'Tis the season to grab a chilled beverage and some sublime seafood: Here's our annual batch of casual restaurants that care plenty about fresh fish, fried sides, and seaside locale. The decor? Not so much.
Orange Beach, Alabama
Who needs walls and floors when you have palm trees, sand, and the Gulf of Mexico? At this new spot in Orange Beach, you order at the artfully designed assemblage of repurposed shipping containers where the chalkboard menu lists a handful of ever-changing choices—usually a burger and a fish sandwich (deliciously local and served blackened or fried), soup or pasta, and maybe something a bit more conceptual, like crawfish tacos stuffed with jicama slaw. You dine at an open-air table—or lounge in a chair right on the sand. When there's not live music, The Gulf spins records. Yes, actual vinyl. Expect to linger; facebook.com/thegulfal.