The Factory bakes sizzling pizza pies and assembles an assortment of specialty ice-cream dishes in a classic checker-floored parlor atmosphere. Cooks paint Hunt Brothers pizza ($9.49/large) in selections from a palette of toppings, and Hunt Brothers wings ($2.79/5 pieces) play pranks on unsuspecting taste buds using buckets of zestily flavored heat-sauce. A specialty sundae puts out flavor fires with creamy scoops of Blue Bell ice cream slathered in syrups and more ($4.25). The Factory’s thick blended milkshakes cover a five-part flavor spectrum, from the familiar chocolate to the unsettled and constantly plotting conspiracy theories about melting that come with Mocha Madness ($3.45). To avoid overheating, hot dogs lazily recline on soft buns, appreciating the cool balm of relish and mustard ($1.50). Customers can also call in orders for pizza and wings and may request to speak to specific food items if they're available.
Held from 1 p.m to 5 p.m., closing ceremonies of the three-day wine festival will feature samples of more than 700 wines, some paired with gourmet food in the culinary pavilion, and many for sale at a discount in the retail tent. Whiffs of fruit and oak season the air in the Village of Baytowne Wharf during the annual Sandestin Wine Festival, a three-day event now in its 26th year. Vintners uncork more than 700 wines aged in America and abroad, including rare and specialty varietals parceled out during charity wine auctions. Novice tipplers learn basic wine styles and pairings as they explore the Grand Tasting and special events such as “Winemakers and Shakers,” which matches wines with gourmet meats and cheeses. As live music floats across the grounds, special lectures enlighten curious festivalgoers on topics such as biodynamic wines. New cooking demonstrations in the culinary tent include a Sunday session led by Stinky’s Fish Camp’s executive chef, Jim Richard, who will divulge the secrets of Spanish paella—a dish renowned for its compatibility with red wine, white wine, and grape-flavored Juicy Juice ($20 per demonstration). When guests empty their stemware, they can track down their favorite wines of the day in the onsite retail tent and take bottles home to savor and share.
Chef Quinlan draws upon his inspiration from coastal, Cajun, and Caribbean cuisines as he cooks at Poppy's Seafood Factory. His menu showcases entrees pulled from the Gulf Coast, such as lobster thermidor and fried shrimp, as well as boiled seafood feasts available by the pound—like British money or an absurd amount of American money. There are also plenty of steak and pasta dishes to go around, as well as an ample wine list.
Poppy, the owner, hails from New Orleans—a city known for both its good times and exquisite cooking. He came out of retirement to keep the good times rolling within the laidback, casual fine dining environment of his restaurant.
Inside Roberto's Italian Pizzeria, 14 flat-screen TVs surround the dining room, so guests are never in danger of missing a play as they dig into pizzas fresh from the oven or pastas recently unearthed at a nearby ravioli mine. In addition to serving up crowd favorites, the kitchen crew fires up Italian specialties such as stromboli, caprese salad, and classic minestrone soup.
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.
The pizza gurus at Bud & Alley's Pizza Bar layer sauce-slathered dough disks with artisan ingredients such as buffalo mozzarella, arugula, and eggplant. Patrons can drown memories of unsuccessful fly-fishing trips in the sauce from a seaside pizza covered in fresh fish, basil, and tomatoes ($15). Classic margherita pies topped with an aerodynamic layer of san marzano tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, and fresh basil ($14) soar from the oven onto waiting platters. Bedecked with arugula, shaved squash, zucchini, eggplant, and cheese, the Farmer's Market pizza ($14) sprouts with vegetables the way the earth would if it were flat and watered with sauce. Customers can also pair slices with meaty clam spaghetti ($16), or orecchiette pasta adorned with morsels of fennel sausage ($15). In between bites, diners can lubricate lips with selections from the lengthy drink list of top-shelf tequilas, mixed drinks, and wines ($9–$13).