One of the things I was looking forward to the most about my trip to Mobile was the food – while Berlin has an eclectic and outstanding set of restaurants, there are no good seafood restaurants that are reasonably priced in Berlin – and there were exactly two restaurants and one coffee shop on my written to-do list. The unwritten mental list included Waffle House.
I managed to eat at Wintzell’s Oyster House downtown three times in one trip – the service was slightly inconsistent, with Adam (a well named guy) providing the best service. The food was excellent – all three visits I ordered Oysters for an appetizer. The raw oysters were the best; I also tried the Oysters Sampler, a collection of 16 oysters, seasoned differently. The Sampler’s best bit? The Char-Grilled Oysters (covered in butter and cheese) followed by the Rockefeller (tons of spinach).
For the main course, I ordered bacon wrapped shrimp twice, and then, on my last visit, ordered the special of the day, oyster tacos (check out the Lytro photo). The bacon wrapped shrimp is fantastic, and I had the fried okra as a side with it both times. (Random Factoid: I never ate fried okra before I turned 24; since then I have become an addict.)
This place is good, and I would happily detour 100 miles to eat there.
The other restaurant on my to-do list was the Bluegill Restaurant, which is located out in the bay. This place is excellent with incredibly good dishes. I also ate, for the first time in my life, fried pickles. This was where I made a point of eating fried green tomatoes – both of these are things that are just not eaten in Denver; at least not when I was a kid. My main course was the Bluegill Platter, which is a fried seafood special: fried oysters, fried shrimp, and fried shrimp. I added the fried crab claws.
It’s probably a good thing that I’m heading back to Berlin.
This is a much more sophisticated atmosphere, but every bit as good as Wintzell’s – and, had I been in the mood to drive, I would have headed out there on New Year’s Day, when most restaurants downtown were closed.
On the coffee shop front, I went to Serda’s Coffee, which was located right across the street from my hotel. Serda’s is, uh, adequate. The coffee is good and the atmosphere is excellent, but the food is seriously lacking. Friday I ate a Rueben that was cold – I’ve never eaten a Rueben that is cold before and I don’t care to again. Saturday, after having stayed up way too late Friday night, I popped in Serda’s with my New Orleans Friend for breakfast. My breakfast burrito and his breakfast bagel were both over priced and underwhelming. My future visits to Serda’s will be limited to coffee and sweet baked goods.
On the other food front, Waffle House was exactly as I remember it, and I ate there three times – all three times were good and filling – perfect for breakfast. In fact, I ate at Waffle House on my way out of town since I had to leave the Hampton Inn long before they started serving breakfast.
Friday night’s dinner was dictated by the fact that a heavy rain storm came up and the subsequent fact that we didn’t want to get soaked – so we ended up going to Veet’s, a bar with a restaurant half. I had a Po’boy – and more fried okra than I could possibly consume. I’d happily go back to Veet’s.