Your thoughts on these Restaurants?

Discussion in 'Dining and Food' started by jlee745, May 16, 2007.

  1. jlee745

    jlee745 Beach Comber

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    We will be arriving at Topsail Hill State Park in two weeks and was wondering if anyone can share their thoughts of the restaurants we want to try.
    Bayou Bills Crab House
    Fudpuckers
    Jordano's Pizza (after a long day at the waterpark)
    Whalestail for Breakfast(before waterpark)
    We have two kids that are 8 and 10 so we didn't want anything to fancy.
    I would love to hear of any other most try restaurants or things to do.
    Oh yeah where is the best place to buy fresh seafood?
    Is Big Kahuna worth the money?(I don't think I could get out of going if I wanted to,Kids seen it online)
    Sorry for so many questions!!! Dreaming of a perfect vacation.
     
  2. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    Big Kahuna is worth the money.
    If you are trying to keep to the less fancy restaurants, those you listed will be in that category. The Donut Hole is just around the corner from Tops'l, and will also be a good choice for breakfast, lunch or dinner -- great breakfast and great sandwiches and burgers.
    For raw seafood, Shirmpers, located just a mile or two east of the Donut Hole, is a good source. You mentioned fresh seafood, and I'm not sure if you mean ready to eat, as in a restaurant, or raw, as in a market. :dunno:
     
  3. Paula

    Paula Beach Fanatic

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    I love the Big Kahuna with kids, but we only go off-season (August) when it's not crowded. I don't know what it would be like in peak time. We love the Back Porch - restaurant right on the beach in Destin, and go there after a morning/day at the Big Kahuna water park - and other times, too. I didn't enjoy Fudpuckers that much because it was very crowded for so-so food (I think it's a bit of a tourist trap because the advertising is very good) that wasn't much different than what we could get anywhere else -- e.g., a Ruby Tuesdays, Appleby's, etc.
     
  4. Paula

    Paula Beach Fanatic

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    :welcome: jlee745. Also consider Coco's which is Mexican food near Sandestin in a small older strip mall but would be great for kids and I know many SoWallers on this board go there frequently. Probably reasonable cost for dining out with kids. We also like to just get take-out at Publix and eat on our own porch which can be easier with kids.
     
  5. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    Definitely Shrimper's for fresh seafood. If you want, they will also steam your selection of fresh shrimp etc. w/ your choice of spice for no additional charge. If your kids like shrimp it's a very easy meal! And if they've got fresh crab cakes..........
     
  6. rapunzel

    rapunzel Beach Fanatic

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    I'd go with Stinky's Fish Camp over Fudpucker's. Stinky's is casual and family friendly, but the food is pretty good and it's local, fresh, interesting. It's also closer...just east of you on 30-A in Dune Allen.
     
  7. jlee745

    jlee745 Beach Comber

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    Thanks so much for the quick replies. I was talking about raw fresh seafood. Has anyone tried Jordano's Pizza. Everyone on Rv.net raves about it.
    I originally wanted to try Donut Hole but after research some people posted that it was to high and that it was not as good as it use to be. So I was unsure? Read that Whalestail had a wonderful view in the morning of those dolphins heading east.........
    Where is the closest/best grocery store to Topsail?
     
  8. John R

    John R needs to get out more

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    Jordano's must get rave reviews because it's right across from camping on the gulf. i was in jordano's for the broasted chicken. excellent, prepared while you wait. while waiting, owner brought out two samples of pizza for an incoming family. they must have weighed 10# each, and were at least 4" tall. he closes his sandwich bar early, so i can't comment on his subs.

    donut hole is great. try it and make your own determination. definitely cheaper than another broken egg. $$

    big kahuna, definitely worth it, after going there, you'll be glad you did. they serve food(panhandle's mover of more fried chicken than anywhere), but it's pricey. not sure if you can bring your own stuff in, but i would. mellow mushroom right down the street.

    bayou bill's, go early, way early. kids will have a blast.

    fudpuckers, haven't been since i've lived here.
     
  9. beachmouse

    beachmouse Beach Fanatic

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    If you're in the Destin area, I do like Fudpucker's if you're there before 7:30pm or so with kids. (It gets kind of club-like later at night) Decent food for that level of place, and the kids will think the alligator area is very cool. It's probably the only place you'll see gators down here. They're rather shy otherwise. Though note that I can't vouch for everything on the menu because I got thoroughly hooked on their blackend tuna sandwich when we lived down the road from their Okaloosa Island restaurant and eat the same thing every time I'm back there.

    I'm not thrilled with the Back Porch/Pompano Joe's/ Fisherman's Wharf family of restuarants because their quality control on the fish isn't the greatest. Not dangerous or anything, just a lower grade of product than you'll get at other places. If you have to eat on the beach, Crab Trap is probably somewhat better in that regard.

    Publix is the good grocery store chain in the area. They're not quite at Whole Foods/Wild Oats level, but they do middlebrow well, and you can get decent produce and bread that tastes like bread and not high fructose corn syrup there.
     
  10. SGB

    SGB Beach Fanatic

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    We love Jordano's vegetarian pizza. Better than the standard Pizza Hut. We also like Donut Hole, but have to admit we haven't been there in a while. Whalestail is right on the beach and has a great view. The view is the atmosphere.

    The best and closest grocery store is the Publix on 98 near Mack Bayou Road and the hospital. Very close to Topsail.

    The kids will love Big Kahunas. We actually prefer Shipwreck Island in Panama City Beach, which is a bit further away, but traffic is better. We've been told by both waterparks that during the summer, the weekends are the best time to go. All the visitors are in the process of checking in or out then. They're still pretty crowded on the weekends, but not as bad.

    We don't like the food at Fudpuckers, but the kids will probably like the atmosphere. Although it's a chain and you're probably looking for something different, our kids love Beef O'Bradys in the Sandestin Marketplace, which is close to Topsail. There is a game room and TVs at most tables. If you like BarBQue, 98 Bar B Que is just east of Topsail by a couple of miles and their food is good, and reasonable. Open for lunch and dinner. The 331 Cafe at the southern base of the 331 bridge is a good place for dinner, although it's not right near Topsail, it's worth the short drive.
     
  11. Mango

    Mango SoWal Insider

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    We love the sandwiches at Jordano's. Haven't been to any of the other places, John listed except for Fudpuckers. I think this is the place with alligators. Ok if you have kids, especially small ones since they have tv's at some tables with cartoons on.
     
  12. GoodWitch58

    GoodWitch58 Beach Fanatic

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    Whale's Tail is great for the deck overlooking the Gulf and it's casual. Breakfast is good--and grouper sandwiches are good. But, I like it for the ability to sit and watch the waves, especially at sunset. It is a quick, cheap place for a bit with a view.
     
  13. jlee745

    jlee745 Beach Comber

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    We were mainly going to Fudpuckers for the gators and I love their tshirts. Does anyone know the store hours for Shrimpers?
     
  14. seacrestkristi

    seacrestkristi Beach Fanatic

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    Where is Shrimper's please? :dunno:
    :welcome: jlee745!
    I just had the yummiest shrimp dinner in Jax for $11.95 at a place called Gene's with like 18 shrimp on it. Just in case anyone is going to Jax for anything. :dunno:
    How much is Shrimpers shrimp dinner? Is it down home or upscale? Do they fry shrimp right, lightly floured? It's just not right when the batter just falls off revealing an overcooked rubbery shrimp. That's what happened to us at Bayou Bill's on 98. The one by Winn Dixie though, the steamed dinner was good.
    We tried that Hunt's Oyster Bar, Kurt was talkin' about in another thread, in PC and it was really good. I love those kinda down home places. Those steamed oysters rocked my flip flops off. :wub: Plus who doesn't love a loud old timey jukebox :dunno:
     
  15. GoodWitch58

    GoodWitch58 Beach Fanatic

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    they are often late, 7 p.m. sometimes, but I would call to be sure before you go.
     
  16. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    John R is right about the location of Jordano's being the key for the Camping on the Gulf RV park, located across the street. The pizza is average.

    Donut Hole is great, though you will find the breakfast prices higher than the lunch prices, but you can get a burger for breakfast like I do. ;-)
     
  17. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    see post #2
     
  18. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    Shrimpers is a fresh seafood store, (not a restaurant) on hwy 98 near Mussett Bayou Road - look for the cafe provence sign if traveling east and the flags and red letters on a white bulding if heading west.
     
  19. Paula

    Paula Beach Fanatic

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    Aha! Go to Amore on 30A for pizza. It's on the west end so it will be pretty close to you (at Gulf Place). It has a big outdoor dining area and smaller indoor dining area.
     
  20. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    And you are aware of what the Fudpucker's t-shirts say? As in lots of plays on the f-word? :dunno:

    We went once- never again. Filthy. The alligators do absolutely nothing but look dead.

    I would knock this place off your list for sure!
     

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