Captain Frank's Smoke Shack
13876 South Wintzell Ave.
Bayou La Batre, Alabama
Are you noticing a trend here? Alabama seems to be the best state for barbecue, although we have more legwork to do, especially in Georgia. We were in Mobile hanging out and decided to drive down to the coast and visit Dauphin Island. We passed the turn off for Bayou La Batre on the way down, and Doug said, “Bayou La Batre, that’s where Bubba was from in Forrest Gump”. So, naturally, we had to go check it out, it being the shrimp capital of the South and all. We must have taken our smart vitamins that morning, because that was a good move. One of the ways, the only way, really, to experience the real Dixie barbecue, is to take your time and drive to places you might not need to go to for any particular reason. This willingness to get lost led us to Captain Frank’s. Yes, there really is a Captain Frank, and he runs the place with his daughter. Frank is a retired shrimper and ex-Merchant Marine, and now he’s a much valued member of his community, serving up some great barbecue. So we go in and order ribs and chicken with slaw and beans for sides, and they’re all terrific, just great. I was looking around at the walls while we were eating and I noticed lots of awards for, not barbecue, but gumbo. Gumbo! All of the awards had been issued at this gumbo cook off they do down there every year during the Blessing of the Fleet, so I’m thinking maybe he doesn’t make it for the restaurant, as it wasn’t on the menu, but I decide to ask him anyway. Like I said, smart vitamins. I say, “Hey, you don’t make that gumbo for the restaurant, do ya?”, and he says. “Sure, I’ve got some in the fridge”. Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m not in Bayou La Batre that often and here’s the guy who makes the best gumbo in the area with some in the fridge. I had just eaten half a chicken and some beans and slaw, but I don’t hesitate. Yeah, Captain Frank, we want to try some of your gumbo. Please. It was good, too, full of andouille, chicken and mudbugs…that’s crawfish to you landlubbers and carpetbaggers. Yeah, yeah, I know, we’re landlubbers and carpetbaggers too.
This is the review that Doug left the day after we stopped in:
Dixie BBQ is Here - Feb 10, 2010
This is the best in the Mobile area that we have found. We tried the ribs and the chicken. Frank and his daughter were working when we were in and we made ourselves at home in this 2 table shack. The chicken was moist and we really liked the dry rub. The meats had perfect smoke. Not too overpowering. The sauce is served on the side as it should be and was a perfect complement. Slaw and beans were perfection. The beans had the same black pepper goodness that was found in the rub and sauce. Frank thanks for the hospitality. You are a great pit master. Cannot wait to go back.
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