Kristen Farmer Hall and Victor King aren’t new to Birmingham’s culinary scene, but they have brought a new project to the Loft District. The chief Baking Bandit and Tomatoes & Grits chef have officially joined forces, providing breakfast, lunch, and Saturday brunch in the former 2nd Row Studio space at 24th Street and 2nd Avenue North. We checked in during Feast & Forest’s sneak peek and have this to say as our best endorsement: We’re already plotting our next visit.
Feast & Forest’s space capitalizes on the Loft District’s industrial feel, with walls of exposed brick and plaster remnants. There’s even an actual lofted space — accessed via spiral staircase — for future additional seating. Bright yellow bistro sets for sidewalk dining, and salvaged wood tables complement the food’s crafted charm.
So far we’ve tried a grits bowl with conecuh sausage, rustic tomato sauce, and fresh italian parsley, topped off with a perfectly poached egg. It was lovely and filling but with “real food” satisfaction rather than an overly rich brunch feel. Like having breakfast at a friend’s house, if that friend also happens to serve relaxed food in a stylish loft space.
Then there are the baked goods. We resisted the real temptation of shortbread options in favor of a dark chocolate sea salt cookie. It was fresh out of the oven, and we frankly lacked the self-control to photograph it before digging in. (Below is what it looked like once we came up for air.) It was chewy enough to make all our cookie dreams come true, and we feel safe in saying you’ll want one, too.
Feast & Forest’s Instagram feed will have you convinced of that, though. Their visual style — basics with an artist’s touch — is a pretty truthful reflection of the food you can expect. A warning, though: Their pictures are very hard to resist. But we’ve deemed it worth it to keep abreast of cookie happy hours.
So feast, y’all. And let us know what else we have to try.