More Good Food
Fairhope, AL - Events of Monday, October 19 to Wednesday, October 21, 2015
When we said we had more favorite things to eat in Lower Alabama than just about anywhere else we weren't kidding. We had hit quite a few of our favorites already, but we still had a few more to go.
On Monday, we needed to make a stop at the post office. Since the closest post office to Coastal Haven RV Park where we are staying is in downtown Fairhope only a couple of blocks from Panini Pete's, we timed the run to the post office for mid afternoon so we could stop at Panini Pete's afterward for a late lunch. We had already been to Panini Pete's for beignets for breakfast, but we hadn't yet been there for lunch. Since it was a nice day, we ate out on the patio.
Margery texted a photo of our pleasant surroundings to Lora while we were waiting for our lunches to arrive.
We both had our favorite - house-roasted turkey paninis with baby greens, Dijon, garlic aioli and house-made mozzarella for $8. The paninis include a side of either house-made potato chips, shoestring fries or pasta salad. We both had shoestring fries. Yum!
After lunch, we headed back to the 5th wheel to relax for the rest of the afternoon and evening.
This blog post is primarily about good food, and we recently acquired a whole array of new favorite foods like smoked pork shoulder, beef brisket, meatloaf, shrimp and turkey breast when we bought a Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker last summer. We already used the smoker twice since we have been in Lower Alabama (once for shrimp and once for a turkey breast), and we were hungry again for something smoked. Therefore, we fired up the Weber again on Tuesday to smoke a meatloaf.
The first time we smoked meatloaf, we followed a recipe we found online and used half ground beef and half breakfast sausage. It was delicious. This time, however, we decided to try a variation of that recipe and used half ground beef and half hot Italian sausage. The second meatloaf turned out even better than the first.
We have been having some very nice weather here in Lower Alabama, but the forecast was calling for some increasing clouds for a couple of days followed by a couple more days with clouds and a pretty good chance of rain. Therefore, we decided to take advantage of what might be the last nice day for a while and go to The Gulf Restaurant down in Orange Beach, AL.
We left a little early and made a couple of stops along the way including one at Gulf State Park Fishing Pier to check out the beach. Gulf State Park lies between Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.
The sun was warm, but the air was a little cool, especially with the stiff breeze that was blowing so there were only a few people sitting and walking on the beach. With the fairly rough surf there were a couple of surfers but no one was swimming.
View looking east toward Orange Beach
There is a charge of $3 per person to fish from the pier, or to just walk out on the pier. Since it was getting late and we were hungry, we skipped walking the pier and headed east to The Gulf.
The Gulf is a unique restaurant constructed from stacked shipping containers. All seating is outdoors. When we were there last fall, they had brought in more shipping containers and tables. The expansion, which is now complete, includes a new raw bar and taco kitchen that are only open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The the photo below shows the restaurant from the parking lot with the new section to the right.
The next photo shows the restaurant from the beach side.
The Gulf always has burgers ($7.75) and grouper sandwiches ($12.25) on the menu along with a mixed green salad ($5). There are also a couple of special items on the menu, usually seafood, that run $14 to $17 or $18. We both had burgers, and we split an order of fries ($4). Margery had blue cheese on her burger, and Paul had American ($1.50 extra for cheese).
The food is a little expensive, but it is excellent. You are also paying for the atmosphere, which makes you feel like you're on on a mini-vacation to a tropical island.
After we ate, we got refills for our soft drinks (free) and hung out around the beach area a while. In addition to the faux-wicker and plastic beach chairs, they have some unique chairs and benches made from reclaimed materials. The bench Paul is sitting on in the photo below is made from an old boat.
It was getting late so we finally headed back the the 5th wheel. With clouds and a chance of rain in the forecast for the following few days, we didn't have any firm plans. We'll have have to wait and see what pops up.