About as far south as you can get in downtown Pensacola you’ll find Jaco’s Bayfront Bar & Grille overlooking the Palafox Pier Marina. Enjoy fantastic water views from the many windows while dining inside or take a seat on the patio and enjoy the salt air breezes as well. Although the interior decor and ambiance are wonderful, I particularly enjoy watching the boats in the marina from the patio while partaking in my favorite Basil Lemon Drop Martini and perhaps a daydream or two.
With several Pensacola locations, on the northeast and southwest parts of town as well as Pensacola Beach, Cactus Flower Cafe is a local favorite for California style Mexican cuisine. The spacious interior at this location on 6881 West Highway 98, is tastefully decorated in rich earth tones with lots of track lighting for atmosphere. Of course all of the Cactus Flower locations across Northwest Florida and in Alabama are known for the fresh, quality ingredients used in their delicious foods.
One of my best friends offered to bring me breakfast at work and asked what I would like – I said I’d love a bacon, egg and cheese croissant thinking I’d get the usual greasy fast food. He shows up with this droolworthy croissant breakfast sandwich and a side of roasted herb potatoes from George Artisan Bakery & Bistro and it was amazing. Thick, crispy bacon on a huge fresh toasted croissant with cheddar cheese and a slab of scrambled eggs so large it looked like an omelet. The potatoes were roasted with fresh rosemary and other herbs and by the time I was finished with breakfast I knew I wouldn’t be needing any lunch.
Get ready for 11 big days of fun and excitement at the annual Pensacola Interstate Fair! Opening on Thursday, October 20th and running through Sunday, October 30th, you’ll find rides, activities, and entertainment for the whole family. Hours of operation vary each day with rides and exhibits typically opening at 4:00 pm on week days and 11:00 am on weekends. General admission tickets are $12 for ages 12 and up, $6 for children 4 through 11 and free for kids 3 and under or you can get half price admission tickets at local Walgreens stores while they last. Ride tickets can be purchased at ticket booths or you can buy wristbands for unlimited rides for $20 Monday through Thursday and $25 Friday through Sunday. You can get $5 off wristband prices if you purchase them at Walgreens and there are daily specials for seniors, Cox customers and other great daily deals.
My kids go to school with a relative of the Szotski family and on his birthday he shared mini cheesecakes with the class instead of the usual cupcakes. I heard about those cheesecakes for days so I had to try them out for myself. Szotski’s Cheesecakes, located at 2600 W. Nine Mile Road, is definitely worth a visit and I completely agree with the kids’ recommendation.
Residents and visitors on Perdido Key and the west side of Pensacola can enjoy an eclectic mixture of southern fare, Cajun style favorites and St. Louis ribs at Butch’s Bistro and BBQ. Located in Perdido Key Plaza at 13118 Sorrento Road, across from the Winn Dixie shopping center, Butch’s is open Monday through Wednesday from 11 to 7, Thursday through Saturday from 11 to 8, and they’re closed on Sunday.
Located at 707 E. Cervantes Street, between I-110 and North 9th Avenue, you’ll find Oh Snap! Cupcakes & Gourmet Bakery. Baking up fresh goodies from scratch everyday, they’re open Monday through Saturday from 9 AM until they’re sold out so call 850-466-3363 after 7 PM to see if they have what you’re looking for. They’re also open on Sundays from noon to 5 PM.
The bright, cheerful colors of the Native Cafe, both inside and out, give passersby an idea of what many locals will tell you – you can get the best breakfast on the beach at this family owned cafe in the so-called “historical Pensacola Beach mall”. Located at 45A Via De Luna, next door to The Islander and a short walk from Casino Beach, the Native Cafe is open daily for breakfast and lunch and they serve homemade favorites with a southern flair.
The 39th Annual Fiesta of Five Flags Pensacola Seafood Festival will be held from September 30th through October 2nd. Admission and entertainment are free and they’ve announced a great lineup for this year including Smithfield, Quaker City Night Hawks, The Hip Abduction and Moon Taxi. The Pensacola Seafood Festival has been listed as one of the Top 20 Festivals by the Southeast Tourism Society and this popular festival attracts over 100,000 attendees throughout the three day event.
Escambia County schools will be back in session starting August 10th and Florida shoppers once again will have a three-day “tax-free holiday” weekend in anticipation of the new school year.