Hello, dear readers! Well, I guess it’s pretty clear I decided to enjoy the rest of my vacation and save blogging for the return home. Honestly, there was hardly time during the remainder of our stay in Gulf Shores. What, with all the eating and drinking and beaching and parasailing, who wants to be inside on a laptop??
Saturday was a very busy day for us, starting with breakfast at our favorite place in Gulf Shores – Brick & Spoon. Seriously, if you live anywhere from Mobile to Pensacola, you HAVE to eat here! The interior is delightfully kitschy with its unfinished concrete floors and mural and stripes, the staff couldn’t be friendlier or more attentive, despite how very busy the place always is and the food…well, enough can’t be said about the food. Plates are generous, flavor is spot on.
This place came recommended to us last year and we spent an hour and a half, staying semi-damp in the pouring rain, waiting for a table. We were not disappointed. This year, when we pulled into the parking lot, I was like a little kid on Christmas morning. And the fact that we got right in and immediately seated just added to the food frenzy already gripping my soul. It was like visiting a loved friend. Part of my excitement was knowing I would be writing about my experience and sharing this place with anyone willing to read. I want to push this post to the universe so that nobody has to miss this place. The experience is always delightful.
I sat with Eric Beech who owns this location as well as the one in Lafayette, LA. The two locations opened within just months of each other in 2013. Given how busy this place gets, I have no idea how he managed that! He stated that attempts (not by him, by corporate) to open in Destin, Houston and New Orleans didn’t go as successfully which I find shocking. It certainly had to be a management issue, especially in Destin. Houston and New Orleans are saturated with restaurants and Brick & Spoon is definitely niche, but I can’t imagine this place failing anywhere!
Eric stays very involved in the community which I’m sure adds to the success of his location. He feeds local firefighters every Sunday at a 50% discount and makes sure to get as many of his ingredients locally as possible. It shows. Everything tastes impossibly fresh. The crab meat is always sweet and light, never fishy. The hollandaise is such a bright yellow, it could only come from farm fresh eggs. Everything is made from scratch daily – biscuits, hollandaise, marmalade. Nothing is prepared in advance and then refrigerated or frozen for later use.
And of course there are the famous Brick & Spoon Bloody Marys. While the food seriously impresses, they are known for their Bloody Marys and even track how many they serve! (yes, that is MY Bloody Mary below!)
The Bloody Mary menu is as extensive as the food menu. Here is mine, filled out to my preference (if you have never had fresh rosemary in a Bloody Mary, you don’t know what you’re missing). They’re not cheap but they don’t taste cheap either. They’re magnificent. The pictures above speak for themselves.
We started with the biscuits and marmalade. Truth be told, I’m not a huge bread eater. It’s about the only food I feel that way about but Staci was drooling over them on the menu so we ordered them. The marmalade was more like a strawberry puree, and tasted like someone had picked them and sieved them just before serving. It tasted like nectar on a cloud. The biscuits were a little golden and crisp on the top and the middle was so airy, it was almost like it didn’t exist. But oh, it did. Biscuits like that are why I don’t make biscuits. Mine are hockey pucks in comparison.
I was going to order something different this year but I just couldn’t. The Crab Cake Benny has my heart. A thin english muffin with a sweet crab cake, perfectly (and I mean PERFECTLY) poached egg with a drizzle of bright hollandaise sauce. That yolk was enough to bring a tear to your eye. It’s delightfully rich but not heavy. Perfection. The spinach greens on the bottom are cooked old-school with vinegar and bacon which provides just enough acid to keep the dish from becoming too rich. Their cheese grits are creamy with a subtle cheddar flavor running through them and are fire roasted which adds a wonderful dimension to what can be an otherwise ordinary side.
Staci, bless her heart, was not near as adventurous this year in her food choices. I kept asking her to “take one for the blog” but alas, this was HER vacation too, right? She stuck with the American Breakfast which was eggs, ham, bacon and grits with another biscuit which I’m sure didn’t hurt her feelings one bit. And of course her Morning Margarita which is made with fresh orange juice.
It’s a caloric indulgence so we only stop here once, no matter how many days we stay. But it’s a stop we look very forward to. Our waitress Kelsey was spot on – very attentive but not attempting to dine with us. She always had a smile on her face and treated each table as if it was her only one. We would be remiss if we didn’t give a shout out to bartender Sheena as well. Girl, that Bloody Mary…..
If you are within a 90 mile radius of this place, make the time to stop in from some brunch. Tell them we sent you! And have a Bloody Mary for me!
Happy reading, joyful cooking and spread the love, folks!