Birmingham, Alabama was built around the iron industry in the 19th century. Today, a gigantic Vulcan stands watch over a multi-faceted town, with a variety of ‘burbs’ with distinct personalities, like Mountain Brook and Soho. And in Colonial Brookwood Village is an upscale shopping and dining plaza, where you will find Cocina Superior restaurant, where they serve ‘new’ Tex-Mex cuisine, in addition to traditional Tex-Mex favorites.
Tastes Like Travels first trip to Cocina Superior, in 2009, is when we discovered Avocado balls – ripe avocados filled with crab meat and pieces of shrimp, covered in Panko breading, deep fried and served on a sea of jalepeno spiked avocado cream. It became our new favorite comfort food immediately. Every trip back to B’ham has included a trip to Cocina for another serving.
However, on this trip, December 2011, the serving size has decreased and the filling was out to lunch. We could only find one piece of shrimp and there was no crab meat to be found. And the cream seemed a bit hotter than we remembered.
Lunch was saved by the wonderfully decadent roasted oysters. A dozen arrived at our table with cheese bubbling and toasted bread still warm. Topped with a combination of Parmesan and other white cheeses, fresh parsley and garlic, the oysters were fresh and plump. The roasted pico salsa that accompanied the dish was a refreshing counterpoint to the cheeses.
Our margarita was deliciously fresh tasting and the white wine a nice Sauvignon Blanc from a decent, though small, wine list. And the true test of any Tex-Mex restaurant, the chips and salsa, Cocina passes easily. Chips were thin, fresh and warm, and the salsa satisfying. The food and drink prices are reasonable, and the service was pleasant. The airy atmosphere and modern decor with patio seating in just about any weather make Cocina Superior a superior place to dine anytime.