Exceeding Expectations

Heeding a recommendation, from Linda’s cousin, we found ourselves driving through the charming town of Fairhope, Alabama http://www.cofairhope.com. It’s wrought iron balconies are remoniscant of New Orleans French quarter.

The village streets are festooned with colorful whether from abundant blooming plants or expansive wall murals.

Colorful wall mural

We continued our drive meandering along the canopy of trees till we reached Point Clear http://pointclear.alabama.com.

This Marriott property http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/ptlal-grand-hotel-marriott-resort-golf-club-and-spa/  far exceeded our expectations. The lovely grounds are groomed beautifully.

Entering the Grand Hotel  with stained glass date of  1847 is a reminder of the historic significance  http://www.marriottgrand.com/gulf-coast-resort/History-3.html of impressive local.

This historic building made us feel as if we were in one of the grand lodges at a national park.

We were given the best seat in the house overlooking the water, for dinner at The Grand Steakhouse http://www.marriottgrand.com/restaurants-dining/Grand-Steakhouse-16.html.

The on site garden provides fresh ingredients for several on site restaurants

You know it a fancy – schamncy restaurant when the drink glasses wear a skirted doily.


Every detail, right down to the bread served in custom crocks featuring the iconic trees,  not only looked great, but was melt in your mouth, stop the presses, write home yo mama about it good!

We usally don’t order appetizers,  however, the home made cured, glazed bacon sounded intriging.

Bacon served with rye toast and poached egg yolk, garnished with a vanilla bean.

Such a variety of tatse , flavors and textures kept our palate curiously engaged.


Although though known for steak, Rob suggested the parmesan risotto for Linda.  It was creamy and had a robust flavor.


Rob’s steak didn’t even need the accompanying dipping sauce.

We were pleasantly surprised when our waiter brought this complimentary plate of sweets. Despite our claims that we were too full for desert, we somehow managed to muster up the strength to end the meal with a traditional southern favorite – praline pecans.

For the frugal minded diners like the Rob and Linda, every once and a while, it is best to enjoy the experience and ambiance and not try to  scrutinize every little penny spent. #wellworthit

After dinner, a stroll along the perimeter of the grounds watching the vibrant sunset was the final touch to a perfect evening.



Sky High Expectations Can Be Met At Dauphin’s

My dearest friend has always said that Linda  one of the few people who actually thinks she  should get what she pays for. As a couple, Linda and Rob have always defined themselves as frugal consumers who try to live within their means.

So it is unusual to find them dining in one of Mobile’s hotest dining locals http://www.godauphins.com/

If Linda hadn’t queried, she never would have suspected that the 34th floor of this building had a spectacular dining experience waiting for them.

Being frugal minded, they would normally shy away from dining in an establishment in  a high price point.  But sometimes, it is worth it to pay a little more and get a little more in return.

Upon entering the R S A  building,  there is this awesome mardi gra beaded wall mural.

There is a rapid rising elevator that has a entertaining light show as it ascends to the 34th floor.

Rob invited his colleagues to join the merriment at the kitchen’s chef table at Dauphin’s

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to eat a sculpture, then order the pear salad with goat cheese.   However, it requires deconstructing to eat.  And the cheese had a strong bite to it. However, when compared  to the salad from the previous night at Kitchen on George, it paled.  Although it is entertaining to have food presented in such a decadent way, in the end, it has too be satisfying to eat as well.

At first, prior to being able to see into the box, one might think the waiter was offering cigars.

But alas, adding to the unique dining experience,  was the opportunity to select from a variety of steak knives.

Linda’s steak knife was served in her gourmet burger.

She definitely recommends a burger garnished with egg.

Although Rob has frequently had soft shell crab, never served in a grand presentation as this.

Although we were more than stuffed, we could not pass up desert from the flambe table.  

The finished product was delectable.

But oh wait.

There was still more.

Chilled,mint truffles…

Naturally, they, won’t dine like this every night of their travels.  But there is no doubt that they will be unlikely to forget this memorable meal shared with colleagues and friends.

Finding The Sweet & Home in Alabama

As the retirement  clock continues to count down, we continue to take advantage of every opportunity travel.   So, when work calls the husband to Alabama,  the wife gladly comes along.  After a lunch visit with cousins in NC, we reached a half way point in South Carolina.   

We took advantage by visiting our recently relocated friends outside of Atlanta.  

When we arrived in Mobile, we discovered we were admist several thousand educators who were in town for the annual Mega Educators Conference. 

Part of the fun of traveling is discovering memorable eating experience.  Mobile provided a few of these experiences. 

Since we failed to make a reservation, our first attempt to eat at Kitchen on George  http://kitchenongeorge.com/ gave us a single choice of dining at the bar. Instead we made reservations to return the following night.  

Thus, we headed over to grab some local BarBQ, at Saucey’s.  Sadly, were dumbfounded, to find it was closed and locked for the evening at 7pm.

The following evening,  we arrived  at Kitchen on George as planned.

Aside from the hipster allure of being a ‘farm-to-table’ restaurant, it’s charm begins by being set in an traditionally, southern neighborhood of Oakleigh Gardens Historic District.  

The menu had several delectable sounding choices.   Rob and I agreed to start by sharing a salad.

The Alabama goat cheese was smooth and complimented the slivered pears and pecans garnishing the greens.  

After warm bread dipped in plated olive oil, our server promptly brought our meals.

Rob ordered the pontchartrain special; red drum filet on a bed of jumbaliah accompanied by shrimp in cream sauce. The red drum was fresh and clean.  The spicey zing of the jumbalyah was cooled by the creamy shrimp sauce.

Although the stuffed zucchini sounded tempting, Linda ordered the only seafood she will eat- Salmon. 

It was not too dry, tender and mouth watering.  The roasted marinated asparagus had been artisianly sliced lengthwise.  The augratin turnip was a novel side dish.

Origanally we planned to forgo desert.  Our bellies were full and our pallets, content.  However,we reconsidered after learning the desert menu choices.  We declined the regional favorite of key lime and opted to share a genetous serving of creme brule.

A wise choice; it was light, velvety smooth with a sweet crunch of the carmelized topping. The creamy flavor lingered well after we payed the check and finished the evening walking around the neighborhood,  admiring the lavish southern porches and the spanish moss festooned trees.