Dine At Joeys North Shore Grill ~ Hula Hula Tiki Bar As A Tourist And Feel Like A Local
The second thing you will notice are the good-looking, (energetic!) young gals and guys busing and cleaning tables. The bar is bustling and the crowd includes guests of all ages, seated at colorfully stained and heavily lacquered picnic tables. A gal plays bongos and a guy is singing. Together, they harmonize to music like Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Kenny Rogers' greatest hits, and Jimmy Buffet sing-alongs. Heads bob, feet tap and kiddos dance.
Joeys North Shore Grill is located in a tiny strip center off a busy boulevard leading to the beaches, but you will "feel" like you are on the island. It has a coziness of a neighborhood coastal bar. This particular night River Rick and I want to drink a beer, eat a burger and Oyster PoBoy and sample the bread pudding dessert.
We are offered several choices of beers on tap. I only hear, understand and then order a stout Guinness. If you want a drink like a "Shark Bite" or anything involving cookie dough vodka you'd best check their Facebook page in advance and make a mental note to order. A drink menu would be helpful to inspire us "memory challenged old fogeys" to try new drinks. But after the speed rattling of drafts this night, we don't dare ask about "cocktail" choices.
There are other local restaurants that offer "Island" type burgers served with pineapple, bacon or ham and cheese over a burger patty. Joeys North Shore Grill just makes theirs better. Really.
Start with a grilled patty, add Provolone cheese (many other restaurants serve with a Swiss "type" of cheese "product") and a grilled pineapple slice (this serves to caramelize flavors --- thereby sweetening the slice). Add to it tomato, leaf lettuce, red onion slice and top with some type of (secret) "Sweet Island Sauce" and you have the famous "Island Burger."
What is dubbed "The Best PoBoy You Ever Ate" comes with the largest, juiciest "select" (premium) brand of Bon Secour Oysters. The oysters are cornmeal dusted and fried --- like what is found throughout the Gulf Shores area.
If you add an extra side of sweet tater fries, you will have a nearly perfect burger or sandwich meal. I must admit I thought the fries were freshly cut and fried but I later learn they are frozen-fried. I was fooled. The sweet potatoes are thinly sliced and perfectly crispy.
Although the above mentioned menu items can arguably be similar in quality as in other local restaurants, this is the part you want to imprint on your memory for a truly unique experience:
The Banana Loco Bread Pudding is unlike any bread pudding you'll find in any restaurant, anywhere.
I'm served a dark, spicy hunk of pudding topped with a caramel sauce that I learn is made with two types of rum and a banana liqueur over pudding baked with two types of unusual bread: blueberry and Hawaiian. Roasted pecans sprinkled atop add just enough crunch.
I determine this to be the one of the top five bread puddings I've had. Ever.
One look at the menu has me wishing for a return visit to order the Ahi Tuna Burger, with North Shore salad of mixed greens, oranges, coconut flakes, glazed pecans, almond, macadamia nuts topped with house dressing side $9.
The $9 daily specials also look intriguing: everything from Lasagne to Shepherd's Pie to Shrimp n Grits looks enticing.
The blackened hand-cut Creole New York Strip topped with Bleu Cheese crust for $23 has me intrigued but I'm not sure I'd be in a "steak" frame of mind with surfer dude-looking servers donning Tiki tees and board shorts.
I predict Joey's North Shore Grill ~ Hula, Hula Tiki Bar will be a local favorite hangout.
I suspect tourists will discover the value and menu choices of the grill and choose to dine at Joey's North Shore Grill rather than stand in wait at other better known establishments. They will most likely follow the lead of locals and sing, dance and enjoy the unique coastal vibe.
Joeys North Shore Grill
Phone: 1 251.747.4343
Where to go to have a "Beachin' Good Time!"
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