Dining Destin-ations, Part 1

Our annual road trip to Destin, FL was last week. This is our yearly recharge. A truly relaxing vacation where our most difficult decision is what to eat for dinner.

Destin is know for their powdery white beaches and emerald green ocean waters, not their food scene. But if you are willing to do a little looking, there are some hidden and not so hidden gems out there, including one of the 5-best pizzas I’ve ever eaten. Here are some of my favorites:

The Back Porch

Is this the best seafood you’ll ever eat? No. Is it crowded and “touristy”? Yes. Do they still serve their kid’s meals on souvenir frisbees? Yes (awesome since I forgot mine). But this is our stop every year on our first night in Destin.

The restaurant sits right on the beach and has the best view in town. The food is simple and appeals to the masses: grilled, blackened, fried seafoods of all types, the best being the local grouper, amberjack and Gulf shrimp. Crab claws are also in season. We like them broiled in garlic, butter and seasoning.

They do a great traditional gumbo with a dark, rich roux and lots of seafood. It claims to be award winning for best gumbo on the Emerald Coast, and I believe it after tasting it.

I was craving fried seafood this night and had the shrimp, crab cake & grouper combo. Everything was lightly breaded, perfectly crisp and not the slightest bit oily. The fried grouper was the standout on the plate. Sorry about the lighting it was getting dark at this point.

We had a wonderful breakfast at Another Broken Egg thanks to a recommendation from @NomNomspgfd. Try the biscuit beignets, crab stack (think shrimp & grits with a crab cake) and omelette with bacon, chorizo, monterey jack and cream cheese. A breakfast worth paying for, which I hadn’t found before in Destin.



A couple more to check out:

The softball-size Maryland crab cakes at Sarah K’s Gourmet are full of lump crab and almost nothing more, which is how a crab cake should be. This is gourmet take-out, so make sure you’ve got an oven and/or microwave available. This time around we dined on crab cakes, bacon spinach & parmesan polenta, teriyaki green beans and mushroom asparagus risotto cakes. Warmed it up according to instructions and dined on our condo balcony looking out at the ocean. A great way to spend an evening.

McGuire’s of Destin
You can’t miss this place as you’re coming into the city. Green neon lines the sprawling rooftops. But don’t let the large size and crowds keep you away from some great burgers, steaks and Irish comfort food. The Reuben Egg Rolls (featured on The FoodNetwork show “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”) were my favorite dish of the night. House cured corned beef, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese fried crisp in an egg roll wrapper and served with Thousand Island dressing. Thanks for the tip Robert Irvine.

Shepherd’s Pie

Stay tuned for Part 2. If you’re a pizza & BBQ fan, you’ll love the next post.


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