Tag Archives: Alabama

The Compleat Angler in Daphne, Alabama Has Snagged Us – Hook, Line and Sinker!

25 Oct

This relatively new restaurant has been a hit. And owner Bob Baumhower knows a few things about hits. As a former college and pro football player, Bob starred at the University of Alabama and with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. His coaches Paul “Bear” Bryant and Don Shula were both legendary characters. They taught Bob a lot about the game — and the game of life. Baumhower has taken that wisdom and work ethic and parlayed it into something of a restaurant empire here along the Central Gulf Coast.

Bob’s latest brand is called the Compleat Angler and it takes on something of an Ernest Hemingway vibe. Travelers motoring along Interstate 10 between Pensacola and New Orleans will want to make a pit stop here. Consider it a mini vacation. That’s how I feel each time I have dined here. The food is good — as is the service. The island atmosphere is relaxing and the views of the Mobile Bay are pretty hard to beat.  

Most of the seafood served here is fresh from the Gulf of Mexico. I ordered the Grilled Mahi Mahi with Black Beans, Coconut Rice and Stewed Okra & Tomatoes. The fish was doused with the “Stevie Nicks” sauce, which had a nice tangy, citrusy flavor.  The fish was expertly grilled and delivered a slightly smokey aftertaste. Really good — and yes, I would order it again without hesitation.  

Mahi Mahi, baby — so tasty they had to name it twice!

Black Beans topped with a generous dollop of Cilantro Lime cream

Okra is most often served fried. And I must admit I typically prefer it prepared in that fashion. But the Compleat Angler’s stewed okra and tomato combo was a welcome change of pace on this sunny Fall afternoon. The flavors do compliment each other quite nicely and the okra pods were not nearly as slimy as you might expect. Many people, especially Yankees, whine about okra’s slimyness factor. Not much we can do to change that. Coach Bryant would have likely told you to put your big boy britches on and give it a try. I did — and I really enjoyed it.

And don’t miss dessert at the Compleat Angler. The Key Lime Pie (shown above) is as good as any you’ll find in South Florida. The Ginger Snap crust makes it extra special. Can’t tell you how much I loved this pie. I don’t often eat dessert in the middle of the day, but I just couldn’t resist. And I’m pretty darn happy I didn’t.

If the pie doesn’t get your motor running, we suggest you order a big ole chunk of Rum Cay Cake. It won’t make you tipsy, but there is a good amount of rum in each portion served. It is a nutty treat that is further upgraded with the addition of a fruity (raspberry?) dipping sauce. It’s a thing of beauty to gaze at as well — just take a gander at the image above. Man, it was delicious — and a generous portion too. Ex-football stars tend to be big believers in generous portions. Makes sense, huh?

So if you’re traveling on vacation — or if you simply need a break from the every day routine — you’re invited to come aboard at the Compleat Angler.  We are hooked … and we think you will be too!

The Compleat Angler – 29249 US Highway 98, Daphne, AL 36526

(251) 621-1086; www.compleatanglergrille.com

Why We Like Satsumas

4 Dec

Satsuma Oranges are a holiday tradition here along the Alabama Gulf Coast. Frankly, I was not that familiar with them prior to moving to Fairhope almost 3 years ago. During our first holiday season here, we started seeing Satsumas popping up everywhere. In recipes, in cocktails, in stores and farmer’s markets, in local advertising and newspaper features. “What’s so darn special about Satsumas?”, we asked ourselves.

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about them:

Its fruit is sweet and usually seedless, about the size of other mandarin oranges (Citrus reticulata), smaller than an orange. One of the distinguishing features of the satsuma is the distinctive thin, leathery skin dotted with large and prominent oil glands, which is lightly attached around the fruit, enabling it to be peeled very easily in comparison to other citrus fruits. The satsuma also has particularly delicate flesh, which cannot withstand the effects of careless handling. The uniquely loose skin of the satsuma, however, means that any such bruising and damage to the fruit may not be immediately apparent upon the typical cursory visual inspection associated with assessing the quality of other fruits. In this regard, the satsuma is often categorised by citrus growers as a hit-and-miss citrus fruit, the loose skin particular to the fruit precluding the definitive measurement of its quality by sight and feel alone.

The Chinese and Japanese names reference Wenzhou, a city in the Zhejiang Province of China known for its citrus production. However, it has also been grown in Japan since ancient times, and the majority of cultivars grown in China today were cultivated in Japan and reverse-introduced into China in modern times.

Now, three years later, we are fully aware of the Satsuma & its special qualities:

1) They are seedless

2) They are very easy to peel

3) They are really sweet

4) They are a locally grown product and priced quite reasonably

5) They bring a much needed taste of summer during the chilly winter months

Better yet, you might just get lucky and find someone who has Satsuma trees (they look more like bushes) on their property. A family friend has such a tree and practically begged us to stop by and pick whatever we wanted. They had far more than they could eat and were worried about the fruit going bad. Happy to oblige, we soon returned home with a bulging white plastic shopping bag jammed full with bright orange Satsumas. I tried one — and it was great. I had another, then another … and another.

Go ahead, eat all you want.

Unlike most holiday treats, Satsumas are good for you!

“Guilt free and packed with Vitamin C.”

Now there’s a slogan for you.

Day Trip to Bayou La Batre – “Alabama’s Seafood Capital”

20 Nov

The sign says it all — and there is a lot of truth to this. I was expecting a little town dominated by the seafood industry. That is pretty much what I found. But there were plenty of surprises during my brief weekday visit. I was only in town for a couple hours. And part of this time was spent on business. However, I did find enough time to scout around, snap a few images, grab some lunch, and just generally get the vibe of this sleepy, little fishing community.

Even BBQ joints take on nautical themes in Bayou La Batre. Case in point: Capt. Frank’s Smoke Shack. I didn’t try the good Captain’s Q on this trip — I was holding out for some local seafood. I did take a moment to peek in the window. Cozy little joint. Wonder if the food’s any good? Drop me a note if you’ve tried them out.

They may want to work on that slogan – not the best we have seen.

I’m partial to this salty swine in the window at Captain Frank’s.

Seafood Gumbo — certainly a local favorite in these parts.

There is a pretty significant Vietnamese population in BLB. Many of these folks are employed in the seafood industry. Working on the shrimp boats, picking crabs, etc. Their presense becomes obvious as I motor thru town. I came across this Vietnamese grocery (above), which is located next door to a Vietnamese bar/pool hall. I popped in just to check out the ambience. To say it was authentic would be something of an understatement. Exotic fruits and veggies could be seen at every twist & turn. They had a fine selection of Asian DVDs. The owner barked at employees in a manner that oddly reminded of that scene in “The Deer Hunter.” Thankfully, no Russian Roulette was involved.  

Shrimp chips seemed right at home at Vien Dong. Especially in BLB.

The Eat Alabama Wild Shrimp campaign has recently morphed into Eat Wild Alabama Seafood. This latest, more inclusive strategy seems to be paying off. The organization’s marketing office is located in an older strip mall on the edge of Bayou La Batre. I spent about a half hour chatting with office administrator, Rosa Zirlott. Very nice lady. What a pleasant visit we had. Rosa really knows her stuff, that is for certain. And she is extremely passionate about her job. Rosa currently owns 2 shrimp boats and has been involved in the seafood industry for most of her life. She seemed fairly satisfied with the results her leadership is producing. Lots of work still remains and we are determined to do our part to assist Rosa and the countless area fishermen and shrimpers she represents. Learn more at http://www.eatalabamawildshrimp.com

As our brief meeting wrapped up, I asked Rosa Zirlott two quick parting questions:

1) “What is your favorite local seafood market?”

2) “Where can I get some good local shrimp for lunch?”

The answers followed, but not without some explanation. It turns out there are currently no retail seafood markets in Bayou La Batre. “How can that be?”,  I inquired. Well, Bayou La Batre apparently does not enjoy much traditional tourism — in part because of its rather remote location. Local residents either work in the seafood business or know someone who does. They tend to go straight to the source … cutting out the middle man. This also guarantees the exact origin of the product. Commercial fishing operations in BLB only tend to sell wholesale - and in large quantities.

As for my lunch plans, that answer was easier for Rosa to process. “We really only have 2 seafood restaurants in the vicinity. But one recently closed.” So process of elimination led me to The Lighthouse Restaurant, located a short drive away in nearby Irvington, AL. Rosa suggested I try the crab claws. She also urged me to stop by Jubilee Seafood on my way out of town … thinking they might sell me a couple pounds of fresh wild shrimp for the road. I decided to proceed directly to lunch at The Lighthouse. Maybe next time, Jubilee. I’ll be the dude with the flat top toting a giant ice chest.  

Jubilee Foods — “For All Your Seafood Needs”

The Lighthouse Restaurant is your typical Southern seafood dive … minus any water views. It is found a mile or so inland on Padgett Switch Road. The marquee out front (a scaled-down lighthouse that would be at home on a miniature golf course) was promoting the premiere of History Channel’s new BIG SHRIMPIN’ series. The show is sort of a DEADLIEST CATCH spin-off and it is being shot in and around Bayou La Batre.  

The hand-painted mural out front provides an old school touch.

The Lighthouse menu offers local seafood choices in abundance.

The lightly fried shrimp at The Lighthouse were just as scrumptious as I had anticipated. There just weren’t enough of them! The lunch platter, which costs $9.95 plus drink and tip, included 6 shrimp and 2 sides. The shrimp were the first to go. That took all of 2-3 minutes. After that, I was left with some frozen krinkle cut fries, a boring side salad with thick Thousand Island dressing, a few Captain’s Wafers, and 2 average hush puppies. And I swear the iced tea tasted like water. Next time I’ll order the large shrimp platter for $13.95 or maybe spring the additional two bucks for $15.95 Seafood Platter (see menu above). I’m sure that’s great. Sounds great. I’ll also skip the tea and order an ice cold beer — unless it’s a work day, of course.    

Lighthouse Restaurant – 12495 Padgett Switch Road, Irvington, AL

(251) 824-2500

Queen G’s Fries ‘Em Up Fresh

9 Apr

State-of-the-art fried oysters can be hard to find — even here on the Gulf Coast. We found them this week at Queen G’s Cafe on Mobile’s Old Shell Road. They open at 11 am. I arrived about 11:40 am. Just in time to beat the lunch rush. It’s a tiny little place with a limited indoor seating capacity. There are some additional seats outside, but that can be hit or miss depending on our rather fickle coastal weather patterns. I grabbed a small indoor table and shared the dining room with a single middle-aged couple. Their conversation was spirited and their food looked appealing.

Queen G’s is housed in an old circa 1950s drive-in. It used to be called “The Rebel Queen” back in the day and they have the photos inside to prove it. The bright teal paint job would have looked right at home on a 1957 Chevy. The black and white exterior awning preserved some of the retro vibe.  

I was tempted when I read about the Chicken & Dumplings special, but ultimately stayed strong and ordered a small plate of fried local oysters. I say small only because they call it that at Queen G’s. It’s actually pretty substantial with about 10 meaty cornmeal-coated oysters on each platter. The market price for this dish (with 2 sides) was $12. Order the large oyster plate and you may be ready for a mid-day siesta. Be forewarned.

The menu at Queen G’s is very cool looking. I’m a sucker for that old meets new look. Each meal (as you can see above) comes with a poofy square of cornbread and more than a couple of pats of real creamy butter. None of that greasy margarine or Country Crock crap. I notice these little things, so restaurateurs take note. The cornbread was just fine. Not really noteworthy in any way, but OK.

The fresh oysters are fried up to order at Queen G’s. Nice. A cornmeal coating really makes a difference. So much better than flour (if you ask me). They are prettied up on the plate with a few flecks of chopped green onion. I had my cocktail sauce and Tabasco at the ready and the oysters magically disappeared in just a matter of seconds. What a treat — especially on a weekday afternoon. For just a brief moment, I felt like royalty. I asked my server about the oysters point of origin. She informed me that they are farm raised in nearby Coden, AL. That explained their amazing sweetness. The local waters have been chilly due to some cool nights. That, from what I’ve been told, helps to deliver those sweet flavor notes.

My side of deviled eggs seemed like a good idea, but they could have been a little more devilish in my opinion. The presentation was nice – gussied up with paprika and parsley. The lime green serving bowl gave it a true elementary school cafeteria feel. I could tell the eggs had been sitting in the fridge for a while and the flavor was, well, just  a tad on the bland side. Nice effort, but they fell a little short this time. Not a big deal though.

My second side was rough chopped rutabagas. People love ‘em or hate ‘em. I dig ‘em. Really! They look unadorned in the above image, yet I am happy to report that they tasted fresh and well-seasoned. I only wish the portion size was larger. You don’t find rutabaga on many menues these days — even in the Heart of Dixie. They can be tedious to prepare and the canned variety just aren’t near as delicious.

Clean your plate at Queen G’s and you’ll be rewarded with a free scoop of ice cream. Pretty good incentive, for sure. But you probably won’t require any additional motivation here. The food is good and fresh and the surroundings cozy, yet comfy. I’ll be back and I hope to rub elbows with you at Queen G’s one day soon.

QUEEN G’S CAFE – 2518 Old Shell Road, Mobile, AL – 251 471 3361

Daphne’s Moe’s Original BBQ will Slap You Silly with Flavor

20 Feb

 I am a bit of a BBQ snob. I have consumed a good bit of smoked piggy meat in my time. Some really good, most of it just OK, a lot of it pretty gross. So like a Hollywood hunk who has had his pick of the starlets, I am not easily excited or impressed when it comes to trying out a new Q joint. This leads me to my first encounter with Moe’s Original BBQ …  

Moe’s BBQ has a total of 9 locations. Three of them are in Colorado, the balance in Alabama. I know, it sounds a bit odd. Not sure how it shook out that way. I guess that’s potential fodder for a future blog. Anyhoo, my first taste of Moe’s did not occur at any of their 9 locations. It happened inside a hospitality tent at the Under Armour Senior Bowl football game in Mobile. I must say it was good — I mean really good. So much so that I made a mental note to make a visit to their Daphne, AL location at my earliest convenience.

The rustic menu board is just my style — & the variety ain’t bad either!

Folksy artwork (above) inside Moe’s dining area. Elvis and JB — nice!

This (above) is where all the magic begins. I ordered the pulled pork platter, which comes with the diner’s choice of 2 sides and a heaping hunk of cornbread. Side decisions are not easy — they offer quite an impressive number of choices. I recalled from my Senior Bowl experience that the slaw was terrific, so that call was easy. I’m always a sucker for sweet potato casserole, so that was selection #2. Felt pretty doggone confident about my decisions.

My platter of porky goodness is pictured above in glorious, living color. It was all soooo good — every last bit of it. The pork was lean and smoky, while the sauce was warm (as in temperature) and tangy. The total package reminded a great deal of King’s BBQ in Petersburg, VA (a longtime Saunders’ family favorite). If you know me, you know that this is high praise indeed!

The chunky cornbread had a nice char on the exterior … I’m guessing they warm it up a bit on the grill before serving. The sublime marinated slaw was vinegar-based with a hint of celery seed and sugar. It also was laced with chopped green pepper and red onion. Wonderful! The sweet potato casserole was also slammin’, thanks to a crispy, cinnamon/sugar cereal flake topping and a pleasing texture (not too baby food smooth) that was reminiscent of homemade.

Moe’s pulled pork & slaw are superb — the best we’ve had in Baldwin County.

You can dine in or dine out (patio pictured above), but just dine here already!

I love the 3 Stooges and I never thought there’d be another Moe in my life.

Guess I was wrong, huh?

www.moesoriginalbbq.com

Papa Rocco’s Pizza Rocks Gulf Shores, Alabama

19 Oct

A visit to the coast is not always about seafood. Sometimes you want an inexpensive meal or perhaps you are craving some good Italian food. Such a Sunday afternoon feeling led us to Papa Rocco’s Pizza in Gulf Shores, AL. It’s a short scooter ride from the beach. And, perhaps more importantly, we had heard good things via foodie chat on the web.

There are about 10 flat screen TVs inside Papa Rocco’s and it seemed like each one had a different NFL game on. Tourists decked out in Packers, Colts, Browns, and Rams attire mixed easily with fans of the New Orleans Saints (the closest thing that we have to a home team along the Alabama Coast).

We ended up feeding the family for just over $20 — and the pizza was pretty darn tasty! Ours came with pepperoni, Italian sausage, green peppers and red onion. To be honest, we could have probably downed a second pie — it was that good. The spaghetti and meatballs also looked very tempting. The meatballs were huge (well, about the size of billiard balls). The service was excellent and the atmosphere comfy. We will surely return. Thanks, Papa! 

www.paparocco.com

Good Eats around Bon Secour, Alabama

22 Aug

Down South BBQ is near the intersection of AL Highways 59 and 10. It’s close enough to 59 to make this a quick &  easy stop for tourists vacationing in nearby Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. They seem to stay very busy year round, but especially so during the steamy summer months along the Gulf Coast of Alabama.

You order at the window. Carry out or dine at screened-in picnic tables. Lots of unique menu choices. Service is friendly and fairly brisk. Thank goodness because it’s hot as hell this time of year. The nice young gal working the window this day had a German accent. That’s something you don’t get much at Alabama roadside BBQ stands.

This may be one of the best T-shirt slogans I’ve seen in quite some time.

We couldn’t resist the BBQ sandwich served on cornmeal pancakes. Man, it was huge — I had no idea it was gonna be so massive when I ordered it. I ended up sharing the sandwich with my son, Travis. He woofed it all down in short order and pronounced it delicious. It was indeed good, although the cornbread “bun” didn’t hold together as well as the more traditional bun or Texas toast. Make sure you get plenty of BBQ sauce to balance out the natural dryness of the thick cornmeal pancakes.

I would definitely return to Down South but would still rate Robertsdale’s Hickory House as the very best BBQ we’ve enjoyed along Alabama’s Eastern Shore. Try ‘em both and let us know what you think. We’re all ears!

www.downsouthbbq.com 

  Captain’s Galley Restaurant is a short ride west of Down South. Confused yet?

I was excited about this first visit. I’d been told that they serve smoked mullet. Now I love smoked mullet, yet I hadn’t enjoyed any since our visit to Ted Peter’s Smoked Fish in St Petersburg, FL more than a year ago. The smoked mullet at Captain’s Galley was good, if not up to the world class standard at Ted Peter’s. My order was a little dry — but still extremely flavorful! Just be careful as you savor all the smokey goodness — there are little bones throughout the entire fish. Yes, you get a whole smoked mullet for just $4. Are you kidding me? The smoked mullet platter at Ted Peter’s (which comes with warm German potato salad) runs about $14.

Had to show you this table tent (above) to prove the smoked mullet was just $4!

Learn more about the Captain’s Galley of Bon Secour, AL at:

http://www.facebook.com/CaptainsGalley

GooRoo’s Grill in Robertsdale, AL

21 Aug

GooRoo’s Grill can be found along Route 104 (just west of Highway 59; across from the Livestock Auction) in Robertsdale, Alabama. It’s been there for a while, but we had not tried them out until yesterday. Glad we stopped in. Nice folks and definitely a notch or two above big brand fast food. Things must be going well for Ed (The GooRoo). Internet reviews have been positive and they will soon be moving into a larger, more permanent location just down the road a piece.

GooRoo’s bright orange globe logo lists many of their popular food offerings.

The burgers at GooRoo’s are indeed extremely popular – and reasonable too.

We ordered up a GooRoo Burger on our first visit. Must try the seafood soon.

The GooRoo Burger comes on a nice fluffy bun and is topped with real Cheddar Cheese. It’s gooey and good — just what you would expect from a guy nicknamed The GooRoo. We sampled the 1/4 lb. burger. It’s also offered in a hulking 1/2 pound size for those with big  boy appetites. All food here is cooked to order with the seafood and ground beef coming fresh from nearby markets.

Just look at that cheese! Now how can you resist that, people???

GooRoo’s also offers seafood po-boys & what’s said to be a pretty good gumbo.  

www.gooroosgrill.com

A Day Trip to Bay Minette, Alabama

10 Jul

Street’s Seafood Restaurant is apparently the place to go for good old home cooking in Bay Minette, AL (www.cityofbayminette.org). That’s what I had learned in talking with Sara Godwin at nearby Faulkner State Community College. It’s always good to get some feedback from a local. And in this case, Sara did not steer me wrong.

The exterior at Street’s is nothing special at all, but the food inside these walls certainly is. I happened to stop in on a Friday … shortly before noon. The parking lot was already filling up – mostly with pickup trucks and company logo’ed vehicles of all shapes and sizes. That is always another good sign. Inside, the hustling female servers wore T-shirts stating, “If you miss us, you have wasted a trip.” Well, I was going to call their bluff this day.

Friday means a mess of fried whole catfish on the lunch buffet at Street’s. The buffet was large and in charge, that’s for darn sure. Lots of choices and everything looked fresh and homemade. TIP: Always try to hit lunch buffets early. The food will be at peak freshness and not so picked over. Further, the most popular items (and usually best tasting too) will likely still be there for your dining enjoyment.

The chicken pot pie at Street’s is obviously freshly made and totally satisfying. It is served up in large rectangular chafing dishes sporting a dense, golden brown crust. Cracking into the crust with the serving spoon, I exposed the glistening interior chock full of white chicken meat, sliced carrots, and tender green peas. I also made stops for some sweet BBQ beans, a creamy macaroni cheese riddled with chopped bacon (you heard right, bacon!), buttery green beans, and what turned out to be a very flavorful buttermilk cornbread muffin.

Street’s also has a very nice salad bar, although I am not so sure how much action it sees with the all the other tempting high-calorie options that are always available. The large group of 60-something men dining at the next table appeared to be regulars. I’m guessing they were retired because no one seemed in a big hurry to move on with his day. These were strong, salt of the earth, good old boys speaking in a deep Old South dialect that had this longtime Dixie resident struggling to follow the conversation. Eavesdropping? You bet! Yet I must admit that these gents were tossing in the “y’alls, fixins, and directlys” at such a clip that I had a hard time keeping up. “Doggone!”

The cole slaw at Street’s is also made fresh daily – always a welcome touch! 

Banana pudding is actually offered up two ways at Street’s. Now how is that for attention to detail? One variety is served cool with a whipped cream topping. The other is presented warm out of the oven with a glorious brown meringue topping. I am a lifelong member of the “Warm Nanner Puddin’ Society” and I was most certainly not disappointed here.  

Pineapple Upside Down Cake has always been one of my favorite desserts, so you can imagine my glee when I spied the moist squares like you see in the above image. Just the right size too — not too big, not too small. Plenty of carmelized pina. Gotta have the cherry too. Right? It was amazing with all the brown sugar, residual pineapple juice and melted butter being absorbed just below fruit level. Soooo good!  Street’s also makes a killer peach cobbler and I couldn’t resist having a little taste of that too. So many delights, so little time! The ownership at Street’s (a derivative of the last name Overstreet) also operates the popular Stagecoach Cafe in closeby Stockton, AL. Gotta give that a shot soon. Really good steaks, that’s what I hear.

Heading back home along southbound Highway 59/31, my eye caught the sign pictured above. Who knew the Bee Gees were now in the filling station business??? With a smile still on my face, I also noticed a makeshift boiled peanut stand in the gas station’s parking lot.

How can a motorist resist such a whimsical, homemade sign?  

Mel (Pastor Mel, to be exact) was not around when I first stopped in, but Mel’s mom was present and she turned out to be a very sweet lady indeed.  As you can see, free samples are offered. I tried the regular and Cajun boiled peanuts and found both to be masterfully prepared.

I decided to purchase a big bag of regular boiled peanuts. These were some seriously massive briny goobers! Batches are made fresh each morning with green peanuts grown right here in Baldwin County. How ’bout that?  

Look at the size of these monsters, grown locally at Fiddler’s Farm near Silverhill, Alabama (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silverhill,_Alabama). Needless to say, they were amazing and quite warm to the touch. That is always a good sign. Get ‘em warm, get ‘em fresh. They will keep in the fridge for a few days, but they are never quite as good as they are right out of the cooking vessel.

The prices are fair and the proceeds go to church mission trips in Latin America. How is that for a true win-win proposition? They even have photo albums on display from previous mission trips. It becomes clear very quickly that these fine folks are doing God’s work — whether it’s in their peanut preparation or their efforts in the high hills of Guatemala.

Roasted peanuts are also offered. This is a good back-up plan for Yankees who have not developed an appreciation for the soft, salty boiled ground peas. I’ll stick with the boiled variety, myself. They are always a treat and especially welcome when they are crafted with such love and heavenly conviction. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Mel’s Boiled Peanuts – (251) 455 7719

Baldwin County Strawberry Festival in Loxley, Alabama

11 Apr

Yesterday we attended the 23rd Annual Baldwin County Strawberry Festival in Loxley, AL. What a slice of “American Pie” this event has become. Crafts, classic cars, live music, a beauty pageant, and lots of good food. That makes for a fun, family-oriented day out.

Flats of fresh picked strawberries were sold for $18 each. We actually held off and later found a better price of just 99 cents per quart. I had some on my cereal this morning and they were delicious. Who needs added sugar when Mother Nature delivers all the sweetness you could ask for?

The festivities also included a classic car show. The vehicle seen directly above looks like something I once saw on the cover of a Stray Cats LP. This is a very cool rockabilly ride! Flames are often overdone and cliche, but in this case it was a perfect match.

Gotta love the big fat whitewall tires. I onced owned a 1956 Buick Special and a 1961 Mercury Monterey — had whitewalls on both of ‘em. The Special (the Virginia plate read “HoDad”) was totaled while parked outside my pad back in the early ’80s. The Monterey I traded in on a new Honda Civic.  What the hell was I thinking???

They just don’t make ‘em like this anymore. Have you seen the new Impala’s lately? They used to be sleek and sporty. They are now an ugly piece of crap. Sorry, but ya know I’m right.

The Brits were represented with MGs (above) …

… and a Cooper Mini with Union Jack – smashing, baby!

This is my new dream beach wagon — love the color!

Interior of the VW Camper — all original & old school

’70s muscle cars were well represented (see Chevy Nova above)

This kind of detailed striping just isn’t seen much anymore  

Strawberries, as you can see, were flying off the shelves

Lindsay Farms (www.lindsayfarms.com) was sampling their salsas and chow chows. We also bought a nice Ball jar of “Jacked Up” Peach Preserves (spiked with Jack Daniel’s) from Atlanta-based Jammin’ Jellies. Really nice and loaded with huge chunks of peaches. They also make several varieties of wine jellies. Check them out at www.jamminjellies.webs.com .

This tiny Southern belle was vying for Little Miss Strawberry crown 

Humorous “Not So Welcome” mat for sale in crafts area

We stopped by Burris Farm Market on our way home

These freaky white coconuts caught my eye

Pickled Eggs — folks either love ‘em or hate ‘em. Me? Dig ‘em!

http://redsmithfoods.com 

Mrs. Wheat’s Pralines are made in nearby Mobile, Alabama

The best discovery of the day was Millie Ray’s Orange Rolls. Millie Ray was in the house and she was offering up samples of her cinnamon, orange, or sausage rolls. They were all quite good — but the orange rolls stood out as being extra special.

Each batch is rolled out by Millie Ray herself in her bakery near Montgomery, AL. The visible flecks of orange zest and the tart natural orange flavor make it clear that these rolls are made with lots of love. All three varieties sell for about $5 per package ($5.99 at Burris, $4.99 @ Allegri Market on Hwy. 181). If you’re lucky, you’ll be seeing these products in your local grocery store in the not too distant future. Take it from us, they are top notch!  

http://millierays.com/index.php

http://www.baldwincountystrawberryfestival.org/

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