Fresh Off the Boat: Casual Food Done Right
Along the coastal Alabama shores, Orange Beach has set the standard as a water-sports paradise and is rich with local landmarks, including go-to-destination, San Roc Cay Marina. The idyllic setting allows guests to enjoy the vibrant marina and waterfront views while shopping, exploring, or dining, and new to the scene is the restaurant, Fresh Off the Boat (FOTB). The restaurant is elevating all-time favorite southern dishes and embracing its proximity to the warm, turquoise Gulf water with innovative coastal cuisine. With a mission to deliver fresh, signature dishes to their guests, FOTB Executive Chef, Chip Reed, notes, “I developed the menu emphasizing ‘casual food, done right.’”
FOTB owners David Buster and Jerr McCutchen are experts when it comes to cultivating memorable dining experiences. As the proprietors of Beachin’ Eats & Catering, their famous burgers, sandwiches, and extensive taco selection have become staples along the Alabama Gulf Coast.
Unique menu offerings incorporate recognizable favorites from Beachin’ Eats, including their award-winning Gulf Triggerfish Tacos, winning Best of the Fest in 2018 at the National Shrimp Festival in Orange Beach. The tacos are loaded with plump, blackened triggerfish with coleslaw, pickled red onions, and their signature sweet & spicy Beachin’ Sauce on toasted flour tortillas. Scratch-made entrees such as the Jerk Yellowfin Tuna with a mango emulsion, New Orleans-style Shrimp and Grits, two types of fresh gumbo- shrimp and crab or duck and sausage, are a few of the new signature dishes on the new dinner menu.
Inside the restaurant, guests enjoy modern coastal décor complemented by a poured epoxy floor – installed by A+ Designs out of Broward County – mimicking the tranquil Gulf. The picturesque view creates the perfect backdrop to savor original coastal cuisine created by award-winning Executive Chef Chip Reed.
Chef Reed, trained at Johnson and Wales University in Miami, spent decades mastering his culinary craft in southern cities such as Miami, Charleston, and Savannah (where he received the Flavor of Georgia award), before choosing Orange Beach as his home. “My specialty is low-country cuisine and the culinary Southern Renaissance where you elevate ‘Nana’s’ cooking,’” Chef Reed says of his passion for traditional southern dishes. With a strong love for good food and a high standard for quality ingredients, Reed and his team locally source the freshest catch and source ingredients to create complementary flavor profiles.
Before and after dinner, guests enjoy live music, small plates, hand-crafted cocktails, and cold beer in the open-air courtyard at The SanBar. Buster andMcCutchen, both musicians, share their love for music with the regional sounds of local, Southern artists.McCutchen creates an inviting scene with his hands-on approach to selecting musical talent.
With a curated collection of quality dishes, breathtaking views, and a passionate team, “Fresh Off the Boat is a true southern experience with a down-home, relaxed feel. It feels like you are coming home, and everyone is a part of our family,” concludes Buster and McCutchen.