Whether you want a juicy burger or some raw oysters on the half shell, there are countless places to eat in Gulf Shores. However, if you're renting Gulf Shores condos, you may want to drive a bit further for one of the best flavors of the region. Just about a 15-minute drive from Gulf Shores rentals, through the oak tree-lined streets of Magnolia Springs, is Jesse's, one of
the most beloved local eateries on the Gulf Coast.
Sitting in the shade of the massive trees on the banks of the Magnolia River, this restaurant can be reached by road or boat, since it still has its own pier - with its own mailbox on it! The community's warmth toward Jesse's starts with its name - it's an homage to Jesse King, a local resident who reportedly didn't miss a day of work in his 60 years working as a shopkeeper of Moore's Store. This shop played an important role in Magnolia Springs' history from its opening in 1922 to the time it closed its doors in 1993, and is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The name brings a smile to locals' faces, and the gourmet flavors served at this unique eatery will do the same for visitors. All the food is made from fresh, local and hand-picked ingredients to ensure every dish, lunch or dinner, is absolutely irresistible. Start off with a lobster brie quesadilla with yellow tomato pico and chipotle creme fraiche, or sample the Magnolia River green tomatoes, which come fried with goat cheese, Gulf shrimp and creole tomato coulis.
Jesse's is renowned for its steak selection - you can get dry- or wet-aged Angus beef or bone-in chops & rack with any number of sauces and sides, such as bleu cheese gratine, Bearnaise and Hollandaise, or grilled shrimp, lump crab meat and creamed spinach. Not a beef eater? Opt for one of Jesse's signature creations, such as the smoked Maple Leaf Farms duck, served with wild blueberry demi and local veggies, or the Oak Street linguini, which is served with sauteed chicken breast, mushrooms, capers, spinach, tomatoes and lemon vin blanc sauce. The lunch menu also boasts a range of sandwich options like the Southern BLT and the smoked brisket au jus.
Looking for a more laid-back atmosphere? Head next door to The Cold Hole, which serves the same delicious cuisine as Jesse's but in a more casual setting. Catch a local game on TV or simply mingle and play games with neighbors and bartenders at this local hang out.
Stop by in the spring to see the magnolia trees in bloom, or pull up your boat when you're renting a beach house in Gulf Shores during the summer. Jesse's is truly a can't-miss if you want an authentic taste of the local flavor.