Sunday, April 28, 2013

Weekend Beach Trip (and Lots of Good Food)

Last weekend, Will and I went to Destin, Florida, (one of the preferred Florida beaches if you aren't from the South) with some friends. It was a great "last chance" beach trip while I can still travel a little before our baby girl makes her debut. The weather was nice - not too hot yet. The ocean was cold but the pool at our resort was heated. We had a great time even though it was just a long weekend. We also had some great food, so here's all of that.
Friday night, we went to a tourist favorite that was close to where we were staying called The Back Porch. It's your general seafood restaurant and happens to be beach front so you get great views of the sand and surf. They have a nice deck, (and welcome customers walking up in swimsuits) but it was raining so we just sat inside by a window and watched the ocean. I chose not to do fish/seafood Friday night because I was being on the cautious side with my pregnancy and the allowed amount of fish each week. I also apparently chose not to take any pictures (sorry!) but I can tell you there were plenty of oysters, fish and hushpuppies. Apparently hushpuppies are a pregnancy craving for me - I ordered a side of them and ate way too many!
Saturday we spent some time on the beach in the morning and went to a local pizza place for lunch before hitting the beach again. It wasn't anything special but it was lunch. That night, we went and met some friends who happened to be in Seaside, a smaller beach town nearby, at Bud and Alley's, a popular bar and restaurant. Seaside is a picturesque beach where everything seems to be done just perfectly. Located right in the town square area of Seaside, Bud and Alley's is also beach front and full of beautiful views, and was packed. It was sunset time - check out the view from Bud and Alley's:
Bud and Alley's, Seaside, FL
And a selfie of Will and me at Bud and Alley's:
After a little bit there, we headed to Stinky's Fish Camp in nearby Santa Rosa Beach (All the beach towns run together, you know.) for dinner. It's a seafood restaurant that seemed to have a bit of a New Orleans twist. We had heard really good things about Stinky's and despite the name, we decided to give it a try. The good reviews we'd heard were right--the food was pretty amazing!
I'd saved up my "fish quota" (because of my pregnancy) for Saturday night so I indulged in everything from crawfish hushpuppies to crab cakes, seafood chowder to seafood stew. It was all delicious but my favorite by far was my entree, the seafood chowder. It was rich and creamy, full of shrimp and crab. It was completely satisfying and filling, and I just wanted to keep eating it. I would eat it right now again if I could!
Seafood Chowder at Stinky's Fish Camp
I also ordered the crab cake (appetizer) with my dinner. It was good, but the chowder was definitely the star.
Crab Cake at Stinky's Fish Camp
The crawfish hushpuppies were a favorite at the table and came with the perfect dipping sauce: 
Crawfish Hushpuppies at Stinky's Fish Camp
Will ordered Stinky's Stew, which is basically a seafood stew. He loved it! It was full of seafood - snow crab legs, shrimp, muscles, fish and oysters, along with corn, potatoes and tomatoes in a broth. As if that wasn't enough, it also came with a crab po-boy, which was barely touched because Will focused on the stew. Check out all that seafood:
Stinky's Stew at Stinky's Fish Camp
After all that food, I think we were all in a coma, but we were still up for a big brunch Sunday before heading back home. One of my friends we were with frequents Destin with her family and they have a tradition of going by The Donut Hole before leaving.
The Donut Hole, Destin, FL
They have donuts, hence the name, but also serve breakfast and brunch food. Drool over this bakery case with all their donuts in the back:
The Donut Hole, Destin, FL
and then drool over the pies:
The Donut Hole, Destin, FL
They are known for their key lime pies and even have a key lime pie filled donut. I wish I'd gotten that because I love key lime pie. Next time!
I think we all might have over-ordered based on the spread that arrived at our table, but it was really good. I went for breakfast food, Will went for brunch food and it looks like it was a mix from everyone else's food. Aerial views:
The Donut Hole, Destin, FL
 The Donut Hole, Destin, FL
There's something I just love about these aerial shots. Mabe the composition. Maybe just all the food!
We got donuts to go of course too--I got Blueberry Cake, which is my go-to donut favorite. I ate it on the way home. It didn't let me down!
This post turned out way long. Sorry about that--just too much yumminess to share! Do you vacation in Destin? Do you have Destin favorites that you go back to time after time?

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