What makes a great restaurant in your opinion? Obviously the food has to be good, but can anything else… say service, ambiance or location be so compelling to elevate the restaurant to “great” in spite of the food? We’re talking great here, not good; there are plenty of good restaurants all over the world that you will not remember nor have any special affection for a week after your dining experience. This begs the question; does the experience elevate the actual food? If you have a good tagliatelle with bolognese at your neighborhood Italian joint it may be good…but take the exact same dish and serve it on a breeze swept patio overlooking the Mediterranean at dusk and it becomes great. I say yes, location and atmosphere can elevate food, and Bud & Alleys (B&A) is a great example of this truth.
B&A has three separate dining areas, the main lower level, which is enclosed and has its own bar, the outdoor gazebo off the main room overlooking the beach, and the rooftop bar perched majestically above all on the coast with incredible views of the beach its enviable sunsets. My favorite is the rooftop bar due to its laid back nature and sweeping views of the Gulf of Mexico and Seaside proper. The open space allows the gentle breezes to blow through and the sunsets are things of legend.
They serve up all kinds of seafood, both raw and cooked. The blue crab claws and BBQ shrimp w/ Andouille sausage are two of my favorites. The scallops and hummus are also good choices for a warm summer evening.
The wait staff and bar tenders are also spot on and have been around forever; the main bartender (George?) was full of conversation and witty banter and gave great drink recommendations. You know you’re at a special place when you can bet on the sunset; place your guess on the chalk board and take your chances. When the bar back rings the bell you can win a free drink of your choice; I have been trying for years with nothing but bitter defeat…first time I take someone there they win….bastard!
B&A is another awesome spot in Seaside, and drinks (at a minimum) on the rooftop bar are a must for any visit…if not every night!