The Opinionated Foodie: The Love (or Not) of Food and Everything That Goes with It

The Steamer and Baked Oyster Bar-Gulf Shores, Alabama

When we ate at The Steamer, it was almost the end of our trip in Gulf Shores. We had almost had our fill of fresh seafood, and we were almost out of places to eat. For some reason, we decided to try this place. It was off the main road and smack dab beside a souvenir shop-you know, the one with the shark in the front and pirate ship in the back.

The wait? Looong, but we were fine.

Our expectations and appetites weren’t very demanding.

The atmosphere? From where we were seated, blech.

When we were seated after the very long wait, we were given probably the worst table in the place. It was across from the hostess stand and directly by the entrance outside. We were so close to the people waiting that people were staring at our food. One guy actually leaned over the railing and asked for some crackers.

The food? Outstanding.


My sister started out with the crab bisque, and she was nice enough to share a bite. It was the best ever. I dream about it during boring teacher meetings. Top notch, I tell ya.
Mr. Opinionated and I shared the Big Lagoon Steamer Tray. Divine.
See how good it was?

Not one person in our group had a bad meal even if our table wasn’t the best.

Luckily, or unluckily, we loved, loved, loved The Steamer.

Luckily, because we had such good food.

Unluckily, because we ate there so late in our trip, and we didn’t have a chance to go back on that trip. However, The Steamer is now on our list of places to eat in Gulf Shores.
The Steamer Baked Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon

Gulf Shores on Dwellable

Pirate and Princess Breakfast at the Hangout-Gulf Shores, Alabama

We love pirates. We love princesses. We love breakfast.

This meal was a perfect fit.

A small group of us went to the Hangout for the Pirate and Princess breakfast one morning. We weren’t sure exactly what to expect, but we were very happy with the experience.

We ordered the buffet, which was actually a large platter of food that we could have refilled any way we wanted without ever having to leave the table.

That, my friends, is my kind of buffet.

The eggs were not the greatest, but the rest of the food was good. The bacon and sausage hit the spot. The biscuits were warm. The grits were nice and cheesy.

The beignets? Outstanding.

I’m talking great. We ordered five refills of them. Five. They were warm and soft.

They were so good, as a matter of fact, that when we returned to the Hangout later in the week for lunch, we asked for and got more beingets until the kitchen ran out.

The Hangout’s breakfast was great fun. The kids got to do a treasure hunt with the priates and a princess, who also visited our table. The view was uncomparable. The gift shop rocked. The kids’ meals were free. The company and food were great.

Loved it. Been there; done that; doing it again someday.
The Hangout on Urbanspoon

The First Meal: The Original Oyster House-Gulf Shores, Alabama

Ah, tradition.

Going to the Gulf for us means starting with a meal at The Original Oyster House.

We can get in there, shop a little, eat, and then get out in time to get to the condo at three. The sooner we get in and out, the sooner our toes will be in the sand.

Plus, it is right on our way into town. It doesn’t get much more convenient than that.

The shops that surround the restaurant are neat and unique.

Most importantly to me, there is a stuffed alligator at the corner of the building. With my two kiddos beside it, I can see how much they have grown over the years.

The food at the Oyster House?

See those oysters? Notice the shells.

They’re fake. Plastic.

The broiled Parmesan oysters at the Original Oyster House in Gulf Shores, Alabama are served in fake oyster shells.

I wonder what time the boat brings in the oysters in the plastic shells? Because at most restaurants on the water, they can tell you when and where the seafood came from. What part of the gulf has these fake shelled oysters?

Good Lawd.

My meal was the softshell crab po-boy. I love, love, love softshell crabs.

Yet, this was a mediocre sandwich at best. The crab did not taste fresh.

I think one could expect fresh oysters in real oyster shells and fresh crab in a restaurant sitting on the water called the Original Oyster House.
The only redeeming point was the peanut butter pie from the gift shop. Dang, it is the best.

I was not knocked off my feet by how delicious The Original Oyster House was, but I still sorta liked the food and the experience. That probably has a lot to do with the fact that once the check is paid and the shops are skimmed for cute things, the next stop is my vacation home away from home.

Did I love it? Nah. Will I go back? Sure. It’s tradition.

Or, at least it is until we find something better….
Original Oyster House on Urbanspoon

Gulf Shores on Dwellable


Whose first stop on vacation was an Amish cheese store?

This girl’s.

I adore Amish food stores. And cheese. And shopping. So, so fun.


The last time we traveled this route, it was a Sunday so the store, Ada’s Country Store, was closed. Since we couldn’t stop, we spent probably the next fifty miles naming the types of cheeses the sign claimed were there.

All twenty of them.

This time, the store was open, and we got to stop. A dream has come true.

And, I am sure I am the only food dork who took pictures while shopping. Or who yelled, “Look! Look at this!” over and over.

I had a blast and got a pumpkin whoppie pie and some curds.

This is the life. Gotta love vacation and Amish cheese shops.

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