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Going Bananas for Fish-Cosmo’s Courtyard 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die

Sea bass In Banana Leaves at Cosmo’s Restaurant and Bar in Orange Beach Alabama is my #69th dish on my quest to eat all 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die. Or, #33 if I am counting down.

Located just minutes from Orange Beach and Alabama’s Gulf Coast, this is one busy place. With no reservations accepted, I was lucky to get the last two spots at a small bar area located in the front of the restaurant that overlooks a few shops and a large covered courtyard area that held a large amount of seating for guests . The place was full of people, colorful, and live music was playing.

Since there was a 45-minute wait time, I ordered a cheese dip appetizer. This dip is made with cheeses from a local artisanal craft dairy called Sweet Home Farm. Their cheese is blended with Swiss and Parmesan, topped with feta & roasted tomato relish and served with pita chips. If it’s cheese, I’m trying it.

Although I had hoped to sit outdoors, I was seated inside the restaurant.  The walls are colorful and are covered in funky and interesting pieces of artwork.


Colorful Art at Cosmo’s Restaurant

The restaurant is described as offering modern Southern & global fare served in a casual setting.  For the banana leaf-wrapped fish, the menu reads “our chef ‘s selection rubbed with a special blend of herbs & seasonings, wrapped in banana leaves & baked. Served with our house rice & vegetable selection.” Fortunately for me, the chef selection of the day was sea bass.


Sea Bass wrapped in Banana Leaves

Unwrapped that fish like it was a Christmas present.


Cosmo’s Seabass cooked in banana leaves

  Why wrap a fish in a banana leaf? Well, I cook this killer crab-stuffed trout.   I love to take it camping because I can make it ahead of time and wrap it in foil to cook over the fire.  It’s so luxurious.  Anyway, before the advent of non-stick tinfoil, sometimes the trout would stick to the foil.  Yes, I have tried steaming the French way in parchment paper and I never mastered that technique, so there is that.  Of course, this was before YouTube.  The banana leaf prevents the fragile fish from sticking to grill or even foil during cooking. Most importantly, the leaf adds a mellow smoky and sweet flavor.  In the modern world, you are able to purchase banana leaves at most Asian or Latin stores and now even in many supermarkets frozen area.  After watching Youtube and reading recipes, I’m going to go to my local Asian Supermarket and cook up some fish!

MEGastars – 5 ***** Outstanding!  I went back and forth between a 4 and a 5 * due to the long wait and small plate for the $30.00 price point, I decided that this dish was extra delicious, unique, perfectly prepared using local foods with global inspiration and served with Alabama pride.  I look forward to a return visit for this same meal.


  1. As this establishment does not accept reservations (at the time of my visit in 2016,) Do not go to this busy place starving, you likely will have a wait.
  2. Check ahead of your visit to see if the sea bass is on the menu for the fish of the day.  Because I like to try each food listed in “100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die, I may have been disappointed if this was not the fish of the day.
  3. Cosmo’s Bar and Restaurant website.


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, 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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