By Destiny Brown

If you’ve been to Gulf Shores on vacation or as a local, you’ve most likely been to one of it’s oldest and most famous eateries, DeSoto’s. DeSoto’s has been a favorite to Gulf Shores since the 1970s and it’s reputation for fresh seafood and great service has grown over the years. The restaurant is currently owned by husband and wife duo, Chris and Rosemary Steele. Chris Steele gives PKL some insight on his history in the restaurant biz, his favorite ting about this establishment and more! 

Q: When did you begin at DeSoto’s? 

CS: We bought DeSoto’s in April 2000. At the time, I was managing Beach Club that had opened a year earlier and the opportunity came open for this place. My grandfather was friends with the previous owners. I’ve worked in restaurants since I was 12 years old. I graduated from hospitality school at Auburn and I interned in Atlanta and then Beach Club hired me.  I also opened Perdido Pass restaurant in Orange Beach in the late 80s and I have never had a non-restaurant job since then. 

Q: What kind of food?

CS: We consider oursleves family seafood. We have a great menu and it has good variety. We have steaks, chicken, pastas, salads, but if you’re in town as a tourist looking for seafood, we have five different kind of fish, two different sizes of shrimp, dishes like shrimp pasta marsala to grilled shrimp. Our crab legs right now are probably one of the best deals here. We have $43 for 2 lbs. They are the highest I’ve ever seen right now. We also have three homemade desserts and great kids menu. Pesto basil pasta and fettuccine Alfredo are big sellers. 

Q: What are some of your specials?

CS: We have a daily special and also have 12 homestyle lunch specials every day. We get a lot of locals in for our specials. It’s $8.25 for meat, two sides, tea and bread. We also own a senior menu where we offer lunch prices on the dinner menu. 

Q: What is your favorite thing about DeSoto’s? 

CS: This started as a place called the Shrimp Boat in the 70s. In 1992, it turned into DeSoto’s. I used to eat here when I was a kid and it’s still the same locals. We know most everyone who comes in here and we do no broad scale advertising. We do small papers and almost everyone who comes in is word of mouth or has been here before. We have a lot of repeat business!