On my drive back to Atlanta, I made a pit stop at a little place in Mobile, AL I’ve been meaning to try out since I started making drives to and from Atlanta (~5 years). Wintzell’s Oyster House is apparently a Mobile tradition famous for its “fried, stewed, or nude” oysters. I didn’t visit the original location in “Historic Mobile”, but the Saraland location right off I-65 didn’t disappoint.
The interior walls of the restaurant are covered in corny one-liners–like, “What’s the most arrogant insect? A cocky roach!”–which kept me occupied during my quick stop. I ordered one of Wintzell’s lunch specials: a half dozen oysters on the half shell with fried crab claws and fries. The oysters are served “any way you want ‘em”, and Wintzell’s offers raw, grilled, Rockefeller, Monterey, and Bienville. I asked the waitress whether I could mix and match my cooking styles, and after a quick check with the kitchen I decided on half grilled, half Bienville (covered with shrimp, crabmeat, and parmesean sauce):
I got the chargrilled oysters as a “true test” of Wintzells’ oyster cooking ability. Sadly, I was underwhelmed by these. Acme or Drago’s serves up a better plate any day. But what did I expect, comparing New Orleans to Alabama (sorry, I couldn’t resist :-))? The Oysters Bienville, however, were quite delicious. Although far from a purist’s oyster of choice, the seafood parmesean sauce was creamy and flavorful and still allowed for the taste of the oyster to come through.
The crab claws and fries were well seasoned and well fried, and I always appreciate when a restaurant has good fries (mainly because I know how much bad ones can detract from a meal).
I’m glad I finally took the time to stop at Wintzell’s Oyster House. It could become my pit stop of choice when traveling back and forth from BR to ATL!