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BEST OF THE COAST 2008 | Vol. 10, No. 38, October 16, 2008
(Best Of The Coast 2008)

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Featured Winners - Food


APPLE MARKET
Winner: Best Independent Market, Best Gourmet/Specialty Food

Advertised as the "Biggest Little Store in Town," Apple Market is known as a place to receive custom cut beef, first-class catering services and general groceries with the friendly service of a small-town grocer.

"We get called a specialty store and a neighborhood store," says owner David Apple. "We have a little bit of everything for everyone."

The store offers many imported cheeses, wine and bread and will order specialty items that customers cannot find. Wedding catering for up to 200 people and delivery services are also offered.

"The store has everything you find at a restaurant and a specialty store," says Apple. "Unparallelled service and willingness to order anything a customer wants. We also still bag and carry to your car."

J'S PASTRY SHOP
Winner: Best Bakery
Top 3 Finish: Best Desserts

Since 1946, this Pensacola original has satisfied the sweet tooth of locals without breaking the bank. And throughout the years, the fresh-baked cinnamon bread, French bread, pound cakes and the chocolate pastries known as devil dawgs remain the main staple of diet-be-damned binges for most of Pensacola. We're addicted to the cookies, including Fudge Fancies, chocolate bars, fruit bars and Mexican wedding cookies.

Any of J's Pastry Shop's over 200 baked items will make a dinner party, wedding reception or any event special. During the days leading up to Thanksgiving Day, you can expect standing room only inside this small 12th  Avenue bakery as the staff serves of over a 1,000 dozens of Parker House rolls and almost as many sweet potato and pumpkin pies for Pensacola families.

CAJUN SPECIALTY MEATS
Winner: Best Po-Boy
Top 3 Finish: Best Cajun, Best Gourmet/Specialty Food

Raised in Maurice, Louisiana, Cajun Specialty Meats owners Carl and Cory Broussard have been delighting the Panhandle's and the rest of the country's taste buds since 1996 with their unique, genuine Cajun cooking that's simple to prepare and impossible to resist. It's one of the few truly Cajun food destinations in the area, and you can take your pick from among the whole deboned stuffed chickens, heat and eat entrees, sausages, side dishes, appetizers, gumbo, crawfish dishes and shrimp dishes, along with their famous "Turducken, " a combination of turkey, duck and chicken meats.

In addition to its specialty foods, you can also grab lunch at the adjacent Cajun Xpress Deli, which serves up the best Po-boys on the Coast, sandwiches, burgers, seafood baskets, salads and other goodies like Boudin balls and crawfish etouffee. Online ordering is available at cajunspecialtymeats.com.

CREMA COFFEE AND BAKING COMPANY
Winner: Best Breakfast
Top 3 Finish: Best Bakery, Best Bagel

Dave Guardanapo, a classically trained chef, has created a masterpiece by combining a cozy, comfortable bistro and coffee beanery with a traditional European bakery. Crema features daily specials that showcase freshly baked artesian breads and indulgent pastries. The breakfasts are wonderful. We recommend the Eggs Sardou, a Louisiana Creole cuisine dish made with poached eggs, artichoke bottoms, creamed spinach and Hollandaise sauce. They also have an Andouille sausage and shrimp omelet that is out of this world.

CHRISOULA'S CHEESECAKE SHOPPE
Winner: Best Desserts

Since she opened in 2006, Chrisoula Athanasios Hulion has been satisfying our cheesecake cravings with flavors such as pecan caramel, amaretto and white chocolate raspberry, as well as other Greek food and desserts like Baklava, Koulourakia and  Kourembiedes. Chrisoula's now offers Greek classic dinners to go. Join them for lunch. Office lunches and catering are also available.

EVER'MAN NATURAL FOODS
Winner: Best Vegetarian Menu, Best Health Food
Top 3 Finish: Best Independent Market

Founded in 1973, this Garden Street cooperative is the largest of its kind--where store members own and ultimately run the show--in the region. Ever'man strives to buy organic, avoid artificial ingredients whenever possible and offers the healthy alternatives. Ever'Deli is one of downtown Pensacola's best little lunch spots. It offers a vegetarian menu that IN readers love. The most nutritious foods possible are here--in the store and in the deli.

CITY GROCERY
Winner: Best Deli Sandwich
Top 3 Finish: Best Independent Market

This little market on 12th Avenue is the type of local eatery that IN readers love. It's what you expect to find in the Garden District of New Orleans or in Buckhead section of Atlanta. City Grocery sandwiches are "To Die For" meals. The deli serves up Boar's Head products, and there's always something on the grill. City Grocery also boasts an impressive wine and beer selection.

BILLY BOB'S BEACH BARBEQUE
Winner: Best BBQ
Top 3 Finish: Best Restaurant-Gulf Breeze, Best Take Out

Barbeque is a Southern favorite. For the fourth consecutive year, this locally-owned restaurant has been voted Best Barbeque. Billy Bob's, with its spicy-smoked fragrance and awesome barbequed meats, has earned its awards. So slap on the bibs, tie on the aprons and get the wet-wipes out, cause it's gonna get messy! This restaurant serves up the messiest, sweetest Carolina-style BBQ on the Gulf Coast.

BAD ASS COFFEE
Winner: Best Cup of Coffee

This coffee shop next to Pensacola Junior College serves American-grown, Hawaiian coffee from Kona. The company gets its name from the donkeys, called the "Bad Ass Ones" by the native people of Kona, Hawaii, that brought the coffee beans down from the mountains.  The name and the coffee fits the IN readers perfectly.

MARBLE SLAB CREAMERY
Winner: Best Ice Cream

For five consecutive years, this old-fashioned ice cream shop has been voted Best Ice Cream. The Marble Slab Creamery, located on Ninth Avenue across from Cordova Mall and near the entrance of Sacred Heart Hospital, offers 38 fresh flavors to choose from, such as French vanilla, peanut butter, fudge, chocolate amaretto, bubblegum and pia colada, with a variety of candy, cookie, nuts and fresh fruit toppings.

RAGTYME GRILL
Winner: Best Salad

This Jefferson Street eatery combines the sounds of jazz, cozy atmosphere and the best salads in Pensacola. The burgers and sandwiches are great, but IN readers love the salads, especially the Grilled Fish Salad that has blackened or grilled Grouper served over mixed greens with grilled zucchini and yellow squash, onions, red and green peppers.

JOE PATTI'S SEAFOOD
Winner: Best Seafood Market

The top tourist attraction inside the Pensacola city limits is this area's best seafood market. This Pensacola landmark has been catching locals the freshest fish this side of the Gulf Coast since 1933. Joe Patti's boasts a diligent crew that attracts crowds with fresh shrimp, oysters, crab, snapper, grouper, yellow fin tuna, flounder, shark - all filleted before your very eyes. Shopping at Patti's is always an adventure.