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The Best Seafood Restaurant on the Gulf Coast – Lulu’s!

Posted by on June 16, 2012

Lulu's at Homeport Marina on Urbanspoon

We thought we were going to a little seaside dive restaurant and, honestly, our expectations were low.  We were staying at the Perdido Beach Resort in Gulf Shores, Alabama and one of my completely lovely PR people had arranged a visit to Lulu’s. My first mistake was in not checking their website or any reviews because I was just doing a favor for her and how bad could fresh, local seafood be?

Not bad. Not bad. Just about as opposite as you can possibly be.

In fact, completely fabulous.

Our first clue that Lulu’s  was a whole lot more than a little seaside dive restaurant was when we pulled up and saw the place. Lulu’s is…well…Lulu’s is incomparable. Composed of a series of different, beachy-looking wooden buildings, Lulu’s is, first of all, huge. It has something to offer every single member of your family, especially the kids, and if you are anywhere near Lulu’s on your next vacation – in fact, if you are within approximately a day’s drive of Lulu’s or a week’s drive or whatever – you need to go here.

There are plenty of places for the kids to play, a cute and kitschy store and the restaurant itself which sprawls over a large area and overlooks a lovely lake. They have ceiling fans and live music and tons of people having a great time and the food. Oh my Lord, the food.

Our first impression had been great but when we checked in and they knew who I was and ushered us to a great table by the water, we decided that Lulu’s was our new favorite place to eat in the entire world. And this was before we ate. Because after we ate, we decided that Lulu’s was our favorite place to eat in the universe.

Our waiter, who was gregarious and very helpful, informed us that we had to order the onion rings as an appetizer because they were the best anywhere. So we agreed to try them. And, let me just inform you, that as a connoisseur of onion rings, these are indeed the best anywhere. Our only problem was that the portion was approximately as large as our head so plan accordingly and don’t let yourselves get out of control because you are going to want to save room for dinner.

Best. Onion. Rings. EVAH.

Everything at Lulu’s is fresh, hot and delicious and our fish and shrimp platter was to. die. for. My only regret is that, in looking back over my pictures, apparently I was so overwhelmed with the deliciousness of my meal that I just dove in and started eating with one single thought about taking a picture. So here’s a picture of some shrimp from Lulu’s that we didn’t actually eat but looks scrumptious.

“Sloppy Shrimp”. Nom nom nom.

We enjoyed every single minute at Lulu’s – the music was great, the view was lovely and the food was…well.


Packed restaurant!

Now, we scarfed down everything fried we could get our hands on but, next time I go – and there will be a next time – I will try the boiled shrimp because Lucy Buffet says it’s great. Oh. Did I forget to mention that Lulu’s is owned by Lucy Buffet? Yes, that Lucy Buffet. Here’s what she has to say about that.



By Lucy “LuLu” Buffett


Along the perfect little piece of Alabama coast I call home, summertime calls for a shrimp boil:  local shrimp, perfectly boiled, pretty and pink, in perfectly seasoned water.

On fancy menus you find boiled shrimp as Shrimp Cocktail, a pretentious hors d’oeuvre typically consisting of six partially peeled shrimp, tails intact for prissy gripping.  Usually overpriced, often overcooked, it is such a sad little dish; I’m amazed that it has long enjoyed the mystique of being “deluxe.”

If you’ve ever tasted shrimp that wasn’t cooked properly, then you know what I’m talking about: it falls apart when you try to peel it and tastes mushy, dense, and dry.  Overcooking a delicate crustacean is a colossal culinary sin!

Boiled shrimp appears on my menu as, simply, Peel & Eat Shrimp…messy, yes, but certainly festive…and absolutely, perfectly cooked.  While I’m not a perfectionist in all aspects of my life, when it comes to food, I am picky.  My Gulf Shores, Alabama waterfront restaurant, LuLu’s at Homeport Marina, serves over 4000 pounds of Peel & Eat Shrimp every year.  It was important to me to figure out how to consistently boil shrimp… lots of them…perfectly.  Thankfully, “perfect,” in this instance, is fairly easy to achieve!

What’s the secret?  Well, I’ll tell you what generations of Gulf Coast cooks know: never, never, NEVER cook shrimp for more than three minutes! Period!  That’s it.  Perfect shrimp, every time.


Crazy Sista’s Perfect “Peel & Eat” Shrimp

  •  2 gallons of water
  • 1 cup LuLu’s Perfect Pepper Hot      Sauce™ or any hot sauce
  • ¾ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1½ cups liquid Zatarain’s® crab and seafood boil
  • 1 (3 oz) bag Zatarain’s® dry crab and seafood boil
  • 5 bay leaves
  • ½ cup LuLu’s Crazy Creola Seasoning™  or any creole, Cajun or blackening seasoning
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 2-3 pounds of large wild-caught  shrimp – Of course, I use Alabama      Wild!


  1. Combine all ingredients except shrimp in a large stockpot. Bring to a full, rolling boil.  Be prepared to have the spices “tickle” the back of your throat. Gesundheit!
  2. Add shrimp.  Cook for TWO minutes.  That’s it.  Not kidding.  Stop reading this right now and go turn off the stove!
  3. Cover, turn off heat and let rest for ONE minute. Got that? (That’s a total of three minutes, for      those of you counting!)
  4. Now you have to stop the cooking process, real quick.  Grab a colander and drain off the shrimp.  Spread out the shrimp in a large shallow baking dish and cover with ice. Let sit for five minutes.
  5. Drain again and refrigerate.  Serve with savory, spicy cocktail sauce!


Full disclosure: Our dinner was provided by Lulu’s, but as always, I will share my honest opinion about any travel experiences I have.

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7 Responses to The Best Seafood Restaurant on the Gulf Coast – Lulu’s!

  1. Ayngelina

    Those onion rings really do look tempting.
    Ayngelina recently posted..My newest chef crush

    • Jan Ross

      They were AWESOME. The best I have ever had – and I’m a fan of a good onion ring!

  2. Ken Carter

    Our family(4 adults,2 children) came to Gulf Shores for the first time last summer . We went to your restaurant because our 6 year old granddaughter’s nick name is Lulu. After sharing that with our server, he informed us that the real Lulu was there and she graciously let us take a picture with both Lulu’s. That night will always be a treasured memory for us all, not only for that reason, but the food was excellent.

    We are coming back to Gulf Shores this July because of our experience last year, with our son and daughter-in-law 8 total this time. .My family chose Gulf Shores over DISNEY ,and Destin.

    We look forward to our return visit or visits to Lulu’s

    Ken Carter
    LaGrange, Ga.
    706 594 9498

    • Jan Ross

      How nice of you to let me know this! I’m thrilled that someone actually read my review and then went to the restaurant! We also love Lulu’s and will be back whenever we can. Hope you have a wonderful time in Gulf Shores this summer; the beaches there really are incomparable.

  3. Megan

    This place was very popular. My family of 13 waited for 4 hours until seated and then another hour before our food. We booked online but it did not help our wait. We weren’t trying to be the exception to the wait list but with such a large party we knew to book ahead. The wait was horrific and the food was terrible! We will never do this again.

  4. treva combs

    We waited over 4 hours to eat every time we asked they would give us a different time and the service was very bad had to hollow at wait
    Rrss to get services
    And fooid
    Food was bad will be never go back

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