https://www.facebook.com/ferorestaurant/)** in the *Pizitz Food Hall*! Confession time. While we work out of **[Forge](http://workatforge.com/)** on the 2nd floor, this was our first trip to **[Fero](http://ferorestaurant.com/)**! *Gasp!* Not to worry, it definitely won’t be our last! Their take on traditional Italian dishes had our mouths watering. The atmosphere is also perfect for a Bham date night! ![Fero Tiramisu](https://s3.amazonaws.com/happenins-in-the-ham/2018/08/Fero-2.jpg)
*Fero Tiramisu*

Our top picks for **[Fero](https://www.instagram.com/ferorestaurant/)** are *Spaghetti & Meatballs* (miles away from ordinary!) and the *BUCATINI* (Eggplant, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, basil) We had leftovers that made for a delicious lunch the next day! If ever there was a time to try *Fero*, Birmingham Restaurant Week is it! Don’t forget about the wine pairing with each course! Oh, and the *PISTACHIO CAKE TIRAMISU* made for an incredible dessert!
##Rojo ![Rojo Shrimp Tacos](https://s3.amazonaws.com/happenins-in-the-ham/2018/08/Rojo-2.jpg)
*Rojo Shrimp Tacos*

Along winding Highland Ave. you’ll find a Birmingham favorite! **[Rojo](https://www.facebook.com/rojobham/)** has always been a happenin’ spot and not just because of their relaxing patio. The food at **[Rojo](http://www.rojobirmingham.com/)** is down right delicious! We would categorize it as Tex-Mex with a twist. Their Birmingham Restaurant Week menu does a great job of featuring some of their most popular dishes! ![Rojo Pasta Salad](https://s3.amazonaws.com/happenins-in-the-ham/2018/08/Rojo-3.jpg)
*Rojo Pasta Salad*

Among the various dishes we tried were a *Pasta Salad with Grilled Chicken* and some *Shrimp Tacos* that were super fresh! The entire meal lent itself to a summer patio hangout session. Did we mention the brownies?! You get one when you order the BRW2018 menu and they are divine! **[Rojo](https://www.instagram.com/rojobham/)** has a pet friendly patio, so it’s the perfect Restaurant Week stop for animal lovers!
##mo:mo: ![mo: mo: Banh Mi](https://s3.amazonaws.com/happenins-in-the-ham/2018/08/Momo-1.jpg)
*Mo:Mo: Pork Belly Banh Mi*

Another Pizitz Food Hall stop this year was MO:MO:! This is a super convenient location to enjoy some incredible Vietnamese food! The $10 lunch menu features their famous Steamed Dumplings and Shanghai Pork Belly Banh Mi! The pork belly was packed with flavor!
Mo: Mo: Dumplings

*Mo:Mo: Dumplings Photo: Yelp.com*

It turns out that the owner of **[Mo:Mo:](https://www.momobyabhi.com/)** is Filipino and when I told her that Amber is also Filipino she insisted that I take Amber some food! (She wasn’t with me.) The owner also insisted that I try some *Lumpia* (think long, skinny, egg roll) that is a traditional Filipino comfort food! Amber was beyond thrilled when I brought her some! This was a great reminder of how much fun it is to get to know the owners of our local restaurants!
##Taj India ![Taj India House Special Thali](https://s3.amazonaws.com/happenins-in-the-ham/2018/08/Taj-Main-Course.jpg)
*Taj India House Special Thali*

If you want the best bang for your buck this Restaurant Week, grab a friend or significant other and head to Taj India! For $20 TWO people can eat from the Restaurant Week menu! Taj India has been open for close to 25yrs and is a local favorite. Everything we ate was so flavorful and we definitely weren’t expecting so much food!
Taj India Appetizer

*Taj India Appetizer*

**[Taj India](http://www.tajindia.net/)** has such a fun atmosphere and the owner was incredibly nice. We ordered the *House Special Thali* and we not disappointed! We also ordered a *Mango Lassi* drink that tastes similar to a dreamsicle! When our entree arrived we dove right into exploring all various flavors that were on the plate using the naan bread to scoop up the sauces. We are planning on returning soon to try out the Taj India lunch buffet!
Time is running out to enjoy Birmingham Restaurant Week 2018, so be sure to head to a few of these great restaurants that will leave you feeling like you have taken a culinary tour of the globe!
-Russell H.