Eat’n Out! Feasting on the beach!

Published 11:04 pm Sunday, August 27, 2023

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Hot! I am sure I don’t have to tell you how hot it’s been. I don’t know if we have set some sort of record recently with the heat and the heat index, but it sure feels like it. I really suspect that it is no hotter than it was when we were growing up around here. I mean I don’t even remember it being hot growing up. I know it was hot but when you’re young it doesn’t really matter. It could be freezing cold or burning up outside and I was still first out the door to go play. My dog, Marty, was waiting for me right outside the door and as I went out and put my hand on his head as I passed him, he fell into step right beside me, where he stayed all day, and we were off to our adventures. We had forts to build, bridges over creeks to engineer, lean-tos to lean, wars to fight, damsels in distress to save, stick horses to ride, BB’s to shoot, bicycles to race and more. There just didn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to experience all that living. I must have made Marty run a hundred miles a day. Poor dog.

These days, I lose my breath the second I walk out the door. Oppressive heat and overwhelming humidity. I know I am old. If you listen to the news these days you will think the world is coming to and end with this weather. I think they are just getting old like me, and foul weather hurts more than it did when they were young.

In any case, my wife and I decided that if we had to be hot, we might as well be sitting on the beach. So, that’s what we did last week. That was our second trip to the beach this year so far and the year is still young.

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I do admit the timing wasn’t a coincidence. The kids in most States had returned to school and took their parents with them off the beach and out of the restaurants. Going down there between the time when the families with kids have all gone home to get ready to return to school and before the snow-birds come in for the winter is the perfect time. Wide open beaches. No wait at most restaurants. No dangerous projectiles flying around the pools. I finished one book and nearly finished a second while we were there.

I was such a creature of habit with my careers in the military, education system, and the business world. Like most people we lived by the schedule and the cell phone. Our workdays and home time were managed down to the minute each day. Time for this, meeting for that, hurry up. Military uniforms, business suits, airline tickets, parking, commuting, managing, planning. Then at the end of the work day an hour commute home to hurry to soccer practice, cub scout meeting, girl scout meeting, karate class, band practice, football practice, and more. You know the drill.

Since I retired, I am averse to schedules. I don’t even like doctor’s appointments. I want to tell them the same I would tell my sailors in the Navy and my students at the University. “If you get here on time and I am not here, just wait some more”.

Even though we avoid schedules, we are in a definite pattern during our trips to the beach. Americans like to eat lunch at 12:00 o’clock. Not 11:00. Not 12:30. They also, out of habit and schedule, want to eat dinner at 5:00 o’clock. We have found that if we just go before or after those times there is generally no wait, and the servers and chefs aren’t maxed out. The food is better, and everyone is relaxed and smiling, especially us.

This trip was no exception. Beaches were practically empty, walked right to our table for meals, service was prompt, and meals were well presented. We weren’t herded in and out with the cattle. We actually enjoyed an after-dinner snifter of something expensive and enjoyed a quiet conversation overlooking the white sands of Orange Beach.

We enjoyed a new restaurant this trip in Orange Beach. It came highly recommended. It isn’t too hard to find because it is technically the only Beach Front restaurant in Orange Beach. Its name is Coastal Orange Beach. It is located at the intersection of the Beach Road coming from Gulf Shores and the Foley Bypass.

The building is architecturally interesting as is the open-air seating at both the main restaurant and bar. You are literally connected to the beach from your table. Just mere feet from the bright, white, sands. A unique and deliberately wonderful atmosphere on the beach with live music at advertised times on their website. This place has a completely manageable menu. By that I mean I am always afraid that if a restaurant has too many items or types of foods on their menu, they won’t do anything well and the menu is just too hard to navigate. Not the case here. They have one burger, three types of tacos, about 8 appetizers, 6 Entrees, oysters either raw or grilled, about 3 different salads, and 2 desserts. They do have some soup and a few other things, but they cover steaks, fish, chicken, and seafood. What I had was delicious and everything else looks great. I think they do all of it well.

I skipped an appetizer this trip and went straight for a salad and some grilled shrimp. The salad was perfect. The shrimp were well seasoned and fresh but for my taste they needed to have gotten a little more char on the grill. Just personal preference though.

We had the “Bushwhacker Tiramisu” and it was awesome. We shared one order which was almost too much for two people so be careful not to get too much.

All-in-all, an awesome new restaurant on the beach in Orange Beach when Eat’n Out!

You can see their menus and more at their website at