Coolest Palapa on the Coast
● Published by Nancy Babin
AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar
116 Harbor Blvd Destin
Do you know what a palapa [puh-lah-puh; Spanish pah-lah-pah] is? It’s a simple, thatched roof dwelling, usually open on the sides. AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar on the Emerald Coast happens to have one of the largest, coolest ones found anywhere around.
AJ’s opened as a small trailer serving freshly-shucked oysters on the docks of Destin Harbor in 1984. Nearly 30 years later it has grown to house three culinary master kitchens, a continuously listed Top 100 Nightlife Spots, as well as home to AJ’s SpeedBlaster, The Blackbeard Sailboat, and the beautiful Daniel Webster Clements Sailboat. These family-friendly, crowd-pleasing boats offer adventure packed with dolphin-loving, sun-loving fun sure to make everyone happy! The sunset views under the huge palapa is unparallel to any other in town, and watching all the fishing fleets coming in, unloading their catch is something everyone should include on his bucket list.
And if you catch a fish from one of AJ’s boats, the kitchen chefs will cook it to your exact specifications and serve it with coleslaw and hush puppies. Nothing is cooler than the transition and taste of fish caught, cleaned, cooked/grilled, plated and eaten all within a matter of hours – all under the shade and coolness of the giant palapa on AJ’s deck.
Cool factors: Fantastic views, great music to boogie down to, scrumptious food and drinks. A great local vibe!!
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julyaugust 2013 issue