America’s best restaurant – Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, Alabama

Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, Alabama - photo by Rob McFarland

Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, Alabama – photo by Rob McFarland

Traveller, Sun-Herald, Australia – Nov 18, 2018

According to the James Beard Awards, the prestigious annual celebration of America’s culinary excellence, the US’s best restaurant is not in the gourmet capitals of New York, Chicago or LA, it is in – are you ready? – Birmingham, Alabama.

In May, the awards declared Highlands Bar & Grill to be America’s most Outstanding Restaurant of 2018. It named the restaurant’s pastry chef, Dolester Miles, the best in the country, too.

If you’re tempted to dismiss this as a fluke, think again. Highlands has been a finalist an astonishing nine times. Clearly, they’re doing a lot of things right.

Read the rest of this story here.

Advertisements

Unclaimed Baggage Centre in Scottsboro, Alabama

Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama - photo by Rob McFarland

Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama – photo by Rob McFarland

Traveller, Sydney Morning Herald, Australia – Oct 27, 2018

Thanks to advances in bag-tracking technology, the amount of checked luggage that fails to reach its destination is now less than half a per cent. But given airlines carried more than four billion bags last year, that still means more than 20 million bags went unclaimed. What happened to them? Where did they end up? The unexpected answer is Scottsboro, Alabama.

Located 165 kilometres northeast of Birmingham, the sleepy town of Scottsboro is home to the only store in the US that buys and sells unclaimed luggage. Every day thousands of bags arrive at the Unclaimed Baggage Centre to be inspected and sorted. Clothes deemed worthy of sale are cleaned in the state’s largest dry-cleaning facility (it launders 50,000 items a month) and all electronic items are tested and wiped of data. About 7000 good-as-new items are transferred daily to the centre’s nearby retail store, which covers an entire city block.

Read the rest of this story here.