While C&C is based in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada, that doesn’t mean that one can’t venture out to explore great food in other places. Check out where we’ve been on our [Map]! I’d heard about the restaurant from a few, as being one of the best restaurants in all of Alabama. It’s even so good that Sandra Bullock eats here! Apparently it’s one of her favorite restaurants and she brings her dad to eat here on Father’s Day. How could I resist not stopping in?

The history of the restaurant runs deep. For starters (no pun intended) the restaurant has been open since 1907. No, that’s not a typo, it’s 1907! Essentially an institution in the city, it’s loved by many of the residents, and usually the people that eat here are extremely loyal to the restaurant.

Streets of Bessemer, on a hot day!

Brightstar has probably been around for longer than your parents' parents.

 

A shiny beacon in a sea of heat (these areas of Alabama can get blisteringly hot), a nice sense of accomplishment was had just by finding the restaurant. Situated about 15-20minutes from Birmingham Alabama, located in a district named Bessemer, it’s hard not to miss its giant, optimistic sign.

Bright Star Sign

 

The restaurant is known for being “a family tradition in a unique atmosphere”.  Upon entrance, you really feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The dining experience remains preserved as best as they know how.

Same color and furnishings for decades.

If it weren't for the flat screen TV's on the walls, you might have mistaken this photo for dining here in the 50s. (Well, that and minus the guy in the baseball cap)

Enough gawking at the old decor and preservation, let’s get to the food and see what’s that all about! It should be noted that the menu changes from time to time.

 

Starter Salad

Starter Salad with Anchovies

Did you know that anchovies can be delicious in a salad? Neither did I, until I tried this one. It was brilliant, the salad dressing was pretty mild and bland, but the saltiness of the anchovy was just excellent. I haven’t heard of another place using anchovies for salads, I enjoyed the salad more than I thought I would!

 

Main course #1: Beef Tips

Beef Tips with Biscuits, Steamed Broccoli, and Cooked Potatoes

The food arrived quickly and warm. The picture might make the beef tips appear tough, but in reality they were not.  The other items were just plain Good. Good, hearty food with no complaints.

 

Main Course #2: Cooked Fish

Cooked Fish with Potato Salad

This dish came highly recommend from my server. Speaking of the server, the service at this restaurant is simply impeccable. The genuine nature of the server, keeping me constantly topped up with water, was just right. Definitely not the waiter that comes across as overbearing, and the definitely not the kind that is never around! Anyway, his suggestion of the cooked fish was right on. I’m not sure what kind of seasoning was used, but it tasted great! The potato salad was nice too. Didn’t seem like it was out of a jar from a supermarket, you can tasted that someone had freshly made the potato salad.

 

Dessert: Coconut Cream Pie

Coconut Cream Pie – As highly recommend by the server.. and apparently award winning!

From how excellent the fish was, I proceeded to ask the server what his recommendations were for dessert, and without hesitation he recommended the coconut cream pie.  I’m not even a pie/cake person, but I ended up finishing all the dessert. It really was a great recommendation and I’m glad he suggested it, as I would not have ordered this dessert on my own.

 

Memorabilia and History from years gone past.

It really is truly amazing how much preservation of the restaurant there is. Over the years, they’ve also collected a lot of history and proudly display it in the lobby of the restaurant.

 

Sandra Bullock actually eats here, I wasn't making it up!


Overall:

Overall this restaurant is claimed to be one of the best in Alabama - even one of the top restaurants in the nation of the United States. I could see why many make this claim. The service was utterly top notch, as was the food. If you are making a trip to Birmingham for whatever reason, this restaurant must surely be on your list of things to do. Since 1907, they've been serving customers, and I hope they continue for at least until 2107!

Food: 4
Ambiance: 5
Service: 6 - the service was sensational
*Our scoring system is out of 5. With 5 being the highest score.

Links:

http://www.thebrightstar.com/
Bright Star on Urbanspoon

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304 19th St N, Bessemer, AL 35020, USA