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Monday, August 11, 2014

LA, meet L.A.: Getting Acquainted with Lower Alabama

I recently had the opportunity to take Team Bite and Booze on a press trip down to Gulf Shores Orange Beach for a little local wining, dining, and R&R. We had the chance to soak up some rays, but the real treat was all of the fresh gulf seafood we were invited to feast on everyday! Here's a look at a few places that were worthy of a pulling up a chair and chowing down:

We arrived at The Wharf ready to get tasting and luckily for us there was a nice little daiquiri shop right next to the parking garage! After we got settled in we walked to one of the restaurants downstairs from our condo: Villaggio Grille. Definitely the nicest restaurant at The Wharf, Villaggio has modern American cuisine with a slight Italian and Mediterranean influence. It's not a place to get spaghetti and meatballs, but they have some great Italian inspired seafood dishes.

Prince Edward Island Mussels: Roasted Tomatoes, White Wine, Lemon, Garlic, & Shallot
Prince Edward Island Mussels: Roasted Tomatoes, White Wine, Lemon, Garlic, & Shallot

The next day we took a trek to The Beach Club to meet with their property managers over lunch at the Village Hideaway. They offered some awesome insight to the cool things going on in the Gulf Shores Orange Beach area and the really great beers from the nearby town of Fairhope. We had a couple of their amber ales while we toyed around with the golf simulator (Aimee and I schooled Blair) then sat down to a pretty tasty rack of ribs, fresh mahi tacos, and coconut shrimp. After lunch we got the chance to relax on the beach and catch some waves before heading back to The Wharf for a Gulf Coast/Alabama Seafood Twitter party and dinner.

Seafood Tacos: Fresh Gulf Mahi, Cilantro Slaw, Sliced Avocado, Key Lime Cream Sauce
Seafood Tacos: Fresh Gulf Mahi, Cilantro Slaw, Sliced Avocado, Key Lime Cream Sauce

Perhaps one of the most fun days we had during our stay in Gulf Shores Orange Beach started out with breakfast at Brick and Spoon. They had a build your own Bloody Mary menu, some massive pancakes, and some killer breakfast tacos. The unique breakfast tacos featured fried wonton wrappers as the shell. Brick and Spoon proved to be a great place to grab breakfast on your way to a sweet dolphin cruise!

Breakfast Tacos: Fried Wonton Shell, Chorizo Scrambled Eggs, Lettuce, Sour Cream, and Mango Salsa with a side of Cheese Grits
Breakfast Tacos: Fried Wonton Shell, Chorizo Scrambled Eggs, Lettuce, Sour Cream, and Mango Salsa with a side of Cheese Grits

If you're going to take a sailing adventure while on the Alabama Gulf Coast, I'd gladly suggest the Wild Hearts Dolphin Cruise. Wild Hearts operates a nice catamaran sailboat that provides a great beer drinking platform in the bay and the gulf. They have fun stuff for kids to play with, water and snacks on board, and a great crew. It was a really nice, relaxing day on the water while soaking up some vitamin D.

View from the Wild Hearts Sailboat at Perdido Bay
View from the Wild Hearts Sailboat at Perdido Bay
We did some more dining in Gulf Shore and Orange Beach, but those places were so good that we wanted to give them their own blog posts. So coming up soon on Bite and Booze will be posts about The Gulf, Lucy B. Goode, and brunch at Fisher's!