4 November 2015
I did wake up early and with a clear head as I headed out of Jackson for the long trek down to the Gulf Coast. A busy day, but I got myself to Mobile in the afternoon and chilled out at my hotel on the east side of Mobile Bay. A beautiful view. Love the “beware of alligators” sign in the hotel parking lot…
Tonight I was planning to head to Kitchen on George, which is probably the best place to eat in Mobile — as I was told. I was looking forward to another good dinner, to see if Alabama can compete with the wonderful (and utterly underrated) Mississippi. I headed back into downtown Mobile in the evening and got to the restaurant just on time.
The restaurant was busy but the bar wasn’t too bad, so I happily chose a bar seat. I enjoyed a cocktail as I looked through the menu and it looked excellent. I ordered and chilled out. If there’s one thing I noticed people in Alabama talked VERY loud… But I was more focused on my food, which soon appeared.
My starter was a wonderful crawfish-stuffed mirliton — or chayote. I don’t see these things being used enough, and this was just spectacular. What lovely flavours mixed with the sauce and the fresh seafood — and the belly. This was one of the best starters I’ve had this year, totally fantastic!
I switched to wine, some fine rose, and finished off this beautiful dish. I almost ordered a second one! But I had a main course coming, and it arrived…
Grouper was the fish of the day, and this was lightly blackened, with a jambalaya supporting act. Excellent fish, solid flavours. The jambalaya was also very nice, although a bit minute in portion. I was actually surprised with the portion size as I’ve seen enough “way too big” dishes in this part of the country, so a refreshing change.
This was a very nice dinner and I decided I was full enough, as I had a huge ol’ BBQ for lunch (to be chronicled later). So I headed on back across Mobile Bay to chill out. Kitchen on George proved itself very well, and I still am dreaming about that stuffed mirliton. Fabulous.
Honestly, my dinners in Jackson & Mobile just blew away every meal I’ve ever had in New Orleans or Atlanta. Why is that, and why do these smaller cities not get more love from the big-name food folks? I think only my friend Simon Majumdar hits these places off the “foodie track” and I applaud him for his efforts. Please, next time you’re thinking of just doing NOLA for food, try going a little further out. You won’t regret it, and Mobile proved it tonight.
Kitchen on George
351A George Street