By Jack Smith
The term appetizers seems to have appeared simultaneously in England and America in 1860 as an English alternative to the French word, hors d’oeuvres. But though the name might vary, appetizers, in some form or another, have graced many a cultured table over the centuries. Ancient Greeks and Romans were known for their wine, olive, and cheese platters, while Renaissance physicians toted pre-dinner meat morsels to promote digestion. As part of a multi-course spread, appetizers were primarily found in the more privileged corners of society. It’s hard to imagine Genghis Khan sitting down to enjoy finger foods, while Daniel Boone would’ve been hard pressed to pronounce hors d’oeuvre, much less divine its meaning. Today appetizers, aka ‘starters,’ have evolved into their own food group. Portion conscious consumers are known to treat appetizers as a main course (who among us has not made a feast of wings, nachos, or even fried pickles?). My wife is convinced that soup and salad constitutes a full course meal. My advice? Enjoy all the oyster sliders and spinach dip you desire, and be merry. Main course optional. Bon appétit!
The Wicked Wheel
10025 Hutchison Boulevard, PCB | (850) 588-7947
Come to The Wicked Wheel and get transported straight to New Orleans with our famous Backfire Shrimp. Seasoned to perfection with our famous cajun flavor, this half-pound of fresh Gulf shrimp is sautéed in a spicy herb seasoning and butter and served with fresh rolls for dipping.
5121 Gulf Drive, PCB | (850) 235-3555
Everything tastes better with a view of the beach, and Schooners is famous for having one of the best views in the USA… add two Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes served with Tropical Fruit Salsa and Creole Remoulade, a chilled glass of wine or ice cold local craft beer, and you have the perfect makings of a lifelong beach memory!
Capt. Anderson’s Restaurant
5551 N Lagoon Drive, PCB | (850) 234-2225
Capt. Anderson’s has published a lot of cookbooks over the past 54 years, but there is always one recipe missing. As a matter of fact, you won’t find this recipe anywhere. It is Capt. Anderson’s most closely guarded secret…you have to taste to believe! The #1 appetizer of all time! Capt. A’s FAMOUS Grilled Bay Shrimp!
15005 Front Beach Road, PCB
Come for the food, stay for the fun. Try our Mexican Street Corn Off the Cob with mayonnaise, queso fresco, spicy Tajin® and lime.
14854 Bay View Circle, PCB | (850) 230-0005
Relax on the docks while you wait at Fish Tales. Take in the history of our 1941 West Bay landmark, the old fish house, the Buchanan home, and the old bait store, all now part of Boon Docks Restaurant. Look out over the water as you sip on something cold and refreshing and watch the barges go by, the occasional dolphin swim by, even an alligator or two, and our mascots, the ducks and geese, who come in for their favorite – hushpuppies.
473 Richard Jackson Blvd., PCB | (850) 238-8340
American Charlie Grill & Tavern is a new All-American eatery located at The Shoppes at Edgewater from the local team that brought you Firefly PCB. Come in and try our Buffalo Chicken Wings – brined, smoked, and fried crisp. Choice of buffalo, bbq, sweet chili, carolina reaper or firecracker dust.
J. Michael’s Restaurant
3210 Thomas Drive, PCB | (850) 233-2055
J. Michael’s is “The Original.” A little Southern, a little Creole and a lot of hospitality. This place is like no place else. Serving Bay County and visitors from all over the US, Canada and from the world over since 1976, we’re often imitated but never, ever duplicated! Offering specialities such as French Baked Oysters, Cheese Baked Oysters, Raw Oysters, Southern-style Oysters, Baked Oysters Jalapeno, Sauteed Oysters and more.
9956 Hutchison Blvd, PCB | (850) 775-4493
If you have never come across Caribbean cuisine, you should reserve a table now and sample the menu at Jaa’s Kitchen. You will find perfectly cooked chicken, pork, rice and peas, fried plantains and many other delicious items.
San Marcos Mexican Grill Pier Park
101 Bluefish Drive, Suite 105, PCB | (850) 708-3097
San Marcos Mexican Grill is a family-owned and -operated Mexican restaurant. The family is committed to serving authentic Mexican and Tex-Mex fare including handmade corn tortillas and homemade, tableside-prepared guacamole! Pair the delicious dishes with a range of margaritas, or a draft or bottled beer. You can even have your furry friends join you on the pet-friendly patio! Any day is a good day to chill at the grill.