And then a few weeks later, I was able to visit his sister Lulu’s restaurant in Gulf Shores, Alabama, fully confirming my status as a Parrot Head, although that is indeed a cheeseburger on my head in the photo.
Lucy is Jimmy’s baby sister and after the BP oil spill devastated tourism on the beautiful white sand beaches of that region, he gave a concert at his sister’s restaurant to help spread the word that the Gulf coast was alive and well.
Lulu’s at Homeport Marina is a destination in its own right. In fact, many people who enjoy the white sand playground, buckets of shrimp and oysters, and bigger buckets of margaritas have no idea the family ties to this great place.
In the restauarant’s gift shop, you’ll find Lulu’s cookbook, in which Jimmy wrote the foreword, but there’s just a tiny corner of the shop dedicated to the books and music by big brother.
Her “Crazy Sista Cooking” is a must for anyone who loves a story behind the recipes. Lulu does that with her “cuisine and conversation.” She tells stories behind the Margarita Cheesecake recipe and shares the menu from her momma’s 80th birthday party, among other treats. There’s one story about shipping a West Indies Salad to Montana for Christmas that will make you want to alter your traditional holiday recipes. And then, of course, there’s an entire section devoted to boat food picnic recipes.
You don’t have to wait for Jimmy to make an appearance here to experience great music at Lulu’s. Almost every night, great local and regional artists are on stage contributing to the low-key, vacation-everyday-atmosphere. But, come May 26-27, the fun kicks up a notch with LuluPalooza,where nonstop music rocks the sailboat stage and real boats motor up the intracoastal waterway to pick up on the tunes.
Whenever you go to Gulf Shores – and you should go often – follow Lulu’s philsophy about cooking and entertaining. I’m quite sure it’s one that her big brother would approve of:
Play, get crazy!