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I Shipp You Not-100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die

Tasty Tuesday- My 65th dish or 36th, (if I am counting down)on my quest to eat all of 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die.

“Once You Try Shipp’s – You’re Hooked!” This one is not my pun.   However, I shipp you not, the Grilled Grouper Pontchartrain at Shipp’s Harbour in Orange Beach Alabama, was among the best grouper that I have ever eaten.  In fact, all of the food that I experienced at Shipp’s was equally outstanding.

The Atmosphere-

The restaurant offers a total of seven dining areas. There are indoor dining options with a view.  This indoor round room is gorgeous and perfect for a large group.

shippsround

The indoor is nicely decorated with a seaside cottage vibe. It is the kind of place where in the restrooms, they offer a dish of nicely scented, local salt scrub for their guest’s hands.

Alabama’s shoreline along the Gulf of Mexico spans 60 miles. Yes, the sand is actually sparkling sugar white due to quartz content.

alabamabeachbird.jpg

Soft on the feet for miles of walking, the gentle surf makes it a place for tourists from many places. If you find yourself traveling with your canine friends, they too are welcome at Shipp’s.

shippsdogs

I absolutely love fine dining in a casual atmosphere and  the places that offer these comfortable experiences.  A place where a finely dressed  party may dine comfortably aside the casually-dressed people, who have just pulled up in their boats.  Wear whatever floats your boat.

According to Shipp’s website, they have the best views on the island. Quite possibly, seafood tastes better with views of Perdido Pass and Robinson Island on a gorgeous Alabama summer day. I think I will do a case study in the future. The atmosphere gets 5 MEGastars *****

 

Shippsview.jpg

Bay, bridge and a view with palm trees

 

The Chef and the food-

Not only is the atmosphere top notch, so are the owners, the experienced Chef Matt Shipp and his wife Regina. With classic chef training for Matt and years of combined restaurant experience, this couple brings something refreshing to the Gulf Coast area. The food style is described as “traditional Gulf Coast Cuisine, reinvented, using flavors of the Coastal South region.” [1] Food and sauces are made daily from scratch and the Angus beef is hand-cut in their kitchen. Local fresh produce is used wherever possible, received, washed, prepped, hand-peeled and prepared.

The Food-

Not only are they known for seafood and steak, there is a fun sushi menu. I tried the Island Roll – 8.95 Tempura Shrimp, Cream Cheese, Avocado, Hot Sesame Oil, Spicy Mayo, Pineapple Salsa. So yummy.

Shippssushi

From this love, I was able to taste this fantastic salad before my dinner.  I wish that I had taken the forks off the plate before I snapped this pic. This was the Apple Pecan & Cheese – 8.95 Spring Mix, Arugula, Pecan Encrusted Goat Cheese, Creole Pecans, Apples, Cinnamon Vinaigrette.  My group LOVED this salad. 5 *****

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The mixed salad that came with my meal is worth a shout out for the fresh veggies and the delicious Tomato-Feta Vinaigrette.

shippshousesalad.jpg

However, I came for Grouper Ponchatrain – 22.95 Grouper, Panko Bread Crumbs, Shrimp, Crab, Red Onion, Mushroom. This came with smoked-gouda mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetable (green beans.) to note, by the time I ordered, I had to split the meal. It had already been cut before I took this photo and yet it still reflects the artistry that comes out of this made from scratch kitchen. Absolutely outstanding.

shippsgrouper.jpg

Not only was this among the best grouper that I have ever eaten, I’m going to say that the smoked-Gouda mashed potatoes may have been the best that I have ever eaten.

MEGastars- 5 ***** For the best local seafood and produce that money can buy, prepared from the made-from-scratch kitchen, and experienced in a fantastic setting. I ship you not, I am absolutely going to return for this same dish.   Now I know why they say, “Once you try Shipp’s, you’re hooked!”  Shipp’s I worSHIPP you.

MEGatips-

  1. After many visits to this area, I have learned that the restaurants in this area are very busy. I would highly suggest making reservations. On-line reservations are available
  2. If you are a nature lover like myself, I suggest sitting outdoors.
  3. The restaurant is a bit tricky to find without using a GPS. There is a map on the website for convenience. And the websites says call us if you can’t find us. Located at Sportsman Marina, “we overlook the harbour at the end of the western entrance, just past the giant dry boat storage building.” The address is 28742 Canal Road, Orange Beach, Alabama.
  4. No, I did not spell Pontchartrain incorrectly. I am not sure why the dish is named Ponchatrain.
  5. You don’t have to wait for your ship to come in, the menu is extensive and there is something for all budgets.
  6. DO visit Alabama’s coastline.
  7. Contact information Shipp’s Restaurant website link

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This MEGabites and MEGastars description is found at the bottom of each post. If you are new to my 100 Dishes in Alabama escapade, this may be helpful information.

ABOUT:  *100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die,” is a compilation of food to chow down on “Bama style.”  Thanks to Tourism Alabama, www.alabama.travel my Alabama bucket list just became a little easier.  I am going to have some food fun while making my way like Ms. Pacman, in yet another state that I call home.   From the little old diner to the white cloth setting, this journey is an opportunity for me to explore my new state and experience pride in food from restaurateurs who are dedicated to local food, with some Alabama style. From the local BBQ smoker to James Beard recipients, you too will take a culinary trip across scenic and historical Alabama.  From this list, I select stops based upon convenience of location and they are in no particular order (but I already have a few favorites.)  Perhaps when I finish this list, I will rank my favorite dishes. You too may pick up the brochure at Alabama Tourism stops or download the alphabetical brochure that begins in Abbeville and ends in York.

I use a 5 MEGastar system.  For the most part, I am traveling a distance to try these dishes and these places get one shot at how I view the food and experience.   I will not be taking an average of three visit experiences and I factor this in when I give my star rating. That said, I’m very easy to please, I can overlook quite a bit and have worked in the food service industry.  I am not a paid food critic, just Meg, a curious traveler, with an interest in trying different foods and sharing my two cents on the experience.  I try to follow my own 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? or,  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 is a difficult write.
  • ** passable – the food was “ok” but the place  was not “ok” 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 truly highlights Alabama Pride.
  • ***** I actually died, went to heaven and came back when I ate the dish. And/Or, something is very unique, something you cannot get anywhere else.

 

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