When returned home yesterday from week's trip to Mobile and through lower Alabama was surprised that the first Roadfood forum I discovered was this one re Mobile-Gulf Shores. I'm happy to report that the Dew Drop Inn (Roadfood Rest. Review) continues to feed Mobile folks its always great hot dogs (have found none better), and both the Dew Drop and The Tiny Diny (my 6/1/03 "Where Should I Eat in Ala." forum posting) continue to offer their delicious plate lunches & vegetables. However, I guess under the "everything is relative" category, I must say that I now rate their vegetables a notch below those which I recently so enjoyed at my first visit to Ed & Kay's Rest. in Benton, AR (my 6/1/03 "Vegetable Plates I've Known & Loved" forum posting). I was suprised to see that the Wintzell's Oyster House branch located on Airport Blvd. in western Mobile is still open after the horrible food & service I experienced there a year ago. Needless to say, I did not return to it and did not try The Brick Pit Barbecue in that tho good, its somehow never quite done for me what it does for most people.
I did not do my usual thing of hitting many seafood restaurants when in Mobile area this time in that I had better offers which I readily accepted - several out of this world home cooked seafood dinners! Based on past experience, tho, I would surely agree with the recommendations of Wolf Bay Lodge for seafood. Among the other many good seafood restaurants in the area I've always particularly enjoyed both the Mobile Bay Causeway and the Gulf Shores Original Oyster Houses. I second BingeCT's recommendation of Hazel's for breakfast, and am pleased to read pigface's review of Lambert's in Foley. I've not been there in some time, but the first several years it was open it never seemed nearly as good as the original Lambert's in Sikeston, MO, & several of us had our doubts as to its survival from the few patrons we ever saw there. Sounds like it must have gotten its act together. The kids would probably enjoy all "the action" there, though I always enjoyed lunch at The Gift Horse, a rather unusual, unique buffet right in downtown Foley much better than I did Lambert's, tho neither was the place to go for seafood. Tho not directly food related, I highly recommend detouring down through Fairhope and touring all through that wonderful town & then going on down by Point Clear and The Grand Hotel and into Foley and then on down to Gulf Shores rather than going straight down Hwy. 59 from I-10. Fairhope is one of the most interesting, beautiful, charming, different, & prosperous little towns you'll ever find and the total drive is beautiful. Should you all be in the area on your anniversary or any other such special occasion, Sunday brunch at The Grand Hotel with its great & extensive (and expensive) food offerings, champagne, orchestra, beautiful setting and view of Mobile Bay is the place for those "once a year special occasions", though certainly the antithesis of what we typically think of as "road food". If you all should get over to Pensacola, FL, during the day I highly recommend McGuire's Irish Pub (my 6/1/03 "Garbage Plate" posting under "Recipes & Cooking" forum) for lunch.
"Willie's Place" in downtown Brewton, AL, was recommended as a surprisingly good restaurant for seafood, particularly for a small inland town. Stopped there for lunch with idea of a shrimp or oyster po-boy or seafood luncheon plate, but when saw on menu their offering of a "Kentucky Special" sandwich and instantly recognized it as a "Hot Brown", decided that was what I had to have, not having been in Kentucky or southern Indiana in several years. Though some restaurants may offer them, I've never before seen a "Hot Brown" by any name offered by any AL, MS, LA, AR, or Memphis area TN restaurant. The waitress, busboy, & cashier knew nothing of the history of Kentucky "Hot Browns" but said the "Kentucky Special" was one of their most popular luncheon items. Their version of it was surprisingly good and close to an original "Hot Brown". It did have some subtle spice or seasoning flavor I could never recognize which was foreign to an original "Hot Brown"; not necessarily better or worse but just a bit different. Other than that, tho, I was amazed at their job of replicating the original. Brewton's "Hot Brown" was certainly the surprise of this trip. And Willie's Place, in a neat old downtown building, was appealing both physically and in its other menu offerings.
Kennythecook, hope you and the family have a great Mobile - Gulf Shores vacation soon. If you can get the boys off the beach & out of the water, they (as well as you) would probably enjoy the Battleship Alabama Park & exhibits on Mobile Bay Causeway and the Naval Aviation Museum at NAS Pensacola, while all of you, but the Mrs. particularly, might enjoy Bellingrath Gardens at Theodore and the huge shopping center just south of Foley. Have a hugely successful vacation. Liketoeat