One of the coolest things about spending the summer in Birmingham is the city’s proximity to Florida. Pensacola, Panama City, and Destin are all within five hours driving distance. Since we were already in Spanish Fort and had a whole day to kill, we drove an hour west to the Florida-Alabama line. I couldn’t spend the whole summer in Alabama without setting foot in the sunshine state, ya know?
The area near the state line is called Flora-Bama, a shortened combination of both states’ names, similar to Delmarva where the eastern shores of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia meet. We stopped to grab lunch at the Flora-Bama, which is right near the line. One one side of it is Orange Beach, Alabama and on the other is Pensacola, Florida, which is where the restaurant’s address is located.
The food was really good. I got the firecraker shrimp tacos and french fries, which I ate before I thought to take a picture. The tacos were fried shrimp tossed in chipotle ranch dressing with cole slaw on a flour tortilla. You could tell the shrimp and slaw were fresh. I don’t even like cole slaw overall, but I was impressed with theirs. Definitely a great bargain at $7 total.
The main reason why I wanted to stop at the Flora-Bama was to get a bushwacker, which is a milkshake-like drink with rum in it. I got the idea from President Obama, who I saw drink one when he visited the Gulf Coast after the BP oil spill. At $7.50 it cost more than my food, but it was worth it. It wasn’t anything spectacular to write home about, but the novelty of it was cool. It looks and tastes like a chocolate frosty with alcohol in it. Don’t let anyone try to hype it up and say that it’s “coffee flavored” or a “concoction”. It’s taste is very simple. Chocolate frosty + alcohol, nothing more, nothing less. Still a good drink, especially on a hot afternoon in Florida.
My favorite part about the Flora-Bama is the set-up. There is a deck that overlooks a huge beach that stretches into both Alabama and Florida.
You can walk right out the back of the restaurant and onto the beach, which is what we did. Look at how clear that water is!
And that’s pretty much it. After a little time at the beach it was time to head back to Birmingham. We made it back before dark. Great trip overall. Looking forward to the next edition of Twelve-Eight discovers!