Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Hungry Lady Travels: The Steamer in Gulf Shores, Alabama

About 2 or so weeks ago, I started to tell you all about my vacation to Gulf Shores, Alabama for The Hangout Music Festival.  Can't remember that far back?  You can read part one here.

So after 3 utterly amazing days of music, sun, and sand, we were ready to close out the festival in style.  Sunday night's headliner was the Dave Matthews Band.  Given that I haven't enjoyed DMB since they saved me from an ill-advised R&B and rap phase in the mid-90s, I wasn't excited about Sunday night at all.  Until the gang decided that we'd have our farewell dinner that night.

After watching the sun go down over the water to the dulcet sounds of The Flaming Lips performing Dark Side of the Moon, L & I headed back to the condo for a little pre-dinner beverage or two, while E, G, and J ran across the beach to catch DMB.  J, actually being a DMB fan, stayed for their whole set.  E & G stayed for a couple songs and then headed back to join L & me for a beer or two on the balcony.  We had decided that since DMB ended at 11 p.m., we were going to shoot to get to dinner right as the set ended and J was going to meet us there when she was done.

Later that evening, we meandered from our condo to our destination: The Steamer.  Let's talk about The Steamer.  It is, as you would imagine, a seafood restaurant.  But, for all of you who claim to only like seafood when it's fried, you're out of luck.  The Steamer only offers baked, steamed, grilled, or raw food.  Sold.

There were 5 of us, so we ordered quite a bit of food and shared most of it.  We had 18 baked oysters, smoked tuna dip, one pound of mussels, 6 snow crab clusters, and 1 1/2 pounds of royal reds.  Plus new potatoes, corn, sausage, and slaw.

Everything listed above, except 1 crab cluster and 1/2 pound of royal reds.
Let's talk about the oysters for a minute.  We got one order of Baked Rockefeller Oysters, and one order of the Baked Parmesan Oysters.  Not only were they gigantic, they were unbelievably delicious.  An excellent topping to oyster ratio.

These were the Rockefeller Oysters.
Needless to say, I wasn't eating any of the royal reds (those are a type of shrimp, for those of you not in the know), so L & I split 3 crab clusters.  We probably should have only gotten 2.  Again - gigantic and meaty.  And so juicy and flavorful that you didn't need any butter to dip them in.

Trust me, this looks like a lot less food than it actually is.
We probably could have also done without the mussels and the smoked tuna dip, but I don't regret a single bite of either dish.  Besides, after spending 3 days in the sun, running across the sand, and subsisting primarily on snack food, we were all ravenous.  We tore into our plates and it was dead silent at our table, except for the sound of the crab crackers.  If you know this group of people, you know that silence is an unusual occurrence.  We're a chatty group.  But apparently hunger and deliciousness trumps conversation.

By the time we finished, and we made a valiant effort and had very few leftovers, we were so stuffed we could barely walk home. Just to give you an idea, here's the "after" shot:

We filled two of those buckets in the center, and had leftover shells and such on our plates.
What an incredible time.  There's really no place like the Gulf Coast for seafood.  And don't let the prices on the menu scare you - everything is big enough to share.  Much like the Hangout has become tradition, I think The Steamer will fit in nicely with our plans for next time.

Final Rating:

You can find The Steamer on Facebook or the web.

The Steamer Baked Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon

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