Osman's Restaurant

I hit the mother load when I stumbled upon Osman's Restaurant in Mobile.  It was like stepping into an old world restaurant with it's gleaming dark wood bar and small seating arrangement.  Some have categorized the food as Italian but I think it's much more than that.  The menu reflects a wide arrange of European influence from French to German.

Soup du Jour - Beer and Cheese
On this occasion, Osman's European flair was front and center with the soup of the day - beer and cheese soup.  Although this soup has become the pride of the Midwest, it originated in Europe.  There are recipes dating back to the 1800s from Germany and Ireland but enough with the history lesson. This soup was delicious.  I can definitely taste the hops flavor from the beer as well as the richness of the cheese.  I noticed there were some strings of cheese still running throughout the soup.  I don't know if that was added later or because of the late hour, the soup had started to break apart.  I was also given a little roll and a salad to start off the meal. The roll was a little hard but it perfect for dipping.  It reminding me of a cheese fondue.  The salad was very simple.  It was just mixed greens, a quarter of a Roma tomato and your choice of dressing.

Wiener Schnitzel
My brother, Tho, ordered the wiener schnitzel because he thought the name was hilarious.  He's 20 but acts all of 12 sometimes.  This is a very simple German dish.  Pork loin is pounded out thinly, lightly breaded then fried.  It's served up with two of the daily vegetables and a wedge of lemon.  I thought the pork will be dry since it's so thin but I was totally wrong.  The meat was still very moist and tender.  Squeezing a little bit of lemon juice on top gave the dish a little bit more vibrancy and cut down on the fried food taste. It might be the southern girl in me, but I wish the wiener schnitzel was served with some sort of gravy or sauce.

Shrimp Meuniere
The other dish I tried was the shrimp meuniere.   It was a pretty hefty portion.  There were about 8 jumbo size shrimp and were cooked to perfection. The shrimp had a little bread coating on the outside that soaked up the sauce really well. The sauce is a brown butter sauce that also consist of white wine, veal stock and capers. I really like the use of capers in this sauce. I've had it before and the richness combined with seafood and sometimes be too much.  The acidity of the capers breaks that up really nicely. The sides that accompanied the dish were acceptable.  The green beans tasted fresh and still had a little bite to them.  It was saute with some onions and garlic.  The red potatoes were roasted with herbs.  Real simple vegetables to go with fancy main course.

We went for a very late lunch.  We got there at around 1:45 and the place close down at 2:00.  I thought the service was acceptable.  The waitress, who's also the owner, was very prompt. She brought out everything in a timely manner, refilled our drinks and checked on us.  The only thing missing - she wasn't all that friendly.  Halfway through our meal, a couple came in that appeared to be regulars.  She was much nicer to them and the chef, who's I believe, is her husband even came out from the kitchen to sit down and chit chat.   

One of the things that may turn people off of Osman's is the prices.  For lunch, the meals range for $10-$13 for a variety of fish, shrimp, pork and pasta dishes.  Keep in mind that also comes with bread, soup, salad and two sides.  I think it's pretty reasonable considering. Dinner is a good deal higher.  Appetizers start at about $8.  Main courses start at $19 and go as high as $35. But there are a lot of dishes you won't find anywhere else so it may be worth shelling out the extra bucks. Also Osman's is in a pretty out of the way location. It's on Halls Mills road between McVay and Pleasant Hill Drive. I nearly missed it if not for the big sign and then I nearly went into the wrong building because of the weird placement. Remember, it's the building with the red awning.    

I'm looking forward to going back and trying their Gorgonzola sauce.  I heard it's to die for. I can't wait to see if it lives up to the hype. For hours and a look at the menu for Osman's Restaurant click here.
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