CajunKing's Florida Panhandle BBQ Adventure
Yes folks - I'm BAaaaack
This pictures was taken as I set out to find some great bbq around the Panama City/Bay County area. I knew there was great BBQ out there. I have been to a few spots and was looking forward to eating there again and sharing it with YALL.
Just look at that BLUE SKY, it had rained everyday since I got here, so this was a good sign, Sunny and 65 degrees. What a day to start this bbq adventure.
My intentions are to hit 4 BBQ shacks in the Panama City/Bay & Gulf County areas in one day. All 4 located within a 70 mile round trip of Mexico Beach, FL.
My first stop was a little run down BBQ shack in the Millville area of Panama City. I had seen this place for many years and my Grandmother lives less than a mile from it and had NEVER eaten there in the 15 years she has lived down here.
I first stopped there several years ago while my father was having heart surgery, I needed a place to eat cause the hospital food was
So I tried it and they offered a Chicken sandwich for $4.00, I got it and HOLY COW in the to go box was 1/2 a BBQ chicken and 2 slices of cheap white bread.
I ate it and fell in love with the place and had eaten there at almost every visit since.
Glenn's BBQ - (Millville)Panama City, Fl
I did some research and found out the original owner had passed away some time last summer. (I remember seeing the sign under new mgmtlast fall around thanksgiving) The new owner changed the way things were done and the business failed within 3 months.I GOT TRAVELINMANNED!!
So trying to put this out of my head I quickly headed over to my #2 stop of the day. I knew they were open because the other day when driving down from Indiana I went by and there were TONS of cars around.
So I headed over to:
JR's Ribshack - 281 N Star Ave, Panama City, FL
This place is a blue collar haven, when i pulled in the parking lot there were 2 city trucks, 2 cable company trucks, an electrician's van, and several other construction type vehicles.
Walking into JR's ribshack, you know you have come to a place where REAL BBQ is made. The smell of smoked meat meets you at the door and says "Welcome, come on in and enjoy"
The menu at JR's Ribshack
The daily special was 1/4 smoked chicken (white or dark) and 4oz of chopped smoked pork shoulder and fries for $5.89.
So I ordered that and a side of potato salad.
Here are some of my dinner companions
The interior of this place was hometown, neighborly. There were pictures of local little league teams that JR's had sponsored, different athletic programs sponsorhsips, hunting garb, hand colored pictures from the little visitors to JR's. The place just felt like HOME.
A picture of Jeff Foxworthy signed and addressed to JR's having the best BBQ.
The table top says it all!
Dinner is served
Now the choices for sauce here, the yellow bottle was a TN sweet sauce. The clear bottle was a milder version of the sweet sauce but had a hint of vinegar and just a hint of heat. The red bottle was XXX HOT, thick and sweet with some MAJOR heat.
The chicken was smoked perfectly, tender and juicy with a great bit of smokiness.
The chopped smoked pork shoulder was tender, good smoke ring, bits of burnt ends and yummies. VERY GOOD STUFF.
The fries were fresh and hot.
The side (8oz) of potato salad. It was a "mashed potato" salad lots of mustard but little else in the way of flavor. A bit of a disappointment.
My waitress was johnny on the spot with the 32oz refills of Iced Tea. It was good and clear, went down way to fast.
I was still saving room for dessert, the sign at the front door said the dessert of the day was fresh apple cobbler with ice cream.
I chose that, but was told that the last of the cobbler was just served to the table with all the construction workers. So I went with Plan B..... Anyone.....Anyone.
You guessed it - FRESH HOMEMADE BANANANANA PUDDINEAT YOUR HEART OUT BB!!
I was quite full after that and for only $10.83.
I got back into the car and headed the 25 miles to my next BBQ destination.
Red Roof BBQ in Wewahitchka, FL
The sign said OPEN, the sign in the window said OPEN, the door LOCKED and the lights off.
I had been TRAVELINMANNED AGAIN!!!
So onto my next stop, but first a stop by a fully engulfed pick up truck and wait for the local fire dept to put the fire out..........
Or maybe to sweep up what's left......
We sat there on the road for 15 minutes before the fire dept showed up, they were then more worried that the truck fire had started the rows of pine trees on fire, so they quickly doused the beginnings of a forest fire, and let us move on down the road.
(The truck was a TOTAL loss!!!!)
I arrived at Port St. Joe, FL - home of the FL state constitution's convention, home of the St Joe Company, the largest land owner in the state of FL.AL
I saw this and thought of you
The St Joe Line only recently was taken over by CSX.
Ok back to BBQ
My final stop of the day.
Paul Gant's BBQ - By the overpass on US 98, St. Joe, FL
The pit was still smokin when I pulled in always a good sign.
I was still full from the earlier stop at JR's so I chose a chopped smoked pork sandwich, chips and tea for $5.00
As you can see the compartment of the clamshell styrofoam container was FULL of smoked pork, burnt ends and bits.
OMG - This is what smoked pork should be like, tender, smokey, succulent. The sauce wasn't needed, but it was sampled, a home brew slightly thin, sweet and vinegary yummmmmm.
The only drink they had was SWEET tea, so I had a glass (WOW, I had not had someting with sugar in it for a VERY long time, the tea was good but it was definately SWEET tea)
So all in all I don' think I did too bad
2 GREAT STOPS - JR's Ribshack and Paul Gant's BBQ
1 Stop closed for no reason Red Roof BBQ
1 Stop closed for good - RIP GLENN'S BBQ