Bon Appetit to Birmingham’s Participating Upromise Restaurants

Upromise has been mentioned previously as a way to put money aside for college when buying from vendors you would patronize anyway.  It’s time to update the list of participating restaurants that offer you two to four percent for your Upromise account when you dine with them and pay with a Upromise registered card. Unfortunately, some old favorites have left the program but there are some new participants that are just as exciting:

Dale’s Southern Grill, Vestavia and Hoover – this is a good location for including grandparents; see the detailed description below.


Five Points Grill – Five Points Southside (that’s their kids’ menu pizza on the left)

Harry’s Place – Hoover off Hwy 31

Cafe Ciao – Mountain Brook

Billy’s Bar and Grill – Mountain Brook English Village

OT’s Sports Grill – Lakeview District

Icon – Tutwiler Hotel downtown

Jackson’s Bar and Bistro – Soho, Homewood

As a reminder, you must pay with a debit or credit card you have registered with Upromise (it can be your own bank card; it is not necessary to use a Upromise credit card) for credit.  No further action is required of you and you’ll receive an electronic statement of your Upromise balance at regular intervals.

If you’re dining out anyway, why not favor these restaurants?  You have so many options represented here: Burgers, meat and two, fine dining, working lunch. All offer you an opportunity to see a small amount of your dining purchase put away for college.  It’s easier than saving change in a jar!

Dale’s Southern Grill, Vestavia and Hoover – It’s hard not to just stop with a vegetable plate here since the selection rivals any steam table in town. The fried green tomatoes are particularly good, lightly battered and crisp, and you can choose white or dark gravy for your potatoes.  However, the entrees are also delicious with specials every day. The cornbread sticks are moist with the slightest hint of sweetness, and if you choose an oatmeal raisin muffin for your bread, you may feel like you’ve gotten dessert. BirminghamMom TipGrandparents love this place for home-style meals, and they can also register their debit or credit card with Upromise and split any earned conributions among grandchildren.

Don’t forget take out options at Dale’s. You can order ahead via phone or stop by their frozen foods case for family-size packages.


Five Points Grill – Five Points Southside – This is one of the too-few places around town where you can dine alfresco. Five Points Grill has the advantage of natural entertainment via passers-by and The Storyteller Fountain. The kids’ pizza is huge and freshly prepared (kids may not appreciate the fresh basil as much as you), and the kids’ burger is worthy of an adult appetite.

Harry’s Place – Hoover off Hwy 31 – Speaking of burgers, Harry’s has one of the best of the big burgers that must be eaten with a fork.  The prices are reasonable and the dining area fills up during the week with local corporate types on their lunch break.

Cafe Ciao – Mountain Brook – Comfortable Italian with salads, wings and sandwiches thrown in. Patio dining availble in cozy English Village.

Billy’s Bar and Grill – Mountain Brook English Village –  This is the longstanding neighborhood pub of choice for English Village, having held its own for 30 years.  The menu has the sandwiches, salads, and burgers you would expect but also a typical kids’ menu.  Live entertainment regularly.

OT’s Sports Grill – Lakeview District – OT’s has a lunch persona wth a meat and two for less than $7, then shifts into evening mode with a dinner menu of steak, pork chops, and salads.  OT’s has been a lively part of the Lakeview District for years now; not so much a kid place, but great for grown ups to grab a bite.

Icon – Tutwiler Hotel downtown – Icon is in the fine dining category, with kobe beef and inventive presentation.  It’s not for the kids, but a 2% Upromise rebate certainly adds up faster here.  If you’d like a sophisticated date night in a landmark Birmingham hotel, head to Icon and figure the college savings is just an added benefit.

Jackson’s Bar and Bistro – Soho, Homewood – I haven’t had the pleasure of eating at Jackson’s but have heard good things. More once I’ve tried it (would welcome any of your comments or feedback on this one, through the site or )