If you live in the Southeast, Panama City Beach is an ideal choice for a vacation quickie. Last month, the fam and I took a girls-only trip to The Gulf for a few days. We stayed in a condo that was on the beach, and also steps away from Pineapple Willy’s, a popular restaurant/bar in PCB.
Pineapple Willy’s is well-known for their cocktails (both frozen and on the rocks), which are served in refillable souvenir cups. We visited Pineapple Willy’s three times during our visit, and I had the opportunity to try their “Pineapple Willy” signature drink (on the rocks) and a “Rum Runner” (frozen). Made using rum, pineapple juice, and cream of coconut, the “Pineapple Willy” is basically a pina colada on the rocks. A very tasty cocktail, but entirely too much ice. All that ice ultimately waters down the drink and takes down the potency. No bueno.
Since the “Rum Runner” was frozen, I didn’t have either of those issues. As the good folks here in Atlanta say, I was “lit” about halfway through my drink. Yes bueno. Also, another tasty concoction.
As a self-proclaimed oyster connoisseur, the fried oysters at Pineapple Willy’s were everything for me. The oysters themselves were huge. There was a nice amount of batter on them, but since the oysters were so big, I didn’t find them to be overly-breaded. I do wish they had their own house-made sauces. The cocktail and tartar sauce I received were both pre-packaged (Ken’s to be exact). I also tried the calamari and smoked tuna dip. Both were decent, not sure if I’d order them again though.
The food is overpriced. Let’s just go ahead and get that out the way. I calls it like I sees it. I’m big on researching before a trip, so I was already aware of the inflated prices. That made the blow to my pockets a little less harsh. If you plan on sharing an appetizer, and purchasing both an entree and one of their cocktails in a souvenir cup, be prepared to pay just shy of five-star prices. You can be frugal though. Their sandwiches are fairly priced and their appetizers are big enough for one person to order as a meal. Also, the cool thing about their souvenir cups is that once you purchase one, you can bring it back for refills, which are $2 cheaper than the regular drink prices.
Another con, is their confusing policy on “to-go drinks.” The “to-go drinks” are heavily promoted on the Pineapple Willy’s grounds. I assumed they refill your souvenir cup with your boozy beverage of choice, you pay up, and bam, that’s it. Well, not quite. A “to-go drink” consists of a souvenir cup filled with the virgin version of your drink of choice and a package of nip-sized liquor bottles (to obviously be opened off the premises). It makes sense due to legalities and whatnot, but the “to-go” aspect feels a bit misleading. Also, the brand of rum I received in my “to-go” package wasn’t the same as what was said on the drink menu.
If you’re ever in the PCB area, you can find Pineapple Willy’s on 9875 South Thomas Drive. Cheers!
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