Off the Menu

Shrimp sauce-covered steak sounds like music to the mouth, but don’t look for it on a menu. Like an album’s hidden bonus track, this entree is off the radar, available only to those in the know. Let’s visit some of South Alabama’s eateries with great secret eats and take the “un-” out of the “unadvertised” and “unknown.”  Menu? We don’t need no stinkin’ menu.


Coco-Loco, Now You Know-co

The Tin Top Restaurant, a scenic spot under mossy oaks in Bon Secour, is known for opulent oysters, kicking chicken and more. But they also have a stealthy steak for anyone who knows the password: Coco-Loco.

“We take our steak Carlisle, which can be rib-eye or New York strip, and add shrimp bathed in our Coco-Loco sauce, ” explains manager Vicki Parliament. “The sauce is a mango vinaigrette flambéed in coconut rum.” Shrimp basked in rum is a beautiful sight (the shrimp probably enjoyed it themselves), but to behold, or even better, taste this sight, you have to ask for it.

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The Tin Top Restaurant • 6232 Bon Secour Highway, County Road 10 • 949-5086 •

Underground Vegetables

The Oar House Restaurant in Foley has quite a clandestine veggie tale, We’re blowing the cover off savory characters like covert carrots and cauliflower, all together in a hideout called “stir-fry.”

“Our stir-fry was on the menu years ago, ” notes restaurant owner, Vikki Torretti. “And our regulars have never forgotten it.” The Oar House mixes bell peppers, onions, broccoli and more into a homemade soy-like sauce. Adding them together equals, what Vikki calls, “awesome. You can make a meal out of it.”

A smaller version of the dish discretely hides on the menu under the classification of a side.

The Oar House Restaurant • 321 S. McKenzie St., Suite C, Foley • 967-2422 •

Parenthetical Po'boy

When one dines in a place called The Blind Mule, which serves up specialties like the Jackass Chicken Sandwich, a Tennessee Squealer, or the Mule Chili, what else could you want? Well, how about an undisclosed shrimp po'boy?

“Occasionally we run specials for a shrimp poblano pepper po’boy sandwich, ” explains server and bartender, Jerrod Bradford. “It’s not normally available year-round, but our insiders love it and know that if they ask for it, we will try to make one anytime, not just during specials.”

What separates this po’boy from its competitors are the poblano peppers and a creamy dill sauce dolloped onto a pile of local shrimp on a bun.

The Blind Mule • 57 N. Claiborne St. • 694-6853 •

Emmett Burnett

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