Okay, wanderboomer gals. Let’s eat!
After dropping off bags at your Gulf Shores lodging, it’s time to sample a few of the “100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama before You Die.” But why not make your food outing an adventure? Here’s how to kick your mealtimes up a notch:
1) Cheer on your favorite team at The Compleat Angler Seafood Grille and Bar.
Don’t be surprised to spot owner/Head Fry Cook Bob Baumhower greeting guests while overseeing the details of his legendary establishment. Football fans will recognize Baumhower’s name from his days of playing college football at the University of Alabama before moving on to pro-ball for the Miami Dolphins.
Come here for the “casual sports scene with a strong Southern twist.” We loved the island spirit hospitality, tasty seafood gumbo, Bob’s 100% fresh beef burgers and fried bananas pudding. Oh, yeah.
2) Visit a cultural icon.
That’s how locals describe the Flora-Bama Lounge and Oyster Bar (so-named because of its strategic location on the Alabama and Florida state lines in Perdido Key) and also known as “the last great American roadhouse.” We were lucky enough to visit during the annual Frank Brown International Songwriter’s Festival, but “The Bama” features music 365 days a year.
Order the award-winning Bushwacker (described as “a chocolate milkshake with a kick”), settle back and enjoy the music, or get up and dance the night away.
3) Learn how to make your own sushi.
Southern hospitality shines at the upscale Zen Restaurant, where award-winning Chef Brody Olive oversees a master staff specializing in Asian fusion cuisine. The open kitchen allows dining patrons to watch the staff create appetizers like the Crawfish and Chorizo Wantons or the Hoisin Barbeque Baby Back Ribs. If you’re up for learning how to make your own sushi, for an additional fee of $20.00 – $30.00 with reservations, you can discover your inner-chef with dishes like the Oyster’s Rockefeller or Curry Hawaiian roll.
Be sure, too, to taste one of the signature handcrafted cocktails like the Zenlicious (orange vodka, Malibu pineapple and cranberry juice) for the complete Zen experience.
4) Hire a Chef.
If you’d prefer to stay in rather than dine out after a day of play in Gulf Shores, Chef Chris Sherrill offers an outstanding alternative with Staycations Catering. As one of 8 Gulf-area chefs to participate in events for the U.S. Olympic team during the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Chef Chris Sherrill knows how to feed a hungry crowd. He’ll even go the extra mile, like heading out to catch flounder himself at 2:00 – in the morning – to create the perfect dish for his customers.
5) Splurge on dessert.
Gourmet cheesecake lovers will want to sample every single one of Hope’s Cheescakes, I kid you not. Not only are they made with the finest ingredients like Kraft Philadelphia cream cheese, fresh whole eggs, pure cane sugar, fresh lemon juice, and luscious chocolates and liqueurs, but each is a visual work of art. In case you do want to sample more than one delectable piece, the bakery offers bite-size cheesecakes as well. With flavors like Pecan Praline, Chocolate Kahlua, Key Lime and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, how can you go wrong?
What’s your favorite fun food experience, wanderboomers?