Pensacola, Florida
Monday April 23rd 2018


BOC ’12: Restaurants & Food

Winner: Best Cajun Cuisine
Runner Up: Best Po’ Boy
Brothers Carl and Cory Broussard have created one of the few truly Cajun food destinations in the area, and you can take your pick from among the whole deboned stuffed chickens, heat-and-eat entrees, sausages, side dishes, appetizers, gumbo, and crawfish and shrimp dishes. “In the restaurant, the Sloppy Broussard seems to be the favorite,” said brother Carl, explaining that the business is based on a foundation of family recipes. “—third generation recipes.”

Winner: Best Place for a First Date
Runner Up: Best Restaurant-Downtown Pensacola, Best Romantic Dining, Best Lunch Spot, Best Sushi, Best Vegetarian/Vegan Dish-Vegetarian Paella
Dharma Blue offers vibrant coastal atmosphere indoor and outdoor seating overlooking Seville Square in downtown Pensacola. For first dates, the restaurant is perfect with its wide selection of fresh seafood entrees as well as steaks, pastas and game and its casual, but romantic ambiance. There are always lunch specials and its nightly full sushi bar is one of Florida’s finest.

Winner: Best Ice Cream/Gelato
Runner Up: Best Place to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
Dolce! is quickly becoming legendary for its range in flavors from pink grapefruit sorbetto to salted caramel gelato. Owner Marie Mayeur makes each batch of gelato and sorbetto in house and changes up the flavors “as often as possible.” Check out their Facebook page for new flavors.

Winner:  Best Vegetarian/Vegan Cuisine, Best Place to Count Calories
Runner Up: Best Vegetarian/Vegan Dish-Enchiladas
This organic, vegan café with its full coffee bar, catering services and vegan cooking classes has won the hearts and appetites of IN readers. Stop in on Thursday nights for a vegan organic dinner or on Sundays for a vegan organic brunch, which features a new menu every week. On the last Monday of the month, make reservations for the raw organic vegan dinner.

Winner: Best Restaurant-Downtown Pensacola, Best Seafood Cuisine, Best Looking Wait Staff, Best Gumbo, Best Happy Hour, Best Ladies Night, Best Uniquely Pensacola Dish-Grits a Ya Ya
Runner Up: Best Restaurant Overall, Best Brunch, Best Place for a Business Lunch, Best Place for a Birthday Dinner, Best Place To Eavesdrop, Best Bar With A View, Best Bar To People Watch, Best View, Best College Hangout-Deck Bar, Best Bar For Live Music-Deck Bar, Best Regular Gig-Lucas Crutchfield, Best Fish Sandwich-Fried Fish, Best Original Menu Item-Grits a Ya Ya, Best Salad-MoMa Salad, Best Outdoor Dining-Atlas
With its relaxed environment and spectacular view of Pensacola Bay—not to mention mouth-watering menu—it’s pretty easy to see why The Fish House has repeatedly been recognized by IN readers as one of the best restaurants and nightspots in Northwest Florida. Grits a Ya Ya, fresh sushi rolls and a jaw-dropping wait staff are just a few things you’ll find when you dine at this exquisite restaurant in the historic district. The Deck provides live entertainment almost every night of the week, and the bartenders make some of the best drinks in town. On Wednesdays, you don’t want to miss their Ladies Night. Whether you’re out with a date, friends or just someone you’d like to impress, you can’t go wrong with this area favorite.

Winner:  Best Restaurant Overall, Best Original Menu, Best Place for a Birthday Dinner, Best Original Menu Item-Bacon-wrapped Lobster Tail, Best Chef-Frank Taylor, Best Waiter-Jarrod McLendon
Runner Up: Best Place for a Birthday Dinner, Best Restaurant-Downtown Pensacola, Best Appetizers, Best Looking Wait Staff, Best Wait Staff, Best Place to Splurge, Best Romantic Dining, Best Place for a First Date, Best Steak, Best Martini, Best Selection Of Wine By The Bottle, Best Salad-Heirloom Tomato Salad, Best Soup-Lobster Bisque, Best Waitress-Libby Castellani, Best Waiter-Sam Sumlin, Best Waitress-Samantha Flood
The Global Grill has long been known as one of Pensacola’s premier dining establishments, and this year it won the coveted Best Restaurant Overall title. Jane and Chef Frank Taylor go out of their way to make your dining experience memorable. Frank is always creating new dishes that take advantage of local seafood and produce. The Taylors surround themselves with a well-trained and hospitable staff and an eclectic dining room that features dim lighting, local art pieces and soothing live music. That’s not to mention the impeccable tapas, seafood and wine selection that make it a one-of-a-kind dining experience. The menu is unique with Chef Taylor adding specials. One item you don’t want to miss: the Bacon-wrapped Lobster Tail. You won’t want to share it.

Winner: Best Chef
Frank Taylor did not go to culinary school, “just the school of hard knocks,” he said, but that doesn’t make him any less of a chef. Growing up in a military family, Taylor cooked in the mess halls and cafeterias. He moved to Pensacola to study marine biology, but developed a different love for fish—by cooking with it. “Fish is my favorite to cook, each fish has its own way to be prepared,” Taylor said. Taylor also likes to put together unlikely pairs, like fried okras in a high-end dish. The Global Grill goes through gallons of his signature Worcestershire sauce.

Winner: Best Restaurant-Pensacola Beach, Best Salad-Blue Cheese Wedge
Runner Up: Best Restaurant Overall, Best Outdoor Dining, Best View, Best Place for a First Date, Best Seafood Cuisine, Best Brunch, Best Desserts, Best Gumbo, Best Daiquiri, Best Bar With A View, Best Bar Ambiance, Best Original Drink Menu, Best Uniquely Pensacola Dish-Blue Angel Chips, Best Waitress-Kaya Hard
The Grand Marlin has taken Pensacola Beach by storm, winning the Best Restaurant-Pensacola Beach category for the second consecutive year. Its great atmosphere, spectacular view of Santa Rosa Sound and the unique and delicious cuisine have made The Grand Marlin one of our area’s most popular dining and nightlife spots. Check out the upper right-hand corner of the menu to find the daily specials.

Winner: Best Steakhouse, Best Place to Splurge, Best Place for a Business Lunch, Best Steak, Best Wait Staff
Runner Up: Best Restaurant Overall, Best Restaurant–Downtown Pensacola, Best Original Menu, Best Appetizers, Best Romantic Dining, Best Place for a Birthday Dinner, Best Restaurant You Haven’t Been to in Ages, Best Chef-Irv Miller, Best Waiter-Scottie Miller, Best Desserts, Best Martini, Best Selection Of Wine By The Glass, Best Selection Of Wine By The Bottle, Best Original Drink Menu, Best Soup-Roasted Vidalia Onion, Best Vegetarian/Vegan Dish-Vegan Plate
The mission of Jackson’s since it opened in 1998 has been to provide “great service and great food.” Yes, Pensacola is a seafood town, but locals love good steaks, especially those at Jackson’s, which is part of the Great Southern Restaurant Group that also owns The Fish House and Atlas Oyster House. Great towns have great steakhouses. Pensacola has Jackson’s.

Winner: Best Appetizers, Best Outdoor Dining
Runner Up: Best View, Best Up-and-Coming Chef-Tricia Horton, Best Bar With A View
Jaco’s Bayfront Bar and Grille has a huge advantage. It overlooks Pensacola Bay at the end of Palafox Street and its seating is also designed to allow visibility from anywhere.  Locals flock to view the sunsets while enjoying their favorite libations, flatbread pizzas, salads and small plates. Chef Tricia Horton is getting rave reviews for her creations.

Winner: Best Coffee Shop, Best Cup of Coffee
Runner Up: Best Looking Wait Staff, Best Lunch Spot, Best Specialty/Iced Coffee
The Leisure Club has a unique vibe that goes behind a good cup of Intelligentsia Coffee. Open seven days a week, TLC is the downtown place to hang out while enjoying not only coffee and tea, but also fine wines, craft beers and gourmet food. Check them out on Facebook for daily specials. IN readers do regularly.

Winner: Best Neighborhood Bar
Runner Up: Best Kept Local Secret, Best Bar Menu, Best Selection Of Wine By The Glass, Best New Bar Escambia County, Best New Restaurant-Escambia County, Best Restaurant-East Pensacola/Scenic Highway, Best Way to Get “Cheese-y”-Pimiento Cheese Sandwich, Best Soup-White Bean Chicken Chili, Best Sandwich-Hummingbird, Best Original Menu Item-Pimiento Cheese Sandwich
The Magnolia owners, Kiley Bolster and Bill Manning, traveled extensively before opening a bar/restaurant in their hometown. One step inside and the dim lights, clean atmosphere and great music will make you feel like hanging out all day. “It’s just comfortable. The way a neighborhood bar should be,” Bolster said. The friendly staff loves to get to know regulars and are open to comments and suggestions. The building itself is just as much a part of the local community. Manning built the actual bar out of locally sourced Florida White Oak from Milton. “It’s a community bar as much as it is a neighborhood bar.”

Winner: Best Up-and-Coming Chef
Kiley Bolster began cooking at a young age. “I have a clear memory of baking scones and cinnamon rolls from scratch when I was about eight-years-old,” she said. As an avid traveler, she enjoys learning about different foods. “I tried to really seek out local flavors everywhere I went,” she said of her travels. Now, with The Magnolia, she is able to share all that she had picked up from various places. “It’s always been a dream of mine to own my own restaurant,” Bolster said. “I have always loved how food brings people and cultures together.” Bolster hasn’t stopped learning yet. “I’m still very new to this world and have so much to learn and taste and try,” she said. “This is only the beginning.”

Winner: Best Restaurant-East Pensacola/Scenic Highway, Best Lunch Spot
Runner Up: Best Deli, Best Desserts, Best Subs
This small, cozy cafe in East Pensacola is a little slice of the Big Apple with a heaping helping of southern hospitality. The New Yorker Deli & Pizzeria has a diverse menu that never fails to surprise with its creamy homemade soups, pasta, salads and unbelievable sandwiches. Be forewarned, however, it’s tough to make it out of the place without ordering a slice of pie from the glass case near the door.

Winner: Best Place to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
Runner Up: Best Bakery, Best Cake Shop, Best Place to Blow Your Diet
And you thought a cupcake was just a cupcake. This bakery offers gourmet cupcakes, custom cakes, wedding quality cakes and cupcakes, brownies, cookies, and gluten-free, sugarless and vegan cupcakes. Oh Snap! has the perfect “Thank you” for co-workers, loved ones or clients. They even do birthday parties. Not that you particularly need a reason to indulge.

Winner: Best Po’ Boy, Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant, Best Place to Eat Like a Tourist
Runner-up: Best Restaurant-Pensacola Beach, Best Seafood Cuisine, Best Looking Wait Staff, Best Fried Foods, Best Gumbo, Best Fish Sandwich-Big Grouper
This relaxed family restaurant has been a BOC winner since 2000. Starting from humble beginnings 20 years ago, Peg Leg Pete’s originally only had oysters, shrimp and a few sandwiches on the menu, but has grown into a Pensacola Beach institution loved by locals and tourists.

Winner: Best Chinese Cuisine
Runner Up: Best Restaurant-Cordova Area
In an area with dozens of Asian restaurants, Shark Fin stands out. This restaurant is the place to be for casual fine dining in a swanky atmosphere. Shark Fin offers a la carte, upscale Chinese-Japanese fusion cuisine accompanied by a full bar with beers, wines and sakes from around the world.

Winner: Best Chicken Fingers, Best Wings
Runner Up: Best Restaurant for Sports Fanatics, Best Sports Bar
Sidelines got the attention of IN readers because it has all the ingredients for a great sports bar: televisions, wings, burgers and cold drinks. Sidelines is famous for its wings, served up at varying degrees of heat. They’ve got a mild version for the faint of heart, but go for the spice! Keep an ice-cold pitcher of beer at your side, cause water’s not gonna put out the fire.

Winner: Best Vegetarian/Vegan Dish-Sweet Thai Chili Bowl
Runner Up: Best Place to Count Calories, Best Vegetarian/Vegan Cuisine, Best Restaurant-Downtown Pensacola
Sluggo’s is a triple-threat serving delicious vegan and vegetarian cuisine, slinging drinks and is also a music venue. Among the musical acts that have played at Sluggo’s, the restaurant hosts poetry and movie nights. It’s not just the sweet Thai chili bowl that brings customers back to Sluggo’s. Innovative creations such as vegan sushi and freshly baked desserts add to the broad menu. And with frequent specials, you can have your hummus and a PBR—or two.

Winner: Best New Restaurant-Escambia County, Best Cheeseburger
Runner Up: Best Late Night Eats, Best Original Menu Item-Blue Balls Burger
With a build-your-own burger menu concept, this Palafox eatery offers customers a chance to get creative. Want an egg on your burger? How about peanut butter? Wash down your masterpiece burger and fresh-cut bacon-infused potato chips with some beer or a spiked (or regular) milkshake.

Winner: Best Restaurant-North Pensacola/Nine Mile/UWF, Best Hibachi
Runner Up: Best Japanese Cuisine
This Nine Mile Road restaurant is almost as old as the IN. Its focus on quality food and customer satisfaction has made it a favorite of IN readers, winning these categories for the second consecutive year. How do you say “yummy” in Japanese?

Back To Best of the Coast ’12