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Jun 27, 2011 01:10 PM

Need some Panhandle help.

I'm fairly educated for greater Pensacola and west, and for Panama City to Apalach, but am looking for some place to meet in the middle. We'll be in Grayton Beach (and later Apalach) while relatives are in Destin.

Are there any recommended restaurants somewhere between Grayton Beach and Destin? Seaside/Sandestin?

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  1. If you don;t mind a somewhat limited menu, The Red Bar in Grayton Beach and nearby Louis Louis (same ownership) are generally good for a casual meal. Marie's Bistro has gotten some good reviews lately:

    If you're burning out on seafood and want a taste of the Ft. Walton Beach Thai scene, I like Jasmine Thai in the Publix shopping center across from Destin Commons. (and in my experience, you only really need reservations if you've got a large party.


    I've also heard good things lately about Christiano's in an unassuming strip mall on US 98:

    Grayton's also got some other generally respected options like the Pickle Factory for pizza, Hibiscus for brunch, and Shorty's/Hurricane Oyster, and Hous of Klaus for general American food. You picked a spot where you can do respectable well without having to drive much.

    As for Seaside and Sandestin, they're generally overpriced for what you get- huge overhead expenses to operate there that have to get passed along to diners.

    Louis Louis
    35 Mussett Bayou Rd, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

    1. Did commander's palace close? That was yummy in Destin. Also dig Criolla's, Finz in Sandestin, and McGuires for cheap grub. Avoid Osaka, Captain D's, and Copper Grille. I remember the munchies in Chan's Wine World's little wine bar being pretty edible, and Cuvee Bistro was pretty darn tasty but was anything but cheap.

      Criolla's Restaurant
      30A FL W County Highway, FL 32459

      188 E Granada Blvd, Ormond Beach, FL 32176

      9300 US Highway 98 W, Destin, FL 32550

      4 Replies
      1. re: askdrtodd

        Commander's Palace and Copper Grille are closed. (In Copper Grille's case, long ago.) Speaking of Japanese, there's good sushi to be had at Sushimoto in the strip mall with Melting Pot in it just west of the outlet mall. Also by the outlet mall, I've had good experiences with Vintij- just ignore that it's wedged between a Burger King and an IHOP.

        1. re: beachmouse

          Thanks for the leads. We know Grayton and Red Bar is our first stop Thursday evening. But we're trying to split the driving distance so that was why I thought Sandestin might be the mid-place.
          I don't doubt the prices match the area but is there a place where the food is at least OK and you only feel like you're getting half ripped off (wink)! I'll look into askdrtodd's list.

          1. re: collardman

            Next time here... BEST for meetin in Sandestin area if you are in Grayton and they are in Vintij Wine Boutique and Bistro! Across from the Outlet on 98! Chef John Jacob

        2. re: askdrtodd

          Chan's Wine World is more than edible! Go for lunch, delicious!
          Criolla's Closed!
          McGuires Great, Family will enjoy, Pensacola Location is favorite
          Capt, Daves on the Gulf for Fried Seafood-old 98
          Cuvee Bistro Happy Hour Very Affordable

        3. Go to Vintij in Miramar Beach basically Sandestin Across from the outlet. Stinky;s meets in the middle of Grayton and Sandestin, as is Smiling Fish Cafe, and Fire.
          Go to Boss's in Apalachicola! 30AEATS