Emerald Coast

The slow paced Red Neck Riviera has plenty of sugar white coast, splinter ridden beach bars, and exhausted Red Boxes at just about any intersection. Granted, I don’t know anywhere in the US where you can buy a house a mile from a beautiful beach for such an affordable rate. It’s thanks to the under-achieving leather skinned “Florabamans”, 30 Rock has coined “Crab Catchers,” that work twenty-five hours a week for a less than modest income solely to galvanize their skin cancer on their dingy with an 18 pack of Natty Lite. However, your money goes far, the people are welcoming, and you will feel retired at twenty-five. So accept your inner “hick”, learn to introduce yourself with “roll-tide,” plan to be slightly drunk at all times, lose your ambition, and go fishing!

Joe Patti

joe-patti-s-seafoodA hidden gem that ironically manifests the best of the unwitting Red Neck Riviera. Joe Patti is a fish market located directly on the docks, delivering a plethora of sea food fresh off the boat (literally)! When I move, this is the only place I will truly miss. Embedded in the market is a beignet truck, sushi bar, and little stores offering delicious spreads, oils, sauces and seafood delights to be eaten on a park bench in Pensacola or the picnic benches out back. If you are in the area, go!!!

Crab Island

Crab Island

Crab Island is a shallow spot of water where everyone and their mom anchors their boat and watches each other get hammered. It stays pretty family friendly until the Billy Bowlegs festival. Then you want to send the kids home and make sure you aren’t wearing a white bathing suit, unless you really meant to buy a brown one. There isn’t much you won’t see..crab people at their finest.

 

Blue Dot BBQ

blue-dot-barbecueSoup Nazi of bbq! Get in line and order either ribs or a burger, thats all the options you’re gonna get. Grab a bag of chips on the way out if you’re still hungry. So if you want to “have it your way”…head on over to the golden arches. Additionally, good luck getting in, and don’t get tricked by the schedule on the door. The hours are whatever the owner feels like! Call beforehand…but even that isn’t a sure thing (true story). But if you do succeed, oh man…it is worth it. Btw…its not worth asking around…no one seems to know about Blue Dot unless they live within a few blocks.

Sluggo’s

SluggosAn interesting liberal oasis in a sea of “Roll Tide!”…and I’m a conservative. Slug’s is a hip little vegetarian restaurant and safe haven to the artsy fartsy vagabond type from Pensacola College. Parked next door to a gay bar where you can eat awesome vegetarian food in one room and dance to some heartfelt, slightly off key indie band in the next. Ideal to experience weird art/music/beer/people and great food.

Tucker Duke’s Lunchbox

Tucker DukesFreakin Amazing Burgers. Established by a local family with a mission to provide the Crab People with a blessing that will forever be underappreciated. They are the best I have ever had….and I’m a burger snob from In-N-Out territory. However, the few that do know share my sentiment. The rest are too busy driving through Whataburger (not being sarcastic).

Shark Bite

Shark BiteThis little burrito truck brings San Diego burrito style with the Red Neck Riviera culture. I can’t go to this spot without seeing someone I know and chatting it up with the owners. The owner operator, retired Navy Seal, will most likely learn your name right off the bat and ensure you are having a good time, a refreshing change in an area with TERRIBLE customer service. The stay open till they sell out, and they usually do, so make sure to call in advance.