Florida Panhandle and part of Georgia

Junior Burger
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2009/05/08 22:40:03 (permalink)

Florida Panhandle and part of Georgia

We just returned from a RV trip to St. Joe Peninsula State Park just south of Apalachicola FL and returned by way of St. Mary's Georgia.   Even though we are in the RV, we usually try to eat out several times after doing due dilligence right here on Roadfood.com.  St. Joe Peninsula is so far away from most of civilization, that we only went out 2 times during the week... well two and a half counting the trip to the seafood store for some gulf shrimp one nite for the grill.

Tuesday, April 28.   After seeing the pictures of Mexico Beach we decided to head up there for the afternoon.  After going all the way to Panama City Beach, we felt the pressure of too many people after the solitude of SJP.  So we beat a path out of PCB and on the way back stopped at Mexico Beach and ended up at Toucan's Resturant on the beach. (Sorry CajunKing, but Killer Seafood is closed on Tuesdays.)  We thought the idea of having dinner literally on the beach sounded cool, and i was really looking forward to the great gulf seafood that I have heard so much about.  Unfortunately, the best thing Toucan's has going for it is tables on the beach.  It was awesome watching the sun go down across the Gulf from your table on the open porch, but the food left alot to be desired.  I had a fried shrimp and oyster combination.  The shrimp and oysters were a little on the soggy side, and the breading was mushy.  The DW had a Caesar salad with a nice sized piece of grilled salmon on top.  That is much harder to mess up, so fortunately for her it was good.  So if you are going to stop at Toucan's, just be sure it is for the atmosphere and the beach.

Wednesday April 29.
We wanted to spend the entire day at SJP and watch the sun go down over the Gulf, but man was I craving some shrimp after the dissapointment of the day before.  We hauled ourselfs back up the road toward Port St. Joe to a little store called Triple Tales.  They sell fresh Gulf seafood which on this day included shrimp, grouper, oysters, and some other fish as well.   We got a pound and a half of extra large shrimp that were perfect for the grill.  Triple Tails also has a Tiki Bar that serves some seafood on the weekends.  The lady informed me that Friday they would be firing up the smoker for fresh oysters.

Thursday April 30:
Thursday afternoon we rode back into Aplach.  After cruising around the town and taking a walk on the city pier we found Carolines On the River.  Carolines is very near the Aplach side of the US 98 bridge right on the water.  It is on one end of an Inn, with the other end of the building being home to Boss's Oyster Bar, which I understand is pretty good in its own right.

Carolines is a little upscale in menu, but located right on the river.  Our table was next to the window with a view of the Aplach River just outside.  We started with a dozen  "Aplach Jewels" on the half shell.  These were by far the absolutely best, sweetest, tastiest, and perfect oysters we have ever had anywhere.  This is my new gold standard, and rightly so since Aplach is the self proclaimed "Oyster Town". 
Next came the main course:  A combo of fresh grouper, shrimp, oysters, and scallops.  The grouper, shrimp and oysters were awesome, lightly fried just perfectly breaded, not overly heavy on breading, and perfectly seasoned.  Perfect in every way.   I'm not mentioning the scallops because i am not a big fan of the small bay scallops served there.  But no matter, the other items on the plate were right up there as one of my all time best seafood meals anywhere. 

DW had a fried flounder plate that was equally well prepared and perfectly fried.

By the way, grouper was the fish of the day - or week or maybe even month there.  They had so many grouper specials written on their menu special board outside, I was sorry that we didn't have time to  come back another day and try some of them.

Saturday May 2:
On the way back to NC we went through St. Marys Georgia and stopped there for the night.  Our afternoon tour of the St. Mary's waterfront found us in Lang's Seafood on the waterfront for dinner.   Shrimp and Flounder were the choice again.  Given any other circumstance we would have raved about both selections, but with the Caroline's meal still on our minds, it just wasn't up to par.  The shrimp were obviously fresh, but with much heavier breading and in a crowded restarurant with a server that was obviously looking forward to ending her shift, it just didn't seem to cut it.  BUT, again the atmosphere of being right on the waterfront on the beautiful Georgia coast is worth alot.  I would definitely give it another try the next time we are in the area

2 Replies Related Threads

    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    Re:Florida Panhandle and part of Georgia 2009/05/09 13:46:00 (permalink)
    Nice report and thanks.  The hubs and I will definetely check out Carolines next time we're in that area.  There's no excuse for soggy gulf shrimp and oysters in that part of FL. 
    Buffalo Tarheel
    Double Cheeseburger
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    Re:Florida Panhandle and part of Georgia 2009/05/09 19:14:57 (permalink)
    Very nice report.  Thanks for sharing the details with us.
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