When we were on the coast last weekend we wanted to eat some fresh, local seafood. On Friday night, we tried Bubba Gump's. It was easy to find, as it is on the main drag going through Destin. It's also pretty flashy and themed of course, after the movie, Forrest Gump. As theme restaurants go it wasn't too bad. The food was freshly prepared and the service was pretty good even though it was busy and full to the gills. We had a bit of a dispute with the bill though and that left a bit of a bad taste, as they say.
We wanted to find a local place to eat seafood, and on one of his walks up the beach on Saturday, the Music Man saw this place.
Later that evening, we found The Back Porch down a side street not far from our hotel. What a difference! This is much closer to "the real Florida" than any fake theme restaurant. It still has its share of schtick of course, but it's very comfortable and welcoming.
We got there a little before five pm and were seated right away, literally on the back porch.
To start with we ordered some peel and eat shrimp. They were cooked perfectly and left my lips with a pleasant after burn, which a glass of Blue Moon took care of in short order.
For the entree, I opted for the "Angry Amberjack" sandwich. It was bigger than I thought it would be and just a little spicier than the shrimp. The fries were fresh cut and the slaw was a cool compliment to the heat of the fish.
My husband ordered the grouper sandwich, "bronzed" which is the middle step between plain grilled and blackened Cajun style. He didn't leave anything but the slaw, which he won't eat no matter who fixes it.
After eating all that, we waddled, I mean took a walk down the beach for a little while. The sun was on it's way down and people were packing up for the day. I took some video, so if you haven't made it to the beach yet this summer, here's a taste of what's waiting for you.
The wind was pretty strong at that time of day and was overloading the camera's microphone, but I kind of like just watching the waves roll up.
One of the things we noticed that is kind of sad, were a lot of businesses closed down. The reports last summer about the effects of the oil spill in the Gulf were an unnecessary nail in the coffin of a lot of the locally owned, smaller places. Things seem to be roaring back this year but I wonder how many people had their dreams of owning a business smashed by that oil spill and the relentless reporting of it in the media. I hope the sun seekers return in record numbers this summer and the Gulf Coast economy heals quickly.
All in all, we had a good time in Destin and I wish we could have stayed a little longer. Maybe next time.