Sunday, February 5, 2017

Acme Oyster House? Oh, Yes!



On our last trip to the Gulf Shores, Rob suggested we go to Acme Oyster House for lunch. I was a little skeptical. The reason? I've been to the original in New Orleans, so I was afraid the clone would be a disappointment. But Rob really wanted to go, the reviews were good and I had seen a picture of Acme's chargrilled oysters I just couldn't get out of my mind, so off we went. We pulled into the generous parking lot and noticed the large restaurant, painted a beachy aqua and sporting lots of southern charm. It felt like we were visiting our quirky southern grandma's beach house, if we had a quirky southern grandma with a beach house.

                             

The front porch was wide with old fashioned ceiling fans and tables for waiting during busy times. 

                             


Acme is serious about oysters! Oyster decor was everywhere, including this giant shell decorating the front porch.

                             

The restaurant is situated under the bridge as you come into Gulf Shores on Highway 59, right across the Intercoastal Waterway from Lulu's. 


We arrived early, so we were the first to be seated. Since we had our pick of seats, we chose a table on the broad back porch overlooking the water. As we walked to our table, I admired the spacious, rustic dining room and the polished bar with a giant neon "oysters" sign shining overhead. 




After reading this disclaimer, I was happy we were greeted by a waitress on our trip! Ha! And there was that reminder about the chargrilled oysters!


We ordered our drinks and quickly ordered a plate of the aforementioned chargrilled oysters to share. They were far and away the best oysters I have ever eaten. Absolutely divine! Spicy, buttery, sweet and briny, these are the oysters of my dreams. We used the crusty bread that came with them to sop up every drop of the savory sauce. In fact, they were so good, we ordered a second platter of those beautiful bivalves. Yep, we ate two! Lucky for me, Acme shares their recipes, so I was able to replicate those yummy morsels at home. The recipe works equally well with shrimp, too. I will share it at the end of this post.



Scott and I each had a bowl of lima bean soup. It was so good. The soup was chock full of bacon, tasso and shrimp and full of flavor. It was so delicious that, again, I came home and used Acme's recipe to make my own pot of lima bean soup (see below). Sadly, there aren't too many places to snag tasso around north Alabama. Happily, I have a wonderful Cajun buddy, Tiffani, who came to my rescue. Thanks, Tiff, I love you and I owe you!



Rob didn't get enough oysters with our first two platters, so he ordered a platter of raw oysters. I'm not a raw oyster eater, so you will just have to take Rob's word that they were really good. 


Scott enjoyed a roast beef po'boy with debris. It looked good and he assured me that it was very good.


So, Rob wasn't the only one who might have been stuck in oyster mode. I couldn't resist trying the fried oysters with creamy remoulade. I loved them. 


JD and his friend, Mallory had shrimp po'boys. Again, the po'boys were overstuffed with lots of savory shrimp
on crusty French baguettes. They looked fantastic and I'm pretty sure every morsel was consumed.



 There are many places along Alabama's beautiful coast to get fresh, delicious seafood and Acme Oyster House should be added to that list. The food we ate at Acme was some of the best we have had and the setting is perfect. You will not be disappointed with a visit to Acme. 

 


 Three Friends and a Fork and this satisfied bunch give Acme Oyster House 3 Beachy Yums UP!



 Acme Chargrilled Oysters

24 freshly shucked oysters
2 bunches green onions, finely chopped
4 sticks of butter
20 cloves of fresh garlic, pureed
2 t. crushed red pepper
3 T. fresh thyme, finely chopped
3 T. fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. Creole seasoning
2 oz. white wine
8 oz. grated Romano cheese
2 loaf French bread

Just prior to grilling oysters, take 2 sticks of butter and place over medium heat, bring to a simmer after butter melts. Add green onions, garlic, crushed red pepper, thyme, oregano, lemon juice, Worcestershire and Creole seasoning. Cook 2 minutes and then add white wine. Stir constantly and cook till green onions are soft. Remove from heat and cool for 3 minutes. In a bowl, pour the onion mixture over the remaining 2 sticks of butter. Stir until butter is melted and the sauce is well mixed. Preheat grill to 350 degrees and place freshly shucked oysters on the half shell on the grill. Once the water around the oyster begins to bubble and the oyster begins to rise, ladle 1 T. of the butter garlic sauce on top of each oyster. Top with grated Romano and allow cheese to melt. Serve immediately with remaining sauce and warm French bread for dipping. If you choose to use the sauce with shrimp, I suggest grilling the shrimp in a pan with a little of the sauce and then adding the remaining sauce right before serving. If you don't mind the mess, you will get more flavor by using unpeeled shrimp with the tails on. You will get messy peeling the shrimp after it is swimming in the buttery sauce, but those shells add a lot of flavor to the sauce.

Lima Bean Soup

2 lbs. dried baby lima beans
1 gallon water
1 1/2 lbs. shrimp (60-70 count per pound size)
1 1/2 c. diced onion
1/2 lb. diced tasso
1/2 c. diced green onion
1/4 c. bacon renderings
1/2 c. butter
2 T. chicken base
1/3 c. chopped garlic
1/4 c. chopped parsley
Tony Chachere to taste

Soak lima beans in water overnight. Drain and rinse. In a large Dutch oven, add chopped bacon and butter and simmer. Add tasso and sauté. Add onion and cook until onion begins to caramelize. Add garlic and cook until it begins to sweat. Add onion and parsley. Add shrimp and cook until they begin to turn pink. Add 1 gallon of water and chicken base and bring to a boil. Add lima beans and bring back to a boil. Cover and cook over medium heat until beans are tender. After beans are softened, serve in soup bowls and garnish each serving with diced tomato.





    Richi Reynolds
    Richi Reynolds

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