Restaurant Review: Zeke’s Restaurant

Watch the fishing boats come and go as you enjoy the new flavors of Zeke's in Orange Beach.

Exterior of Zeke's Restaurant in Orange Beach, Alabama
Photos by Elizabeth Gelineau

Nothing necessitates immediate change quite like a hurricane. When Hurricane Sally brought 110 mile-per-hour winds to Orange Beach in September 2020, it also brought a second wind of sorts to Zeke’s Restaurant. After sustaining devastating damage, the longtime coastal Alabama staple was reinvented and redesigned. The restaurant reopened two years later with a new-and-improved infrastructure built to withstand strong storms and complete with a comfortable coastal flair.

 Though the remodel brought significant modifications to the overall facility, this new iteration of Zeke’s has been going strong since it reopened its doors and pays plenty of homage to its pre-hurricane history. The wood paneling at the front of the building is made up of old planks salvaged from the wreckage of the former restaurant. A giant photograph of boats hanging on the back wall was taken at the marina as the vessels were anchored down in preparation for Hurricane Sally. Ropes draped from the ceiling and fishing poles (also remnants from the storm) anchored to the walls bring in the marina that awaits just beyond the dining room.

The marina plays a bigger role in the restaurant than just influencing the decor and offering beautiful waterside views to customers. If you like fresh-caught, water-to-table fish, you’re in luck. “We have an extensive hook-and-cook program,” says General Manager Victor Bobu. “People can bring their fresh catch and we can cook pretty much anything.” A catch served family-style is a unique experience not limited just to those chartering from Zeke’s Marina. “Usually, people will bring their fish in from the charter trip, but they can bring it from their own boat as well,” Bobu explains. The rest of the menu ticks all the boxes of dining at the beach, pleasing tourists and locals alike. “We are known for our raw bar selection,” says Bobu. The day’s fresh options are displayed on ice in a clear case for all to see near the entrance. The bar is not to be missed, particuarly for bourbon-lovers. “The bar has the largest selection of bourbons, I’ll say, in the whole Southeast,” says Bobu. “They have hundreds.”

While seafood restaurants may be a dime a dozen on the Gulf Coast, the combination of fresh offerings, beloved history and can’t-be-beat views make Zeke’s a stellar standout.

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Cripsy Fried Shrimp and Seared Scallops

On the Menu

Seared Scallops
Tender scallops take on the flavor of the bacon fat they were seared in as they are served with Monterey jack polenta, blistered heirloom tomatoes, bacon and a white wine butter sauce. 

Blackened Cobia 
Light, flaky cobia is blackened and seasoned with just a hint of spice, then served with classic dirty rice and a crawfish and Conecuh sausage cream gravy.

Shrimp Scampi
Pan-seared Gulf shrimp are the star of this dish as they sit atop a serving of fettuccine accompanied by blistered tomatoes with garlic, lemon and parmesan.

Crispy Fried Shrimp
This bestselling appetizer features jumbo tail-on Gulf shrimp over a bed of dressed greens and pickled Fresno peppers, topped with a tangy-sweet zippy sauce.

 Zeke’s Restaurant  • 26619 Perdido Beach Blvd., Orange Beach • 280-8008 • Sun – Thu 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Fri – Sat 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

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