Original Post: April 1, 2011
If you're ever in the West Mobile area and want a gourmet meal at a reasonable price, the Hungry Owl is where it's at. Located at the corner of Schillinger and Cottage Hill Roads, the Hungry Owl can easily be put in the same category as a fast food joint. But don't let the location fool you, the food is first class all the way. The menu is so diverse I haven't tried all the offerings yet and I've been going for about one or twice a month since it opened.
Don't let the rave reviews of the Tony Burger sidetrack you from the rest of the wonderful menu. I've had a good sampling of the entrees portion of the menu and I must say only one or two things fell short of my expectations. One of my favorite dishes is the Creole BBQ Shrimp and Grits. At $12.99, it's a little pricer than the other menu items but once you get the plate you understand why. There is a very generous helping of the smoked gouda grits (best I've ever had) and plenty of shrimp to satisfy even the healthiest of appetites. It also comes with two sides. The baked potato salad and the mixed southern greens are a must try.
The alligator pot pie is also a very delicious option. It's your basic southern pot pie but instead of chicken, the Hungry Owl uses alligator meat and conecuh sausage. The crust is nice and flaky. My only complaint; the vegetables in my pie were not quite as soft as I like. There was a definite crunch to everything especially the carrots. That threw me off because I was expected a more souplike texture in the filling.
The chicken salad is to die for. Instead of shredded like many places, the Hungry Owl does a chopped chicken salad. I think it's more of a BBQ chicken salad. There's a brown coloring to the sauce that makes it way above average.
Aside from the many entrees, there's also a selection of wraps and flatbread pizzas. I've had only the conecuh pizza and it was delicious. The pizzas are about the size of a 10 inch plate. The one I had was topped with conecuh sausage, onion, pepper, garlic, mozzarella, and sweet basil over a Creole BBQ Sauce. The BBQ sauce gives this pizza so much flavor that you just can't resist. It is a little sweeter than many of the traditional pizza though. I wish there was more conecuh sausage on it as well.
I love going to the Hungry Owl. It's gourmet food on a Styrofoam plate. What's not to love? The food is consistantly good and the people are super friendly. It's a pretty small space so sometimes you may feel like you're being squeezed into a table. The restaurant is slated to open another location in May so it may be a bigger place. We'll just have to wait and see.
One of the fun things about dining at the Hungry Owl is counting exactly how many owls are part of the decor. I counted 33 one time, but of course that number always seems to change.