East Brewton cafe offers taste of the sea

Published 12:23 am Saturday, October 27, 2012

Stan Alford, owner of The Common Loon Seafood Cafe, open the new dining spot last week in East Brewton.

With seafood so fresh you can almost smell the ocean, the recently opened Common Loon Seafood Café in East Brewton is serving up a variety of dishes to satisfy any seafood craving.
Stanley Alford, along with his wife Cathy, have opened up the café at the intersection of U.S. 29 and Alabama 41 in East Brewton in the old Cozy Corner location.
Alford said the idea to open the restaurant was just a natural decision for him and his family.
“I inherited some farmland and was driving back and forth from our restaurant in Dauphin Island to work on the farm,” Alford said. “After a while, I got tired of going back and forth and decided just to stay here. I left the management of the restaurant there to my son. I had the opportunity to open in this location and decided to give it a try.”
The ‘try’ is headed in a successful direction considering the first days of business.
“Things are going good for us and we’re glad to be here,” Alford said. “We plan on keeping things fresh and homemade to satisfy everyone’s taste.”
Menu items like shrimp and oysters might be more than you’d expect, Alford said.
“We make our own batter,” Alford said. ‘We don’t cover up the shrimp with batter. The fresh taste comes through every time. As a matter of fact, we make just about everything we serve from scratch.”
Alford said preparing dishes and sauces from scratch allows the cooks to make sure customers get a unique experience at the café.
“We make our own cocktail sauce, our own coleslaw and our own desserts,” Alford said. “We want everything we serve to be fresh every day, every time.”
Alford said one of the café’s specialties is seafood gumbo — another item made from scratch.
“We put plenty of seafood in our gumbo and you won’t find any rice,” Alford said. “We don’t want anyone to miss out on the goodness of the gumbo by eating rice. This is my own personal recipe for gumbo and I’m proud to serve it. We have won awards with this recipe. Even Alton Brown approved of the gumbo. You’ll get seafood in every bite with our gumbo.”
One other made-from-scratch specialty at the café is corn and crab bisque — a recipe Alford’s son invented.
“This bisque is not like anything you’ve had before,” Alford said. “This recipe has been perfected and it’s made fresh every day.”
Menu items include po-boys of shrimp, oyster, fish, chicken and beef brisket; shrimp, fish and oyster baskets served with French fries, cole slaw and hushpuppies; gumbo, corn and crab bisque, salads with grilled or fried shrimp or chicken; and side dishes including fried pickles, Greek pasta salad, potato salad, Bosco (bread with cheese inside) sticks, hamburgers, corn dogs and even a grilled cheese sandwich.
“We’ve got something for everyone’s appetite,” Alford said. “Even for those who prefer something besides seafood. We want to keep our customers happy with our food.”
The Common Loon Café is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch service and until 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

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