Urban Cookhouse, a Birmingham based fast casual “farm-to-table” style eatery has opened a new franchise at Huntsville’s premiere shopping destination, Bridge Street Town Centre. Urban Cookhouse, originating in Homewood, now operates 13 stores in 5 states across the southeast. If you like to feel good about the folks fixin’ your food, Urban Cookhouse shows promise: in addition to their focus on the using local ingredients and taking food donation requests by their website, the company’s Birmingham Summit outpost also hosts a seasonal farmers market to enable area farmers more opportunities to sell their produce. 

What’s the menu look like, though? Fairly light, comfy choices, a few surprises but nothing too exotic. The menu available online is refreshingly short and well designed, featuring sandwiches, salads, wraps, housemade sides, a selection for kids, some sweets, and a menu of take home tubs and complete meals. Urban Cookhouse also offers a selection of local craft beers, and is available for catering.

I have to say, I’d definitely order several of these items. Grilled pineapple and ham with mustard on yeast rolls sounds like the sort of mildly oddball classic that even unadventurous eaters enjoy. If they’re doing it right, leadoff item Urban Cowboy is right in my wheelhouse, a lime-marinated steak and pepperjack sandwich.

A salad with berries, pecans, and feta? Sign me up. “The Down Home” is sliced smoked turkey and pineapple ham, hot cheddar pasta, broccoli salad, and a warm orange roll. That’s a clever plate of food on paper, slightly reminiscent of holidays but with a few mild twists, all roughly if not squarely in the Southern tradition. Cheddar and pasta . . . pasta and a citrus glazed sweet roll? You know what—Yes. Bring it here. Bring all that.

Peanut butter and marshmallow fluff on white bread will surely incite the kids to raise their voices. I probably did the same when I read it aloud. 

Urban Cookhouse is growing so they must be doing something right, especially in their prime locations. Their menu is what I might call easy-quirky, safe but not boring, and in fact has a few things on offer I’ve not quite heard of before. Hoping to soon get a chance to taste a few of their accessible, yet intriguing plates . . . y’know, just to make sure they’re doing it right. Until then, color me curious.

By: Stephen Locke

Stephen Locke grew up in north Alabama, and returned to find a beautiful wife and East Limestone mutt to call family, after years of toil and revelry afar, and having absorbed the lesson, "Don'tcha think, sometime's it's wise not to grow up?" His true loves include waterfalls, houseplants, architecture, photography, basketball, and whistling along to his favorite guitar solos.

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