The balcony at Helen Back Again affords views of bustling Palafox Place below. As guests sun and people-watch, bartenders keep busy doling out ice-cold beers. Meanwhile, in the kitchen, fresh ingredients are tossed onto award-winning pizzas with a butter garlic crust lauded by writers from Esquire. Helen Back Again caters to bar and restaurant employees, and they have a deep and abiding appreciation for the military. Open 7 days a week, they host live entertainment as well as Military Night, Guys Night, Ladies Night, Bike Night, and Sin Night, in addition to broadcasting all sports games on a collection of HD televisions.
Not all 13-year-olds have the foresight to realize their life's calling, or the world would be full of unemployed professional puppy holders. Luckily for the foodies of Pensacola, Dan Pettis had a knack for his more practical dream. He started experimenting in the kitchen just before he entered high school, starting as dish washer and working his way up through the cut-throat world of the restaurant industry. At the top of the food chain, he is now both chef and owner at One 20 A Modern Bistro.
Here, he crafts a menu of innovative, fusion bistro cuisine, drawing inspiration from his southern roots and journeys to Southeast Asia and Japan. The artfully plated dishes take on southern accents with dishes such as blackened garlic sautéed shrimp accompanied by creamy cheese grits and mustard-rubbed pork chops with a side of braised collard greens. Whereas, international influences take the form of range-glazed tuna steak and stir-fried edamame.
Staff members at Bon Appetit French Bakery and Cafe stock the glass-display cases with made-from-scratch French pastries, flaky croissants, and crusty, freshly baked breads. Inside the kitchen, chefs dust powdered sugar over napoleons layered with custard and ground up Waterloo battle plans, and they dip puffy éclairs in melted chocolate. During the workweek, they supplement their Parisian baked goods with lunch fare such as middle-eastern platters and custom sandwiches forged from deli-style meats and freshly baked breads.:m]]
Within the cheerful yellow walls of Citrus Organic Cafe, chefs slice locally grown vegetables and organic ingredients into modern interpretations of café-fare classics. Pumpkin seeds sprinkle a meatloaf made with grass-fed beef and chicken, and a blueberry-balsamic glaze coats a roasted cornish hen. Vegetables sprouted on the café’s small patch of farmland make their way into sides such as kale salad or to the café’s booth at the Seaside Farmers Market. Staffers also mix health-conscious smoothies from almond milk, flax meal, GS Gelato, and protein powder and craft homemade protein bars.
Mama Clemenza’s brunch menu calms morning and midday appetites with a mélange of classic European breakfast items. Pairs of patrons can let their palates marinate in eggy entrees including homemade eggs benedict––featuring prosciutto and hollandaise sauce draped over a yorkshire-pudding muffin––and a Mediterranean omelet, with a colorful medley of fresh tomatoes, feta cheese, and spinach, lounging alongside an authentic Grecian croissant. Dieting diners can opt for a lighter entree with a chilled mascarpone-custard cup filled with fresh seasonal fruit, and larger appetites will discover sweet satisfaction in the oven-baked basin of Baby Huey’s Dutch Boy––an airy, bowl-shaped pancake filled with the fruit of the day. Chewing or chattering whistles can be kept wet by letting tongues bathe in orange juice or mimosas made with self-supplied champagne or wine. Two cups of custom-roasted coffee cap off the morning meal, providing the necessary energy needed to visit one of Florida’s largest flagpoles in Uptown Station and wow the masses with sultry dance moves picked up during your firefighting days.
When biting into the dishes at Old Hag's Cafe, it can take you straight back to childhood. The chefs focus on family favorites best known from Grandmas' recipes, creating staples such as fried pork tenderloin, creamy macaroni and cheese, and chicken pot pie in a flaky, buttery crust. The serve a special fish dish every day, or serve up cuts of chicken served grilled, blackened, fried, or under a coating of buffalo sauce. The desserts are just as traditional as the entrees, with bakers creating New Orleans–style bread pudding in bourbon sauce and brownies topped with a creamy scoop of ice cream and hot fudge.