Legendary | Worth driving from anywhere
Jubilee Seafood | Best of the Mobile Bay in Alabama
Review by: Michael Stern
Jubilee Seafood is a conundrum. From the outside, it looks like a dive. Inside, it looks like a windowless, nautical-themed, full-bar tavern. Tables are bare but prices are posh. Entrees can set you back $30. Customers include romantic couples and splurging families. And you’ll likely spot a few savvy eaters who have made a point of seeking out Montgomery’s hidden culinary gems. Any cognitive dissonance evaporates when the food arrives. It is unequivocally splendid. Enter Jubilee and you will enjoy the best of the Mobile Bay.
The Glory of West Indies Salad
This is where you want to fork into Alabama’s own West Indies salad. Chilled lumps of crab, sopped in bracing marinade along with bits of onion suffer no dolling up. When the crab is sweet and fresh, as it is here, you cannot improve upon this well-nigh perfect concoction. One does want a few saltines (Jubilee provides Lances) just to force taste buds to occasionally encounter something other than the compelling crab. I was tempted to ask for a straw to suck up the last of the marinade! Jubilee’s appetizer-size version does not skimp. You get maybe a cupful of crab, kept cool in a vessel of ice. But I could eat four portions. That is, if a single portion didn’t take most of a $20 bill.
Menu and Specials
An everyday menu lists such Alabama favorites as fried crab claws, snapper, gumbo, fried shrimp, and oysters. Every evening a member of the staff writes specials on a blackboard. Expect regional delicacies (Texas redfish, grouper, tripletail) as well as items from western waters (Alaskan halibut, mahi mahi, Australian barramundi). What I’ve had has been impeccable and unfussy. I do not plan ever to visit Montgomery without returning to this fine restaurant for the best of the Mobile Bay.
Note that Jubilee is open only for dinner, starting at 5pm. Reservations are not accepted, and there can be a wait for a table at peak mealtimes, weekends in particular.
Factoid: “Jubilee” is the term for a unique natural phenomenon that occurs occasionally in the Mobile Bay. A jubilee is when crab, shrimp, and flounder become ridiculously easy to catch in the shallow waters.
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