Editor’s Note: Our intern, LW, just got back from a beach trip filled with coastal fare fit for a king! She tells us all about her visit to The Original Oyster House in Gulf Shores, Alabama!
Summer is finally here, and we all know what that means: Time to pack your bags, put on that swimsuit, and head to the coast for a much needed vacation! While I may not be a Mississippi native, it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with Mississippi’s regional vacation hotspots like Orange Beach or Gulf Shores. Boasting gorgeous emerald waters and delicious local seafood, what’s not to love about the Gulf Coast?
During my first visit to the Gulf four years ago, my friends insisted we visit the Original Oyster House, so I could finally taste a “real” oyster, just how the natives eat them. I fully expected to be disgusted by the slimy, grey concoction I was presented with… But boy, was I wrong! Since that fateful day, I’ve made a point to visit the Oyster House at least once every beach trip.
Recently at The Oyster House…
My most recent visit to the Gulf Shores Oyster House was particularly memorable. My friends and I were quickly seated and introduced to our exceptionally friendly waiter, an outgoing fellow curiously named Trout. He wore fingerless biking gloves and a goofy grin, starting up conversations as if we were all old friends. After delivering our table a dozen raw oysters, he recommended we try them with the house garlic hot sauce – great call! Both my New Orleans-raised friend who considers herself an oyster expert and our companion who generally hates the slimy creatures agreed that the sauce made our oysters even more incredible.
Catch of the day: TRIGGERFISH
While I normally stick with my longstanding favorite meal of fried shrimp at seafood restaurants, Trout convinced me to branch out and try the daily special. Trout explained that I would be eating Triggerfish, a rather ugly fish that is quite common locally and possesses a flaky white meat that he personally loved. I learned that day that you really can’t judge a book from its cover (or an ugly fish by its looks), because the dish presented to me was nothing short of a masterpiece! Stuffed with perfectly spiced crabmeat, the Triggerfish was grilled to perfection and served with a hollandaise sauce that tastefully united all the varying flavors into one AMAZING meal.
The greatest thing about dining in a larger group? More food available to taste! One of my friends decided to go BIG and order a massive seafood platter. Grilled shrimp, stuffed crab, fried oysters… You name it, we ate it! While the grilled shrimp seemed to be overly seasoned on accident, abundance of seafood as a whole left us full and happy.
I especially loved the crab cakes, which were slightly crispy on the outside but moist and savory within. Just a few bites of that had me longing for this July’s Crab Cake and Craft Beer Throwdown! (Details on this coming very soon!)
FOOD: All in all, I was extremely impressed with our meal at the Original Oyster House. Although the grilled shrimp were less than stellar, previous visits never disappointed, so I’m chalking it up to a rare bad batch. The Chef’s Daily Special was both exceptional and affordable – I would’ve willingly paid twice as much for the meal I was presented! I’m upset that I forgot to order the Key Lime Drink, which you may remember us raving about in the past.
SERVICE: Not only were we quickly seated and constantly checked on, our memorable waiter went above and beyond throughout the entire meal. He explained to us where our fish came from, how each meal would be prepared, and even filled us in on the nasty effects of the oil spill that the Gulf Coast must deal with years later. Even after we left, he chased our group outside after realizing my friend left his credit card at the table. Thanks, Trout!
ATMOSPHERE: The Oyster House is exactly what you would expect from a coastal restaurant. The walls are plastered with local memorabilia and photos detailing the area’s history, and the restaurant itself sits on the coast with broad windows overlooking the seaside. When you’re totally immersed in your meal, you can practically imagine yourself dining amidst a fishing boat at sea!
The Original Oyster House
701 Gulf Shores Pkwy
Gulf Shores, AL 36542