Life is good.
You know how you know when life is good? When you not only get to spend 2 weeks, in Destin, over the summer but you get to go back, for the bonus week, in December!
We got a glimpse of what it would be like to be a snowbird. But, we still got to eat like rock stars.
I’ll start my winter Destin eating post with this – I was very UNDER whelmed, with the food, as a whole. There were some high points but…not as many. The service, everywhere we went, was awesome! I loved that servers had time to chat and weren’t crazy busy, like they are, over the summer.
Quick story – because we stopped somewhere in Nowhere, AL, to break up the trip, the only available restaurant, for dinner, was a Waffle House. Yes, I said it. A Waffle House. I think I’ve been to one, once. Maybe. My son, up until that night, had never experienced the Waffle House. We broke him in, with a waffle.
He liked his waffle. There. Now we never have to go back.
I could chit-chat about our trip. But, I won’t Let’s just get down to food!
Saturday – Fat Clemenza’s
We did eat at Fat Clemenza’s, 2 years ago, but it was for lunch. I was in love with their garlic knots and tomato soup. Going to dinner, was a different (better) experience. Loved the candle light, real italian feel. Love that it’s small and cozy. They have regulars that were chatting up with the owners. The husband and I both are in love with the place. Not to mention, one of the HIGH lights of the week, food-wise. (BTW – lighting still not great for food. Trust me though, it was awesome!)
All around, a fantastic meal!
Also, since we were just there for a week, we went out for lunch and dinner. Yeah, for me, to not having to cook!
Sunday – lunch – O’Quigley’s
Our goal here? To watch football – the Bengals versus the Ravens. We were overtaken a smidgen by Steelers fans (they’re like roaches…lol).
I might have started the football game off right – with a Blue Moon.
Cheeseburger (the boy’s)
Sorry for the crap, pictures – these were with my cell phone! It won’t happen again.
I had fun that day – O’Quigley’s is, definitely, a good place to watch sports and have “bar” food!
Sunday – dinner- McGuire’s
Yes! McGuire’s. Let me just say…it doesn’t matter if it’s summer or the dead of winter, McGuire’s is always (and I mean, always!) packed. With our teeny party of 3, however, we only had to wait 10 minutes.
And, really, how can you not love a restaurant that Big Booty Judy approves of?
Every time I go to McGuire’s, I vow that I’m not going to eat a lot. My goal, for this trip, was to NOT eat a lot. I think I did a good job at keeping in line with my promise.
Instead of the gigantor nachos (which, truly, haven’t been as good these days, anyway), we got the Reuben Eggrolls
Loved them! Seriously, loved.
The husband got the Yellow Fin Tuna Steak
My boy ate all the delicious bread...
…and got his normal NY Strip!
Did I stay true to my word? Yep, I just got a baked potato!
With all the tasty condiments
^^^And, see, Jeff Ruby – that’s how it’s done.
I left McGuire’s content and not feeling like I was going to explode. Please remind me of this, over the summer. Also – it was amazing to walk around the gift shop and, actually, be able to look and not bump into 1000 people.
Monday – lunch – Shrimp Basket
I was trying to keep a balance, since we were going out, for both lunch and dinner, of restaurants and prices. I didn’t want to spend a ton, on lunches – keep that, in mind, for some of my odd choices.
Grilled Shrimp Platter
Boom Boom Shrimp (mine)
Let’s just say, it was way too much money, for the quality of both, the inside of the restaurant AND the food, overall. We could have done without this meal.
Monday – dinner – Stewby’s
Stewby’s is in FWB – and, it takes a few more minutes to get there. But, it is, hands down, one of my favorite “Destin” restaurants. It’s locally owned. Fresh caught. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
Our total bill, was about $36! Yep, that’s it. And, a highlight of this trip. Probably my absolute favorite of this trip!
We shared a cup of gumbo
I’m not a fan of okra but, it didn’t even bother me, in this perfect gumbo. It had depth of flavor, tender shrimp and just enough veggies. Loved it. (the husband agreed)
The boy got chicken fingers
And, since the husband and I got the same thing – I just took one picture! It was grilled Amberjack (I got fried onions and baked beans, as my sides)
Loved every aspect. One of the things that I love about Stewby’s, is their sides. Most of the restaurants, just don’t pay attention to their sides and serve the same routine stuff, as everyone else. Stewby’s has unique, delicious sides and I love that they take the time and care, to follow through with the whole meal.
My one complaint (and, to be fair, I have this complaint about EVERY seafood restaurant, in the Destin area) is the tartar sauce. I might be spoiled since we have the perfect Frisch’s tartar sauce but…I haven’t met a tartar sauce, down here, that I like. I’d love to see someone branch out and do a jalapeno tartar sauce or a spicy remoulade or, maybe, even a lemon mustard sauce. Please, Destin, take my sauce suggestions to heart. I’m begging of you.
Stewby’s has my love – go visit them if you’re vacationing, in Destin or FWB, next summer! You’ll thank me.
Oh, I forgot! Destin has a new cupcake place called Small Cakes!
They just opened and are doing very well – selling out, every day! I’m not sure if the cupcakes are made, from scratch, or not. (being as once they’re out, they’re out – no “hold on while they defrost”, I’m thinking that they are) They’re beautiful and have a great variety – pretty darn tasty, too!
I don’t really need to say anything. The picture says it all.
Cupcakes make everyone happy.
Tuesday – brunch – Another Broken Egg Cafe
You know, I really thought, given that we were in Destin, in the dead of winter, that we’d be able to get into The Donut Hole. Nope – busy as ever. I have, after 8 years of going to Destin, given up on The Donut Hole. All done. Not even going to try. It can kiss my ass. And, I might even flip it off now, when I pass it. So – our plan B, that day, was Another Broken Egg Cafe. Yes, I have my issues with them but I wanted another coffee cup, dammit.
Cinnamon Roll (Mikey’s – he’s, at least, cheap for me)
He tore into that bad boy.
Mike got the Lafitte’s Tortilla with pancakes
And, I got the Hey Lucy
This is my problem with Another Broken Egg Cafe – my meal was $11.49. It’s eggs, potatoes and an english muffin. You would think that they could put some actual FILLINGS in my filled omelette. As it was/is, I had to search for the chorizo and avocado. The husband and I agreed, that when we return, we’re splitting a meal.
Tuesday – dinner – Crab Island Cantina
Yes, this is where we were having New Year’s Eve dinner. It’s in Harbor Walk and we thought we’d chill (literally!) and watch fireworks. It was, definitely, different not having to fight for a parking spot.
Chips and Salsa
I wasn’t a fan of the chips or salsa – I realize I’m hard to please.
It was okay
The boy got Grilled Steak Ranchera Style
While it looks good, it had a lot of fat (yes, even for a ribeye). Mikey didn’t like it.
Mike got the Crab Legs
Mike raved and loved it!
I got the Seafood Enchiladas
I wanted to like them. Mostly because our server was awesome and I wanted an excuse to come back. But, I really didn’t like them…at all. The sauce was wrong – the seafood was non-existent. Just very “blah”.
I never told Mike how much I didn’t like my meal at Crab Island Cantina – I didn’t want to hurt his feelings since he liked his so much.
And, to finish off my NYE, back at the condo (where I whooped up on the boys at Uno!)…
Wednesday – lunch – Vinnie McGuire’s
The word must not be out yet. But, Vinnie McGuire’s has awesome pizza. We loved it last year but we learned a lesson – we only needed ONE.
We got cheese on half (Mikey) and pepperoni, italian sausage and mushrooms, on the other side. Pure pizza perfection. One of the high food points, of our trip.
Wednesday – dinner – Groovy Grouper Grill
This is a new restaurant, in Destin Commons – the menu looked a little interesting, so…off we went to give it a whirl.
They had some great happy hour/snow bird specials. From about 10 entrees, BOGO free. And, on their bar happy hour menu “$5″ apps!
For an appetizer, we got Fish Tacos
They were fine – not the best and not the worst. Very average.
Mikey got a cheeseburger
And, one pic, since Mike and I got the same thing! Fish’n'Chips!
I did like the fries. Again, the fish was just average and the tartar sauce = horrible.
While the winter pricing was great, the food wasn’t.
Thursday – lunch – Dewey Destin
One of my favs
During the winter months, they close at 4, so we had to make it a lunch!
We started off with some Tuna Dip (the best we’ve had down there!)
Yum! Just as tasty as ever!
Now, this is my problem. We started talking, to a table next to us, and I forgot to take pics. Yes, I have a talking and multi-tasking issue.
Mikey got Chicken Tenders and Mike got a grilled Tuna Sandwich – there won’t be pictures but they both, thoroughly, enjoyed their meals.
I caught mine, after a couple of bites – the grilled Mahi sandwich
The fish was perfect! I love Dewey Destin (Crab Island side!) for their freshness and simplicity. You just can’t beat it. But, I wish that they’d work on their sides. And, tartar sauce.
Thursday – dinner – Grin-go’s
Okay, I always joke with the boys, that I want them to do the Gringozilla contest – but, they never take me seriously and refuse to do it. Bunch of wimps. So, I had to settle for just a normal dinner experience.
It’s very tiny and in Baytowne Wharf. I’ve been obsessed with eating there, for about 3 years but, over the summer months, I’ve just been unwilling to give up a full-on dinner, to eat there. That’s what winter eating’s for.
They have a salsa bar – which looked like it had been attacked. By a bunch of wild salsa eating monkeys.
The salsa was awful. It tasted like PASTA sauce, not salsa. I couldn’t even choke it down.
I got a side order of guacamole
Horrible and you can keep that sprinkle of chili powder/paprika (couldn’t figure out which one it was). That little, baby ramekin of guacamole was $5.49. I guess the one avocado, that it took to make it, was lined with gold? I didn’t finish it, that’s how terrible it was.
Mikey got a cheese (well, he ordered it with chicken but it didn’t come that way) quesadilla
He did enjoy the potatoes.
Mike got the Big Tex Combo
Mike loved all of his, of course.
I got the Fish Tacos
Hated them. Hated the beans. The wasabi ranch sauce was good. And, on top of it, they were $16.99! At what point, did that meal above, deserve to be $16.99??!!
I wanted to like Grin-Go’s. But, it’s in the “don’t do it” category, for me.Mike disagreed but…it’s my damn blog.
Friday – lunch – Outback
Yes, an odd choice, for lunch, in Destin but we had a gift card.
No one’s bread is as good as Outback’s honey wheat.
Mikey, of course, got steak – sirloin
Mike got Tilapia
And, I got Coconut Shrimp
I worked at Outback for a long, long time. Coconut Shrimp is one of the things that I still, tremendously, enjoy.
Friday – dinner – Stinky’s Fish Camp
I’m a big fan of Stinky’s! Loved it, when we went, for the first time, over the summer, so we were really looking forward to returning. And, oddly enough, it was our last meal, of this trip, too!
Loved that we got right in and it wasn’t a clusterpluck!
Mikey got a Ribeye (it was a special)
He loved the mac’n'cheese – next time around, that’s all he’s getting. My boy is just not a fan of ribeyes. (has nothing to do with Stinky’s or any other restaurant – it’s just him)
Mike got the Stinky’s Stew
He LOVED it. He was, absolutely, obsessed with the po-boy panini to the left. He just couldn’t quit telling me how great it was!
I got the Smoked Braised Short Ribs
Loved the cheese grits. And, loved the sauce. I liked the short ribs, but, after a few bites, the smokey flavor started getting to me. It was just too much. I’m going to pull a Mikey and next time around, maybe get the shrimp and grits! Or the Crawfish Hot Tamales and a side of cheese grits.
That was our December Destin “food” trip, in a quick breakdown. I didn’t really find anything “new” to like. A little sad that I was so underwhelmed.
But, still looking forward to our 2 weeks in August! And, I’m hoping for some better culinary delights.