Review: The Crab Shack – Fort Walton Beach

Introduction: Spring Break in Florida
Review:  American Airlines (ERJ-140) Economy Class – Wichita Falls to Dallas
Review:  The Club – Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Review:  American Airlines (A321) Economy Class – Dallas to Tampa
Review:  The Café by Mise en Place – Tampa International Airport
Review:  The Lure – South Tampa
Review:  Delta Airlines (A321) Economy Class – Tampa to Atlanta
Review:  The Club – Hartsfield Jackson/Atlanta International Airport
Review:  Delta Sky Club – Hartsfield Jackson/Atlanta International Airport
Review:  Delta Airlines (737-700) Economy Class – Atlanta to Fort Walton Beach
Review:  The Crab Shack – Fort Walton Beach
Review:  Mama Nu’s Kitchen – Fort Walton Beach
Review:  American Airlines (CRJ-900) Economy Class – Fort Walton Beach to Charlotte
Review:  Admirals Club – Charlotte International Airport
Review:  Admirals Club – Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

I thought that by the second part of the trip my hankering for seafood would have subsided, it had not. My coworker and I searched for restaurants nearby. There were quite a few that were less than 20 minutes from our hotel. We ultimately decided to visit The Shack. The Shack appeared to be a very touristy kind of spot. I would later find out that most places along the beach were indeed “tourist traps”.

The building itself was constructed of mostly wood. This gave it a lot of character. The thing I did like, before ever entering the restaurant was that the entire parking lot was composed of gravel. Imagine this beautiful restaurant, overlooking Santa Rosa Sound…with a gravel parking lot. This was a bad first impression.

The Crab Shack Fort Walton Beach

The Crab Shack Fort Walton Beach
The Crab Shack Fort Walton Beach Entrance

As we entered The Shack, there was a hostess stand straight ahead. She asked where we wanted to sit. The first option was the bar, which was straight across from the hostess stand.

The Crab Shack Fort Walton Beach

The Crab Shack Fort Walton Beach
The Crab Shack Fort Walton Beach Bar

Another option was indoor seating. It was somewhat stuffy inside of the restaurant because the doors and windows were open.

The Crab Shack Fort Walton Beach
The Crab Shack Fort Walton Beach Indoor Seating
The Crab Shack Fort Walton Beach
The Crab Shack Fort Walton Beach

The third and final option was the deck overlooking Santa Rosa Sound. This was the better option in my opinion. The weather was in the lower 80s, but the sun beamed down. I requested a table with an umbrella. It was like being outside, but not in the elements, you know?

The Crab Shack Fort Walton BeachThe Crab Shack Fort Walton Beach

The Crab Shack Fort Walton Beach
The Crab Shack Fort Walton Beach Deck Seating
The Crab Shack Fort Walton Beach
The Crab Shack Fort Walton Beach Deck Seating

The waitress arrived at the table a short time later. She provided menus (no pictures) and took drink orders. I started off with a Cucumber Collins. It was a refreshing blend of vodka and freshly squeezed lime.

The Crab Shack Fort Walton Beach

For the entrée, I ordered the fish dinner, which consisted of redfish and blackened shrimp. My coworker, who was not hungry, ordered the fish tacos. The waitress then told us that it would be 20 or 30 minutes before the food arrived. I decided to take the time to check out the pier. There just so happened to be a seaplane do “touch and gos” on the sound.

The Crab Shack Fort Walton BeachThe Crab Shack Fort Walton Beach

 

The food arrived at the table before too long. To that point, I am not sure if 20 minutes actually passed. The redfish was really tasty. I think the breading was the thing that put it over the top for me. The shrimp, not so much. The shrimp was bland and very disappointing. My coworker did not have any complaints about the fish tacos. Because how can anyone mess that up?

The Crab Shack Fort Walton Beach

The Crab Shack Fort Walton Beach
The Crab Shack Fort Walton Beach Seafood

The Crab Shack Fort Walton Beach

Final Word

The location of The Shack on the sound was the highlight. I enjoyed watching the seaplane fly around as I ate dinner. The shrimp were bad, but I would give them another chance should I visit again. If the biggest issue I had with the restaurant was the gravel parking lot, then I had a good visit.

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