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intracoastal cheeseburger po boy
By John Mullen
Sept. 19, 2017 – Orange Beach, AL (OBA) – First, you get a big ol’ hunk of Monterrey Jack cheese.
“Everybody comes to eat our fried cheese,” owner Bobby Graves of the Intracoastal says. “It’s not frozen. That cheese is sliced in the back and battered here.”
“I buy a fresh 40-pound block and we cut it ourselves,” Manager Pat Wilkenson said.
Graves and Wilkenson have a simple explanation for the unique, sumptuous and filling fare on the menu at the Intracoastal located on the eastern end of The Wharf entertainment complex.
“We like to eat,” Graves said. “We make what we like to eat.”
And when you leave after eating at the Intracoastal, Wilkenson wants you to be full.
“There’s nothing worse than leaving a place and feel like you need to stop on the way home for something to eat,” Wilkenson said. “Our po’ boys are a foot long. Most of the others are six inches, eight inches max. Once they get in here, people are really impressed with the portions and the amount of food you get.”
1intracoastal thin cut fried fishOne of Graves’ favorite dishes is a simple fish dinner, with an Intracoastal touch.
“Thin-cut fried fish is our claim to fame and it’s really popular,” he said. It’s one of a few things the Louisiana native brought from his home state.
But it’s just one of his favorites. There are others.
“We have a roast beef po’ boy that’s great,” Graves said. “It’s just a big old tasty mess.
“We’re the only place that has fried ribs. All of our seafood is great. Our fried shrimp, people say it’s probably some of the best they’ve had. I sold a bunch last week.”
Their take on shrimp and grits has a different flair as well.
2 intracoastal shrimp and grits“We do shrimp and grits where we have a grit patty we deep fry,” Wilkenson said. “We cook our grits with a little bloody Mary mix, add some cheese and it’s so good. It spices it up.”
Burgers at the Intracoastal are big, but Graves says they are just as big on taste. And they come in half-pound or one-pound sizes.
“We sell so many,” he said. “Our burgers are as good as anybody’s on this island, if not the best. Our sweet bun’s outrageous. You can get anything from an eight-ounce to a one-pound burger. And we’ve got the burger po’ boy. People have been talking about it online big time. That cheeseburger po’ boy is just outrageous.”
And his location dictates Gulf seafood will be a big part of the menu.
“Really, it’s here on the Gulf Coast so you’ve got a lot of seafood,” Graves said. “That’s why we brought in
the tuna, cobia and chargrilled oysters. And raw oysters, too, since we made the move down here.”
Throughout the year Wilkenson says the restaurant changes as the clientele changes.
“Our season changes three or four times and what we serve changes,” he said. “This time of year it’s lots of seafood. Then when ball season rolls around and the tourists are gone, a lot the locals want ball food.”
Graves says he has the largest sports restaurant/bar on the island.
“When football season gets here we’ll go through thousands of wings,” he said. “The thing is we have a big variety, really.”
During the summer season, Graves said, they’ll have live music on weekends and later at night. When the snowbirds flock to town he’ll have the live music going in the afternoon.
Any time of year the Intracoastal has a private room for parties. But mainly, Wilkenson says, come get your fill of the tasty food he and Graves team up to create and fill your plate with.
“We’ve been friends about five years and I’ve gotten to know him a lot better,” Wilkenson said. “We have some of the same ideas. And we want you to leave here with a little bit of go food, a take-home box.”