I was THRILLED that when I signed up to become a blogger for Birmingham Restaurant Week, I discovered that Ted’s was still open on the list to review.  😀  Beba & Tasos Touloupis, the owners, are like a second family to me since their restaurant is right across the street from my dad’s shop on 3rd & 12th South.  Tasos and my dad also play poker together frequently with a long-standing group of friends.

As part of my “review”, my coworker Jennifer Foster (who we call JFo) and I headed down for a Friday lunch to test out the goods.  My original intention for reviewing restaurants was to talk about healthy options, but that quickly took a back seat to southern goodness.  It’s not that you can’t eat healthy at Ted’s, because you certainly can, it’s just that most of their food is meant to be heartwarming comfort.  So JFo and I went to town.  I selected a veggie plate with sweet potatoes, green beans, squash casserole (OMG) and mashed potatoes.  I know, a lot of potatoes.  JFo got the fried chicken, fried okra, mashed potatoes & squash casserole.  And it was heavenly.  Did I mention the banana pudding?  That was also to die for.  It’s hard to go wrong with anything on their menu.

Even beyond the good food, the experience of eating at Ted’s is one you must have if you live in the Birmingham area (or happen to be passing through).  When you first pull up to the parking lot, you are greeted by this fantastic old vintage sign that’s been there for almost 40 years.  This is the first clue that you’ve picked an amazing “meat & 3”.  Once you walk into the building, you are immediately hit with the smell of cornbread.  At this point, your mouth is really watering.  (BTW – my mom recommends the kracklin’ cornbread, which you have to specifically ask for.)  Then comes the hard part – picking out what you are going to eat.   When you are actually staring at all of the glorious food right in front of your face, it’s hard to make quick decisions.  But you just have to go with your gut.  There seems to be a perfect flow with seating, as they always seem full… but when you go to sit a table always magically appears.  The wait staff is kind and helpful, never a bad experience.  You will always see either Tasos or Beba there (or both), either running the food line or working the register.  Eating at Ted’s is like eating at your grandmother’s home for Sunday dinner.

With all that being said, I’ve left out one of the coolest facts – that Tasos & Beba are Greek.  So along with the usual southern meat & 3 options that you normally see, you also get plenty of Greek delights like pastitsio and souvlakia. Click here to view a full menu.  

Thanks Beba for answering the questions below about your beloved restaurant! 

What is the story of Ted’s?
Ted’s opened in 1973. Ted & Litsa Sarris were the originals owners. Ted’s had already been in business & had a successful following when we bought the restaurant in 2000. Mr. Ted worked with us for 3 months to make sure we followed his recipes & tradition of good southern food. We have tweaked very few recipes and added a some new ones, but we were fortunate to continue Mr. Ted’s tradition!

What your favorite items on the menu?
Our favorite is the Greek Souvlakia & Beef Tips. The kids love our homemade mac & cheese & fried tenders (new to menu).

Can you tell me a little about your family background?
Tasos is from Greece & all his family is still there. He grew up with lots of great food and life revolved around eating & family gatherings. My mom was from Greece & all dad’s family is from Greece. We still have family there. Food & family is very important for Greeks & very much so in our family. Could explain why Greeks are so successful in the restaurant business…we love good food & treat our customers like family. We have so many regular customers that have eaten with us over the years. The Greek & Southern traditions and hospitality are such a perfect union! I think once you really experience Ted’s and become part of the family, it is not just about the food, but the relationships & connections we have made with each other. We truly appreciate all of our customers and want them to feel welcomed when they are at Ted’s!

When are your busiest times?
The busiest time for Ted’s is lunch….from 11:15- 1:00. We have a great lunch time crowd. We are consistent throughout the week.

What made you want to participate in Birmingham Restaurant Week?
We are excited to be apart of Restaurant Week because we feel this will help to us find new customers. (If you can believe there are people in Birmingham that do not know about Ted’s!)  We have also been working on a social media presence. We love to hear from our customers.

Anything else you’d like to say?
We are looking forward to many more years serving Birmingham and looking forward to making many new customers & friends along the way!

Ted's famous Birmingham sign.

Me & Tasos

Birmingham Restaurant Week Specials

Green beans, squash casserole, sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes... followed by some banana pudding. 🙂

Ted's Restaurant