Hungry for Destin – 2013

I’ve been having multiple “battles” (using that term VERY loosely), online, about the importance of food, while on vacation. Some go to certain restaurants for location (aka: the scenery), others go for the cocktails…I go for the food. Personally, I’d rather go off the beaten path and get amazing food, that just might not be ocean side, then get stuck with mediocre food, on the beach. Food is part of my vacation experience. But, that’s just me – there’s no right or wrong. I realize that I talk and think about food more than the average person. After eating for 2 full weeks (yeah, you read that correctly), in Destin, my a$$, definitely realizes it.

But, I’m willing to take the 3# hit, so that you can salivate over my multitude of pictures! See how nice I am?

We blend in our favorite restaurants, with some new ones – so, yes, I’ve already reviewed a few that I’ll mention below. But, I’ll do it again because that’s how I roll.

However, before we even GET to Destin, I force the family to one eating spot, for lunch…Krystal in Alabama. The same location, every year, for 7 years. We (Cincinnati peeps) have White Castle. The south has Krystal. Krystal is better.

Krystal Box

Krystal Burger

What’s the difference? The buns (*snort*) are fluffier, there are less onions and they add the magic ingredient, mustard. FINALLY, 7 years, later, the husband has finally said that he thinks Krystal are better, too. See? I AM always right.

Okay…back on the road.

After settling into our condo, I asked the family, where they wanted to go to eat. I mapped out the next 13 meals, so I thought that I’d toss them a bone. I KNEW that they would pick McGuire’s. I would lose that bet. My girl wanted crab legs and the boy didn’t care – they picked The Black Pearl.

Day 1 – The Black Pearl 

I really have no issues with The Black Pearl – it DOES take a hit on most of the review sites but, personally, we’ve never had any problems. It’s in FWB (that would be Fort Walton Beach – I’m not typing that again!), so we had to take a jaunt across the bridge.

Oh, wait – before I REALLY get into it, let me talk about service. We had REALLY great service ALL week. There was a restaurant that I didn’t like (look for it later!) but service wasn’t the issue. I know I complained about service, the past couple of years, but this year, the south totally redeemed themselves! 

Okay – back to The Black Pearl

First day in, I’m getting a drink – Lava Flow, baby!

Black Pearl Lava Flow

Nothing says vacation, like being on the beach, cool breeze, my family…and a strawberry filled pina colada. Yum!

Bread for the table

Black Pearl Bread

Mike got the Sunset Platter (he’s such a girl, sometimes)

Black Pearl Sunset Platter

Maddie got her Crab Legs

Black Pearl Crab Legs

There IS something, really delicious, about their crab – they wood fire them…so they don’t get waterlogged. The shells are nice and crispy!

Mikey got his first steak of the trip – Tenderloin Medallions

Black Pearl Filet Medallions

I got the Blackened Mahi Sandwich

Black Pearl Blackened Mahi Sand

It was REALLY delicious – the fish was cooked properly and the bun wasn’t super hard, like ciabatta can be. Even the fries were tasty (coming from me and my attitude about fries, that says a LOT).

I’m going to have to give The Black Pearl a YUM, this year. But, I’m a little peeved that they did away with the Cannonball Shrimp.

The Black Pearl on Urbanspoon

Okay – here’s the deal. Donuts are delicious. But, nothing, not a single donut (don’t come at me with that Dunkin’ Donut crap either), beats hot, fresh, glazed Krispy Kreme. With that said, I’ve created a monster. My son, is now addicted. Our first night in, we stopped at Krispy Kreme. One of many stops.  I’ll give you the donut count, at the end.

Vacation donuts

I’ll catch up with you, later, with more pics.:)

Suffice it to say, these were gone before we got to the condo.(And there were 12!)

Count: 1

Day 2 – (NEW!) Hog’s Breath Saloon

I heard that Hog’s Breath had a great fish sandwich – and, you know that I’m always down with that!

For an app, we got the Buffalo Shrimp

Hog's Breath Buffalo Shrimp

I only got about 3 bites in – my hoggy husband and daughter were fighting over it! Pigs.

Mike got the Seafood Platter (which, I don’t see on the menu but I know he got it!)

Hog's Breath Seafood Platter

I love my husband. And, as I type this, I have to remind myself, of that. I don’t like oysters. It’s not the taste, really, but the texture. I just can’t handle it. He KNOWS this. He got FRIED oysters, on his. I asked if the frying, helped the texture. He said, “Sure, you should try one.” Took a bite and calmly said, “Yep, that texture makes me want to puke.” (I mean, if you like the taste and texture of fried cow’s balls, then this is probably for you!) His reply? “I KNEW you’d say that!” Why does he enjoy torturing me?

Southwestern Chicken Sandwich

Hog's Breath Southwestern Chicken Sand

The girl professed it to be the best chicken sandwich she’s ever had, in her entire life.


Hog's Breath Cheeseburger

And, I got the Fried Fish Sandwich

Hog's Breath Fish Sand

It was pretty good – Bridgetown Finer Meat’s is better. Just sayin’.

I loved the atmosphere at Hog’s Breath – it seemed like a fun place to hang out. But, just visiting, once a year, I wouldn’t have to go back.

And, because I enjoy torturing the people who I love…

Sign Hog's Breath

Hog's Breath Saloon on Urbanspoon

Day 3 – Dewey Destin (FAV!)

We were all really excited about Dewey Destin! And, when I tell you all to go to Dewey Destin, you must go to the CRAB ISLAND location. It looks a little scary but it is delicious and fresh and just perfection!

Don't Feed Birds

As I was bemoaning and bitching about the fact that my camera was fogged up – thanks, Florida humidity – the family scarfed down on the Tuna Dip.

Dewey Destin Tuna Dip

Dewey Destin Tuna on Cracker

Dewey Destin tuna bite

She loves me. Really.

Soft Shell Crab Sandwich

Dewey Destin Soft Shell Crab

The husband LOVES this! It’s what he gets every time.

Crab Cake Sandwich

Dewey Destin Crab Cake Sand

Kid’s Hot Dog

Dewey Destin Hot Dog

And me – Crabmeat Stuffed Shrimp, Wrapped in Bacon!

Dewey Destin Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

Simply, perfection.

I will stand firm, though, that Dewey’s needs to work on their sides. And, the tartar is sad.

Dewey Destin on Urbanspoon

We played some mini-golf and got some ice cream at Sweeties

Sweetie's Blueberry IC

It’s blueberry gelato – it was just “eh”. I didn’t finish it.

Day 4 – (NEW!) Hurricane Oyster Bar

Hurricane Oyster Bar, is in Grayton Beach – which is just a smidgen away, from Destin – like 23 minutes? We did some shopping, in Panama and stopped here, for dinner.

Hurricane Oyster Bar

Adorable and funky, right?

They DO only take cash – no credit!

Hurricane Oyster Bar Wall

Contrary to its name, they DO have a ton of food, other than oysters. But, wait and see what I got!

We started with the Hurricane Debris Nachos

Hurricane Oyster Bar Debris Nachos

They were REALLY good – NOT perfect, however…the cheese needed to be melted. 😉 But, I’d take them again!

My Crab and Lobster Bisque

Hurricane Oyster Bar Crab Lobster Soup

Look at that picture. You know what that is? A PERFECT soup. Seriously, one of the best soups that I’ve ever had…or made!

Chipotle Honey Wings

Hurricane Oyster Bar Wings

Kid’s Ribeye

Hurricane Oyster Bar Kid Ribeye

Look at those grill lines!

Lobster tacos with coconut corn fritters

Hurricane Oyster Bar Lobster Tacos

Surprisingly, that wasn’t mine. 😉

THIS was mine – Baked Oysters St. Jack

Hurricane Oyster Bar Oysters

Verdict? LOVED them. Texturely, like mussels (which I love). Raw and fried are out. Baked – in!

We all, adored, Hurricane Oyster Bar. It was a very laid back, cool atmosphere. Grayton Beach seemed to be lacking all the hustle and bustle. Just an, all around, great meal!

Hurricane Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon

And…Krispy Kreme

Count: 2

Oh, almost forgot! I stopped at Blalock’s Seafoodfor some fresh shrimp. I always love meat guys. They’re crazy fun. It was a couple of minutes til close, so I didn’t want to hold them up. I just snagged 1# of shrimp, paid and left.

After I shelled them and de-pooped them, we had Shrimp Salads with Bacon Vinaigrette, the next day, for lunch. Sorry that the pic sucks – it was my phone!

Vacation shrimp sal

There’s NOTHING like fresh shrimp – the texture is entirely different!

While we’re on the subject of lunches – I made some awesome ones! Here’s another one – Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Burgers, with Fried Egg. Who needs Red Robin when you have me? (again, with my phone)

Vacation Burger

And, that’s all the lunch photos, I took! 😉

Day 5 – (our besties arrived!!!!) The Back Porch

My fav frozen drink – Key Lime Freeze

Back Porch key lime freeze

Okay, since there are many of us, now (7), you’re just getting a rundown of the food and I’ll let you know what I got, at the end!

Stuffed Mahi

Back Porch Stuffed Mahi

Crab and Spinach Dip

Back Porch Crab and Spin Dip

Bacon Cheeseburger

Back Porch Bacon Cheeseburger


Back Porch Cheeseburger

Kid’s Grilled Fish

Back Porch Kid Grilled Fish

And, MINE – Grouper Florentine (yep, what I got last year!)

Back Porch Grouper Florentine better

It was delicious, again! However, that succotash crap, REALLY needs to go. I think most restaurants, in Destin, need to revisit their sides. Seriously, how many steamed potatoes and corn, and hush puppies and fries do I need?

Back Porch Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Day 6 – (NEW!) Stewby’s Seafood Shanty (FWB)

Stewby's Sign

Stewby drive thru

It was about a 30+ minute drive, thru FWB (it was a clusterpluck!), to get to Stewby’s. But…it WAS worth it.

Because I liked to pronounce Wahoo as Woohoo (I think it’s funny), I decided that’s the route I was going to take. But, I’ll post mine last. 😉 And, a couple of us, got the same thing, so, not as many pics!

Soft Shell Crab Sandwich (guess who got that!)

Stewby's Soft shell crab sand

Fried Shrimp

Stewby's Fried Shrimp

Chicken Fingers

Stewby's Chicken Fingers

And, MINE – Wahoo (fried) Dinner

Stewby's Fried Wahoo

Yep, those are tasty cheese grits (I know I’m a southern belle, deep, deep down). The fries were awesome. And the fish? Crispy and flaky. I am, so very much, in love with Stewby’s. Check out the menu – their sides are awesome. The cole slaw – delicious. Tartar sauce – okay. I think we’re spoiled by how yummy Frisch’s tartar sauce is. 😉

Dewey’s needs to watch out!

STEWBY'S Seafood Shanty on Urbanspoon

And – Krispy Kreme

Count – 3

Day 7 – McGuire’s (Fav!)

I love McGuire’s. But, right off the bat, 2 complaints. One, the lighting. You’ll understand when you see the pictures. (And, I would apologize to McGuire’s, but it’s their fault that the pictures of their food are crappy). It’s just RED, in there. Like, seizure inducing, red. And, the music – I enjoy the Irish tunes. But, it’s so damn loud. And, I say that as a girl who likes to rock out. Well, mildly rock out. There’s only so many damn bagpipes a girl can take before she pokes someone’s eye out with a fork!

Okay, vent over.

We ordered our usual – Nachos!

McGuire's Nachos

I said it last year and I’ll say it again – they suck now. (I can’t get the husband on board with this one, yet). Too many chips, not enough stuff. Not well-distributed. I wouldn’t need to order these ever again.

Yummy Bread, with honey

McGuire's Bread


McGuire's Salad

Crock of Onion Soup

McGuire's french onion soup

Kid’s Pizza

McGuire's kids pizza


McGuire's Ribs

NY Strip (still my son’s fav steak!)

McGuire's NY Strip


McGuire's tuna

And, MINE – Grilled Prime Rib

McGuire's prime rib

Eh – I wasn’t in love. But, that was my fault. I didn’t like it last year but I was convinced that it was going to be better this year. I swear to you – I’m not ordering an entrée, next time. There was so much food that I felt like I was going to burst, when I stepped out of there. We’ll see how that promise goes for me.

I love McGuire’s, but it was a tad disappointing, this year. 😦

McGuire's Irish Pub of Destin on Urbanspoon

Day 8 – (NEW and LUNCH) Vinnie McGuire’s (yeah, you read that right)

Since we were going to the fish market, later, and having dinner IN, we decided to go out to lunch. The Irish do pizza?

Vinnie McGuire's building

We’re morons and have never noticed Vinnie McGuire’s, RIGHT NEXT DOOR, to McGuire’s.

Vinnie Mc Lamps

I loved the ordering system – you get to fill out forms!

Vinnie Mc menu

And, we have the same lighting issues…

Appetizer Sampler

Vinnie Mc App Sampler

Cheese Pizza

Vinnie Mc Cheese

Pepperoni and Bacon

Vinnie Mc Pep

Bacon, Goat Cheese and Mushroom (that’s ours!)

Vinnie Mc Our pizza

They smoke all of their meats. Everything is fresh and homemade. It was perfect pizza. It did need more sauce. But, it makes me sad that we’ll have to wait another year, for it.

My one complaint – the damn music. LOUD and really annoying.

Vinny McGuire's Pizza on Urbanspoon

DINNER – Sexton’s Fish Market

I’ll have to admit. I was sickly excited about visiting the fish market and cooking dinner. I love fish and cooking – I was hyperventilating a little.

Sexton's fish

Sexton's shrimp

My daughter’s comment…”It smells fishy.”

REALLY – are you sure?!?!?

We got some Royal Reds (headless), Grouper (I was pushing for Red Snapper but I lost that war) and some Stuffed Crab, for my non-fish eating daughter.

THEN, we stopped at Sarah K’s Gourmet (FAV!), for our sides and to get the boy, a steak.

We got the baked potato casserole, a filet and 2 desserts (you’ll see them later!)

They are, always, just amazing, at Sarah K’s. The food is homemade and delicious and just really well done. If I lived in Destin, I could see myself working here!

Sarah K's Gourmet on Urbanspoon

Back at the condo…

Sexton Shrimp Shells

I shelled and de-pooped the Royal Reds

Sexton's Shrimp after

Look how pretty!

Sexton's royal reds cooked

And, the finished shrimp!  Royal Reds are sweet, like crab meat. And, really tender. I bought some garlic olive oil, in Panama City and used a scampi blend, on them. Finished them with some lemon balsamic!

Sexton's Group raw and seasoned

Raw and seasoned

Sexton's Grouper cooked

We be grillin’!

Sexton's fish cooked

Here’s the complete plate – with both shrimp and fish, potato casserole and a spring mix salad!

Sexton's full plate

Maddie’s Stuffed Crab

Sexton's stuffed crab cooked

Mikey’s filet (and, that’s butter – not ice cream!)

Sarah K's filet cooked

Sarah K’s Death by Chocolate Brownie

Sarah K's brownie

Do I even have to tell you that it was a perfect brownie?

Sarah K’s Peanut Butter Tower

Sarah K's pb dessert

That wasn’t mine but I heard it was good. 😉

This was one of my favorite nights/dinners!

If you want to eat “out” but not go out, go to Sarah K’s! Everything is already made and she gives you fabulous, fool-proof reheat directions. Everything maintains it’s integrity and quality! (She makes amazing crab cakes, too!)

Day 9 – Floyd’s Shrimp House

This was our view, as we were eating…

Floyd's scene

…and, that is why we go.

Gator Bites

Floyd's gator bites

Coconut Shrimp

Floyd's Coco shrimp


Floyd's sirloin

Shrimp Alfredo

Floyd's pasta

All you can Eat – Popcorn Shrimp

Floyd's  AYCE shrimp

Shrimp tacos

Shrimp tacos

And, I got the Grouper Tacos and I think I, accidentally, erased the picture. They looked just like the shrimp tacos, but I got rice and beans –> which were God-awful. I didn’t like my fish tacos either. I’m really outnumbered with this restaurant. The rest of the group really likes it – the ambiance and the food. I like the scenic view, I find the food to be very average.

Floyd's Shrimp House on Urbanspoon

And, Krispy Kreme

Count: 4

KK hot button now

I promised you more pics! The sign above us, is the mother ship, luring us in.

KK waterfall glaze

Glaze waterfall

KK Mikey and hat

I’ll make sure he never gets any chics. 😉

Day 10 – Dewey’s (FAV and AGAIN)

We had friends, with us, this time.

Chicken Fingers

DD Chicken Fingers

Kid’s Fish

DD Kids Fish

Grilled Mahi

DD Grilled Mahi

Fried Snapper

DD Fried Snapper

Mate’s Platter

DD Platter

Royal Reds

DD Royal Reds

And, again, she loves me…

Maddie and shrimp DD

And, she had a mini- melt down, when realized that she had to pop their heads off. 😉

And, MINE – Grilled Scallops

DD Scallops

Mine was just okay, that night. I still love Dewey’s, though.

Pelicans and Boat DD

You get such fun sights, too!

Later that night, we went to Baytowne Wharf – the boys played games and ran around. The girl and I went to Rum Runners, to listen to live music. Loved the music, but my drinks were uber pricey. I got 2 real drinks and 2 soft drinks. I spent well over $30. Ouch.

Day 11 – (NEW and LUNCH!) Hartell’s

It was a rainy day! Since my kids had a blast at BLAST arcade (I know I’m a nerd), we went to Baytowne Wharf, for some eats and some games!

We passed Hartell’s a few nights before and the onion ring smell was tempting us – so, we got lassoed in for lunch.

Hartell's inside

Looks like an old cheesy diner!

BTW – the menu must have changed…we got some items that aren’t listed on the online one!

Onion Straws

Hartell's onion chips

They were crispy and really damn good!

Plain Cheeseburger

Hartell's Cheeseburger

Mikey’s (not MY Mikey) Chili Burger

Hartell's chili burger

The Big Juanita

Hartell's mike burger

And, MINE – Chili Cheese Tater Tots

Hartell's tater tots

What can I say? I like tater tots (and they were damn good, too!)

A nice lunch spot – kind of like Steak’n’Shake, with bigger burgers.

Hartell's Village Diner on Urbanspoon

DINNER THAT NIGHT (NEW) – Louisiana Lagniappe

I’ve heard marvelous things about Louisiana Lagniappe – but, I’ll admit the price tags, kept me away. You know that I’m not scared to spend money on food, but I’m hesitant to shell out mega bucks for 2 kids that would just as easily eat a Big Mac.

So, we decided to make a date night out of it (one of the benefits to having older children) 😉

We sat outside and loved that the bay area/water was so low, that there was a cute dog, prancing around, with his owner!

The table gets hush puppies..

.LL Hushpuppies

They were awesome – super crunchy. More cornbread, versus cakey!

Corn and Crab Bisque 

LL Corn Chowder

M loved it!

Caesar Salad

LL Salad

MINE – Lobster Bisque

LL Lobster Bisque

The server said that 8 out of 10 people, didn’t like this new soup, so she let me try it first. I liked it a lot – guess I’m in the freaky 20%. 😉 It wasn’t as good as Hurricane’s, but I wouldn’t turn it down!

Lagniappe Seafood Platter

LL seafood platter

Seafood Lagniappe

LL Seafood Lag

Grouper Crevettes

LL Grouper Corvettes

And, MINE – Blackened Redfish

LL Black Redfish

The fish was perfect – spicy and flaky, not even a little overcooked. Loved the sauce and the side potato. A couple of pieces of my lobster were a little tough. Surprisingly, I’m not a huge fan of lobster. I’ll eat it, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not my “luxury” eating item. I’d rather have King Crab.

It was a fabulous dining experience – I did like the ambiance and that it felt like a “special” place to dine. With that said, I wouldn’t have to go back. If I’m going to spend that kind of money, I’d like to try another “trendy” place in Destin, next time.

We brought the kids back Pizza Hut and Chinese (Orange Chicken). 😉

Louisiana Lagniappe on Urbanspoon

DAY 12 – BREAKFAST – The Pancakery

I know I’ve been down this tirade road before. My favorite breakfast place, in Destin, is Another Broken Egg Cafe but…I just can’t justify spending $80 (with tip), for our family of 4, for some eggs/pancakes. So, since we eat one breakfast out, the kids all chose, The Pancakery.

LOVED our server here – she was a transplant, from Ohio!

Chocolate Milk

Pancakery chocolate milk

Bacon Omelette

Pancakery bacon omelette

The Chocolatier

Panckery Chocolatier

The All Pig Omelette (that’s what my husband called his meat lovers eggs)

Pancakery pig omelette

Kid’s Pancakes

Pancakery kids pancake

Kid’s Pancakes with M&M’s

Pancakery kids m and m

Traditional Breakfast

Pancakery traditional breakfast

The “small” stack of Pancakes that comes with all breakfasts!

Pancakery small stack

And, MINE – Eggs Benedict

Pancakery Eggs Benedict

Since I hate ham (even the Canadian “bacon”, ham…), I swapped it out with bacon. (that would be REAL American bacon). The sauce was horrible. It did NOT taste like hollandaise sauce. There was something very off-putting in it. And, I still don’t love their pancakes. Everyone I was with, disagrees with me. Oh well…on my own little anti-pancake island.

The Pancakery on Urbanspoon

We ate breakfast that day because…we were headed, much later,  to Rick’s Crab Trap for AYCE (that’s All You Can Eat) Crab!

DINNER – Rick’s Crab Trap (no website)

Disclaimer: I wasn’t feeling well, for dinner, so I just ordered something small. My allergies were on high alert and I think I knocked my brain loose, during go-carts, that day.

Fried Pickles

Rick's fried pickles

Onion Flower/Blossom

Rick's onion flower


Rick's sirloin

Crab – First Round of FIVE!

Rick's crab legs

Our server was awesome there and she had refills of crab out, faster than you could request them – loved her! AYCE Crab is $31.99 – a great deal when you figure that you only get #1 for $26, at other places. They all, definitely, got their money’s worth!

And, MINE – Kid’s Chicken Fingers (told you that I wasn’t feeling well – Mikey, ended up eating 2 of them…along with his steak)

Rick's chicken fingers

These are just my thoughts about Rick’s Crab Trap – we only go because of the AYCE crab. I don’t *love* anything else there. Which makes me sad because the servers and management all seem to really care. They just need to do some menu rehabbing. When you’re in a hotel, you need to have a menu that’s unique enough, to bring in the masses.

Rick's Crab Trap on Urbanspoon

DAY 13 – Mish Mash of things, first!

Since I wasn’t feeling well, the girl and I swung by CVS for some Benedryl. Then, we decided that gelato would make me feel better. 😉

San Gelato Cafe – Cookies and Cream and Blueberry

San gelato

It was yummy and made my head feel better. 😉

And, then, there were 2 places, that I became obsessed with, while down there.

A new place, called Chicken Salad Chick

GREAT concept – different types of chicken salad, soups and a couple other kinds of sandwiches. Since I make fabulous chicken salad, I had to check out hers, right?

Chicken salad chick

I got the Classic Carol

Chicken salad chick open

It was okay – I expected more since a whole deli was based on this one item. BFM’s is better…and so is mine. 😉

Then, I thought there would be ALL the soups listed – nope, there’s just ONE soup/day. Eh – I’m going to disagree with that strategy. If you only have one hot item, have all 4 soups, all the time! So, I was stuck with potato soup.

Chicken salad chick soup

It was very good – just needed more salt.

Chicken Salad Chic on Urbanspoon

And, the 2nd place that I had to swing by, to curb my OCD…The Alligator Pear Truck!

Alligator pear truck

I had gone ALL week without guacamole – I was going nuts!

The girl working there was very fun and energetic and you could tell that she LOVED their products! She told me that I came to the right place for chips and guac.

Alligator Pear chips and guac

They were both AWESOME. Chips were just like Nada’s! Homemade and crispy – lots of seasoning and flavor. And, the guac, was perfect. (yes, that rarely passes my lips) I would love to go again, for some other yummy Mexican food!

DINNER – (NEW!) The Boathouse Oyster Bar

I heard, via locals, that this was a great place to eat. So, off we went! Very limited parking and small restaurant. I’ll post more thoughts later…

Bang Me Shrimp

Boathouse bang me shrimp

It was really good – not Bonefish Bang Bang Shrimp good, but good.


Boathouse gumbo

Tuna Dip

Boathouse tuna dip

Kid’s Hot Dog

Boathouse hot dogs

Blackened Mahi Sandwich

Boathouse mahi sand

Cheeseburger with DELICIOUS Ruffles!

Boathouse cheeseburger

Action Burger with an awesome bag of Ruffles!

Boathouse mad burger

Yes, I’m bitter about the BAG of chips, that came with the burgers. If we’re paying $12, for a frickin’ burger, give me some damn fries! NO substitutions or upcharges…you had to order the basket of fries, separately. Bastards.

Boathouse fries

Grilled Shrimp

Boathouse grilled shrimp

And, MINE – Steamed Shrimp

Boathouse steamed shrimp

First, I hated the sides and they were hard asses about not substituting – way to go for customer service. Crappy steamed potatoes and mushy corn, suck. And, second, I thought that my steamed shrimp would be hot. They were cold – and had no flavor.

We won’t be returning here – it’s a BAR first, and restaurant, WAY down the line. We saw servers, chain-smoking and then going right to their tables. And, another server take 2 shots. Keep it classy, Boathouse. Guess we should have scoped that out better. If you’re there to get hammered with your server, feel free to visit. If you want a good meal, skip it.

The Boathouse Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon


Final Count: 5 TIMES! Let’s do the math, shall we? 5 trips X 12 glazed donuts = 60 donuts. 3 of those trips, we got an extra 6 variety of donuts = 18. So, 60 + 18 = 78. 78 donuts, in a 14 day period. I’m not proud, people. With that said, my piggy son (whom, I found one night, at 4AM, sleep-eating one of the glazed Krispy Kreme – addict, much?), probably ate 32 of those donuts. He needs to do some sit ups, this week. They’re really delicious. What can I say?

DAY 14 – (NEW!) Stinky’s Fish Camp (Santa Rosa Beach)

I’ve had my eye on this one, for a while. It’s about 25 minutes, from Destin (but, most places take a while, with Destin traffic).

They only had valet, for dinner, which WE enjoy. 😉 Our wait was about 20 minutes, so we went next door, to their gift shop and got some t-shirts. The place had a great vibe, from the start.

Loved the menu – very unique. The inside is very rustic, but NICE rustic. Before I get to it, I’ll show you pics!

Bloody Mary – it’s like a feast!

Stinky's bloody mary

Buffalo Frog Legs

Stinky's frog legs

Crawfish Enchiladas

Stinky's crawfish tamales

You just can’t mess with the plate presentation – it was all beautiful! And, the tamales were awesome! Little packages of deliciousness.

Seafood Chowder

Stinky's Seafood Chowder

Firecracker Shrimp

Stinky's firecracker shrimp

Baked Shells and Cheese

Stinky's baked mac

Kid’s Shells and Cheese

Stinky's shells

Grilled Shrimp and Angel Hair Pasta

Stinky's Shrimp Fett

Ribeye (special menu)

Stinky's ribeye

Braised Short Ribs

Stinky's braised short ribs

And, MINE – Grilled Corvina (it’s like Sea Bass) on Cheese Grits!

Stinky's Corvina

The husband and I split the short ribs and the fish – they were both, equally, delicious – all the sauce and meat, mingled in with the cheese grits. Every bite was a little like heaven. I tried A LOT of what was on the table – EVERYTHING was good. Mikey’s garlic potatoes were awesome. Even the shells and cheese were fantastic. By far, one of my (ALL of ours!) favorite meals/restaurants of the whole trip! We can’t wait to go back, next year. In the mean time, we all still have our Stinky’s shirts. 😉

Stinky's Fish Camp on Urbanspoon

Since we were so full, from delicious Stinky’s it made sense to stop at Kilwin’s, right? I, usually, get my drink, in Panama, but didn’t – so, the husband owed me a final trip!

Raspberry Kilwin Kooler

Kilwin's rasp kooler

It’s raspberrily delicious.

And, Mike’s Cookies’n’ Cream (see, he didn’t protest that trip, too much!)

Kilwin's cookies and cream

Let’s recap – we still like our old favs (all picked for a variety of reasons/people, in our vacation family)…

Dewey Destin (out of these, this one is my fav – the others, minus McGuire’s, are “eh” to me)

The Back Porch


Floyd’s Shrimp House

Rick’s Crab Trap (AYCE)

Things that we LOVED, this trip – NEW!

Hurricane Oyster Bar – LOVE!

Stewby’s – LOVE!

Vinnie McGuire’s – LOVE!

Sexton’s and Blalocks – fish markets – LOVE!

Sarah K’s – LOVE!

Alligator Pear – LOVE!

Stinky’s Fish Camp – LOVE LOVE LOVE!

If you love Destin and the surrounding areas, like I do, check out some of the restaurants, above! I had some really delicious food, this year. Honestly, I wouldn’t even say anything was BAD – just a few things were average.

Oh – and, the bonus news!!!!! Fred got married!!!!

Meet lulu

Til next year, Destin!

Oh – and you KNOW what our first meal back, in Cincinnati was, right?

Skyline home!

What can I say? I’m a Cincinnati girl at heart.

13 thoughts on “Hungry for Destin – 2013

  1. I so much enjoyed reading all about the places you visited and ate at and all the AWESOME pictures !!!! My Tennessee friends are coming to Destin to visit us Oct.7th for a week. We live in Tallahassee Florida and we visit Panama City and Destin often. I know most of the restaurants you mentioned but not all so thanks a lot for all the good information. The next time you come down for vacation do try The Red Bar at Grayton Beach it’s not to far from Hurricane’s. If you go on a Sunday or Monday night for dinner they have a cool band called Dread Clampitt worth seeing. The food is good also 🙂 the tuna dip is a meal for me, their dinner portions are large also !!

  2. Hi..I really enjoyed your blog. I live in Freeport, but work in Destin, going on two years now, so still have a lot of places to discover, and loved your review of Stinkys. We don’t venture out during “tourist season” much, I’m sure you understand that, with the (I drive in it all day for my job!) but am looking forward to trying some of the places you mentioned. If you ever want to take a trip further down the Florida peninsula, I lived in Jupiter Florida (Atlantic ocean) for 16 yrs. Some of the best restaurants I have ever eaten at, are located there. It’s a nice town for a relaxing vacation, and the beaches are just as beautiful as the Gulf coast, if not more so. The water is aqua there, as opposed to emerald here!

  3. Going to Destin in October. Loved reading your review. We are looking forward to trying
    several of the places you mentioned, especially Stinkys. Thank you so much.

  4. My wife and I just got back this past Saturday Night after a week in Destin. I grew up going to Destin but have not gone in over 10 years so I was very out of the loop. The trip was to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary and wanted to make it special. I used this as a guide on where to eat on our vacation and it was fantastic. I didn’t get to make it to all of the places but our favorite had to be Stinky’s Fish Camp. Just a wonderful place that get’s it! On our actual anniversary we went to Louisiana Lagniappe. The food was great, the wait staff was wonderful, and the ambiance was perfect. You’re right, it seems a little pricey for what you get but all in all it was a great experience! Thanks again for this terrific guide and can’t wait to go again to try some of the other recommendations!

  5. I wish I was able to read this blog before I was 3 days from leaving… 😦 I, also from Ohio (Dayton tho…) love going to eat while away anywhere especially Florida with all the fresh food options. Might I make a suggestion for your return trip…Roberto’s(pizza/Italian style fare) at Baytowne Wharf? Good atmosphere(except for college football Saturdays where there are lots of loud obnoxious drunks there), great food and great service. I look forward to reading of your next trip and all the delicious food you photograph. Cheers!! 🙂

  6. I just discovered your reviews of Destin and area. We are heading there next week for 3 months. Can’t wait to get back there. We missed going last year so a few of the restaurants are new and I can’t wait to try them. Thanks for your fabulous info.

  7. Thanks for this!! We are going to FWB in June… (first visit)… love reading about all of the local places… we will deff be visiting some of these. My parents will be married 45 years this year in August. They live in FWB for 2 years while my dad was in the Air Force… years before I was born. We are going to see if their old house is still standing. We can’t wait to go and enjoy all the food!!

  8. Thanks for the great blog post!

    We’ve been coming to the Destin area from Nashville for nearly 25 years, and though we were already familiar with most you listed, your descriptions will expand some of our menu choices.

    I had noticed the Hurricane Oyster Bar ad earlier today and your praise has locked us in. Also glad to expand our horizons a bit at Stinky’s which we’ve been loving since we discoverd it a couple years ago.

    I think Dewey Destin is the 2nd best seafood fry house I’ve ever experienced. But the first is in Gloucester, Maine . . . not somewhere we get to every year!

    But I must respectfully challenge you on your Krispy Kreme preference. Perhaps you’ve never experienced a Shipley Donut. They originated in Texas where I grew up. I discovered a couple years ago that it is not just nostalgia that makes me prefer them over all the competition.

    They use a proprietary flour blend of whole grain wheat and potato. The result is a pastry that does not absorb as fuch of the fat and is consequently much lighter in texture. I’m also convinced the glaze is a proprietary factor too, but cannot comment on that with authority~

    Again, thanks for the great tips!

    • Glad you enjoyed my blog and are able to get some new ideas and good eats for your Destin trip!

      Even though the view isn’t as good, I do enjoy Stewby’s (fort walton beach) more than Dewey’s. Sides are a ton better!

      As for donuts – as long as they are fresh and hot, I don’t know that they can be “bad”. 😉

  9. Stopped at Stewby’s on way from Illinois to our place in Miramar Beach. Outstanding…amberjack was good and the sides are great-the beans w/onions,peppers and sausage chunks. Also won’t hurt your wallet like most Destin joints.
    I would highly recommend Buck’s Smokehouse in
    Destin (it’s near Hogsbreath and Krispy Kreme!) Best bbq we’ve ever had. Pulled pork and smoked prime
    rib sandwiches were out of this world! Potato salad-awesome. Really reasonably priced for the prime
    location. Will try brisket and ribs next time. They also have smoked mullet and smoked tuna dip….but didn’t try either.

    • Just got back from our winter in Miramar Beach. I agree that Bucks is the best BBQ I have ever had. You absolutely must try the brisket. It just melts in your mouth.

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