Many of us who live in Alabama have spent a vacation or two on the Alabama Gulf Coast in either Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Dauphin Island or Fort Morgan. And, during those days, we make it a point to eat at Lulu’s at least once while we are in the area. After all, Lulu’s is practically a destination in itself with frequent live musicians scheduled, a large gift shop, snow cones, a beach, a Mountain of Youth ropes course, frequent dolphin sightings and a dock full of gorgeous boats to admire. Steve and I have eaten there as a couple and with friends on several occasions, but when we were in Orange Beach while I was covering the World Food Championships, we were invited to visit with other members of the media group. What a treat!!
A lovely representative of the Gulf Shores Tourism staff greeted us and showed us to a table — with NO WAITING! There was a full, lively crowd because of the presence of a popular music group playing that night as a part of the Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival. The atmosphere was fun and celebratory — in NOVEMBER!!! You expect it from Spring Break through Labor Day and during Shrimp Fest, but we were way past that, and Lulu’s was still attracting great crowds. Lulu and her team are obviously doing things right. So right, in fact, that 700,000 people a year eat at Lulu’s.
Normally, when Steve and I go out for dinner, we each get an entree and we occasionally share an appetizer or a dessert — but not both. This is both a budget and a weight/health habit of ours. But, when you are a part of a group of food/travel writers, the restaurant wants you to sample lots of its specialties. We were HAPPY to oblige. 🙂
First came three different appetizers: Smoked Tuna Dip, L.A. (Lower Alabama) Caviar and Lulu’s “Holy Guacamole!” My goodness. We could have stopped after this course. So much flavor! The tuna dip is NOT made from canned tuna. Oh no, this tuna comes right out of the water. The guacamole was very fresh and delicious. And we loved the caviar made of black-eyed peas in a balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Of course, there are plenty of others to choose from, such as quesadillas, fried green tomatoes, crab claws, onion rings, boiled shrimp and gumbo, but we were trying to pace ourselves.
For entrees, our group chose an oyster basket, a salad topped with popcorn shrimp, a salad topped with grilled fish, and grilled red snapper. It is important to note that Lulu’s is a prime supporter of the Fish Trax Marketplace. Read about it here. But, basically it means that you can track the QR code that comes with your plate of fish on your phone to find out when it was caught, where it was caught, and who caught it.
Even though we were all thoroughly full and satisfied, there was the tiny matter of dessert. “Just a bite,” we all said. Well, we didn’t get just one bite, but three!! One was Key Lime Pie, one was Brownie in Paradise, and the last was Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding. Can you imagine the decadence?
Everything was wonderful. Our server was so helpful and lively, and the evening was a complete delight. I hope you’ll be able to try it for yourself soon.
Lulu’s also has locations in Destin, FL and in Myrtle Beach, SC.
One more thing. If you can’t visit soon, you might just want to order Lucy Buffett’s latest cookbook, Gumbo Love. Order it here from Amazon.