Need encouragement in Destin
This trip ain't going too well, gastronomically speaking:
We stopped on the way down at Phil's BBQ in Eufaula, b/c I've read good things about it and how can you resist the "best butts in Alabama"? The bbq plates came out in large chunks, which has got to be the coarsest chopped bbq I've ever seen. Taste and texture was ok, stew was good, beans were OK, their "hot" bbq sauce is really good (finally a hot sauce that really is hot). I was disappointed and my wife had a "this is where you kept talking about wanting to stop?" attitude for the next couple of hours. Maybe I was expecting too much, could have been an off day.
I cooked breakfast yesterday (and what a fine job I did); lunch was a picnic on the beach. (Publix deli here just as good as, if not better than, the one at home.)
OK....then it's time for a big mistake. I know it's a tourist trap, but when the kids in the back are going bonkers b/c their mother told them they can see the alligators at a certain place that's painted funky colors, what are you gonna do? We went to Fudpucker's for lunch; my daughter had a popcorn shrimp plate (OK, i know it's shrimp, but $8 on the kids menu?), my son had the spaghettios (b/c we just don't know how to open cans at home); they were $3, which is high for a 50 cent can of pasta but typical of restaurant kids menus. My wife wanted alligator tail and chicken nachos. The tail was average, nachos are apparently not what to order there. On the plus side, the fries that came with my daughter's plate were really good (trying to get a shrimp from here would risk losing a finger); if you ever find yourself there, I think the fried stuff is what to order. $50 for two kids meals, appetizers and cokes. lunch and $10 for a picture of the kids holding a baby alligator. In the "they're only young once" vein, I guess it was worth going to? The kids had a good time. However, it would have made more sense to charge us $10 for the food and $50 for the picture.
So what's on for today? I don't know, I'm scared to go anywhere! Actually, I'm thinking Dewey Destin's for lunch and maybe Harbor Docks for dinner tonight.
Next time, head over to Sandestin to the Baytowne Village. Lots of good restaurants there that are totally kid-friendly. Choices from nice steak place (that we had strayed away because we didn't think was kid-friendly, only to find out that they have plastic cups with straw/lids and kids meny), to tropical theme to New Orleans cooking to pizza. It's a great area where the kids can sort of run wild (plus a great playground) and you can sit and enjoy a drink. Tons of different activities lined up throughout the year as well. Check it out at www.sandestin.com. You do not need to be a guest of the resort to enjoy Baytowne Village. You will probably park at the outer parking lot and take the water shuttle ($1 per person each way) to and from the Village, which is an occasion in itself! Enjoy!
Dewey Destin's is a great idea. Harbor Docks is standard fare, but you can't beat the view.
My folks live in Destin, and unfortunately we've found dining out to be pretty hit or miss. I've heard there's a bunch of new stuff opening in Baytowne Wharf, but can't vouch for any of it yet. Good luck to you!
Hit Pig's Alley, on the main road just before Sandestin, great BBQ chicken, solid BBQ pork and ribs (the chicken is the best option IMO). Also, get over to Shrimpers Market a few more miles down the road and pick up some of the smoked tuna and crab dips, as well as their super fresh shrimp (they'll boil it for you with some seasoning if you like).
A bit further down on 31, we had a good meal at Stinky's Fish Camp. It's not quite what the name would imply, New Orleans influenced seafood, good beer selection. Cash only.
And, of course, donuts at the Donut Hole.
i could eat bbq 3x a day, 365 a yr, rest of us not so much. but my wife loves seafood dips, so maybe we could work something out...a stop for me for bbq, a stop for my wife for dip, a stop for my daughter for shrimp...and a stop for my son at McD's....(where does he get that from? i think i may need a DNA test!)