More Good Eats in Lower Alabama
Summerdale, AL - Events of Friday, June 6 to Tuesday, June 10, 2014
On Friday, we drove down to Foley, AL to do a little shopping in the Tanger Outlets located there. Paul needed new tennis shoes, Margery needed new sandals, and she also wanted to look for some summer tops. After a successful shopping trip, we stopped at the Shrimp Basket in Foley for lupper on our way back to Rainbow Plantation.
Shrimp Basket has about a dozen locations in Alabama, half a dozen in the Florida panhandle and one in Mississippi. They specialize in seafood of all types. They have dinners for around $11 to $14, sandwiches for around $7 to $11, and fried seafood baskets that include slaw and an additional side for $10 to $13.
We both had fried clam strip baskets with slaw and potato salad for our sides. The slaw is great because it has tiny shrimp in it, and so is the potato salad because it is made with bacon and sour cream.
We must be spoiled by the outstanding clam strips we had at the Ipswitch Clambake Company in Massechusetts last summer and the ones we get at Anna Maria Oyster Bar in the Bradenton, FL area that are almost as good because we weren't very impressed this time by the ones at the Shrimp Basket. They were sweet, but they were very chewy. In our opinion, the batter coating was also a little too thick.
Except for doing our weekly cleaning chores on Saturday morning and going to church on Sunday morning, we relaxed over the weekend. On Monday, we went to Big Daddy's Grill in the late afternoon for lupper. Big Daddy's is located only a few minutes from Rainbow Plantation right on the Fish River.
Big Daddy's has indoor and outdoor seating. Even though it was 91º outside, we chose to eat out on the deck because the deck is nice and shady. There is a good view of the river from their deck, and there was a pleasant breeze coming off the water.
There are several lunch specials that are served until 4:00 that include burgers, selected sandwiches and selected baskets. The prices are generally $2 to $3 lower than for the same menu items after 4:00, although the lunch portions are a little smaller. For example, the shrimp basket has 12 shrimp for dinner and only 10 for lunch.
We both had Philly cheese steak sandwiches that included a choice of regular fries, sweet potato fries or onion rings and a drink for $9. Margery had onion rings as usual, and Paul had sweet potato fries.
We love the cheese steak sandwiches at Big Daddy's. The steak is nice and tender and full of flavor, there are the right amount of onions and peppers, and the whole thing is smothered with cheese. Yum! The sweet potato fries are also outstanding. They always seem to be extra sweet, and they are crunchy outside while remaining soft inside.
With us being down to our last couple of days in Lower Alabama and with a partly sunny day in the forecast, we headed out sightseeing on Tuesday. We'll tell you all about the sightseeing in our next post; but while we're on the subject of good eats in this post, we want to tell you about our stop for a late lunch after sightseeing at The Gulf restaurant.
The Gulf is located to the south of Summerdale in Orange Beach, AL. It is at the western end of the bridge on State Route 182 that goes to Perdido Key. The restaurant doesn't have a website, but they do have a Facebook page.
The Gulf is constructed from stacked shipping containers. There used to be 4 of them, but this year, they have added several more that can be seen to the right in the photo below. In the new containers are a gift shop and more rest rooms.
The Gulf has all outdoor seating at picnic tables scattered on the lawn and beach, which means they aren't open in inclement weather. There are also wicker-style outdoor lounge chairs and sofas on the beach.
When we were there this time, they were in the process of installing new unbrellas over the tables. The new umbrellas can be seen to the left and in the center of the photo below. Not only do they provide better shade coverage than the small, patio umbrellas they used to have, but they will also provide some protection during light rain.
The two menu items that most people seem to order at The Gulf are burgers for $7.50 (blue, cheddar or American cheese is $1.50 extra) and fried grouper sandwiches for $12. They also have a couple of other entrees that go for around $16. Hand-cut fries are $4 for a large order.
We both had burgers, and we split an order of fries. Margery had blue cheese on her burger, and Paul had American.
The prices at The Gulf are on the high side, but the food is excellent. The burgers are juicy and flavorful, and the fries are some of the best we have ever had. They are crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, and perfectly salted.
The other thing you have to remember about The Gulf is you are also paying for the atmosphere. Going there is like going on a mini vacation to a tropical island. There are palm trees everywhere, and you can lounge on a beautiful white sand beach and watch the boats go by.
It usually isn't too crowded at The Gulf in mid afternoon. The lunch crowd has gone, and the happy hour folks haven't arrived yet. Therefore, we usually linger after our late lunch for a while enjoying the atmosphere. This time, however, the breeze wind off the water was pretty strong so we didn't stay as long.
We have done a lot of eating out while staying in Summerdale. That's because we have a lot of favorite restaurants in Lower Alabama, and we were there for a shorter time than usual. In a stay of only two weeks, we managed to hit just about all of our favorites AND (joy, joy) not go above our maintenance weights.
We mentioned earlier, we stopped at The Gulf after sightseeing. We'll tell all about the sightseeing in our next post.