A Woodlawn native for over a decade, Armand Margjeka opened Woodlawn Cycle Cafe in 2016. His goal: to bring good, locally-sourced food to his community.
The restaurant is beautiful: open with lots of natural light and minimal, modern details. The bar serves coffee, beer, and wine. A few details hint at the decorator’s sense of humor. (Check out the clothing-clad animal dolls near the front case.)
Cold brew is strong but not kick-you-off-your-seat strong. Turmeric ginger tea is worth a re-order. It’s slightly sweet from the ginger and a little spicy: so refreshing, especially on a hot Birmingham day.
The menu is minimal, everything thoughtful and well-crafted. Eggs and greens are simple, brimming with flavor. Fresh greens create the base, followed by grilled slivers of endive that are slightly warm and salty. On top is dressing made with black garlic, anchovies, and egg yolk. A sprinkle of Parmesan and an over-easy egg provide the finishing touch.
The cycle breakfast bowl is for hungry cyclists. Bright yellow McEwen & Sons grits are topped with melty white cheddar. Its scrambled eggs are soft and well-seasoned. Fresh tomatoes and wilted greens keep it bright. And sliced Conecuh sausage adds a hint of maple. We added a sweet potato biscuit with strawberry jam. It’s got all the right textures: a little gooey inside, with flaky layers that soak up the butter and jam.
Earl Grey loaf is intriguing, but disappointing. The texture is there, but it’s too sweet. This is the only thing we don’t devour entirely.
Woodlawn Cycle Cafe has sold bicycle gear and has been known to do one-off repairs as needed, but it is not a cyclists-only cafe. Friends gather for delicious food; readers dig into their books; and families stop in to refuel.