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May 19, 2008 09:06 AM

30A bound

We're off for a week in Santa Rosa Beach area on the west end of 30A. We've been quite a few times and are fairly familiar with old standards like Criola's, 30A, Fish Out of Water, Basmati's, Bud and Alley's, etc.
Any other suggestions for
(A) an anniversary dinner for two?
(B) some place family friendly for parents and young children?
Can't wait to have sunset beers at Tarpon Club!!

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  1. For family friendly/casual dining, definitely go to Stinky's It's owned by the people who had Lake Place which burned down and has been open a year or so. We had a perfect meal there -- blackened cobia with jalapeno grits and a gumbo on the side. They have different fish specials daily and oysters, etc. Great wine list as well but again, very casual. It is CASH ONLY so be prepared for that. They are open for lunch and dinner.

    Another casual favorite for a great grouper sandwich at lunch is Seagrove Market -- it's a market with a restaurant in back. The best grouper sandwich in the area, grilled, blackened or fried.

    I've heard many negative reviews (and had the same experience myself) at Bud & Alley's lately so other than drinks on the roof for sunset viewing, I wouldn't do a nice dinner there. Prices are crazy high and the quality is just not there. 30A is still great, Criolla's just underwent a remodel so has become another hot spot. If you like Italian, I've heard 2 great recent reviews of Borago by friends. Both said it was the best meal they had had in ages.

    Cafe Rendezvous in Seaside is a fun wine bar that serves tapas and atmosphere for adults and a good wine list. The menu is more extensive that what is shown on their website.

    We're heading there next week as well and are definitely bound for Stinky's; ate there in April and can't wait to have it again! On the downside, Spiazzia Pizza (in Seaside under Bud & Alley's has now closed -- they had the best frozen sangria and pizza and are gone :-(

    3 Replies
    1. re: jcr05

      Thanks. Great suggestions.

      We've eaten at Borago a couple of times and have had great meals there. The porch also is kid friendly, which helps, too.

      Never been too crazy about Bud and Alley's, which I've always found overpriced for the quality (even considering everything in that area is overpriced).

      1. re: jcr05

        Thank you, jcr05, for a great recommendation in Cafe Rendezvous.
        My wife and I went there for our anniversary celebration and had a great meal. She's vegetarian and it's hard to find something that offers choices for both of us. That fit the bill.
        Their charcuterie plate seriously rocks! I also had the quail and grits (excellent) and a skimpy but nonetheless tasty hamachi sashimi. My wife had the tempura vegetables (very tasty) and the vegetable maki roll. We split the grand marnier crepe for dessert. Very nice.
        Having Anchor Steam on tap also was a treat for this brewer.

        Thanks again for a good recommendation.

        1. re: Big Daddy

          Great! I'm glad you enjoyed it and that you had a Happy Anniversary.

      2. Know you're already back, but figure you'll be back down again some day. One of the best evenings out in the area for families is a night at Baytowne Village in Sandestin. There's something there for everyone. From an amazing playground for kids (right across from the bar/casual restaurant Mango's - with live music), you can choose from a dozen different restaurants from BBQ to high-end steak/lobster places. There's usually some other sort of entertainment going on from movies on the green, to magicians to live bands on the green. It's a great place that everyone will be happy. Almost forgot to mention the ice cream store AND the candy store - lots of ways to bribe the kids to be happy (and it's fun for the adults to stroll with drinks in hand). Some cute shops to visit as well.

        3 Replies
        1. re: atlantachowhound

          It's great for dogs too ;-) We took our golden retriever one night and felt like we were handlers for a rock star. He was treated very well.

          1. re: jcr05

            Hey jcr05 - if you've got a dog that loved being in the village, you should check out the dog parade that they have every winter/spring, right around Mardi Gras. All of the dogs get decked out (they must be in costume to participate), people get their golf carts all decorated, and it's a fun time. All of the restaurants usually have dog bowls/goodies out for the pups. It's a great time.

          2. re: atlantachowhound

            My brother-in-law and sister-in-law have a place down at Baytowne Wharf. We like to pack a picnic for the Wednesday concert series they have during the summer. My then-4-year-old even got to get up on stage and sing with Big Sam's Funky Nation (Twinkle Twinkle to a James Brown vamp).
            We like Mango's, especially with the playground. Grouper sandwich is good and they have a great draft beer selection. That French bistro there has been heartily recommended by inlaws.