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ALABAMA COAST OBSERVER ~ APRIL 2014
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    2 w April 2014 w Alabama Coast Observer

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    STRUMILA PUBLISHING Mailing Address PO BOX 1334 Gulf Shores, AL 36547 (251) 504.1001 OFFICE www.coastobserver.com Coast Observer Virtual www.myvirtualpaper.com/doc/ GulfCoastObserver/current/ www.facebook.com/alcoastobserver OBSERVER STAFF Cheli Strumila Editor/ Owner / Graphic Design cheli@coastobserver.com Ben Fant Graphic Design Robert Baudier Photographer WRITERS Kelly Lott Restaurant Reviewer kelly@coastobserver.com Kelli Parris Attractions & Bar/Nightclub Writer kelli@coastobserver.com ADVERTISING SALES Kelli Parris Advertising Rep kelli@coastobserver.com Coast Observer strives to provide a very accurate informative publication. At times entertainment listings change and mistakes are made by Human Error...or they are put there for those of you looking for error...if this happens we apologize but are not responsible for any typographical errors that occur or changes in listings. The contents of Coast Observer may not be reproduced in any form without written permission by the Publisher and Owner, Cheli Strumila. All rights reserved. If you have anything you would like listed in Coast Observer, any stories or poems that uplift the spirit, or if you have any ideas you think would interest the rest of our readers, we are always open to new ideas!! This is your paper too!! This Month’s Features w Tacky Jacks.....Page 4 w Mullet Toss FAQ’s.....Page 7 w Baumhowers.....Page 9 w Compleat Angler Pilar Boat Bar....Page 10 Adventures & Watersports Page 6 w Beach Services w Boat Rentals w Fishing & Charter Boats w Kayak & Canoe Rentals Attractions Page 8 w Amusement Parks w Bazooka Ball & Laser Tag w BiPlanes w Dolphin Cruises Dining Heeelllloooo Gulf Shores Orange Beach & Foley!! Springtime is Here!! Yeah!!! Wow, can you believe a 1/4 of 2014 is already over? Geez time sure does fly when we’re having fun!! We went from NYE to Mardi Gras to St Patty’s and just like that POOF...here we are!! But I don’t know about you, but I’m soooooooo ready for pretty weather!!! So com’ on Springtime, I’m ready to get outta the house and get to having some outdoor fun!! And we all know living on the Gulf Coast gives us many great events and fun times to enjoy it with!! With the pretty weather, many will be flocking to our beaches and outdoor venues!! It’s for that reason that I decided to revisit some of our favorite outdoor venues as well as share with you some great Alabama Gulf Coast venues that we feel really allow us to get out, breath in the fresh air and feel the sun on our face!! So in this issue and in our May issue we’re gonna take you back to some of our favorite outdoor and seasonal venues you wanna make sure to check out!! As you know, we Love Tacky Jacks!! Sitting out on the patio, watching the boats cruise down the intercoastal and water ways as we enjoy some great dishes, cocktails and music really gets us in the mood for spring and summer!! Bob Baumhowers Pilar Bar, Compleat Angler, and Baumhowers have really gotten the buzz going about the Wharf and now many are flocking there to check out what all the fun and excitment is about!! Next month we’ll introduce you to their newer venue, Bimini Bobs, which will certainly be a spring and summer fav for all to enjoy!! And while you’re at the Wharf, stop into our favorite daiquiri shop, Island Time Daiquiri and say hi to our friends Bobby, Kelli, w Check out our Review on Diamond Jim’s & Mrs Donna’s w Compleat Angler Restaurant.....Page 11 w Island Time Daiquiri’s.....Page 12 w Cold Mil Dolphine Cruises.....Page 14 w Reachin’ Inside to Touch Your Soul w Paddleboard Rentals w Parasailing w Sailing w Waverunner & Jet Ski Rentals w Go Carts w Hot Air Balloon Rides w Miniature Golf w Zoo w Dine at our Restaurant Advertisers Golf Courses Page 15 Museums & Historic Sites Page 15 and Brittany!! Not only can they whip you up one mean daiquiri, but they are never at a loss for great conversation!! Just in case you want a little more water action, head on over to Cold Mil Fleet Dolphin Cruises!! If you’ve never been on a Alabama Gulf Coast Dolphin Cruise, you are really missing out!! The way they get the dolphins to play with the waves is truly a magical sight to behold!! Now you must be living in a hole if you didn’t know that with April comes one of the Biggest events of the year, the Florabama Mullet Toss!! Celebrating it’s 30th Year, and it’s 50th Anniversary, Florabama is pulling out all the stops this year to make this fabulous event even more fun than one should be allowed to have!! So make sure you head over there April 25‐27 to enjoy all the fun!! It is no secret that I Love Jesus with All My Heart!! Every Day I Thank Him for the Many Blessings of Life, Love, and Lessons that I have been able to experience in this Journey called Life!! April 19/20 will be some special Easter events for you and the family to join in on!! But with all the bunnies, egg hunts, etc, I hope you will remember to take a second and Thank Him for his Unconditional Love that he bestowed upon us All that day over 2000 years ago when He made the ultimate sacrifice upon the Cross on Calvary!! So what are you waiting for...Get out & have some fun and enjoy everything that life and Gulf Shores / Orange Beach / Foley / Perdido Key has to offer!! I know I’m going to, so I’ll see ya there!! Until Next Month ... Cheli PS...Don’t forget to join our facebook page www.facebook.com/alcoastobserver or download our smartphone app for more updates and to post your fun & exciting events!! And you can always check out our most current issue virtual on the web by going to our website coastobserver.com and clicking on “Alabama Coast Observer” cover. Alabama Coast Observer w April 2014 w 3

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    Orange Beach, AL­­This little marina started supplying fuel and fishing tackle to the local fisherman where the fisherman would nosh, drink and share their “tales” after a long day of fishing. Located in Orange Beach off Marine Rd., the quaint marina evolved into Tacky Jacks Grill & Tavern in 1980. An already successful business man, George Skipper, purchased the marina in the late 1990’s and gave it the loving improvements that have set the standards for todays Tacky Jacks franchise. Having become a major tourist destination for breakfast, lunch and dinner, there are now 4 locations in the area. Tacky Jacks objective is to provide a fun atmosphere with a well­trained staff offering a visit that one can’t wait to repeat! And, Cheli and I can’t wait to return, we went twice in this one day for the overall Alabama Gulf experience! Beginning with meeting Susan Sizemore, head of PR and event planning to being greeted by our precious waitress, I was amazed at the size and hominess of the newest location in Gulf Shores at the curve on Canal Rd., just southeast under the Intercoastal Waterway. Each Tacky Jack’s has it’s own personality with the same goal; providing quality, value, family and community ideals. Each location sports a huge fish hanging from a scale to have your picture taken with, and, all donations go to the Make a Wish Foundation and are matched by the corporation! Our waitress served me a Famous Tacky Jacks Bushwacker topped with 151 and an Abita Root Beer that I used as a chaser. This combo was very satisfying, almost like a root beer float. At this point, we understood that our day was going to be fabulous!! For appetizers we had Blackened Gator Tails, now one of my new favorites! Tacky Jacks version of a Southern Favorite­­ Fried Green Tomato Fries, Firecracker Shrimp ­ fried and glazed in Asian chili sauce ­ move over bangbang, these are awesome! Smoked Tuna Dip ­ seared ahi­tuna that is the Perfect Coastal Treat, and Mexican Garbage ­ the ultimate loaded beef and cheese nachos served in a mountain a top a tin resembling a garbage lid! I was very happy with all apps as each had it’s spin on coast favorites with a special Tacky Jacks touch!! Since Cheli makes sure she breakfasts at Tacky Jacks on every overnight trip, she asked if they would please make the Farmer’s Omelets for me to try. Voted One of the “Top 100 things not to miss while in Alabama,” the Farmers Omelets was a deluge of diced smoked ham, sausage, and slab bacon with onions, peppers, mushrooms, and home fries folded into a fluffy omelette smothered in cheese served with homemade biscuits just like Grandma used to make!! Oh my, if you are anywhere near a Tacky Jacks at breakfast time, you Must do it!! We then sampled the Shrimp and Grits ­ one of the latest southern crazes, served perfectly ­ spicy seasoned shrimp over cheesy grits. At this point I had the award winning Bloody Mary, doing everything all backwards anyway, right??!! Even though we are sampling, when we were served the Mahi Fish Tacos, we were like “stop it already!!” About to explode from the large portion sizes of each dish, we shared one of these delicious tacos! We had ours with fried Mahi Mahi in a warm & soft flour tortilla topped with shredded lettuce, and blended cheeses served with a special spicy sauce, with hot and crispy tortilla chips! Susan was now trying to convince us that we had to try so many more menu items, but, alas, we could not do it at this point! So we promised her that after we finished refilling all our newspaper racks across the coast, we would make our way to the Original Tacky Jacks in Orange Beach and try to sample other menu favorites!! Another breathtaking view before us, the hunger just was not!! (Imagine that!!) Yet, we still, just for you the readers, ordered a couple more items!! Ugh!! I’m so full I can barely breath as it is!! We had the Seafood Salad ­ choosing our shrimp and crawfish blackened, over romaine lettuce with tomato and cheese. Cheli says, “I really like this blackening seasoning!” And, if she wasn’t such a chicken, would have loved it on the Gator Bites as well!! Tacky Jacks Build a Burger offers a 1/2 lb chuck, hand pattied burger served just about anyway you could want. We had the Bleu Burger topped with bleu cheese crumbles. And yippers it was delish!! Our server laughed at us when we ate 2 bites of each dish and had them boxed up as well!! I wondered out loud to Cheli, “where do they find all these beautiful waitresses?!” As we rolled our butts out the door, some tourists were asking for recommendations. Well, the funny thing is, we are here reviewing their food...so we made sure to tell them all about our favorites which were many!! LOL, it seems the tourist at my employment seem to find me for that very same question! Let me tell you...!!! Tootles Alabama I can’t wait till we meet again!! Kelly

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    The Wharf Easter Egg Hunt April 19 11:00 AM Free Easter egg hunt! Plus face painting and balloon artists on the lawn at The Wharf! For more info: Call 251­224­1000 The Wharf 4830 Main Street Orange Beach, AL 36561 Florabama Easter Egg Hunt & Kids Fun Day April 19 2:00 PM Flora­Bama hosts a family friendly Easter Egg Hunt event every year the Saturday before Easter. Come join the fun! Florabama Worship at the Water Easter Service April 20 11:00 AM Every Sunday we have Worship at the Water at the world famous Flora­Bama. Our church service is unique and welcoming to everyone from locals to people visiting the area. On Easter Sunday we have a huge church service to celebrate this meaningful holiday and welcome everyone to join us. Last year we had 2200 people and hope to have more this year! For more info: Call 850­492­061 Flora­Bama Lounge & Oyster Bar 17401 Perdido Key Drive Pensacola, FL 32507 LuLu’s Easter Egg Hunt April 20 2:00 PM Meet the Easter Bunny and have fun searching for eggs with hidden treasures inside. April 20 at 2:00 p,m. on the Lulu's Beach. For more info: Call 251­967­LULU (5858) LuLu's 200 East 25th Avenue Gulf Shores, AL 36542

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    A Orange Beach Sailing Adventure 4575 S Wilson Boulevard Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.981.SAIL (7245) www.sailob.com Gulf sailing adventures specializing in family day trips and romantic sunset getaways. Come experience true offshore sailing just 10 minutes from our dock! Located at Hudson Marina. ABC Parasail 26651 Perdido Beach Blvd. East Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.981.8877 www.abcparasail.com Float high above beautiful coastal Alabama waters. Visit our website for complete details. Action Charter Service 888­558­3889 www.FishEmeraldSpirit.com www.ActionCatCharters.com As local family owned boats, our personalized customer service and southern hospitality excel. Capt. George and his lifetime passion for fishing (and catching) is unsurpassed. We are consistently rated 5­star in every category by our customers. We provide year round fishing trips from 4 to 48 hours to meet your wants, needs and budget. Visit our Facebook page for specials or call toll free any time to book your Reel Fun! Alabama Kayak Adventures 251.379.5143 www.Alabamakayakadventures.com Kayak the Gulf Coast with Alabama Kayak Adventures Inc. Paddle inshore waters and discover native wildlife, or hook the big one on an inshore or gulf fishing trip. "get the paddling you deserve". Alabama PaddleSports 251.279.0703 www.alabamapaddlesports.com Alabama PaddleSports is a delivery only, kayak and stand up paddleboard rental company that offers the Gulf Coast area the best in paddlesports delivery. Bad Habit Charters 23650 Cotton Bayou Drive Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.981.6899 48' Newton, air conditioned, three bedroom, two bath enclosed salon on board cooking facility. BeachnRiver Kayak Rentals 18743 Keller Road ­ Foley, AL 36535 251.971.8359 beachnriverkayakrentals.com Offering single and double sit­on­top kayaks for self­guided still water floats from a shaded, onsite shallow launch at river's end of the cool, clear, spring­fed waters of the Bon Secour River located just 10 min from Gulf Shores beaches. Blue Reef Watersports­Parasail 27075 Marina Road Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.504.7411 www.bluereefwatersports.com Group discounts. Your premier watersports activity center. Offering Parasailing, Jet Ski rentals, 2­hour guided jet ski tours and Dolphin tours. Call for reservations. Serving Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Perdido Key. Chute em up Parasail 27212 Marina Rd Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.981.7673 Have a birds­eye view of the beautiful gulf coast aboard the largest most comfortable parasail boat. Longest flight time. Bring your cooler! Down Under Dive Shop 1129 Gulf Shores Parkway Gulf Shores, AL 36542 251.968.3483 www.downunderdiveshop.com Specializing in exciting scuba charters, guided snorkel trips, PADI and NAUI instruction, exotic group trips, equipment repair, and an excellent selection of quality scuba equipment. Gary's Gulf Divers 27844 Canal Rd. Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.747.6563 www.gulfdiver.net We are a full­service scuba diving center. We offer rental gear and charter boats for scuba trips, scuba training, spearfishing trips, snorkeling and much more. Located at Sportsman Marina. Gulf of Mexico Trips 1577 Hwy 180 Gulf Shores, AL 36542 251.540.2628 www.gulfofmexicotrips.com We offer a fleet of rental boats and watercraft including pontoon boats, jet skis, kayaks, surfboards and bicycles. In­shore and deep sea fishing charters and scuba diving charters are both available. Gulf Shores Beach Rentals 3873 Gulf Shores Pkwy Gulf Shores, AL 36542 251.609.4577 Toll Free: 888.896.9854 www.gulfshoresalbeachrentals.com For all your vacation needs! We Deliver: Beach Chairs/Umbrellas, Kayaks, Bicycles, Grills, Baby Equipment and much more! Call today to set up a reservation! Happy Harbor Water Sports at Sun Harbor 27212 Marina Road Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.981.6111 www.happyharbors.com Pontoons with slides, waverunners, craigcats, run­a­bouts, kayaks, bikes and more! Ships Store, Fuel Dock and boat storage.. Hudson Marina 4575 S Wilson Boulevard Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.981.4127 Toll Free: 877.783.3474 www.hudsonmarina.net At Hudson Marina you can experience it all. Fishing, dolphin cruises, dinner cruises, jet ski and pontoon boat rentals. You will have fun here year round! Ike's Beach Service, Inc. 800 West Beach Blvd Gulf Shores, AL 36542 251.948.3757 www.ikesbeachservice.com Beach chairs, umbrellas, full size cribs and beach wheelchairs, kayaks, high chairs, roll away beds. Lucy L Charters 26350 Cotton Bayou Drive Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.454.6693 www.lucylcharters.com It's all about you! Fish, fun, family and friends. We take up to six people. The boat offers the luxuries of home. We offer fishing trips, sunset cruises or design your own trips.. Orange Beach Parasail 26619 Perdido Beach Blvd Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.981.8359 www.obparasail.com Up to 2 passangers can ride at the same time! Experience the thrill of a sky high ride over the beautiful Gulf Coast beaches of Gulf Shores, Orange Beach Our boat ­ Six Chute'R is docked @ Zeke's Marina Perdido Beach Services 25328 Canal Road Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.981.4807 www.perdidobeachservices.com Lounge chair and umbrella rentals. Delivery of beach equipment to private homes and condos. Water sports rentals: Kayaks, Sailing, Boogie Boards, and Sunscreen product sales. Perdido Key Parasail 401 East Beach Blvd. Gulf Shores, AL 36542 251.948.7433 www.perdidokeyparasail.net From 800 feet in the air, enjoy spectacular views of our emerald waters and stunning beaches. We offer Jet Ski and Banana Boat rides. No trip to the beach is complete without a stop at Perdido Key Parasail. Sea Rocket 27212 Marina Rd Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.923.9862 Cruise the scenic gulf coast and intracoastal waterways. Dolphin tours. We'll pick you up. Shoreline Pontoon Boat Rentals 251.989.2205 Toll Free: 877.637.9527 www.pontoonboatrentals.com Boats are delivered to the customer at a boat launch within a 20 mile radius of Foley. Very nice, clean and maintained boats. Must be 21 years or older to rent or operate. Sky High and Pleasure Island Parasail at SanRoc Cay 27267 Perdido Beach Blvd Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.946.9000 www.pleasureislandparasail.com Independently owned and operated, Pleasure Island Parasail is your one stop beach destination for Jet Ski rentals, beach chair rentals and world class parasailing adventures.Two Locations: Pink Pony Pub and San Roc Cay Marina. Wahoo Water Sports 29603 Perdido Blvd Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.979.0150 www.wahoowatersports.com Waverunners, pontoon boats, and dolphin cruises. Open 9 a.m.­ 6 p.m. Seven days a week. Located at Flora­Bama 6 w April 2014 w Alabama Coast Observer

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    Mullet Toss F.A.Q. The Interstate Mullet Toss & Gulf Coast’s Greatest Beach Party is legendary. What started as just a reason to party has become one of the biggest beach parties on the coast. Those who participate in the Mullet Toss will throw a dead mullet over the state line of Florida and Alabama to see who gets the farthest. Hotel bookings are done months, if not years in advance for this event. People travel from across the globe to see what all the fuss is about here at the Flora­Bama; the memories are priceless. Want to know how the Mullet Toss works? WHAT IS A MULLET? Psych! You though it was a really bad haircut. Technically it is and you will see plenty of those here too. Please, don't hate. A mullet is one of the more popular and plentiful fish indigenous to this area. It is the only fish with a gizzard and is said to possess mystical properties.Known as bait fish on the east coast and a local delicacy here. WHAT IS A MULLET TOSS? It's like a big flash mob on the beach where a fish throwing event breaks out. Word. A Mullet Toss consists of individuals on the beach throwing a mullet, from a 10­foot circle in Alabama across the state line into Florida. Not to mention a great excuse to throw a weekend long party, with lots of fun activities, great music and food! This year's event will feature local celebrities tossing out a few fish at noon, each day (Friday, Saturday & Sunday). flung will go to Local Youth Charities, including local school education and prevention program from the Community Drug & Alcohol Council, Inc. (CDAC) which offers programs, community support and collaboration to address drug and alcohol abuse, tobacco, mental health issues and violence both in the home and on our streets. Each year, with your help, we raise and contribute over $20,000 to local charities, especially youth organizations. WHEN DOES THE ACTUAL TOSSING OF THE MULLET BEGIN? Whenever we sober up or the times below. Whichever comes first. (Continued on Page 13) WHEN IS THE MULLET TOSS? The Interstate Mullet Toss is always held the last FULL weekend in April. April 25, 26 & 27, 2014 WHY TOSS A MULLET? Because anyone with a haircut like that deserves to be tossed. Just kidding, we heart mullets of all kinds. Let's get serious, a contribution for each fish Alabama Coast Observer w April 2014 w 7

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    Adventure Island 24559 Perdido Beach Boulevard Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.974.1500 www.adventure­island.com Rides and thrills for entire family! Mini­golf, bumper boats, gokarts, paddle boats, and lazer tag arena. Kiddie rides and 100+ arcade games. See the 5­story volcano erupt nightly! Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo 1204 Gulf Shores Parkway Gulf Shores, AL 36542 251.968.5731 www.alabamagulfcoastzoo.org Explore the natural habitats of more than 400 animals. Elevated viewing decks offer close­up viewing of everything from alligators to wallabies, plus Reptile House, Aviary, Petting Zoo, Gift Shop, Concessions, shaded picnic area. LIONS, TIGERS AND BEACH. OH MY! Alligator Alley 19950 County Road 71 Summerdale, AL 36580 251.946.BITE (2483) www.gatoralleyfarm.com See over 150 alligators in their natural environment with an opportunity to feed them! Meet Captain Crunch, the world record holder for bite strength­he's over 13 feet long! Enjoy bird watching and a Giant Snake Safari. Seasonal feeding times: 11:00 a.m.­ 1:00 p.m.­4:00 p.m. Arena the Next Level 4720 Main Street Ste 205 Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.224.5297 www.arenaorangebeach.com The newest and prettiest family attraction on the Gulf Coast. Our Lazer Tag and Bazooka Ball are safe and fun for all ages. Bird of Paradise Biplane Rides 3190 Airport Drive Gulf Shores, AL 36542 251.609.2043 Toll Free: 866.687.8359 www.866mustfly.com The Bird of Paradise takes flying to a new level…providing adventurous passengers open cockpit flights and romance of yesterday. Ferris Wheel at The Wharf 4985 Wharf Parkway Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.224.1000 Toll Free: 877.942.7325 www.thewharfal.com The Southeast’s tallest Ferris Wheel at The Wharf. Open Monday through Saturday from 10am­10pm and Sunday from 1pm­8pm. Tickets are $4.00 each. Gulf Bowl 2881 South Juniper Foley, AL 36535 251.943.4575 www.gulfbowl.com Join a league, have a party, or just bowl for fun. Restaurant, snack bar, party rooms, mezzanine viewing area, pool table room, family arcade/redemption and much more. Jimmy's Casino Shuttles 8275 Hwy 59 South Foley, AL 36535 251.943.2744 Toll Free: 866.943.2744 www.casinoshuttles.com Biloxi Casino trips are available from Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Foley, and Loxley, Alabama. Visit the IP Casino and The Beau Rivage Casino. At either casino, you get $15.00 in FREE PLAY. Exciting daily trips to the fabulous Biloxi casinos. The best deal in town. Call for reservations. Lakewood Stables 15523 Lillie Lane Summerdale, AL 36580 251.945.6711 Trail rides, Group parties, Riding lessons. Landmark Tours 26 Hoffren Drive Fairhope, AL 36533 251.928.0207 www.landmarktours.com Day tours aboard luxury buses. Trips planned for your group of 20 or more. We'll visit historical mansions, Civil War relics, forts and museums, nature centers, hikes, zoos, boat sightings of dolphins and alligators. Mobile Bay Ferry 51 State Highway 180 West Gulf Shores, AL 36542 251.861.3000 www.mobilebayferry.com Vehicle/passenger ferry operating between Dauphin Island and Fort Morgan. Daily departures every 1 1/2 hours. Check our website for rates and schedule. Oak Hollow Farm 14210 Greeno Road Fairhope, AL 36532 251.928.4840 Toll Free: 877.OAKHOLLOW www.oakhollowfarm.net Open six days a week by appointment. One hour guided horseback rides on a 300 acre scenic farm. Nature trails, group hayrides, horseshoes, playground. Pirates Island Adventure Golf 3201 Gulf Shores Parkway Gulf Shores, AL 36542 251.968.4653 www.piratesislandgolf.com Two 18­hole courses among waterfalls, caves, tropical plants, a pirate ship and sea fog. Sea Horse Stables 14537 State Highway 59 Foley, AL 36535 251.971.RIDE (7433) Trail rides, Pony rides, Birthday parties, and Riding lessons. Shrimpy's Mini Golf & Arcade 204 East 2nd Avenue Gulf Shores, AL 36542 251.948.6464 18 hole mini­golf with arcade inside. Candy, chips, ice cream and sodas available. Fun for the whole family! Taking Off Hot Air Balloon Company 708 West Laurel Avenue Foley, AL 36535 251.970.3598 www.gulfviewballooning.com Gently lift off into an adventure where you'll experience the scenic vistas of the Alabama Gulf Coast from a whole new vantage point! Great for weddings or honeymoon! The Track Recreation Center 3200 Gulf Shores Parkway Gulf Shores, AL 36542 251.968.8111 www.gulfshorestrack.com Go­karts, bumper boats, Kids Kountry, arcade, mini­golf, skycoaster, and refreshment center. Wales West Light Railway & Family Fun Park 13670 Smiley Street ­ Silverhill, AL 36576 888.569.5337 www.waleswest.com Real train ride, 1 mile through rural setting. Train station, gift shop, tea room. Month­long event trains at Halloween, Christmas, & Easter. Day Out With Thomas in May. Parties. Waterville USA 906 Gulf Shores Parkway Gulf Shores, AL 36542 251.948.2106 www.watervilleusa.com The ultimate in family fun, is a 20 acre Water Park and Amusement Park located in the beach resort community. Amusement park opens March 5th. Waterpark opens May 14 on weekends only and every day after May 28th. 8 w April 2014 w Alabama Coast Observer

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    Orange Beach, AL­­Sweet Home Alabama!! Bob Baumhower, known throughout the state as a Crimson Tide success, who moved on to play professionally for the Miami Dolphins, has brought two more of his famous dining establishments to The Wharf in Orange Beach. We shall astound you with tales of the Compleat Angler on the pages to follow, as for now, we are completely overwhelmed by our adventure at Baumhower’s. A mac­daddy sports bar, featuring the ultimate in wings and starters, this venue is sooo much more, offering incredible southern dining at it’s very best, and, at a very reasonable price!! Baumhower’s is located in a beautiful setting at The Wharf, surrounded by monstrous yachts on the bayside deck. Teak walls lined with stainless trims and portals, turquoise concrete floors, and huge photographs of Bob and friends enjoying some serious sports fishing adorn the smaller bar, complete with numerous flat screen TV’s. Then you have a Bama­War Eagle Wall, Tiger Stadium, (yes, LSU fans are cordially invited!), and many other football celebs trapped in beautiful photos dispersed among many more televisions. Already in love with this venue, our fabulous waitress began our journey of the tastebuds. She served our drinks along with a bag of fresh popcorn for each of us. At this point, one of the most massively impressive figures I’ve had the pleasure to meet approached the table and introduced himself simply as Bob. He proudly introduced the General Manager, and the Managers from Compleat An gler, the restaurant and art studio. Telling us how his time in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale was spent sport fishing and hanging in Bimini on his down time, he came to meld his southern upbringing of what we call comfort food with the delicacies of the Caribbean. The menu may look overwhelming, but, the choices are simply fantastic alone as appetizers, on a salad, on a sandwich, in a wrap, as a platter, or with true grits. And then there are fantastic seafoods, steaks, wings/wangs, sides, and Caribbean dishes!! For our Pre­Game­Warmup, we got down on some homemade Garlic Cheese Biscuits (which are included with platter orders), and, watch out Red Lobster, Baumhower’s has you beat, hands down! We then had Fried Green Tomatoes, perfectly seasoned and breaded, deep fried, served with spicy remoulade sauce, and the best Redneck Caviar! Bob’s version of black­eyed peas, shoepeg corn, black beans, rotel, sweet peppers, onions, fresh cilantro, diced tomatoes and pickled okra in special seasonings and Wish Bone Italian dressing. What a topper on them maters!! Since Bob’s other venues specialize in wings, we had the Wing Sampler with buffalo sauce, butt­rub, and Caribbean Jerk! I love all wings, but, these fresh, never frozen portions were seriously awesome! Cheli and I have been huge fans of Jerk seasoning since our days living in the Caribbean, and now we’ve got Bobbie and Sonny on board! Many appetizers to choose from, they also offer Fried Wickles ­ “sweet heat” pickles battered and fried. At this point we met the Executive Chef, who along with Bob and other venue chefs have created a mean gumbo and tailgate chili. He was very animated in relating the upgrades to the menu at this new location, and eagerly told us his top sellers and best picks. There are “100 dishes to eat in Alabama before you die!!” and the “Hot Bama” Brown is on this list. Tender slices of Almost­Fried Turkey, piled high on toasted sourdough bread, topped with Blanco cheese, parmesan, mushroom brown gravy, crowned with Conecuh bacon, and tomato slices served with mashed potatoes and more gravy. OMG, I am ecstatic that I have had this Sandwedge at Baumhower’s! Delish!! We also shared Da Baum Burger ­ one whole pound of lean ground chuck seasoned perfectly, grilled and served on a toasted Rotella onion bun with curly fries. They have burgers eleven ways, but, when I tell you this was a supremely superb burger you GOTTA try one, or share one! We also had Beef & Grits ­ that’s right, you can have almost anything with your grits! Slow cooked tender roast beef in it’s own juicy gravy with some of the best grits ever! Alabama Stone­ Ground grits of the day, this day cheddar, with a bowl of stewed okra and tomatoes. Yummy!! I’m gonna buy some of these grits as soon as someone tells me where!!?? You can choose from Buffalo Wings, Hot Lips (boneless, mojo marinated and fried), Lemon­Garlic Chicken, Gulf Wild Shrimp, Fish and Wangs (boneless buffalo chix), all with GRITS!! These GRITS (girls raised in the south), I’ve fallen head­overflip­flops for these combinations! LOL!! From the Diving Catch I ate 1/2 of the Redfish ­ Caribbean grilled with mango salsa, and black beans & rice with cilantro sour cream, that , was excellent! (Redfish, Jerk, 2 of my VERY favorites!) And, the peas and rice as they call it in Jamaica, Mon, the best I’ve ever eaten! Da Baum Hamburger Steak was the special of the day, but, since we are trying a variety, it goes like this...Char Grilled Ribeye with a skewer of grilled Alabama Wild Shrimp with Black & Bleu sauce and a grilled half potato and fresh steamed broccoli. Fabulous­Fabulous­Fabulous!! (clapping my hands like Eddie Murphy playing mom in Nutty Professor!) Ha, Ha, now we gotta have Fried Banana Pudding a La Bama, and Chef Zucker’s special frozen Pina Colada!! Fabulous, again! The Stupendous afternoon at Baumhower’s continues to (his) The Boat Bar. Sipping on Hibiscus Mojito’s, listening to the Margaritaville croonings of John Reno, watching the sunset...PARADISE!! Until Next Month!! ^xÄÄç Baumhowers Of Orange Beach 4851 Wharf Pkwy Ste 130 Orange Beach, AL 36561 (251) 424­1360 www.baumhowers.com

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    Orange Beach, AL­­ The name "Baumhower" is nothing new to this area. Since I moved here, there have been several of Baumhower’s restaurants scattered from here to Mobile; I have always enjoyed frequenting them. Now, I am lucky enough to be able to visit some of Baumhower's delicious establishments right here in Orange Beach. The Compleat Angler and Baumhower's have grown to be a huge presents in the Wharf's lineup of restaurants, delivering a wave of fresh, new and exciting options for people to choose from. These are both fantastic choices for anyone looking to dine out, but my favorite thing about Baumhower's Wharf invasion is the Boat Bar. The Boat Bar is located in the breezeway between The Compleat Angler and The Compleat Studio, overlooking the water. It is named "Pilar," after Hemmingway's boat. With a Bimini top, and rails all around, you get the feeling that you are actually aboard a ship. I suppose, if you stayed there drinking for long enough, you'd be walking with sea legs that will also make you feel that way. After all, most of the fishing trips I’ve ever been on ended up as, simply, drinking on a boat. This way, you're just cutting out the middle man. The Boat Bar is a one­stop ship for curing your thirst. Sunday­Thursday, they are open from 2 p.m. until 10 p.m., and Friday­Saturday from 2 p.m. until 11 p.m. This breezy little bar is everything I could ask for on a beautiful, summer afternoon (because, for some reason, drinking outside makes me feel slightly more productive than sitting at a bar inside). With such amazing specials, they make it easy to afford feeling "slightly more productive" for hours at a time. The Boat Bar is packed with all of your favorite beer and liquor, which, on a hot day, are twice as refreshing. They might even be three times as refreshing if the bartender, Lance, a beautiful piece of man, serves them to you (yes, ladies, he's single). For all you beer lovers, the Boat Bar has some of the coldest beers in town as their beers are immersed in huge coolers of the coldest ice and water mixture that you know you’re going to get the most cold refreshing sip the first time the bartendar pops the top!! Happy hour, or as I like to call it, "game time," is from 2­6:30 p.m., Monday­Friday. You can celebrate this glorious 4 1/2 hours with $0.99 domestic bottles and draughts, and $1.99 well liquor drinks. I think "happy" severely undersells this time period. Regular prices for domestics are $3.25. Blue Moon draught is $3.50, and liquor drinks start at $4.75. The Baumhower "claim to fame" is found in the seductive, frozen form of their pina colada. $1.99 during happy hour, and $6.99 regularly, this delicious cocktail is topped with roasted coconut and homemade whipped cream. When we head back into football season or any other of your favorite sporting events, consider one of the Boat Bar's several t.v.'s to watch your team on. You will never have to choose between your game and your happy hour. I think that might be the definition of a perfect world. Pilar, my new favorite party boat, is available for private parties (weather permitting). Just contact one of the ever helpful staff or managment at Compleat Angler and they will be happy to get you set up. The Boat Bar is an excellent way to quench your intense thirst, without feeling like you are wasting the sunlight. With the water, the boats, and the sunset, you will love the scenery around you. The people are friendly, the drinks are ice cold, and it's like an endless boat ride without sea sickness. On second thought, that may actually be the definition of a perfect world. Won’t ya come join me... Kelli Parris Compleat Angler Boat Bar 4851 Wharf Pkwy #116 Orange Beach, AL 36561 (251) 424­1350 www.compleatanglergrille.com 10 w April 2014 w Alabama Coast Observer

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