Wicked Good Food at the Wicked Wheel

There’s a new restaurant in town, but it’s ran by some of the most seasoned dining veterans in Panama City Beach.  Having been in the works for nearly 2 years, The Wicked Wheel Bar and Grill opened in April and is serving “the best fried chicken and the biggest burgers on the beach.”

“The theme itself and the vision had been life long. The actual getting-it-custom takes time, and we were not willing to sacrifice quality to get it open any sooner,” said Jared Knetzer of The Wicked Wheel.

The Wicked Wheel is owned and operated by the same that own Pineapple Willy’s – the Buskell family. They are located right on Middle Beach Road (Hutchison) a few doors down (to the west) from Walmart and right across from Miracle Strip Loop.  There used to be a Tony Roma’s there, years ago.

Their fried chicken.

I’ll be honest, I’m not much of a fried chicken guy.  Not that I don’t like that funky fowl – quite the opposite.  I’m just not a traditional fried chicken guy.  But, I had to try what was being touted as “the best fried chicken on the beach.”  I ordered the 3 pc Classic Original chicken meal and added a Custom Spicy drumstick to test it out.

When they  brought out my order, I was greeted with an elegant presentation of fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy and seasoned green beans.  The chicken skin seemed to me to be perfectly crunchy yet flakey and the meat was juicy, tender and full of flavor.  I had ranch to supplement, but I didn’t need it.

The Spicy was hot, but not too hot.  It was good, had zing and will be my pick next time, if I don’t get one of their Classic Burnout Burgers.

The famous motorcycle seat bar.

Maybe “famous” is stretching it a little, but besides their food, it’s all anyone talks about – so maybe not.  The outside is accented with motorcycles and dedicated biker parking, but when you walk inside, you’re found with a whole motif that revolves around “custom cars, custom bikes, and all things cool,” said Knetzer.

“We have some motorcycles as seats at the bar [and]. . . If you look around you will notice everything from the 27 Ford T-Bucket hanging on the wall, the ‘hot rod hostess station’ which is made from a tool box, several car related signs through out, track lights made out of Fram oil filters, vintage car license plates, as well as art displayed throughout the restaurant,” added Knetzer.

The menu.

If you ask their wait staff what’s popular, they’ll tell you the chicken and their burgers.

Their Classic, Cheese and Bacon Cheese Burnout Burger is dressed in lettuce, tomato, onions and pickles and a variety of cheeses.

Their Custom Burnout Burgers:

Leadsled – ham, American cheese and bacon

Flame Thrower – pepperjack cheese, jalapeños, grilled onions, and peppers

Lowrider – white nacho cheese, chili, and pico de gallo

Sportster – cheddar cheese, grilled onions, and BBQ sauce

Shovelhead – provolone cheese, grilled mushrooms, and onions

Roadrunner – chicken breast and choice of cheese

And of course, they have a Challenger – which if you can finish (sides and all) in 14 minutes, you’ll get your picture on the wall and a free Challenger t-shirt.  What are you eating?  A Double Classic Burnout Burger with cheese.

You can view their entire menu here.

It’s Decided – The Treasure Ship will not be Re-Built

After months of speculation since the devastating fire on April 28th 2010 left the beloved Treasure Ship restaurant just a shell of its former glory, owners Lisa and Jimmy Todd have decided not to re-build. The historic landmark was opened in 1978 and since became one of Panama City Beach’s favorite eateries, thanks to its glorious waterfront setting, abundance of character, great food and friendly staff.

Continue reading “It’s Decided – The Treasure Ship will not be Re-Built”

Panama City Beach Dining Review – Fatty Patty’s Cakes & Café

Every once in a while, I stumble upon a restaurant or eatery of some description that impresses me so much I feel compelled to share. This time, it’s Fatty Patty’s Cakes & Café, located on the west end of Panama City Beach Parkway close to the Wild Heron. Fatty Patty’s is half bakery, half café, and though some may be familiar with the name synonymous with wedding cakes, not everyone knows that this is actually a really cool little place to eat, too. Continue reading “Panama City Beach Dining Review – Fatty Patty’s Cakes & Café”

Breakfast Point Marketplace: Now a Thriving Shopping and Dining Area

Remember when Breakfast Point Marketplace was just a new Publix grocery store and then to the delight of just about everyone, a Dunkin’ Donuts? In a seemingly short space of time, this centrally located shopping and dining area has transformed from a relatively empty space to a busy center that now offers many conveniences and some of our favorite names. I can’t even remember what I did before this handy little plaza came to be – but I do know that I would be lost without it! Breakfast Point Marketplace is a wonderful addition to Panama City Beach, and now that most of its stores are open for business, here’s a rundown of what you can find there. Continue reading “Breakfast Point Marketplace: Now a Thriving Shopping and Dining Area”

The Cantina Bar & Grill Brings a Latin Flavor to Pier Park

If you are a fan of Mexican food and heading up to Pier Park anytime soon, then you absolutely must check out the new Cantina Bar & Grill at Pier Park. When it comes to Mexican, there are already several Panama City Beach restaurants that are popular both in terms of menu and atmosphere – but the Cantina Bar & Grill takes the experience one step further. The Pier Park location is a bonus (the restaurant can be found opposite Red Robin in the spot that Baja Grill used to call home), and in addition to the unique, mouth-watering cuisine, there are plenty of extras that you won’t find anywhere else.

The menu, although similar in style to a traditional Mexican restaurant, offers a much wider variety of choices. Appetizers include Loco Queso al Fuego – Chihuahua cheese with roasted poblano peppers, spicy chorizo sausage and mushrooms, fired tableside. There’s a great selection of soups, salads and lunch specials, and entrees include Baja Fish Tacos – grilled tilapia served in flour tortillas with red marinated cabbage, pico de gallo and one side. One of the best things about The Cantina Bar & Grill’s menu is that it offers some side items that you won’t find anywhere else. Jalapeño sweet grits, coconut rice, sautéed green beans and sweet potato chips are just a few of the delicious options to accompany your meal.

The Cantina Bar & Grill is an excellent choice when you are looking for a new Panama City Beach restaurant, but it’s not just the food that will impress. The Cantina is actually the place to see and be seen! Perfect for after work drinks, weekend margaritas or fancy cocktails, the restaurant is incredibly spacious and airy and is a great space to relax with friends. There are daily drink specials including buy one Margarita and get the 2nd half off on Wednesdays, and bloody Mary specials on Sunday mornings. Not much of a Sunday morning person? Every Thursday night at 8:30 pm the Cantina Bar & Grill is offering free traditional salsa lessons, and on Friday and Saturday nights from about 10:00 pm onwards the whole place goes from laid-back restaurant to hot Latin nightspot! Disco nights are hopping till the early hours, and there’s no cover until the season is in full swing!
The Cantina Bar & Grill in Pier Park is so much more than just another new Panama City Beach restaurant. If you like good food, culture, and vibrant music, it is definitely worth stopping by and seeing for yourself why this recent addition should be sticking around for a long time to come.

Open 7 days a week. Lunch 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Dinner 3:00 pm till Close. Bar Open till Whenever!

The Cantina Bar & Grill, 101 Bluefish Drive, Panama City Beach. Call (850) 233 6228 for more details.