Summerdale, AL - Events of Monday, October 24 to Sunday, October 30, 2016
After going out to eat on Friday, which was the day we first arrived in Lower Alabama, we worked on some computer problems over the weekend. Then on Monday afternoon, we headed to Panini Pete's in Fairhope for a late lunch. We love to go on a nice day so we can eat outside in the courtyard.
Outdoor seating at Panini Pete's in the courtyard
We both had our favorite paninis - house-roasted turkey on foccacia with baby greens, roasted red pepper, Dijon, garlic aioli, and house-made mozzarella. Turkey paninis are $8.50 and include one side. Margery had shoestring fries, and Paul had lentil salad.
After our yummy lunch, we took the long way back to the campground like we usually do past the fancy homes along the eastern shore of Mobile Bay. On Tuesday, we ran up to Spanish Fort to Sam's Club and worked on our computer problem some more when we got back.
Big Daddy's Grill is another of our favorite restaurants in Lower Alabama, and we headed there on Wednesday. Big Daddy's in located on the banks of the Fish River and it's another place we like to go on a nice day so we can sit outside on the deck overlooking the river.
Big Daddy's (view from the river side)
We both had the Wednesday lunch special (good until 4:00), which is a Philly cheese steak with one side and a soft drink for $7. The regular price is $10 without the drink. As usual, Margery had onion rings for her side, and Paul had sweet potato fries.
On Friday, we drove south to The Gulf Restaurant in Orange Beach. The Gulf is located right along Perdido Pass (the channel through which the Perdido River flows into the Gulf of Mexico). The restaurant is constructed from stacked shipping containers. All seating is outdoors, so they will likely be closed if it is a rainy day.
The Gulf always has burgers ($7.75) and fried grouper sandwiches ($12.75) on the menu, and they usually have one or two other sandwiches ($8 to $13), a couple of large salads (up to $17) and one or two kinds of fish (up to $17). In the past, we have always gotten burgers, but this time we decided to try the fried grouper sandwich. The fish was extra-crispy on the outside and moist and tender on the inside. The sandwiches are served with lettuce, tomato and lemon-dill sauce. They were huge, and they were delicious.
We love the atmosphere at The Gulf because it is very beachy. They have picnic tables for eating and faux wicker furniture on the beach for lounging. It feels like you're on a tropical island.
After we eat, we usually like to hang around a while and soak up the atmosphere. We took a walk down by the seawall to watch the boats going in and out, and we noticed bunches of jellyfish swimming by. Most of them were sea nettles, but there were also a couple of moon jellyfish. We didn't get a good picture of a moon jelly because not only are they more translucent and harder to see, they seemed to be staying farther below the surface so the camera's auto-focus couldn't zero in on them very well.
We eventually headed back to Rainbow Plantation to relax with an evening of TV.
On Saturday morning, we did our weekly cleaning chores, then drove down to Bon Secour to Aquila Seafood to get some fresh shrimp for the freezer.
Aquila always has several sizes of shrimp to pick from, and they usually also have several kinds of fish and sometimes crabs and oysters depending on the season.
After we got our shrimp and put it into the cooler in the truck, we walked around back to look at the boats docked there like we usually do. This time, they were in the process of unloading shrimp from a boat. They were hoisting shrimp up from the hold of the boat in a metal basket and dumping them into a hopper on the end of a pipe that ran along the dock.
Seawater pumped through the pipe gently washes the shrimp to a hopper inside a small shed.
The shrimp are then carried from the hopper by a conveyor into the building for cleaning and processing.
After watching the fishermen unload for a while, we headed back to the truck and back to Rainbow Plantation. We then cleaned and vacuum-bagged our shrimp and put them into the freezer.
Margery has been hungry for a burger, and since we had grouper sandwiches when we went to The Gulf instead of burgers like we usually do, we decided to go to lupper at Big Daddy's on Saturday afternoon for burgers because we knew theirs are excellent. As usual, Margery had onion rings and Paul had sweet potato fries.
With our stay in Lower Alabama drawing to a close, we had managed to hit our top favorite restaurants, but we still hadn't had all our favorite foods. On Sunday morning, we headed back to Panini Pete's in Fairhope for beignets. We love their beignets because they are served with lemon, which when squeezed over the beignets combines with the powdered sugar to create a delicious lemonade flavor.
For all the years we have been visiting Lower Alabama, our favorite restaurants have been consistently excellent...just like we remember from our last visit. You might expect that from a corporate restaurant, but to experience that consistency in local restaurants is worth every mile we go for our return visits.
After our beignets, we stopped at Walmart to get a couple of grocery items before we hit the road. Back at Rainbow Plantation, we did a few pre-departure chores then relaxed the rest of the day. We'll tell you about our journey in our next post.