We took a day trip to Robertsdale and Foley yesterday. Both towns straddle Alabama State Highway 59. And who knew what a Southern food stronghold this area was becoming? Our first stop was Charley’s Chicken Outlet on Highway 59. Charley used to toil in the real estate business. But times are pretty tough and he decided that working class folks might want to purchase their chicken at wholesale prices. Not a bad idea, really.
Charley’s boasts a memorable phone number — no question about that! He also offers fair prices on a wide variety of frozen bird parts. For example, we purchased a 10 lb. bag of boneless skinless chicken breasts for just $20. Shoot, a 2 lb. bag runs about $7 at your local grocery store. It was tasty bird too. Tried it tonight in my soon to be famous Green Enchilada Pie.
“You Get More Cluck for Your Buck at Charley’s!” OK, I just made that up. I guess I was just inspired by this majestic rooster (above) standing guard outside Charley’s front entrance. We surely enjoyed chewing the fat with him (Charley, that is; not the big ceramic bird) and we wished him the best of luck (or is that cluck?) going forward. OK, I’ll stop.
Another interesting foodie stop along Highway 59 is Hickory House BBQ. And yes, they do use hickory wood here. It’s a rather tiny joint, but the aromas emanating from the kitchen were mighty powerful. The help was super-friendly and the clientele was raving about the Q before I could even take my first bite. It wasn’t even lunchtime yet, but I couldn’t resist ordering a BBQ pork sandwich, a couple ribs, and a heaping slab of Lemon Ooey Gooey Cake.
I stood looking on in glassy-eyed wonder as the pork for my sandwich was pulled to order. Yessir, the owner herself pulled the charred shoulder from the warmer, donned a pair of clear disposable gloves, and methodically peeled the lean, smoky meat from the Boston Butt. She then gave it all a rough chop, loaded it onto a fresh baked bun, and doused it with their homemade “SMOKEY” BBQ sauce.
I sampled the ribs too — provided for free by the owner. They were good, no doubt about it. Probably better when slathered with a little sauce. I requested them sans sauce so I could taste the unadorned flavor of meat and hickory. My wife Eileen loves lemon squares … and the Hickory House’s Lemon Oooey Gooey Cake looked something like a lemon bar on steroids. All puffed up and flaky. It was, well, oooey and gooey and … incredible! I gotta try the Chocolate Oooey Gooey the next time I’m in Robertsdale — that’s for certain.
Ribs = Good, BBQ Pork = Better, Lemon “Ooey Gooey” Cake = Best!
A return trip to this area is definitely in the cards for this hungry dude. I’ve heard positive comments about The Magnolia Blossom Cafe. Mac and Jerry’s Diner is also worthy of a pop-in. We even spotted a tiny but promising Italian joint (Guttadauro’s) along the main North-South highway. Looked like a Mom and Pop establishment and that’s always a plus in our book.
So when Robertsdale starts turning up on the Food Network, just remember you heard about it here first. OK???