While this posting does not concern any restaurant located betweenTuscaloosa and Cullman, I do notice that a couple of postings have been made here concerning Mobile, AL, restaurants, so I post this here as the most appropriate location I can find. I notice a year 2000 Roadfood Review of Wintzell's Oyster House on Dauphin St. in downtown Mobile. While in my opinion that review rather correctly describes the food of that Wintzell's of 40 years ago, the best I can say for it in recent years is that if "you have a meal to spare in Mobile", a visit to the original downtown Wintzell's might be worth it for its unusual "decor". If you are seeking quality seafood, though, many better choices can easily be found in Mobile and throughout the general area. However, the primary purpose of this posting is to advise that if the newer branch of Wintzell's located on Airport Boulevard across from Providence Hospital is still operational (something I somewhat doubt), go elsewhere if you want either good seafood or good service. When eating there last summer I experienced some of the worst service and worst fried shrimp its ever been my misfortune to encounter. My dining companion was of the exact same opinion.
The quote just above is from Liketoeat, a gentleman and a guy who knows where to eat. If you will look at the thread " roadfood in Alabama" you will get a number of stops between Ga line and Miss line.
Once you enter La you will turn west on I-12. If it is lunch time I would reccomend getting off at the Abita Springs exit (Hwy 59) and having lunch at the Abita Cafe. They have great food and you can eat outside in the middle of a one stoplight town that is still a classic small town. There is also a brewpub in town and a really great roadside attraction"the UCM Museum". Stop and have a look. You will not regret it I promise. Have a look at the link below http://ucmmuseum.com/
A few miles up the road is Madisonville, a bucolic little village hard on the shore of Lake Ponchatrain. This is the home of Mortons Seafood. A great spot for grilled or fried seafood and some excellent gumbo. Nice place to sit and watch the boats under the 250 plus year old oaks.
Going northward you can get off at Pontchatoula and eat at Paul's Cafe. It is right on the drag of "America's Antique City". If you want a little bread and some great pastry, head to the other end of the street and go to "Taste of Bavaria". It is run by a German couple that really know their way around an oven.
After Ponchatoula you will be getting on towards Baton Rouge. Having worked in the rest. business in Baton ROuge while in school I can tell you every place in town is going to be crowded. So the first places I am giving you are big places that are good but can move a bunch of people. The second group are places that might be more interesting, or a little bit of a drive across the Atchafalaya Basin
Big and Dependable
Mike Anderson's Seafood (I pick Mike's 5-1 over the other two)
Ralph and Kakoos
Small and in Baton Rouge
The Chimes (at the gates of Campus, GREAT sandwiches)
George's Rest. (literally under the interstate great burgers)
De Gulio Bros (Italian Bistro, good food, nice people)
Bisbanos Pizza (downtown, unique pie, rustic, good)
Across the Atchafalaya
#1-Joe's Dreyfuss Store in Lawtell, LA.
I cannot reccomend Joe's highly enough. It may be the most consistent and best food in LA. It is located in an old mercantile in the middle of a sugar cane field about 30 minutes from Downtown BR. Make the drive. Take the time. You will never regret it. It's all good (including the simple but delicious desserts) but I usually start with a cup of soup of the day, then have a butter lettuce, grapefruit, heart of palm and avacado salad. All fish is good, the oyster salad is more oysters than you can eat served over lettuce. Hell , I'm making myself so hungry I might go tommorrow.
In Breaux Bridge (once again about 30 min from Downtown) go to Poches and load up your ice chest with all kinds of sausage, boned stuffed chickens (trust me, when you buy a couple you will be mail ordering forever. You can pull em out of the freezer, thaw em during the day and in 45 min have an awesome meal for practically no work), boudin blanc, alligator, rabbit. Also, sometimes Champagnes grocery has fresh green onion sausage that is not to be missed. Stop in and check.
These are just a few places, there are tons of great ones. Your thirty mile circle is one great place to eat. Ask anybody in the little towns aroung BR. They will talk your ear off about where to go eat and what to eat when you get there.
Have fun and GO Dawgs (just because I live here doesn't mean I have to like those damn tigers