Written By: Chad On: 10th September 2012 Under: Uncategorized
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This month, the Miller Team headed to the Paradise Grill in Spinnaker Beach Club on Thomas Drive. The view from the porch area was one of dramatic wave action and ominous clouds as Hurricane Isaac continues to make its presence known along the Gulf coast. The rain itself held off for the majority of our meal, letting us enjoy the wind and wild whitecaps, and even when it finally came down Spinnaker is equipped with roll down windows for the porch or diners can move to the completely enclosed and air conditioned dining room. Service was outstanding, with a waitress showing up quickly and attending to everything from extra jalapenos and sour cream to drink refills and to-go sweet teas without even having to be asked. She even humoured our request for a plate to load up with leftover fish and tuna dip so we could feed a group of kittens that had emerged from the sand dunes adjacent to the restaurant. Our feline friends didn’t actually venture in to the elevated dining area but gladly accepted anything delivered over the railing. As to the food itself, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. If you’re not familiar with Panama City Beach, know that Spinnaker is an absolutely massive night club when the sun sets and during the busy summer days it serves a similar purpose for the family crowd. I had always assumed that the Paradise Grill was merely an afterthought, perhaps catering on a convenience level to those who would rather eat where they were or who happened to walk in off the beach. While those two demographics would certainly be satisfied, everything our group tried was absolutely delicious. We started with Nachos, which came with chicken on top and arranged on a long tray to facilitate access to the entire pile of chips and beans and veggies. There is a larger “Grande” version of this same dish but the four of us were satisfied with the regular serving, especially considering the amount of food we had coming. We also sampled the Smoked Tuna Dip. Every restaurant on the beach has a version of this dish and this one wasn’t lacking in comparison to any I have tasted. As I mentioned earlier, the nachos and tuna showed up with extra jalapenos and sour cream. This won me over as I always require more of both and many places are stingy about it. When the meal came, we knew we were in trouble – like I said, everything was huge! I tried the Seafood Salad, which came with a ton of shrimp and a pile of crab meat sharing space on a bed of greens with olives and tomatoes and covered in a delicious vinaigrette. Two of our number followed the server’s advice and tried out the “Hawaiian” – a gigantic burger covered with pineapple slices, melted cheese, and glazed in a Teriyaki sauce that was a big hit. The element of sweetness led one of the ladies to proclaim it one of the “most flavorful” burgers she had ever tried. It was just the four of us this time, and our last member had another popular item: Mahi Tacos. These consisted of two, large, flour tortillas stuffed with blackened Mahi tuna chunks and topped with lettuce, cheese, salsa, sour cream, and pico de gallo. They came with a side of rice and the tuna could also be ordered grilled or fried. The rice that came standard could be replaced with another side item, if desired, but turned out to be very tasty. When all was said and done, the Paradise Grill was a big hit with everyone. The ambiance provided by the leftovers of the hurricane combined with the excellent service and large portions of delicious food left nobody disappointed. To top it all off, this was a very reasonably priced meal – nothing we ordered cost more than $10.95. I’ve paid more than twice as much for food not nearly as good. They even have a late night version of the menu for those of you looking for a snack while you party. I would recommend the Paradise Grill to anyone. Check them out online at http://www.spinnakerbeachclub.com/paradise-grill-touror like them on Facebook.