Big Daddy’s Grill

Review by: EdSails

Big Daddy’s Grill in Fairhope, Alabama, isn’t just a purveyor of Roadfood. With a location on Southern Alabama’s Fish River including lots of guest docks where locals and visitors can tie up and enjoy great southern seafood, drinks and other fine foods, Big Daddy’s might be classified under “Boatfood”. It is also a popular destination for bikers, with a special motorcyle parking area for groups that often take a weekend ride to enjoy Big Daddy’s great food and atmosphere.

Big Daddy’s is anything but pretentious. All menu items are served in plastic baskets with plastic utensils. A roll of paper towels on the table serves as napkins and drinks (even high end bourbons and whiskeys) are served in plastic cups. Outside on the patio overlooking the river, diners sit on long picnic tables. A bar outside makes it easy for patrons to get their beverages of choice. A full bar is available as well as an excellent sweet tea. Some evenings and on weekends, the sounds of local musicians take over the small stage at the end of the patio.

Fried seafood is the specialty and Big Daddy’s owner Jason “Big Daddy” Newsom makes sure he only gets the freshest he can find. Soft shell crabs, locally sourced, are absolutely phenomonal. They are available during the season as either a basket or on a po’boy. They are big, sweet and perfectly fried. A staple on the menu is crawfish tails, also perfectly fried and piled high on the po’boy. Fried oysters are nicely crisp on the outside and warm and slightly briny on the inside. In addition to the basic po’boys, diners can do a ‘half and half’ in order to get two of their favorites on one sandwich.

Other choices for fried seafood include catfish, shrimp and a Crawfish Po’boy Crab Cake Sandwich. On the appetizer menu fried crab claws, an Alabama favorite, makes an appearance. The fried crawfish tails also come as an appetizer with chips and salsa. Other appetizers include a full basket of delicious fried okra and an excellent seafood gumbo. They also do one of the better versions of fried pickles at Big Daddy’s. The fried okra, especially, is the poster child for what that southern staple should be: crisp on the outside with tender okra on the inside. For people who don’t eat okra, this is the one to try that might change your mind.

Other options are available for those who don’t want seafood or fried foods. Several of the seafood items are available blackened or grilled. Big Daddy’s has also made a name for themselves with their hamburger, a half pound of beefy goodness. A prime rib and a chicken sandwich are also on the menu. My suggestion, however, is to immerse yourself in the local cuisine all the way and order the Big Daddy Basket. Shrimp, oysters, fish and crab claws are fried and served with hushpuppies, slaw or french fries. I recommend either their excellent sweet potato fries or their large, yummy onion rings. And if you are undecided, like all their baskets, sandwiches and po’boys, the side can come ‘half and half’, so you can try both.

Every time I go to Alabama, Big Daddy’s Grill is my choice for one, two or three meals. The service is always excellent, the food delicious and the atmosphere has you feeling like a local in no time. Jason always seems to be there, greeting the guests as old friends even if they are new visitors. Big Daddy’s may be on a small side road, but it is worth driving to. It’s hard to find a better place on Alabama’s Gulf Coast.

What To Eat

Soft Shell Crab and fried Crawfish Po’boy


Crawfish Po’boy

Fried okra


Big Daddy’s Grill Recipes


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