Most people, when they are at the beach want seafood. That is reasonable. But if you are only expecting to find good seafood in seafood restaurants, you will miss out on something fine. At Franco's Italian Restaurant, you will find fresh seafood among many wonderful and delectable selections. And they are experienced in seafood, owning other fine seafood restaurants in the area such as Doc's Seafood Shack, Jake's Grill and Bubba's Seafood House. Franco's is one of my favorite places to go when I am in Orange Beach. Located in the stripmall that houses Brunos (if you go to Alabama's gulf coast-you know the one) it seems very unassuming, but yet inside you will find great Italian atmosphere and homemade dishes.
The menu has several choices that each sounded wonderful. However, I was not that hungry, as was my mother so we decided to share a dish of the cheese Manicotti ($11.95). For a $5.95 shared plate charge, our meals came out on separate plates, already perfectly separated in generous portions as well as a bottomless salad (that was similar to but beat out Olive Gardens Salad) and a never empty bread bowl. Most meals come with a complimentary side of the house spaghetti, the Manicotti was no different. This made more than enough food for my mother and me. I actually ended up taking home a takeout box.
My dad spotted this sign when we were entering the restaurant:
And had his heart set upon the Grouper Provincial. For $21.95 he got the bottomless salad bowl, bottomless bread, perfectly baked and seasoned grouper (not any Chinese catfish imitation) and a beautiful medley of vegetables that were either steamed or baked along with the fish. His meal also came with the spaghetti. I tried the vegetables and they were delicious. My dad said his meal was very good.
Big Daddy wanted something more familiar. A big Italian made pizza with sausage and pepperoni hit the mark for him($15.50).
I did say that I was full. But my dad ordered a slice of the taramisu [tirame'su]) for all of us to share ($5.95). Being the "good reporter" that I am, I forced myself to sample it for the sake of the story.
True. I am 4 pounds heavier......but it was so worth every icy cold chocolaty bite. NEVER have I had tiramisu as good. EVER. Force yourself, if you must, but this is one dessert to eat. This is a traditional and classic Italian dessert made of savouardi (lady fingers) dipped in coffee and mascarpone cream. I am not a coffee drinker, nor is big daddy....but we all were fighting over the last bite of tiramisu. The name Tiramisu is Italian and means "pull-me-up" (Tirami su), a reference to the effects of the sugar and espresso, but can be translated figuratively as "cheer me up". I gotta tell ya, I was happy.
Franco's was, for me, hands down one of the nest meals I had while I vacationed in Orange Beach.
Franco's Italian Restaurant
25241 Perdido Beach Blvd
Orange Beach, AL 36561
(Franco's has a take out menu and special parking for all take out orders)
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