Aloha Alabama BBQ, Westport, WA–BBQ in a Fishermans Village?

Aloha Alabama BBQ

2309-Westhaven Dr., Westport, WA 98595

Overall:  Adults—3/5   Kids—4/5     $$$/$$$$$

If you’ve never been to Westport, Washington, you are missing out on this quaint, fisherman village.  With its adorable cottages lining the dock port to its multiple ice cream shops and its overall small-town, not-a-clock-in-sight, nothing-much-to-get-in-a-hurry-about feel, a trip to Westport is a “must do”.

On our recent side-trip to this quiet hamlet nestled on Washington’s coast, we stopped into Aloha Alabama BBQ for a quick bite of lunch and, in doing so, found a gem within a gem.  The restaurant is located right across the street from the docks and just down the street from the Maritime Museum.

The awesome, beach surf décor and bright hues scream, “We are excited you are here! Welcome!” the moment you walk through the door.

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The friendly staff was quick with a greeting and we got seated immediately.

The place was clean and well laid out.

The menu boasts that all their meats are cooked low and slow, in a blend of Yakima Applewood and Hawaiian Klawe smoke–Sounded great and our interest was officially peaked.

Adult review:

We started with the Fried Oyster Appetizer.  We are very picky about our fried oysters, and how well an establishment executes this dish says a lot about their overall cooking ability.

The oysters were perfect!!!  They were breaded in panko and fried to perfection.  Their creamy, warm interior combined with a crisp outer shell of breading made for the perfect bite.

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We ordered the Half-Chicken Platter with broccoli slaw and fries and the Pulled-Pork Sandwich with Coleslaw.

The waitress brought us a trio of BBQ sauces for our sampling pleasure: White BBQ Sauce, Honey BBQ Sauce, and Chipotle Sauce.  We never really figured out if these were all made in-house or not, but they were all very good.  The Honey BBQ was our favorite.

The chicken was really rather tasty.  It had a wonderful light smoke flavor, but wasn’t exactly falling off the bone nor was it sauced—both things that we would have liked to have seen.  But overall the flavor was really good and we would eat it again.  We added the honey sauce to it which brought it from just okay to a couple notches above ‘OK’.  The broccoli slaw was passable, but needed some seasoning and the fries were…fries.

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The Pulled Pork Sandwich was yummy, with a nice smoke flavor and good texture but, as far as BBQ goes it was the middle of the road.  The Baked Beans were tasty—perfectly seasoned, sweet and smoky.  The coleslaw was bland, but had a nice creamy texture and, once it was salted, rather flavorful.

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We washed it all down with the house-made ice teas (one peach and one Arnold Palmer) which were delicious and refreshing.

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Kids review:

First the girls’ thoughts on the oysters:

“They were horrible”

“I like them!  I like them with cocktail sauce!”

Obviously, a split review—but hey, a 50/50 percent ‘like’ rate for kids when it comes to oysters, that’s not bad!

The girls ordered from the Keiki Menu (kids menu).

One of the young ladies ordered the Fried Mac n’ Cheese with baked beans.  The other ordered the Pulled Pork Sandwich with House-Made BBQ Chips.

It was declared that the Pulled Pork Sandwich was “the best pulled pork sandwich I have ever had!” and that the potato chips were “AMAZING!”

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Parental side note: The BBQ chips were AMAZING! (We had to request one as ‘parent tax’ of course!) They were thick and seasoned with this delicious blend of spices that put Lays potato chips to shame.

The fried mac n’ cheese received rave reviews as well, but again it was the baked beans (after adding liberal amounts of the honey BBQ sauce to them) and the chips that made the biggest impact on her taste buds.  She couldn’t stop talking about how good both of them were.

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For the most part both of the girls liked their meals, but even more so than that I think they enjoyed the overall youthful, young, energy-filled feel of the place, not to mention, just watching people go by along the docks.

Looking for a fun spot while in Westport, WA?  Stop here!  Have a peach ice tea and some good BBQ.  Then take a walking tour of the town and enjoy this community’s charm and colorful local personalities.

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Sunny Beach Cafe: What they lack in looks, they make up for in taste!

Sunny Beach Cafe

687 Point Brown Ave NW, Ocean Shores, WA 98569

Overall:  Adults—4/5   Kids—4/5     $$$/$$$$$

This is one of those places you might notice, but has very little in way of curb appeal to draw you in.  We tried it only as it was day four of our five-day vacation in Ocean Shores and we had run out of places to try that looked like they might not be on the health department’s watch list.

When we walked in we were less than ‘Wowed’.  The very cavernous, tall ceilings and bland, baby yellow walls are ultra-generic and do nothing to hide, or distract one’s attention, from the odd, weird, mismatched artwork, standard four-top nondescript tables and chairs and plain floors.  The coolest part of the entire restaurant is the large roll-up garage doors, but the day we were there they were not open and, as a result, were unimpressive.

We were taken aback by how busy the place was though, which, in the restaurant world, is the true telling of how well a business is doing.  This place was hoppin’!  It was packed and loud! We were lucky to get a table, one of the very few that were open.

The place was clean too!  We couldn’t see anything on the floor and the open-for-all-to-see wait station was spotless–Another fabulous sign.

Our waitress was very friendly and happy to answer questions.

Adult review:

We both ordered the Sharkey’s Burger which was comprised of hand-breaded, flakey, cooked-to-perfection fish, onion, lettuce and pickles on the ABSOLUTE best hamburger bun we have EVER tasted!  It was delicious! We had to know what made it so great and that was when our waitress sweetly smiled and let us know that they made all of their own bread products in-house—including these fabulous hamburger buns!  OH GOSH!!! They were scrumptious (this is one of the very few times you will ever see us use that word in one of our blog posts, but it’s true!).

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The fries that came with these delectable fish sandwiches were also quite wonderful and, again, hand-cut in-house. Yum, yum, yum!!!

Kids review:

The girls ordered a BBQ Bacon Burger and asked that it be split.  Our waitress graciously agreed to do so and had it arrive from the kitchen already split for them.

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After their first bite of this juicy, BBQ slathered, bacon clad burger, also on one of the house-made buns, the girls were declaring them delicious.  They both DEVOURED their half and all their fries before we had even eaten a fourth of ours.

They decided that the BBQ sauce was what really made the burger and that it was “sweet and smoky, without being too spicy to eat.”

They said that the place was a must come back to when we are in Ocean Shores again (we agree).

Overall the Sunny Beach Café might not look like much from the outside or even from your first peek of the inside, but their friendly staff and wonderful food makes one turn a blind-eye to all that they don’t have and, instead, causes one to zero in on what they are doing really, really, really well.

They are open for breakfast too and, by what we could tell, might serve it all day long.  Some of the other patrons were having delicious looking breakfasts while we were ordering a late lunch.

Check them out next time you’re in Ocean Shores and then remember this blog and post your thoughts in the comments.

Breakwater Seafood and Chowder House–Aberdeen, WA

Breakwater Seafood and Chowder House
306 South F Street, Aberdeen 98520

Over All Experience:  Kids–3.5/5  Adults–4/5         Cost Out of Five: 3.5

The Breakwater Seafood and Chowder House located on the shores of the Wishkah River and near the Kurt Cobain Riverfront Park offers both fresh to-be-prepared-at-home and cooked ready-to-eat seafood.  It is a spendy place for a little off-the-beaten-path-establishment, but not horrible.

The overall feel of this restaurant is a little like Mel’s Diner meets The Old Man and the Sea.  With its nondescript decor and super sticky floors it’s a restaurant that uninspires on appearances alone.

The staff was some combination of tolerant-pleasant and annoyed-frustrated.  Depending on which one you talked with it was a crapshoot as to which personality you encountered.

Adult Review:

We ordered the Clam Strips and Chips and the Cod and Chips both served with Cole Slaw.

The Cod is, according to one of the friendlier staff members, panko breaded in-house–it was cooked perfectly.  It was crispy on the outside while remaining moist, flaky and not rubbery like some fish gets when cooked poorly.  The fries were great too, sporting crunchy exteriors while maintaining soft insides.

The Cole Slaw was a surprise! It was creamy and tangy with just the right amount of salt–usually restaurant prepared slaw requires additional salt at the table.  This was slaw we could all agree was delicious.

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The Clam Strips and Chips were tasty as well, but the clams were a pre-made product (again according to the pleasant staff member) they ordered in from elsewhere (as are the chicken strips)–that was disappointing.  Clam strips are some of our favorite seafood and when they are fresh and in-house battered they can be absolutely amazing!

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As we said earlier the floor was exceedingly sticky, so much so we found it difficult to slide our chairs across it.  The bathroom was out of hand soap and in its place was an industrial size bottle of Dawn dish soap–odd!  But the place was packed, both inside and on the outdoor deck area, so the floor cleanliness and hand-care products alone are not keeping this fisherman’s dream from doing a good clip of business.

We felt the food was good, but if service is a deal breaker for you, then you may want to seek other places for your seafood options.

Kids Review:

The kiddos ordered the Clam Chowder and the Cod and Chips served with the Cole Slaw.

The house-made Clam Chowder was creamy, smooth and hot and came instantly. It was delicious! The clams were cooked well without being rubbery. It got two huge thumbs up from the chowder connoisseur among us!

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The other one liked the Cod and Chips, but gave it no rave reviews nor a diminishing one.  She decided it was just ‘okay’ although she did add that she had to admit it was flaky and moist and fairly tasty.

Overall the Breakwater has the feel of eating at some hole-in-the-wall establishment on the wharfs complete with salty sea-weathered staff and tasty seafood.

If you ever find yourself in Aberdeen, hungry and looking for someplace to eat you should check it out and when you do remember this blog and post your thoughts in the comments.