I had lunch with John Comer, the President of Southern Restaurant Group in Destin, who just opened Back Porch Seafood and Oyster House in Pier Park. This concept was brought from Destin where they own and operate the Back Porch, Pompano Joes, Fisherman’s Wharf Seafood House and Louisiana Lagniappe. They also own and operate Caribbean Soup Company in Pensacola, Cafe Grazie in Destin and Orange Beach, AL and San Roc Delicatezza in Orange Beach, AL.
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The Southern Restaurant Group has been a family business for since the beginning in 1979 when the company was formed and the first Back Porch Restaurant was acquired. Over the years, they changed their name a few times, but continued to find success in restaurant ownership, adding all the above mentioned restaurants over the years.
More can be found at their website.
Enough background, lets get on with the food. I actually had a fairly light lunch, the blackened Amberjack sandwich with a cup of gumbo. The fish was perfectly prepared and the texture was perfect with the prices around $10 for the meal and $4 for the gumbo. Last time I had Amberjack was several years ago, and I hadn’t had it since because it was tough and not very tasty. Today, it was great.
I had heard the food was great, but quite expensive. Expensive is a relative term. Personally, I don’t make enough money to pay $20 for a plate of food very often, but if the food is good, it is totally worth it every now and then. Most of the chargrilled plates were less than $20, and about half the House Specialties are under $20 and the other half are more. John said that one of the reasons the food seems expensive is that they don’t buy the cheap fish. He said while many of the seafood restaurants are purchasing fish in the $2 to $3 per pound range, they stick to the $5 to $6 per pound fish. They use better quality produce and rely on their customers to notice the difference. This recipe for success has obviously worked. I’ve never had anything I hadn’t liked at any of their other restaurants.
I look forward to returning for dinner one evening with my wife and trying one of the Specialties.Print Story