Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Louisiana Lagniappe at the San Roc Cay Marina


It has been a nostalgic and emotional week. My youngest son graduated from high school, so I have found myself looking through old pictures, remembering what was. It isn't that I wish it otherwise. I feel very fortunate to have reached this milestone and I am proud of the young men my children have become, but I think it is also natural to feel a little wistful about the times that have come and gone. 

As I was taking my little trip down memory lane, I found some pictures from the last trip to Gulf Shores I took with Sherri. It wasn't a normal trip, because multiple myeloma had begun to tighten its ugly grip. Still, it was a precious time that we had together in the little time we had left. Luanne didn't get to go with us, because she had just started a new job, but our friend, Merri, joined us for part of the week.

It was October, still warm but headed toward the cooler days of fall. Merri, Sherri and I spent the first few days of our trip hanging out on the beach...talking, reading and enjoying the beautiful sunsets. It was also the week that Sherri and Merri introduced me to The Voice. I had never watched before, but I quickly became hooked, anxious to see which artist would win the competition. That season the Jamaican born recording artist, Tessanne Chin won, but we wouldn't know that until a few weeks after we returned from the beach. 

The Shrimp Fest was going on that week as well. Sherri and I tried to check out the vendors, but the heat and the exertion were too much for her, so we only went one afternoon. We did, however, visit one of our favorite restaurants in Orange Beach, the Louisiana Lagniappe. 

Located in the San Roc Cay Marina, Louisiana Lagniappe is the fine dining establishment in a complex that houses other restaurants, shops and even a spa, as well as a full scale marina. Louisiana Lagniappe is located on the upper level of the complex, so there are a few outdoor steps to climb to get to the entrance. Once inside, you are met with these beautiful metal palm sculptures, which also serve to light the way to the tables.

                                       

Overhead, starfish lights twinkle across the ceiling, providing soft, romantic lighting and happy seaside ambiance.

                           

Sherri, Merri and I started our meal with beachy cocktails. This one was an amaretto sour.

                                       

Then we enjoyed one of our favorite items on the menu, the Lagniappe house salad. That salad is so good, with spicy pepperoncini peppers, briny black olives, freshly grated parmesan cheese, crispy greens and a tangy vinaigrette. Simple, but delicious!


I, predictably, chose a shrimp dish. This time it was blackened shrimp with a pineapple, butter, rum sauce. It was accompanied by grilled slices of pineapple and a corn relish. I loved the smoky shrimp with the tangy, citrusy sauce.


Sherri, ordered a jambalaya of chicken, Andouille sausage and shrimp. It was spicy and filling and came with a twice baked potato. She must have been low on starch at the time. Even so, it was too much and she could not eat it all. 


Merri got what she always orders when she goes to the Lagniappe, Grouper Pecan, which is a pan sautéed fillet of grouper, topped with toasted pecans and a Meuniere sauce. I know why Merri always chooses it, too. It is absolutely delicious. She also had a twice baked potato and some of the bright corn relish. 


We were too full for dessert, so we passed on that. After we finished our meal, we headed back to our condo for Merri's last night on the beach. It was a great way to end Merri's visit with us. 


The views overlooking the marina as we left the restaurant were spectacular, with the setting sun splashing golden puddles of light across the still water. 


Beautiful boats were parked for the night in the San Roc Cay Marina, waiting for their next sailing adventure. 

The rest of the week, it was just Sherri and me. It was a quiet end to what would be our last beach trip together. We sat on the beach, talked, watched the waves and the birds and I even read a little. Sherri had a hard time concentrating, so she didn't do much reading on this trip. This was one more thing the disease had taken from her. She always loved to read and, in the past, we spent lots of time discussing books we loved, so it was, I think, frustrating for her not to be able to enjoy her books. Luckily, she could still take pleasure in her music, so we listened to her favorites, Bruce Springsteen, Michelle Malone and Alabama Shakes, among others. She took this picture while we sat in the sand, watching the waves, listening to music and, since Shrimp Fest was now over, enjoying the deserted beach. It is the only picture taken of us that week. 


This was October 2013. We didn't know it at the time, but Sherri had less than a year left.  It would be her last trip to the beach. We also didn't know that the new job Luanne had just accepted would soon have her moving away. I had no idea that I would soon be separated, in one way or another, from two of the best friends I have ever had.  




I continue this journey that Sherri, Luanne and I started as a tribute to the great friendship we shared. I miss the laughs, heaven knows we had lots of them, and I cherish the memories. The walk is lonelier now, but I wouldn't take anything for the times we had together. Like the ever-changing shoreline, life keeps moving forward, always shifting, taking some things with it and leaving other little bits behind. That's just the way it is.

Three Friends and a Fork gives Louisiana Lagniappe 3 Nostalgic Yums UP. 

Louisiana Lagniappe on Urbanspoon
Richi Reynolds
Richi Reynolds

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