Monday, April 20, 2009

Lulu's Lower Alabama Caviar

One early fall day, after a day at the beach, my cousin Gina, my daughter Elaina and I drove to Week's Bay to Lulu’s Restaurant. Lulu’s was this dive that had so much atmosphere and character. The place was inhabited mainly by locals and fishermen, it was a hole in the wall in every sense of the word. The pastel paint on the exterior and interior was chipped, the seats worn, and the rotating bands lent so much to the experience. Upon your arrival, you were given a cardboard container of LA caviar (Lower Alabama that is) on the house. You could just sit and eat while watching the shrimp boats lazily creep up the bayou . It was a perfect place.

In case you didn't know, Lulu is Lucy Buffett. Lulu happens to be the sister of one of my very favorite singer/song writers; Jimmy Buffett. She is a great entrepreneur in her own right. She has had several businesses. After a 10 year career in film production, She came home and opened Lulu's restaurant in 1999. Although she's always loved to cook and the recipes on the menu are hers, she learned in a hurry to leave the cooking at LuLu's to the professionals. You'll probably see her on the weekends, floating from table to table, posing for pictures with her customers.

Lulu’s is no longer at the former location at Weeks Bay, after losing it's lease. The building was torn down, and nothing remains visibly of the old Lulu's location. Lulu has a new location now in Gulf Shores, just before the bridge leading into Gulf Shores. The new location is quite larger, now offering a gift shop that sells everything from t-shirts to condiments. I am a HUGE fan of the condiments. The wow sauce is to die for. The food is still terrific, but the prices have notably risen at the current location. It does feature a huge sand pit for children to play while waiting for their meals to be served. The location is nice ( it is my children’s favorite place to go while when we visit my parent’s beach condo), but it just doesn’t have that same character as the past location-and now you have to PAY for the caviar. But now, you can mix up your own batch of this great concoction at home.

The following recipe is Lulu’s original recipe for the LA Caviar, from Lulu herself..
Lulu's Lower Alabama Caviar Recipe
10 servings

3 (15 ounce) cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped red onions
3 tablespoons chopped green bell peppers
3 tablespoons chopped red bell peppers
3 tablespoons chopped yellow bell peppers
1/2 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
salt and pepper

Combine black-eyed peas, onion, peppers, tomatoes, parsley, vinegar, oil and sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Marinate for 12 to 24 hours before serving. Serve with crackers or tortilla chips.


Barb @ GritsandGlamour said...

Sounds like a great place to visit. Its funny, I think every state has the same recipe for that caviar. I call mine "Carolina Caviar." LOL Thanks for sharing, Barb

Barb @ GritsandGlamour said...

Sounds like a fun place to visit. I think evry state has that same recipe for cavier and just renames it. I call mine "Carolina Caviar." LOL Thanks for sharing, Barb

Becky said...

Luv me some Lulu's! I fix the LA Caviar at least once a week during the summer.

Anonymous said...

we love LuLu's and I made this on New Year's Day as a way to get our black eyed peas in. This is an awesome recipe, my family LOVES it!