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.
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.