More Good Eats
Summerdale, AL - Events of Sunday, April 22 to Tuesday, May 1, 2012.
Margery's birthday was a week ago Sunday. To celebrate, we drove down to the Shrimp Basket in Foley for lupper. The Shrimp Basket is a chain of about a dozen restaurants in southern Alabama and in the Florida panhandle. They serve a variety of seafoods that are available steamed, grilled, blackened and fried.
The birthday girl had fried clams and Paul had fried shrimp. We both had potato salad and cole slaw for our sides.
The seafood at the Shrimp Basket is good, and it is reasonably priced. Sandwiches are $6 to $9, baskets are $9 to $14, and dinner platters are $11 to $13. There are all-you-can-eat specials for popcorn shrimp, fried fish and steamed shrimp on certain days of the week. The baskets and platters include hush puppies, slaw and a choice of potato. Not only are the entrées good, but so are the sides. The slaw has tiny shrimp in it, the new potatoes are served swimming in melted butter, and the potato salad has bacon.
Later in the evening, we enjoyed some cake we had purchased at Walmart when we stopped there on the way home from church. Some of the bakery items at Walmart are pretty good, and they have a few selections available as single servings. The slice of cake we bought was big enough for us to share.
Several days later, we had some errands to run, and we conveniently finished up in time to stop for a late lunch at L.A. Barbecue, which is located on the main highway (US 59) in Summerdale. When we first noticed L.A. Barbecue a few years ago, Paul wondered what anyone from Los Angeles would know about barbecue. However, we soon realized L.A. in their name meant Lower Alabama, not Los Angeles. Alabama isn't as well known for barbecue as North Carolina, Memphis or Kansas City; but most barbecue places in the south know how to make good pork barbecue, so we decided to give them a try.
L.A. Barbecue has sandwiches from $4 to $7, lunch platters from $6 to $8 and dinners from $9 to $13. They also have barbecue and ribs available by the pound and side dishes by the pint, quart and gallon. We both had a chopped pork lunch platter. Paul had lima beans and potato salad for his sides, and Margery had cole slaw and potato salad.
The pork had a hint of smoke, and it was moist and tender. There were bottles of sweet and tangy barbecue sauce on the tables. Paul liked the tangy, which had a little vinegar in it, and Margery liked a mixture of the sweet and the tangy. There were also several different types of sauces (including North Carolina, mustard and 4-alarm hot) available on a serving table near the order counter.
The following Monday (April 30), we had a real hankerin' for a sandwich at Panini Pete's, so we headed over to Fairhope. After a brief stop on the way at a health food store to look for some low-sugar/low-carb spaghetti sauce, Margery, who was driving, commented the car seemed a bit sluggish like the parking brake wasn't fully released. Uh, oh. That is the same symptom we had back in January when we had the problem with the front brake caliper hanging up. We stopped, and Paul got out to feel the temperature of the wheels. They were all just warm to the touch - nothing out of the ordinary, so we drove on the last few miles to Panini Pete's. On the way, we started to smell hot brakes; and when we parked, the same left front wheel that was a problem before was now noticeably warmer than the others.
Since it was after 1:00 PM, we realized time was of the essence if we wanted to try get the brake fixed before the repair garages closed for the day, so we decided to skip lunch and head for a Pep Boys repair shop a few miles away. We drove slowly to avoid overheating the brake, and we even stopped for a time to allow the brake to cool a little.
We're used to seeing Pep Boys as large auto parts stores that also have service bays. Pep Boys recently bought out Big 10 Tires in this area, so they have a bunch of locations that are service only.
To make a long story short, we drove away from Pep Boys with a new left front brake caliper, a new left front brake line, a resurfaced left front brake rotor, and a $365 charge on our Visa account.
The first time we had the brake problem when we were in Florida, the shop we stopped at there rebuilt both front calipers. The theory was the phenolic piston in the left front brake caliper had absorbed moisture from the old brake fluid. The moisture caused the piston to swell and hang up which caused the brake to drag excessively and overheat. The other front caliper was rebuilt as a precaution. Rebuilding the calipers gave us all new pistons, and bleeding the brakes got rid of the old brake fluid.
Unfortunately, there was obviously something more going on than just moisture absorption (like corrosion in the bore of the caliper where the piston rides), so replacing the entire caliper this time should resolve the problem. The other thing that can sometimes happen is the interior of the flexible brake line that goes from the frame to the wheel can delaminate and block the release of pressure in the line and cause the brake to drag. Therefore, replacing the brake line will insure that potential problem has also been eliminated.
Fortunately, we detected the problem quickly this time so no real damage was done to the brake pads or the rotor, and they didn't have to be replaced. The shop just resurfaced the rotor just in case it had been warped by the heat.
It was almost 5:30 when they finished. The repair itself didn't take long, but the shop had to wait for the parts to be delivered from the other side of Mobile, which took almost 2 hours because the parts truck was already out on another run, and they had to wait for it to get back before they could send it out with our parts.
We went back to the motor home hungry and weary, but grateful we dodged a bullet a second time with the brakes. Both times we were near a repair shop instead of out in the boondocks where we would have had to be towed in for repair. We're also grateful we were able to get parts both times so the car wasn't tied up overnight, and we're really grateful the brake didn't hang up while we were towing the car behind the motor home. If that had happened, we wouldn't have known about it and the brake could have overheated to the point where it could have started a fire.
We still had a hankerin' for a sandwich from Panini Pete's, so we gave it another try the following day with much greater success. We found a good parking spot on main street just down from the restaurant. We like the quaint, thriving downtown area of Fairhope with all its boutiques and beautiful flowers at various locations along the streets and on every corner.
We know we've shown pictures of the patio at Panini Pete's before, but this time the picture was taken by Pete himself. He happened to be walking by just as Margery was taking a picture of Paul, and he offered to take a picture of both of us.
We love going back to Panini Pete's because we know we will get a good meal every time. This was one of the best, maybe because we were all juiced up the day before and we came up short due to the problems with the car.
We both had the house-roasted turkey panini. It has mozzarella cheese (also house-made), baby greens, roasted red pepper and Dijon-garlic aioli on fresh-baked foccacia.
We have been eating out quite a bit, but we are still doing well with our low carb/low sugar diet. Paul is maintaining his target weight very well, and Margery is still loosing about half a pound or so a week.
We have about another two weeks in Summerdale. We know we'll come up with some more things to do, so look for our next post.