100 Dishes in Alabama: Oysters from Wintzell’s

Y’all, I can’t tell you how happy this view makes me…
I have eaten my share of good food (more than my share by the reading on my scales), and Wintzell’s is right at the top of my list. Not only is the food first-rate, I have so many good memories tied to this particular location. The original restaurant (pictured above) opened as an oyster bar in Mobile, Alabama, in 1938. We lived in Mobile when I was very young, and one of the few memories I have of my time there is sitting at this oyster bar with my daddy…

He would eat raw oysters on the half shell and I would eat crackers dipped in cocktail sauce. And we always sat at the bar, I’m sure because I thought it was so cool. We moved away from Mobile when I was about four, and I didn’t get back to Wintzell’s again until I was an adult. They now have several stores spread out along the Gulf coast, but the original is still the best! I was glad to see they were honored as part of the 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die.
The atmosphere is uniquely Mobile, Alabama. It is located in the historic Dauphin Street District. Constructed in the architectural style of New Orleans’ French Quarter, the area has been renovated and many cute boutiques, businesses and restaurants have moved in. The interior of the restaurant is unforgettable as well. Not new, mind you, but uniquely Wintzell’s just the same. The walls are wallpapered with handmade signs.
They say things like:
“People bring happiness to this place. Some by entering. Some by leaving.”

“It’s alright with the Lord if you pray for a good harvest. But He expects you to keep on plowing.”

“An optimist is one who sees a light. A pessimist is one who blows it out.”

“Having money and friends is easy. But the real accomplishment is having friends and no money.”

But, of course, a restaurant can’t survive on charm alone. The food has to be good if they’re going to stay in business for 70+ years. The oysters are what got them on the list, but they have lots of seafood, prepared most any way you like it. We opted for the fried trifecta – oysters…

and chicken.

They were all PERFECT-O! Wintzell’s wrote the book on what classic fried oysters should taste like. I’m a little picky on my fried oysters – I like them just right. Wintzell’s uses a batter that is not too heavy and not too light. The batter is perfectly seasoned – not too much, but enough to give the batter some flavor. And then they fry them perfectly – not overly done so that they are all crunch and no oyster. The fish and chicken were equally as delicious. Even the cole slaw was perfect – fresh cabbage and carrots with a smidge of sweetness, but not too much.

If you ever get the chance to eat at Wintzell’s, consider yourself blessed. I’m sure that all locations are yummy, but I prefer the charm, character, and memories of the downtown Mobile location. Nothing says Old South like oysters from Wintzell’s!!

Too see all posts on the 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die, click on the 100 Dishes In Alabama label at the bottom of this post.

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