Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Florida >
Jul 17, 2011 01:19 PM

DC to Valparaisso

My brother and I will be visiting Friends in the Valparaisso area for about two weeks at the beginning of August and are looking for recommendations. At the very least I'm looking for places to get sushi and Cajun food, but will gladly take any other suggestions. We're already thinking that we'll drive out to Fort Walton Beach and Destin, and maybe as far as Pensacola. We're not really looking for fine dining, but more along the lines of casual and relaxed.

I lived in Panama City Beach for a few months and remember a place called the old florida fish house in Seaside area. Is that place still there and still good?

Boathouse Landing?
Compass Rose?
Dewey Destin's Seafood?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Old Florida Fish House is still there. Consensus seems to be to stick with the sushi because the rest of the menu can be inconsistent. Consistency also seems to be a problem with Dewey Destin's- the times we've been there seem to have been about 75% good and 25% overcooking what used to be a very nice piece of snapper.

    Good Cajun can be surprisingly hard to find in these parts despite the big LA population. I suspect that it's labor intensive enough to do it right that the restaurants have a hard time making a profit on it. A lot of people seem to like Louisiana Lagianappe, but I've got issues with the parent company. (it's easentially part of a local chain and everything outside of LL tends to be pure low level Sysco)

    For Cajun lite, we've had good luck with the Dockside Cafe inside Northern Lights marina at the intersection of Hwy 85 and John Sims Parkway in Niceville. They've got the right touch with fish, and have a tasty jambalaya you can get as a side instead of fries, as well as a number of New Orleans style rotating specials. They've also got a good bayou view, we've seen a few dolphins across the water while we've eaten there.

    Right in front of Dockside is Fresh Greece, which has good New York-style pizza when you want cheap, no-fuss, and tasty. For a little more organized sort of meal in the immediate area, I know a lot of folks swear by Tradewinds but I've never been there.

    My sushi favorites are either Red Ginger in the far eastern Bluewater Bay part of Niceville or Sushimoto down by the outlet mall.

    The primary ethnic cuisine of the area is strip mall Thai. Everyone seems to have their own favorites. I like Sawadee Thai in Niceville in a strip mall (of course) across the street from K-mart and Jasmine Thai in the Destin Publix shopping center next to Chan's Wine World and across the street from Destin Commons.

    Old Florida Fish House & Bar
    5235 E County Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459