The flavor of New Orleans makes its way to Spanish Fort

Paul Drouant

Anyone who knows anything about New Orleans will surely appreciate the opening of Mandina’s Restaurant in Spanish Fort.

For those not so familiar with our Louisiana neighbor, history takes us back to 1898 when Sebastian Mandina of Palermo, Italy arrived in New Orleans. Mandina opened a neighborhood grocery on Canal Street. The business transitioned into a pool hall where sandwiches were sold during the Great Depression. By 1920, Italians owned an estimated forty-nine percent of grocery stores in New Orleans. Many became restaurants in the early 1900s, including Mandina’s Restaurant.

Sebastian’s two sons, Anthony and Frank opened Mandina’s Restaurant in 1932. Still owned by the same family 120 years later, Mandina’s is one of the most historic and authentic Italian New Orleans restaurants in existence. It is still going strong and continues to be owned and operated by the Mandina Family.

Hurricane Katrina resulted in a strong influx of Louisiana natives who have come to love and live in this area. Eastern Shore resident, Tommy Mandina is one of them. Since there are so many lower Alabama residents with Louisiana roots along with people and visitors that visit the Cresent city because of it’s proximity to this area, a Spanish Fort location seemed like and excellent idea. The mothership had long made a name for herself and a second location has proven to be very well received.

Paul Drouant and Frank Marcello are the partners who spearhead the day to day operations of both Mandina’s Restaurants. The Spanish Fort location is full of New Orleans flair. The dining room is adorned with artwork from well known artists and boasts a full bar with a daily happy hour from 3pm-6pm.

There isn’t much that you won’t find on the menu at Mandina’s of Spanish Fort.

Italian specialties, New Orleans staples like red beans & rice/shrimp creole, steaks, seafood, pork chops and chicken, sandwiches, burgers and po-boys. Appetizers include calamari, crab fingers and an incredible smoked crawfish spinach dip. Their regular soups are turtle and homemade seafood gumbo. Mandina’s House specialties include trout, catfish or soft shell crab prepared almandine or meunière style, a seafood platter and homemade lasagna. 

There are Daily specials that aren’t on the menu. On Monday it’s Pasta Jambalaya, Tuesday is Beef Stew, Wednesdays: stuffed bell peppers, Thursday: liver and onions and on Friday it’s Shrimp Mandina. Nightly specials include a shrimp boil & brew on Monday and Tuesday night is Steak night. The kids have a special menu and don’t forget dessert!

There is a lunch menu served daily from 11am-3pm and they also offer Sunday Brunch.

Mandina’s of Spanish Fort is located just north of the interstate in Spanish Fort Center just past Bass Pro Shop and next door to Fairways Indoor Golf. 

Mandina’s Restaurant • 25000 Bass Pro Drive, Suite 100 • Facebook “Mandina’s of Spanish Fort”

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