Nestled in a cozy slough in Walker County, Alabama, is arguably the best restaurant on the Black Warrior River — those who tout Tuscaloosa’s Cypress Inn just haven’t eaten at Quinn’s Landing yet. The restaurant’s fancier cousin boasts a great view, white linen napkins, and a hefty price tag for a plate of their famous grilled chicken and white sauce, but Quinn’s offers an even better view, a down-home atmosphere, and phenomenal food for a fair price, not to mention plenty of room to dock a boat. And the walls may be simple, exposed plywood, but there is nothing plain about the food or the service.
Quinn’s is just a quick boat ride up the river from my dad’s place — quick, unless your boat engine sputters out halfway there, like it did when I went home a couple of weeks ago.
But a trip home is not complete without some Quinn’s, so after my dad, incredible mechanic that he is, managed to get us home, we went for a little drive down twisty back roads and over the Franklin Ferry bridge to my favorite marina restaurant.
My dad has known Mrs. Quinn for a long time and has docked more than a few different boats at the piers branching off from her restaurant. When we walk in, she always has a warm welcome waiting — for old friends and newcomers alike. On the river, there is no such thing as a stranger, but Mrs. Quinn is the epitome of Southern hospitality. She greets you, shares a little river gossip, and takes your check at the end of the meal. And when she tells you to come again, she means it.
But believe me, I don’t need the urging.