top of page


Stop for





If you’re not familiar with Homewood, it borders the south side of downtown Birmingham as well as Mountain Brook.  It has neighborhoods of old houses that have been renovated and modernized, perfect for young families and it attracts them in mass.  It’s common to see moms and dads pushing their babies in strollers down the tree covered sidewalks or chatting while their youngsters play together at the park.  It’s all very charming and sort of idyllic.

The development of the SoHo district in downtown Homewood has played a big part in that.  Outdated properties were razed to build a town square with municipal offices, condos, hotels, and very trendy restaurants.  It’s a hot spot for modern cuisine, farm to plate, and old school dives.  It’s an eclectic mix that is vibrant, energetic, and hip; and in the middle of it all is Demetri’s.

Demetri’s started as a barbecue stand in the ‘60s.  As Homewood grew and changed, Demetri’s reinvented itself to fit in with the somewhat posh clientele while still feeling rustic and warm.  The entire space is a tribute to Homewood as it’s full of historic black and white photos, including one of a car crashing into the building in the 1970’s, prompting an extension on the west wing.  The place was lively and full of conversation.  During my lunch visit there were lots of young professionals as well as retirees, all stylishly dressed for their public appearance and genuine, friendly interactions with neighbors.  The owner of Demetri’s sat in the dining room and shot the breeze with a friend for an hour, then volunteered to take a picture for a group attempting a selfie.  Everything about it reflects the neighborhood; friendly and professional, hip and historic.

While I’m writing about Demetri’s as a barbecue joint, the menu features way more than that.  There are daily specials and unique side items such as wood fired veggies and okra where the entire pod is fried, the presentation of which attracts plenty of attention.  My meal featured the chopped pork, also available sliced, with baked beans.  I got the mac n cheese as my second side and was then presented with an interesting choice of bread, a giant hush puppy.  I snatched that up and loved it.  It was beautifully brown and crispy on the outside and had a soft texture on the inside.  It’s easy to dry out cornbread but this ball of goodness had lots of corn flavor and beautiful textures.

The chop on the pork was fairly fine and had a nice color.  It was soft with a gentle pork flavor.  There was something very homey about it.  It comes topped with a simple tomato-based sauce with very little spice.  It’s not nearly as complex as most sauces I’ve had so it’s a good option if bold flavors aren’t your thing.  The baked beans were also very mild, tender, sweet, and meaty with a strong onion flavor.  My palette is not very advanced so I may be wrong but I think they added a lot of sauteed onion to the pot.  The onion flavor isn’t sharp like a raw onion on a hamburger.  It’s definitely stewed into the mix but is forward in the flavor profile.

For me the star of the meal was the mac n cheese.  It was composed with a spiral noodle and the cook on it gave a firm, chewy feel.  I love pasta done that way.  The sauce was beautifully rich and creamy.  Some bites pulled like lifting a pizza slice from the pie, all stringy and gooey.  Most importantly, cheese was the front and center flavor.  I couldn’t pick out exactly what cheese was used but there was a smokey note.  Maybe it was Gouda or Havarti, but it was definitely something more exotic than cheddar or Velveeta.  It’s an adventurous take on a classic that packs serious flavor.

Demetri’s has to be experienced.  It’s so much more than just a barbecue joint.  I could pontificate for paragraphs and still not accurately describe the experience.  I’m not the only one aware of it as the little parking lot is always packed.  If the front lot is full don’t worry, there’s plenty of parking in the main SoHo lot just a one block away.  Lots of unique menu items, intentional décor, and top-notch service.  I hear they serve a mean breakfast too.

Bonus points for:

Coke products

Sauce on the table

TV with sports

bottom of page