A new day began in Gulf Shores. I looked out my window at the Hampton Inn as the sun began to rise over the water tower. It was also the second day of competition at the World Food Championships. Time to wipe the pixie dust from my eyes and get to The Wharf.
I wanted to start my day with coffee and a power-packed breakfast. The Southern Grind Coffee House fits all my requirements. It is the friendliest coffee houses you’ll ever walk into. As you walk up, you’ll first notice that they love dogs. They have a water bowl and treats for customers’ fur babies. As you walk in, the décor is coastal and welcoming.
The proprietor is Jim McPhillips, originally from Philadelphia, who moved west to work in the corporate world, vacationed in Orange Beach in the summers, and eventually moved here. He always had a vision of one day owning his own café. A space opened up in The Wharf and with a huge need for a coffee house in Orange Beach, his vision became a reality. His wife, Jaime, used her interior design talents and created the coastal feel and welcoming atmosphere. She also sells her own artwork here and has been featured in Coastal Living.
Salted Caramel Latte hit the spot with luscious foam drizzled with salted caramel atop a medium roast espresso. I savored each sip which was leaps and bounds better than the coffee in my hotel room. I could have had another cup but I didn’t want to get carried away. Rating: 5/5
Jalapeno Potato Scramble is made with two scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese, jalapenos, seasoned potato mix, and choice of bacon, ham, or sausage scrambled together with a side of toast. I was covering The Fabulous Bacon Babe during the Bacon World Championships that day so it was only fitting that bacon needed to be in my breakfast. It is a lovely scramble with of the flavors I love for breakfast – salty, smoky, spicy, and cheesy. The eggs were perfectly scrambled with a fluffy texture. The potatoes added a textural contrast to the egg with their crispy edges. Rating: 4.5/5
The Southern Grind Coffee House also has amazing smoothies and after a 2-hour video shoot I needed one. Orange Beach, even in November, can get a little warm, and a cold smoothie really hit the spot. The Four Berry Smoothie is just sweet enough with tart berry flavors for balance. I sipped on my smoothie and rested my feet for a while before heading to the judges’ tent for the World Steak Championship. Rating: 5/5
If you are looking for a place for a caffeine jolt, tasty eats and sweets, and relax while in Orange Beach, The Southern Grind Coffee House should be on your itinerary.
Atmosphere: 5 out of 5 stars
Service: 5 out of 5 stars
Décor: 5 out of 5 stars
Food: 5 out of 5 stars
For more information:
4751 Main St Ste 116
Orange Beach, AL 36561
Hours: Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Seating: Interior and exterior