If your navigation of Orange Beach consists of turning left onto Canal Road after crossing the toll bridge, hanging a right at the Tom Thumb, and then spending the rest of the week trolling east and west on Perdido Beach Boulevard, you’ve probably never set eyes on the Anchor Bar & Grill. Here’s how to get there. Venture east down Canal Road. Turn right on South Wilson Boulevard. Stop when your tires get wet.
The Anchor is a small place with mostly outdoor seating. The menu is short and seasonal. Give it a glance, and you’ll see typical bar fare – big burger, Cuban sandwich, fish tacos, etc. But eyeball the ingredients and you’ll see that Chef Johnathan Kastner has a creative streak a mile wide — caramelized onion and tomato jam, Tobacco smoked pork, pickled LA crawfish salsa, and refried butter beans.
A native of Lafayette, Louisiana, Kastner studied culinary arts in Chicago. After gaining experience at several Gulf Coast restaurants, the events that led him to Orange Beach began. In 2013, two friends asked Kastner to develop the menu for their new venture, the original Brick & Spoon restaurant in Lafayette, LA. Just a few months later they opened a second location in Orange Beach. Kastner came to help with the launch.
It wasn’t long before the Louisiana chef decided he wanted to stay. The opportunity to open a restaurant at Hudson Marina quickly followed and the Anchor Bar & Grill opened in 2015. It’s been a favorite of locals and visitors ever since. In 2018 his regulars along with the rest of Orange Beach got to cheer him on as he competed in the Food Network’s Ultimate Summer Cookoff.
Here’s the kicker. What’s better than eating fresh seafood made by someone who knows what they’re doing? Eating your own fresh catch prepared by someone who knows what they’re doing while bragging to your friends about how you reeled it in. That’s right. If you hooked it, but don’t want to cook it, the Anchor will do you the honors.
Our favs: Tile-fish tacos and the Cuban
Tips for visiting the Anchor Bar & Grill
- Out on the water? Come by boat. The Anchor has a beach and dock tie-up for boats of all sizes.
- Check hours in the offseason. Winter menu changes weekends.
- Clean your fish before you bring them. Call ahead to be sure the service is available and what the cost and preparation options will be.