A Look Back: Hunt’s Oyster Bar and Seafood Restaurant, Panama City, Florida

It’s Thursday, or at least it will be tomorrow, and that means time to re-post a restaurant review from the earlier days of the Blog.  I stepped outside today and immediately decided that a post from the sunny South was in order.  Here’s one from a wonderful seafood places:

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After meals at the Peg Leg Porker and the Golden Rule, Nancy and I continued south to Marco Island.  But first, we had an important stop in Panama City, Florida.

Now this was January and Hunt’s is in Panama City proper, not Panama City Beach.  I haven’t been to Panama City Beach in season in years, and it is no longer an age-appropriate location for me.  Liza was there in her second year after college.  She saw some guys mixing margaritas in a large plastic trash can — not a 13-gallon kitchen trash can, a large one.  They were stirring it with a Weed Wacker.  That’s Panama City Beach in the summer.

January is another story.  Panama City Beach is virtually deserted and Panama City becomes a quiet small city.  The big attraction is Hunt’s Oyster Bar.  Bryan Boudreaux told me about it.   He said to sit at the bar, put a twenty down for a tip, and start eating oysters.

Listen when Bryan Boudreaux speaks.

Hunt’s is a modest place in a small, not that great commercial district on the downtown waterfront.  But they do a land office business, even on a weeknight in January.

hunts exterior

Hunt’s has an old seafood place atmosphere, jus that you want.

unts interior

The big attraction is the oysters.  They are ice cold and fresh, and they are $8.99 for a baker’s dozen.  Here in DC, oysters run $36 a dozen, and they don’t throw in an extra.

hunts lunch

At Hunt’s the shuckers just keep adding more oysters until your tray of shells is full to overflowing.

hunts shells 2 with claws

And then they bring a new tray.

hunts shells

And another.  I think they throw in extra oysters, but who’s counting.

I prefer raw oysters without a lot of adornment — just a squeeze of lemon.  Hunt’s gives you some cocktail sauce, and also a generous side of horseradish you can mix in.  I don’t put it on the oysters, but I love to mix in the horseradish and eat it on saltines.

I can confirm that they also have very good gumbo and crab claws and shrimp, and that they know how to both broil and fry fresh fish properly.  And everything that other folks were having on this trip and others looked really good as well.  Hunt’s doesn’t have any microbrews, but when you’re settling down to eat some oysters, the key word for beer is “cold,” and the beer at Hunt’s is cold indeed.  Perfect.

You really should try Hunt’s.  I wouldn’t go near Panama City without stopping there.  So go.

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And while you’re at it, click “follow” on our front page to receive blog posts in your email box.  Or bookmark us and check in from time to time.  If you’re planning a trip, you can “Search” the name of the city, state, or country for good restaurants (in Europe, usually close to sites, like the Louvre or the Van Gogh Museum, that you’ll want to visit in any event).  Comments, questions, and suggestions of places to eat or stories to cover are very welcome.  And check out our Instagram page, johntannerbbq.

 

 

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