cast iron mini pot of gumbo

Mobile’s restaurant scene is booming, and Bienville Bites Food Tour is enjoying every minute of it (as are the smart locals and tourists who book a tour with them). If you’re not familiar with Bienville Bites, check out my original article on their first tour, the Loda Stroll. A few Thursdays ago, Bienville Bites owner Chris Andrews invited me to try their Old Mobile Evening, an evening walking tour of history, culture, and most of all, delicious food.

menus on a table with a view

Our tour began with Dannette, our bubbly and knowledgeable tour guide, orienting the group at the elevators of the Trustmark Building. She let us know what to expect (lots of walking, delicious food, and a little friendly NOLA-Mobile rivalry. Speaking of, we all know Mardi Gras began in Mobile, but did you know gumbo originated here, as well?) And speaking of gumbo, were we in for a treat at our first stop.

Dauphin’s, on the 34th floor and opened in early spring of 2016, offers an almost 360-degree-view of our city (and a killer happy hour, but I digress). We were treated to a peek into the kitchen and the chef’s table (the only one of its kind in the area) before being seated at two long tables, where our Gumbo Z’herbs awaited.

cast iron mini pot of gumbo
Dauphin’s Gumbo Z’Herbs

Smoky and rich, this gumbo was unique, to put it mildly. Inspired by the late, great Leah Chase’s recipe, Chef Zucker’s greens-based gumbo is the marriage between a beautiful pot of collards and mustard greens (complete with pot likker) and a smoked sausage gumbo.

view of Mobile, Alabama
The view from the 34th floor of the Trustmark Building

We said our goodbyes and headed out to walk almost the length of downtown’s Dauphin Street to O’Daly’s, a good-natured Irish pub boasting the best “drunk food in the city.” The 504 Pizza (chicken, sausage, Guinness glaze) and a Fried Shepherd’s Pie (exactly as it sounds) would certainly hit the spot, if someone happened to overindulge. The 504 was delightfully meaty, cheesy, and filling and washed down with an Irish Trash can, an ocean-waterish libation, O’Daly’s was the perfect next stop.

slice of pizza
504 Pizza at O’Dalys

We then walked to The Cheese Cottage, a popular open-air wine, cheese, and ‘cuterie spot on Saint Louis. Seated outside, we were treated to our fill of a stunning cheese and cured meat board and a glass of Cava.

cheese board
The Cheese Cottage’s impressive array of bread, meat, cheese, and various accompaniments.

A triple threat, the Cheese Cottage has dynamite food, drink, and atmosphere to spare. Set in a quaint, whitewashed former gas station with a sloping roof, it’s the ideal spot to enjoy a glass of bubbly and nibble on some soppressata and aged cheddar.

Our next stop on the tour was just down the street at Moe’s Original Bar B Que, where we noshed on a chicken wing and a rib, both succulent and tender. Moe’s is a fantastic spot for live music and laid-back revelry, especially during Mardi Gras, where it’s corner location makes it an ideal parade perch.

Chicken wing and rib
Moe’s famous wings and ribs

Five was the home of the sweet finish of the evening: a white chocolate bread pudding and a strawberry lemonade cocktail. The bread pudding was creamy and rich, enhanced by the strawberry coulis and anglaise sauces. The cocktail was the perfect combination of sweet and tart.

white chocolate bread pudding
Five’s White Chocolate Bread Pudding

For tourists or locals, Bienville Bites offers entertaining and delicious daytime, evening, and seasonal Mardi Gras tours. Old Mobile Evening tours are every Thursday starting at 5PM, rain or shine. To experience it for yourself, email info@bienvillebitesfoodtour.com for more information or book through the Bienville Bites Food Tour website.

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