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Never Been Earwormed by Kow-liga before? 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die

Tasty Tuesday-My #42 try or #61 on the countdown.

After my first visit to the Kowaliga Restaurant to try The Fried Alabama Shrimp Platter, my curiosity got the best of me and I needed to figure out what Gulf Shrimp, Hank Williams and a lonely wooden statue had in common?

The Kowaliga Restaurant is near Alexander City on the beautiful Lake Martin. Technically, the lake is made from a reservoir and is 44,000-acre lake with 900 acres of shoreline. This is a popular area for weekend homes (some multi-million), outdoor enthusiasts and vacationers alike.


Wind Creek Stat Park-view from the tower

I visited in the evening just after the New Year, when the restaurant was dressed up for the holidays.  The restaurant sits on a lakefront peninsula with two dining rooms and wonderful outdoor seating areas, all offering picturesque views of the lake.

The Gulf Shrimp Platter is served with your choice of one side dish.  I chose the coleslaw and my Mother had salad.


I left this photo large so that you might get an idea of shrimp size. The coleslaw was super tasty and check out these warm hushpuppies.  Large and juicy gulf shrimp is delivered every three days to this restaurant. It is fried from simple ingredients of; cornmeal, flour, buttermilk and is said to have just the right amount of salt and pepper.   Always served with fresh warm hushpuppies and your choice of one side.

MEGastars ****4 I am going to give this dish a 4 star.  It is a simple platter,  yet taken up a notch with these perfect Gulf Shrimp.  If you follow my blog, you know that I am a new convert to Gulf Shrimp.  I love the taste!  These shrimp were large enough to taste, (I LOVE that) yet the batter seasoning was not overpowering, and the shrimp sauce was perfect.  Alabama food made with Alabama pride.  I couldn’t find the Kowliga recipe for coleslaw, but it had a little kick to it. Trust me, it was really tasty and crisp.

Other food tried at my table. Check out these ribs, onion rings and Caesar salad! NUM


What I learned from this visit.

  1. Kowliga is pronounced kaw-ly-jə
  2. Currently owned by Russell Lands Corporation. (you may have heard of Russell Athletic wear.) This company has taken time to cultivate this area into a top notch Southern destination. Although it is a business, these people seem to truly care about their product. Every aspect for the visitor experience is top notch, from the landscaping to top chefs and clean fresh décor.
  3. This restaurant has been in operation since 1953, built as a cabin in 1946, and rebuilt after a fire as a tribute to Hank Williams and his music.  You will find interesting photos and memorabilia on the walls. kowligashop
  4. Legendary country singer Hank Williams wrote a song called “Kow-liga” at his Lake Martin cabin in 1952. In 1953, this song went to the top of the charts.
  5. Legend has it that Kowaliga was a Creek Native American man, who once lived on Lake Martin. He fell deeply in love with a beautiful maiden and asked her to marry him. However, her father had already promised her to another. She had to leave, never to be seen again. Heartbroken, Kowaliga swore to stand on the edge of this lake and wait faithfully for her return. He stood on that lakeshore so long that his feet finally took root and he turned to wood.  Sad. Arranged marriages suck. kowligastatue
  6. An earworm is defined as: a catchy song or tune that runs continually through a person’s mind. I always thought the word for this state of mind was “jazzbound” and yet I couldn’t find this word in a dictionary. Who knew?


  1. Bring a friend for that shrimp platter and also try the catfish taco, it was named the “tastiest taco” in Alabama by The Food Network.
  2. The website link will tell you everything that you need to know before your visit.  For hours, location and menus click here. Kowaliga
  3. Prepare to get earwormed.  Check out the song  Kowliga on You Tube

4. You too can visit Hank Williams grave and other sites in Montgomery, Alabama.hankgrave

This MEGabites and MEGastars description is found at the bottom of each post of 100 Dishes. If you are new to my 100 Dishes in Alabama escapade, this may be helpful.  *100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die is a compilation of food to chow down on Bama style. Thanks to Tourism my Alabama bucket list just became a little easier. I am going to have some fun while making my way like Ms. Pacman, in yet another state that I call home.  You too may pick up the brochure at Alabama Tourism stops or download the alphabetical brochure that begins in Abbeville and ends in York. From the little old diner to the white cloth joint, it is an opportunity to explore and experience pride in the food from restaurateurs who are dedicated to local food with some Alabama style. From the local BBQ cook to James Beard recipients, you too will take a culinary trip across scenic and historical Alabama. From this list, I select visits based on convenience of location and they are in no particular order. I already have a few favorites and perhaps when I finish this list, I will rank my favorite dishes.

I use a 5 MEGastar system. I am not a paid food critic, just Meg, a curious traveler, with an interest in trying different foods, finding the story and sharing my two cents on these experiences. I try to follow my star system so that I may be fair to the wonderful dishes on this list.

  • *meh food. Just wasn’t good. Maybe the food came from a can. The place was not one that I would want to send someone to show pride in Alabama.   This has happened to me a few times and it is a difficult write.
  • ** passable – the food was ok and above happened but the place or vice versa
  • *** good but not outstanding or unique
  • **** Very tasty dish AND meets one of the definitions set forth by Alabama Foods/Tourism, of local food and/OR highlights Alabama Pride.
  • ***** I actually died, went to heaven and came back when I ate the dish. OR, something is very unique, something you cannot get anywhere else.
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