Apple Market

•August 10, 2013 • 1 Comment

AppleMarketSm

Apple Market

Sure, the Publixs and Wal-Marts of the world may have their place, but nothing beats a neighborhood grocery store. Especially this one.

Apple Market on Scenic Highway may be small by big box store standards, but they’ve got a big variety of local and specialty items. I find something new to try almost every time I’m in. Plus if there’s something you want them to carry, they’ll do their best to get it. Who does that anymore? Love it.

And then there’s this. I’m not making this up. After I took this photo, I ran in to pick up a few things and when I got to the front there was a line of maybe 5 or 6 people. The cashier saw the line, called for backup, and in under a minute, 3 more registers opened and I was quickly out the door. Think that would happen at the Wal-Mart.🙂

There’s also a great little deli inside. I mostly go there to grab something for breakfast on the way to work, but they also have a good lunch and dinner menu. There’s a sushi bar inside too but I haven’t tried it yet.

Another big plus is the on-site branch of the great local coffee shop, The Drowsy Poet. My wife and I like The Drowsy Poet even better than Starbucks and that is coming from a couple of Starbucks fans.

I feel pretty lucky to have Apple Market in the neighborhood. Just one more thing that makes Pensacola beautiful.

BLB

Arlene Williams Bar-B-Que

•August 1, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Arlean4I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m a barbecue connoisseur, but I do love good barbecue. In every town I’ve ever lived, I have a favorite BBQ joint. In Pensacola, Arlene Williams Bar-B-Que is hands down my favorite.

It’s on Mobile Highway in Brownsville and not too long ago the best way to find it was look for the smoke coming from the back or follow your nose toward that hickory wood smell. Pretty much the most common way to find a good BBQ place. But Arlene and her husband have made it much easier to find with a bright red paint job. (Arlene is originally from Miami so the color scheme is based on a certain World Championship basketball team. Heat is kind of appropriate for a BBQ joint. )

Arlene FansThe inside is covered with photos of people who have been to Arlene’s including people from the community and local celebrities. There’s an entire WEAR news team section of photos.

It’s a take out place for now but they’re working on renovating the building next door and turning it into a sit down and special event space.

I’m not sure what their secret is. They keep it a secret. But Arlene’s South Florida influence, mixed with her husband’s Honduran roots, blended with a touch of deep South soul food know-how, make for a magical, unique style of Pensacola barbecue.

Arlean1And it’s not just the barbecue. The sides are great too. I mean, they have cracklin’ corn bread for crying out loud. Love it. It’s as good as my mom’s.*

BLB

(*It actually may be better than my mom’s but I can’t say that because my mom may read this.)🙂

al Fresco Pensacola

•July 21, 2013 • Leave a Comment
Airstream at alFresco Pensacola

Airstream at alFresco Pensacola

al Fresco Pensacola

We had dinner at al Fresco in downtown Pensacola last night. Cool little outdoor eating area (ah, alfresco:) at the corner of Palafox and Main. It’s a line of Airstream trailers serving various kinds of food, plus the new brick and mortar location of longtime Pensacola favorite Jerry’s Cajun Cafe.

It’s a lovely little laid back place to grab a bite. The sandwiches from Gouda Stuff were yummy and we LOVED the fried avocado appetizer at the taco trailer. Barbecue, tacos, sandwiches, Cajun and salads on a palm tree lined patio all in walking distance to everything downtown including Bayfront Stadium. We had dinner then walked down to Maritime Park where the Wahoos were playing. Just a beautiful Summer evening downtown.

alFresco Pensacola

alFresco Pensacola

http://www.eatalfresco.com/

BLB

LandShark Landing

•March 23, 2013 • Leave a Comment
LandShark Landing - (Image by Brian L Butler)

LandShark Landing – (Image by Brian L Butler)

LandShark Landing is a little beach bar next to the Margaritaville Hotel on Pensacola Beach. Well… it’s a little beach bar that was just named one of the “Top 50 Beach Bars in the World” by CNN Travel. That’s WORLD people! Number 24 to be exact.

It’s part of Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville empire and it definitely has that son of a sailor feel. A Parrot Head’s paradise. There’s live music and a big open-air bar area with food and drinks. You can order a frozen Bama Breeze or a LandShark Lager or, of course, a margarita. And if you get the munchies, you can get, among other things, a Cheeseburger in Paradise.

And there’s a big beach area with picnic tables and games and chairs and hammocks. The place is laid all the way back. If you’re into the Buffett scene, you’ll feel right at home at LandShark. But really, even if you’re not, it’s still a cool place to kick back and relax.

My favorite quote about LandShark is under the photo in the story. “It gave up trying to be cool — and that’s when we fell in love with it.” Love it.

The rankings are here on CNN Travel.

UPDATE: The fine folks at Emerald Coast Tours pointed that another famous bar down the road (which also has Buffett connections) is also on the list. The Flora-Bama comes in at number 17. It is a special place.

BLB

LandShark Landing - (Image by Brian L Butler)

LandShark Landing – (Image by Brian L Butler)

LandSharkLanding, Pensacola Beach - (Image by Brian L Butler)
LandSharkLanding, Pensacola Beach – (Image by Brian L Butler)

DeLuna Fest

•March 12, 2013 • Leave a Comment
DeLuna Fest - Pensacola Beach

DeLuna Fest, Pensacola Beach (Image by Brian L Butler – Click for Larger)

Dave Navarro of Jane's Addiction at DeLuna Fest

Dave Navarro of Jane’s Addiction at DeLuna Fest

A music festival smack dab in the middle of Pensacola Beach?! Sign me up. For the past few years, DeLuna Fest has given us a Summertime beach party. Three days and nights on four outdoor stages. From big names to local bands, from has-beens to hoping-to-bes, and everything in between.

Festival Style

Festival Style

It’s anything but a relaxing weekend at the beach. It’s loud, it’s crowded, it’s expensive, and it’s hot. Which, depending on your point of view and personal taste, makes it either heaven or hell. For me it’s been heaven. I love live music, I love photographing live music and did I mention, it’s on the beach! I mean come on, dancing in the sand to the Zac Brown Band?! They’ll be plenty of time for relaxing later.🙂

But the future of the festival seems to be in question. Organizers have had some, shall we say, “issues” in the past couple of years and there’s competition down the road from Hangout Fest in Gulf Shores (also pretty cool) so I’m not entirely sure DeLuna Fest will be back.

We used to have Spring Fest in downtown Pensacola a few years ago and I had a good time there but it didn’t last. Putting on an event this big with this many moving parts is a huge challenge. But hopefully DeLuna Fest will be able to work out the problems and find a way to stick around.

BLB

Staying cool at DeLuna Fest

Staying cool at DeLuna Fest

Foo Fighters at DeLuna Fest

Foo Fighters at DeLuna Fest

Fans at DeLuna Fest

Fans at DeLuna Fest

Zac Brown Band at DeLuna Fest

Zac Brown Band at DeLuna Fest

Big Boi at DeLuna Fest

Big Boi at DeLuna Fest

 

Pensacola Beach After Dark

•March 4, 2013 • Leave a Comment
Pensacola Beach at Night

Pensacola Beach at Night

Just a little reminder that the beauty doesn’t disappear when the sun goes down.

(More after sundown images of the Gulf Coast and beyond over at Panhandlin’ Nights.)

One of the Top 25 Beaches in the World

•February 20, 2013 • Leave a Comment
TripAdvisor

Screen Capture from Trip Advisor

Well that’s pretty cool. Trip Advisor’s list of the Best Beaches in the World just came out and the Gulf Islands National Seashore in beautiful Pensacola, Florida checks in at number 18. That’s right. WORLD! But of course we already knew how great our beaches are and would probably bump ourselves up a few notches on the list.🙂

The full list is here.

 
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