We're telling everyone! This small and quaint place was highly recommended on Urbanspoon and I saw mention of it over the summer on Facebook so we decided to give it a try. Looking at the menu that was posted on Urbanspoon, I didn't really expect to be wowed. It seemed like a typical beach restaurant with a few variations of the same things that are found on many menus in Panama City Beach. But I was still very excited to try Hognose Snapper and see for myself just what all of the talk was about.
Well, this place is a gem. It is small, with maybe 6 or 7 tables in the dining room. Each table is different but they all have the casual country style and the mismatch decor really works. A touch of artwork on the walls adds to the charm but it is kept clean and simple.
The food was among the best I have had in this area. We started with the mini crabcake appetizer. Just two smallish crabcakes but with the basket of fresh made bread it was the perfect sized portion to begin the meal. They were made with the perfect crab-
to-breadcrumb ratio and I didn't taste any onion which is always a plus for me. These crabcakes are now in my top three in Panama City Beach (and the other two are more expensive). The bread was a simple, country white loaf, delicious smeared with butter.
Though we were both interested in the Grouper Imperial, a regular menu item with lump crab, jasmine rice, sherry buerre blanc and fresh vegetables, we instead opted for a serving each of the chalkboard special.
The special was a coconut encrusted filet of the freshest snapper over jasmine rice with thinly sliced fried eggplant. It was all placed on top of a creamy vanilla sauce. Delicious! I am still thinking about this dish!!
This restaurant reminds me of a very popular French bistro in the Napa Valley. Not the food or the decor but the concept of an amazing dining experience at a price anyone can afford. In both, the owners came from chef positions at fine dining restaurants with a high priced menu. In both, the owners scaled down and opened something that is more moderately priced, bringing their years of experience in those fine dining kitchens to the tables of their own casual restaurant.
Hognose Snapper menu items include appetizers ranging from $5.95 for fried green tomatoes to $6.95 for lobster spring rolls, mini crab cakes or buffalo wings. Sandwiches range from 6.95 for a burger or BBQ pulled pork to $8.95 for a crabcake sandwich. Sandwiches come with your choice of fries, sweet potato fries, cheese grits, cole slaw or fresh vegatables. Entrees start at $6.95 for chicken fingers with nothing over $14.95. They also offer soups, salads and desserts.
You can find Hognose Snapper at 7008 Thomas Drive. Give them a call at 850-234-6673.