Good Eats in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach can be found all over, so to help narrow your choices I am sharing with you six fabulous places to sink your teeth into.
Breakfast and Brunch
Brick and Spoon in Orange Beach
Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, let’s start with great places to kick off your day. The first I would like to recommend is Brick and Spoon . On the outside, the restaurant may be rather nondescript, but once you enter you will feel like you are in a hip restaurant – and that is because you are. And they serve really delicious breakfast and brunch. I ordered my first Bloody Mary and it was amazing! To place my order, I was given a Build Your Own Bloody Mary pad to use to check-off items that I wanted in my Bloody Mary. The base price was $12.50 and it included vodka, up to 7 veggies, herbs and seasonings. Meat and cheeses were also available for $0.75 each. Also, I was able to make a selection for the temperature of my drink (mild, medium, or hot) and a rimmer (plain, salted, peppered). The end result was an incredible (breakfast?) drink.
My husband ordered the Bananas Foster French Toast:Battered Brioche, Caramelized Bananas, Fosters Sauce, Pecan Pieces, House Whipped Cream & Powdered Sugar. I tried a bite (or two!) and it was heavenly.
The Ruby Slipper in Orange Beach
Located on Perdido Beach Boulevard, The Ruby Slipper brings New Orleans flair to Alabama’s Gulf Coast. They serve breakfast, brunch, and lunch and you should not leave there hungry. The photo above is the Southern Breakfast – two eggs any style, stone-ground grits, applewood-smoked bacon, buttermilk biscuit & a fried green tomato. Quite a hardy breakfast, right? Since I was at the beach, I opted for Gulf Fish ‘St. Peter’ -pan-seared Gulf fish of the day over a cheesy grit cake, topped with sautéed spinach & tomatoes, a skewer of grilled shrimp, finished with creole mustard hollandaise. (The picture below does not do it justice.)
The Ruby Slipper also serves cocktails (Brandy Milk Punch, anyone?), omelets, Benedicts, oatmeal, sandwiches, and more.
Lunch and Dinner
As a fan of the tiny house movement, I was really tickled to dine at The Gulf in Orange Beach. The Gulf is unique in that it is constructed of shipping containers and it is all outdoor dining. There are plenty of seating and lounging areas. It’s a really cool place to eat and to hang out at.
The menu at The Gulf is subject to change because the focus is on local ingredients. My family and I ordered the fried fish sandwich with French fries. It was the best fish sandwich that I have had and I recommend it to you if you like fish sandwiches. Be prepared when you go to The Gulf – it’s a popular place and long lines will form. Consider ordering a drink before getting in the line to order your food.
LuLu’s is a destination. Okay, so actually it is a restaurant, but there is a ton of fun stuff there to keep kids happy, like a playground and volleyball court. The food will keep adults happy. I had been looking forward to trying LuLu’s ever since I reviewed Lucy Buffet’s cookbook. (If you haven’t heard of Lucy Buffet, perhaps you have heard of her brother – Jimmy Buffet.)
Before going, I was told that the L.A. (Lower Alabama) Caviar was good and to order it with tortilla chips. We tried it and LOVED it! The shrimp – it is the best fried shrimp, in my opinion. (If you can’t make it to LuLu’s, then you need to get your hands on a copy of her book, LuLu’s Kitchen: A Taste of the Gulf Coast Good Life. Recipes for both the shrimp and LA Caviar are in the book. I have made both recipes and they come out great.)
LuLu’s is another hot spot in Gulf Shores. Be prepared to wait. I recommend heading over to LuLu’s website (click here) and get in line via the wait list. It’s not a reservation, but will place you in line when there is a wait.
Villaggio Grille is an upscale yet unpretentious restaurant located at The Wharf in Orange Beach. The fare is a fusion of Mediterranean and Italian cuisine.
The service at Villaggio Grille is impeccable. Guests are treated to bread and olive tapenade shortly after ordering. The food is delicious – just ask my teenager who devoured all of his Blackened Black Drum which was served with pink eye field peas, sautéed peppers & kale, and crawfish cream (pictured below). I had the special which was salmon patties and mashed potatoes. (Oh my gosh! I could not stop eating the potatoes. They were incredible.)
If you dine there in the evening, don’t miss the SPECTRA light show at The Wharf. The free shows take place on Main Street every night at 7:30, 8 and 8:30pm.
Voyagers is a cozy little restaurant located inside of Perdido Beach Resort. Customers can view the Gulf Coast while dining on fine, contemporary coastal cuisine. What really sets Voyagers apart is award-winning Chef Brody Olive. He is one of the founders of the NUISANCE Group. (NUISANCE stands for nusiance, underutilized and/or invasive that are also sustainable and available.) What that basically means is that they take items that are perfectly edible and create delicious meals out of them. I had the opportunity to speak with Chef Brody after my meal and you can see how passionate he is about his profession. That’s a winning combination for foodies!
Because the menu consists of sustainable seafood, seasonal selections, vegetables from local farms and natural and organic meats, it is not always the same, but some selections are perennial favorites, such as prime filet. (If you ask my husband, he will tell you how it was perfectly cooked.) My son and I enjoyed the Spiny Lobster which is pictured above. Although it is beachfront dining, I recommend dressing up to dine at Voyagers.
These six restaurants are just a few of the places for good eats in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Try something new and delicious the next time you are at the gulf.