There is much to enjoy here on the north coast of the Gulf of Mexico. This is beautiful country. I had been to this area as a child and later as a teenager but was not attentive enough to realize just how stunning it is down here. This is farm country. This is often overlooked because of the Gulf itself. Even though I grew up in the city I spent a lot of time on my grandparent’s farm. From the time I was eleven until I went off to college, I had horses, having bought my first mare when I was only eleven. I was my aspiration to become a farmer after high school. So, I love farms and there are so many here. One feature of the area is the great number of pecan groves. There are turf farms, cotton farms, and horse farms. Crops are plentiful, I have seen wheat, cotton, corn, beans, citrus, nuts and so many others.

But the most stunning feature of the area is the Gulf. There are miles of some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Everything that comes with a coastal area are present here in abundance. From my point of view the best part of the Gulf is not the beach but what comes out of the Gulf waters. Seafood! Oh, the seafood here is plentiful and truly a foretaste of Glory divine! So, for the remainder of this blog post let me tell you about many of the seafood restaurants in the area. (Please note we visited all of these restaurants prior to the Corona Virus lock down)

These are roughly in chronological order of our visits. Let’s get started with DeSoto’s Seafood Kitchen. We had lunch at DeSoto’s. Located just about a block from the Gulf this restaurant is a favorite in Gulf Shores. For fourteen years in a row it has been voted best lunch and dinner in Gulf Shores. This down-home restaurant has been around for a while. The décor is dated but don’t let that fool you the food was great as was the service.

The Fish River Grill has four locations in the area. The refer to themselves as a “Funky, Junky, Redneck Joint.” The original location is a very small dive of a joint just a few miles from where we are parked. We have visited the Fish River Grill #2 located in Gulf Shores twice. One of the things that makes them different is their Swamp Soup. Every order comes with a side of this odd looking but delicious concoction. I have to say that this is one of my favorite restaurants we have visited. I am especially fond of their shrimp and catfish. They also have the best hushpuppies I have had in any of the restaurants in the area.

Big Daddy’s Grill is located right on the Fish River and is only about a half mile from the original Fish River Grill. Here’s how they describe themselves: “Big Daddy’s Grill takes laid-back dining to a new level! We’re just a very casual family restaurant on beautiful Fish River in Fairhope, Alabama, serving great food with a side of authentic Southern hospitality.” Big Daddy’s offers much more than seafood. Their burgers are excellent. Their seafood is also very good. Because it is very convenient, we have visited here a few times. The food has always been good but the service is a bit inconsistent.

Cosmo’s is a more eclectic place located in Orange Beach. It is more contemporary and offers a different spin on traditional southern seafood dishes. I had the crab cakes and while good they were not as good as I have had in other places.

Kravers Seafood in Daphne has great gumbo. Like most of the seafood places we have visited it has a down home feel to it. We were a pretty large group the day we went. There were about ten of us. The service was quite good as was the food.

Wolf Bay Lodge was probably the largest place we visited. It has been in business since 1973. Your meal comes with a trip to the salad bar. We visited the Foley location and enjoyed it very much. I had a seafood combination, which was my most common order wherever we were, and the potions were large and tasty.

David’s Catfish House was one of out favorites. Their coleslaw is the best I have ever eaten. Honestly, it’s worth a visit here. Located in Spanish Fort they are best known for their catfish dinners as the name implies. The fish is great! If you like catfish, and why wouldn’t you, you will love this place.

Doc’s Seafood Shack has been voted one of the top 10 seafood shacks in America. They claim to have “the best shrimp in the entire civilized world.” While it was plentiful and quite good, I prefer the shrimp at Fish River Grill. Doc’s is worth a visit.

The Original Oyster House located in Gulf Shores was one of the best values we received. We had a choice between a fish dinner or shrimp dinner for around ten dollars, or we could have both for about two dollars more. The atmosphere was fun. The food was good as was the service.

Sea N Suds has by far the best location of any of the restaurants we have visited. It is elevated above the sugar white sands of Gulf Shores and is only a few feet from the gulf waters. Sitting on the deck you have a remarkable view of the Gulf of Mexico. This cozy restaurant is known for its fresh seafood. The food was almost as good as the view.

The Lighthouse Seafood Restaurant in Bayou La Batre is a Wiley family favorite. It’s about an hour drive from Summerdale. Bayou La Batre is the seafood capitol of Alabama. Every day fleets of commercial fishermen sail out into the gulf to collect shrimp, oysters, and crabs from the rich waters. So, when you have seafood here it may have been caught that very morning. The Lighthouse is known for their crab claws. We had never had crab claws and I must say we were really missing out. These little beauties really are a foretaste of glory divine! They are literally what the claim to be. These claws are breaded and deep fried. You give them a little squeeze and suck out the crab meat and you are transported to the Wedding Supper of the Lamb! Mm good. Our dinners we good as well as the service. It is worth the drive to take in this treasure.

Finally let me mention Tacky Jack’s. This is a tourist’s favorite. It is located on the inter coastal waterway in Gulf Shores. This was a very enjoyable experience. We traveled to Tacky Jack’s by boat and docked right at the restaurant. Our table overlooked to water. It was a warm evening and we ate on an outside deck. This was especially enjoyable. The food was good but certainly not the best we have had. But the overall experience was top notch.

Seafood in the south is most often fried. As we have said, shrimp, crabs, and oysters are fresh from the Gulf. Some fish like redfish, grouper, and flounder also come fresh from the gulf. So, there are many fresh choices. This is indeed the perfect place to enjoy fresh seafood. We have certainly enjoyed much of it while here. Seafood is the Gulf Coast’s Treasure.


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