Mobile, AL Restaurant Rec's

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Eric I r m s c h e r
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Mobile, AL Restaurant Rec's

#1 Post by Eric I r m s c h e r » February 19th, 2013, 8:11 pm

Going for a long weekend next month. What restaurants would you suggest, including cuisine and wine? TIA

Milton Hudson
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Re: Mobile, AL Restaurant Rec's

#2 Post by Milton Hudson » February 20th, 2013, 7:58 am

What are you looking for? Where are you staying?
The essential dishes invented in Mobile:
West Indies Salad
Fried crab claws

Crabs are out of season so they are small and shrimp are slow right now. The oysters are nice and fat. We're getting trigger, grouper and some trout. Most other fish is slow because of the weather. The crab tastes great, just smallish fingers and lumps.

The causeway joints do the usual fried seafood stuff. R and R for crawfish when in season. Original Oyster for fried seafood, alligator bites etc. All casual and geared for volume. Felix's Fish Camp and the Blue Gill are owned by the same group that owns the local franchise of Ruth's Chris. Felix's is the more upscale place on the causeway.

The best fried seafood right now is at the Mariner Restaurant overlooking the Dog River bridge. Grand view.

As to restaurants, the general consensus is that Noja is the best in town. Downtown. Owned by a guy I have known for 20+ years. Most inventive food in town, nice atmosphere. Need any help getting in the place let me know. www.nojamobile.com

Newest place in town with a really nice list and good prices is Legacy Bar and Grill. Springhill area. Owner is a guy I did some consulting for when he was GM of Ruth's. Chef came from Frank Stitt's organization. Still shaking some things out but the food has been very good. https://www.facebook.com/LegacyBarGrill
The Garden District features The Kitchen on George. Local culinary students staff the place. Wine list is very good and reasonable with a few cult wines on there which are unobtainable anywhere else in Mobile. The food is good, but every once in a while it clanks. We have eaten there 6 or 7 times in the last few months. Prices are reasonable. Next door is Cream and Sugar, get you some cake balls. At breakfast the burrito is killer with conecuh sausage etc.

Couple of downtown places are THe Bull, Cafe 615. Brunch recommended at Cafe 615. Wintzell's for raw oysters. If you are in a Mexican mood, Fuego in Mid-town. Great happy hour. Owner is a friend and also has another place MiMo's. Fresh Potato chips, BBQ sliders recommended there. THe BLind Mule does a burger topped with Pimento CHeese. 360 Jazz Club https://www.facebook.com/360JazzCafe

Burgers - best burgers in town are Butch Cassidy's, Callahan's and Maghee's Grill on the Hill. We eat at Maghee's once a week. Or have my weekly Martini there on Friday night.

Way out in Wemo, you have the Hungry Owl. thehungryowl.com The pizza with Conecuh is great. Burgers with a fried egg on top great. The fish has been consistently good. I hate the pie plates they serve everything on. The wine list has no prices.

Mobile is not a BBQ town. The only edible stuff is from Saucy Q and the Brick Pit. Brick Pit has been featured on a number of Cooking Channel, foodtv shows. www.brickpit.com BYOB, no beer or booze available. Worth the drive. The Shed is an outpost of the famous Mississippi place. It sucks.

Jimmy Buffet credits the Dew Drop Inn for the song Cheeseburger in Paradise. Essential dish there is a Dew Drop Dog (I like it with coleslaw added) Dew Drop Cheeseburger (dressed) and a half and half (I like mine extra crispy). The specials are good as well. The grease is authentic and dayglo orange.

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Robert.Fleming
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Re: Mobile, AL Restaurant Rec's

#3 Post by Robert.Fleming » February 20th, 2013, 8:10 am

Milton Hudson wrote: conecuh sausage
Is that a brand name or a type of sausage (or, perhaps, both)?

Milton Hudson
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Re: Mobile, AL Restaurant Rec's

#4 Post by Milton Hudson » February 20th, 2013, 8:47 am

Robert.Fleming wrote:
Milton Hudson wrote: conecuh sausage
Is that a brand name or a type of sausage (or, perhaps, both)?
Sometimes known as Conecuh County Sausage. Details.

Here you go:
http://www.conecuhsausage.com/default.aspx

We eat this version almost daily:
http://www.conecuhsausage.com/ProdDetail.aspx?pid=50

Great in black beans, collards, pizza, on a hot dog bun or just sliced on the diagonal and cooked for breakfast. My daughter particularly likes it dipped in the yolks of poached eggs.

It is as fine a hickory smoked sausage as you will buy.

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Eric I r m s c h e r
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Re: Mobile, AL Restaurant Rec's

#5 Post by Eric I r m s c h e r » February 20th, 2013, 12:46 pm

Milton I knew you'd come through, Thanks!!! We should get together for a drink.
My wife are coming over from New Orleans area and staying at the Battle House, we're getting out of town for our anniversary and wanted to go somehwere within a moderately short drive. Originally, we were going to The Grand, but opted for our favorite hotel in Mobile instead.
Friday night we're going to a show at 360 Jazz, Marc Broussard a Louisiana jem. Definitely looking for a good spot for Saturday night. I've looked at Noja, I'll take a look at The Kitchen on George.
Anybody friendly to BYOB?

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Re: Mobile, AL Restaurant Rec's

#6 Post by awilliamson4 » February 20th, 2013, 1:40 pm

Conecuh is the best mass produced sausage there is period.
Alston Williamson
Hatersgonhate

Milton Hudson
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Re: Mobile, AL Restaurant Rec's

#7 Post by Milton Hudson » February 20th, 2013, 6:02 pm

awilliamson4 wrote:Conecuh is the best mass produced sausage there is period.
Bob,
There you go.

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Re: Mobile, AL Restaurant Rec's

#8 Post by Milton Hudson » February 20th, 2013, 6:09 pm

Eric Irmscher wrote:Milton I knew you'd come through, Thanks!!! We should get together for a drink.
My wife are coming over from New Orleans area and staying at the Battle House, we're getting out of town for our anniversary and wanted to go somehwere within a moderately short drive. Originally, we were going to The Grand, but opted for our favorite hotel in Mobile instead.
Friday night we're going to a show at 360 Jazz, Marc Broussard a Louisiana jem. Definitely looking for a good spot for Saturday night. I've looked at Noja, I'll take a look at The Kitchen on George.
Anybody friendly to BYOB?
Eric,
Happy to help, Noja has always been friendly to us, if you will give me some dates I'll grease the skids for you. We used to BYOB at every place in town, after Katrina (some bottles were damaged) and with 2 in private school much less so. Never tried at Kitchen on George. Probably only place in town that I know very few back of house people personally.

Happy to get together with you guys, provided no kid's activities. My son plays HS baseball and March is in essence the season.

We celebrate our 24th this year in April, spent the first night of our honeymoon at the Windsor. Flew to Mexico for a week, we still wish we had stayed in New Orleans at the Windsor instead. I have finally just about run out of 89's to drink on our anniversary. For several years in a row, we drank '89 Beaucastel at Gerard Maras place on our anniversary.

Hunter Fuzzell
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Re: Mobile, AL Restaurant Rec's

#9 Post by Hunter Fuzzell » February 20th, 2013, 7:27 pm

Milton hit most of the good spots. My additions are Moes BBQ dowtown ( recently opened and Killer), True Midtown Kitchen, and Little House Midtown. The latter two are VERY BYOB friendly. The chef at True is a two time Beard nominee.

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Eric I r m s c h e r
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Re: Mobile, AL Restaurant Rec's

#10 Post by Eric I r m s c h e r » February 21st, 2013, 7:16 pm

Milton,

PM sent

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Glenn L e v i n e
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Re: Mobile, AL Restaurant Rec's

#11 Post by Glenn L e v i n e » February 21st, 2013, 8:54 pm

Milton - what was the name of the glorious old restaurant in the grand home on the South side of Government or Dauphine Sts? From back in my era, late 80s.
"Never lose sight of the fact that it is just fermented grape juice" - a winemaker and negotiant in Napa Valley, CA

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Re: Mobile, AL Restaurant Rec's

#12 Post by Hunter Fuzzell » February 22nd, 2013, 7:02 am

Glenn,
The Pillars?

Milton Hudson
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Re: Mobile, AL Restaurant Rec's

#13 Post by Milton Hudson » February 22nd, 2013, 7:04 am

Glenn L e v i n e wrote:Milton - what was the name of the glorious old restaurant in the grand home on the South side of Government or Dauphine Sts? From back in my era, late 80s.
The Pillars - the owner at that time was Fillipo Malone an old school continental kind of guy. The place was then purchased by Matt Shipp who owned Regina's downtown. Regina's was named for his ex-wife, so when he bought the Pillar's he changed the name to Justine's at the Pillars (Justine being the current wife). The building became so expensive to maintain and run and Justine was such a PITA that they closed it and moved to the beach. Matt's dad is Dr. Bob Shipp, noted Marine biologist, Chair of the USA Marine sciences department and Gulf Fisheries expert.

Filipo still turns up at various events and is his same old charming self. His original partner at the time had a similar place La Louisiana, named after the first name of Mobile, Fort St. Louis de La Louisiana.

The building was purchased by investors and returned to a single family home listed, unsold, and now re-listed as commercial.

Image

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Glenn L e v i n e
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Re: Mobile, AL Restaurant Rec's

#14 Post by Glenn L e v i n e » February 22nd, 2013, 7:18 am

I recall Fillipo and always liked him. I preferred The Pillars to La Louisiana and dined there regularly, loved the fish in parchment paper! What a deal closer that restaurant was, have only great memories!
Last edited by Glenn L e v i n e on February 23rd, 2013, 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Never lose sight of the fact that it is just fermented grape juice" - a winemaker and negotiant in Napa Valley, CA

Milton Hudson
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Re: Mobile, AL Restaurant Rec's

#15 Post by Milton Hudson » February 22nd, 2013, 7:39 am

Glenn L e v i n e wrote:I recall Fillipo and always liked him. I preferred The Pillars to La Louisianna and dined there regularly, loved the fish in parchment paper! What a deal closer that restaurant was, have only great memories!
It was a big spot for the Pharma guys/gals. Do you remember Bienville Bistro? Owner of that place is the owner of Noja.

We also ate at the Pillars a little more often, we were living in Pensacola from '85 to '88. La Louisiana was a little more Italian. Did you ever eat at Bernard's. It was owned by Elizabeth Guste, of Antoine's Guste family. Fabulous food in another great old house.

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Re: Mobile, AL Restaurant Rec's

#16 Post by Glenn L e v i n e » February 22nd, 2013, 11:36 am

I don't recall Bienville Bistro but do remember Bernard's. Where was that in town? I lived in Daphne more frequently than Mobile, comitted most of my sinning on the Eastern Shore.
"Never lose sight of the fact that it is just fermented grape juice" - a winemaker and negotiant in Napa Valley, CA

Milton Hudson
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Re: Mobile, AL Restaurant Rec's

#17 Post by Milton Hudson » February 22nd, 2013, 2:28 pm

Glenn L e v i n e wrote:I don't recall Bienville Bistro but do remember Bernard's. Where was that in town? I lived in Daphne more frequently than Mobile, comitted most of my sinning on the Eastern Shore.
Bernard's was downtown on Conti, close to the Archbishops residence. After it closed as a restaurant, it hosted many wedding receptions. Then was purchased by an attorney (John Sharbrough, big Turley fan) who had made a fortune suing mortgage companies for over funding escrow accounts. He was later sued by the plaintiffs of the class, but prevailed and kept his money. He had offices in part of the building and rented the courtyard out.

It has been dormant for many years now.

In Mobile proper, TP Crockmeiers which closed because of the city taking 4 years to do a 6 month road project has re-opened downtown. Many a Mobilian had their first bloody mary there.

You wouldn't recognize Daphne or much of the Eastern Shore, Judge's has burned and not been re-built. Manci's is still around, Original Ben's BBQ is still around and if you ever went into Fairhope, Winslow's has relocated to Daphne and is now Rosie's (harry named the new place in honor of the long time cook at Winslow's Rosie Garza).

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Re: Mobile, AL Restaurant Rec's

#18 Post by Glenn L e v i n e » February 22nd, 2013, 2:50 pm

I wept when JRBs burned. Goodness gracious I could have gotten my mail there during the last half of my residency! Had many meals at Ben's but in Pensacola I was a fiend for Blue Dot. Manci's has food now huh, when I was there it was just a bar. I liked Jody Payne's place on the old Causeway and that spot on Week's Bay for seafood.
"Never lose sight of the fact that it is just fermented grape juice" - a winemaker and negotiant in Napa Valley, CA

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Re: Mobile, AL Restaurant Rec's

#19 Post by Robert.Fleming » February 25th, 2013, 8:12 am

Milton Hudson wrote:
awilliamson4 wrote:Conecuh is the best mass produced sausage there is period.
Bob,
There you go.
Spotted some Conecuh Original at a local grocery yesterday, and made sausage and lentil stew for supper. Have to say, it's the best commercially-produced smoked sausage I've ever tasted. Thanks.

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Re: Mobile, AL Restaurant Rec's

#20 Post by Milton Hudson » February 25th, 2013, 9:16 am

Robert.Fleming wrote:
Milton Hudson wrote:
awilliamson4 wrote:Conecuh is the best mass produced sausage there is period.
Bob,
There you go.
Spotted some Conecuh Original at a local grocery yesterday, and made sausage and lentil stew for supper. Have to say, it's the best commercially-produced smoked sausage I've ever tasted. Thanks.
Glad to hear it. It is pretty useful stuff, made a shrimp and conecuh cream sauce to go on some bronzed/grilled salmon over fregola sarda.

Good in Collard's etc.

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Eric I r m s c h e r
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Noja Dissapointment - Mobile, AL Restaurant Rec's

#21 Post by Eric I r m s c h e r » March 31st, 2013, 8:41 pm

Milton Hudson wrote:
As to restaurants, the general consensus is that Noja is the best in town. Downtown. Owned by a guy I have known for 20+ years. Most inventive food in town, nice atmosphere. Need any help getting in the place let me know. http://www.nojamobile.com.
So, my Wife and I went to Noja on the 23rd. Yes, nice atmosphere and a nice easy walk from our hotel. Reservations were at 8pm, the dining room was full, by my observation it didn't appear to be slammed. We placed our drink order and food order. The appetizer we spilt was a sous vide pork belly with a green onion salad, the waiter talked it up as a new addition to the seasonal menu rotation...we waited in anticipation. When the dish was brought, the internal temperature of the pork belly was ice cold. It was apparent the pork belly was pre-cooked (understandable with the sous vide preperation) and finished on a grill. My wife and I looked at each other and knew something was definitely wrong. I cut into the second of the three large pieces and it was also ice cold to the touch. We waited and waited, 15+ minutes before our waiter came back within in our generally vicinity in the dining room, at that point I was able to beckon his attention, to which he responded with, "You don't like the pork belly?" The reason our waiter wasn't available, i.e. attentive, was because he was behind the bar mixing drinks for the tables he was servicing? I've never seem this tactic in a restaurant striving to be in this echelon of eateries. When he approached the table, we informed him about the appetizer, asked him if it was normal for the wait staff to also play mixologist, to which he responded that it was commonplace and that, "they do everything." How can that be a good model? The remaining, uneaten pieces of our initial pork belly dish were whisked away to the kitchen, sliced into thin pieces and reheated by the kitchen staff and then slopped onto the plate and brought back to the table. Now we had thrice cooked pork belly pieces that totally defeated the purpose of having taken the time to sous vide. What was lost was the expected, buttery texture that the dish should have had. The rest of the meal was tarnished, but we stick in for the long haul. The silver lining were the deserts, they were worth staying for.

Overall, the Management of the restaurant was highly un-concerned. A gentleman wearing a black chef smock and another dressed in casual clothes were wandering throughout and running food in the dining room and never bothered to acknowledge the mixup. I didn't blame the waiter, he was caught in the middle between a probably poorly executed dish. The gentlemen in the chef smock made a cursory visit by our table about 3/4 through our visit to ask only me how my entree was, not acknowledging my wife. She had the better entree and could have given a better report. I hope they improve. [scratch.gif]

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