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Monday, August 30, 2010

Dirty Al's

Having sampled Dirty Al’s several times over the past couple of years, I must say it’s a good value with consistent quality. I've been at various times of day, both high and low seasons...and have never been disappointed.

My oldest son heard about Dirty Al’s from a friend in Austin and they visited Dirty Al’s while on vacation a few years back. They raved about the fish tacos and the “Dirty Al’s Sauce”.  They assured me we should try it...despite having the word "bait" on the restaurant signage!  I didn't make it that trip, but I did once we moved down here.  Dirty Al's proclaims to have “the world’s best fried shrimp” and I’ve sampled their fried shrimp on enough occasions to know that it is indeed dependably tasty.  Lightly breaded shrimp, butterflied to the extreme, with onion rings instead of French fries for me… the small shrimp basket fills me up (so why do I keep ordering the large serving?). Last time we tried the fried calamari. I wasn’t overly fond of the dipping sauce (although my older son liked it) but they immediately brought some excellent tartar sauce and some Ranch dressing which I used instead; truly excellent calamari.  Service is attentive, friendly, and we've never had too long of a wait once we were seated.

My younger son is a picky eater but he declares their hamburger “thumbs up”. My only “dislike” was my granddaughter’s upset at ordering a corn dog and being served mini corn dogs. Tired little kids are fairly concrete. If that had been explained on the menu – it would have been one less melt down for the adults to experience! Their online menu is incomplete – so don’t think that is all they have. The menu on-site has options not listed online.

The original location on the south end of the island (on the bay side before you get to Isla Blanca Park) can be really crowded during the tourist high season. Going early for lunch or dinner will possibly score you a shorter wait. Their second restaurant, Dirty Al’s Pelican’s Station (bay front and less than a block south of Hwy 100) in Port Isabel, has a beautiful bridge and bay view, several televisions tuned to sports and news channels, and an ambiance more to my liking. The island location has a small gift shop attached and the Port Isabel location appeared to have a separate gift shop to the left of the entrance although I didn’t stop in.

They advertise that they also serve breakfast – which I haven’t tried; will be doing that soon. I’ll keep you posted!
(Photo source - Google Images)


SPI FLIP FLOP FOODIE RATING:

4 – Lip smackin’ good quality – flip flops will definitely be parked under their table again!

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