Friday, December 26, 2008

Wintzell's Oyster House - Mobile, AL

If you want very good fried green tomatoes, with a healthy dose of crisp and spicy breading, served with even better crawfish sauce, then make the trip to one of the five Wintzell's locations in Alabama (We ate at the West Mobile spot). My Father and I arrived 30 years too late, as it is apparent that the original restaurant's 1970's sale has resulted in a committed and effective re-direction towards a franchise-formulaic business model.

The fried and sauteed crab claws, which would be called more appropriately as crab fingers, are not worth it, especially the tasteless fried crab claws. I understand the concept, but why anyone would desire this twice baffles me. The sauteed crab fingers were worth a letter grade of B, with the fried green tomatoes earning an A (F for fried fingers).

For the final round, char-grilled oysters coated with parmegiano cheese did a franchise-like parade similar to the crab claws. Too much cheese. Instead, we should have ordered some raw oysters. Wintzell's had giant oysters, and they tasted pretty darned good after scraping off most of the cheese. If G-d made raw oysters perfect for the indulgence of the taste buds, then why should Man come along take away such perfection by trying to improve it?

Wintzell's is a decent place, just not what I was seeking on this road trip. Golden toothpicks? Not this time.

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