Pints and pork go together like peanut butter and jelly. Throw in a beach-front patio and this bon viveur is living the dream – which, alas, is also all we seem to be able to do at the moment. As such, I’ve yet to visit the new Water Pig BBQ in Pensacola, Florida, but the establishment is near the top of my post-COVID to-do list.
Owned and operated by Innisfree Hotels (Northwest Florida’s largest owner of beachfront hotel properties), Water Pig opened last June and has already earned several accolades, including the # 1 spot on TripAdvisor’s list of 3,200-plus Florida Panhandle restaurants and USA Today / 10Best. com’s # 4 Best New Restaurant in America (as voted on by readers).
Patrons at the beachfront eatery cite “melt-in-your-mouth St Louis-style ribs, rustic, delectable mac and cheese, and other tempting barbecue staples from Texas and beyond” – the latter presided over by award-winning pitmaster Steve Seige, who uses locally farmed ingredients and makes sausage in-house to add an extra layer of authenticity to the restaurant’s slate of shareable sides, appetizers, and main courses.
Using a 4,300-pound smoker that can handle up to 700 pounds of meat at a time, Seige oversees Water Pig BBQ’s low-and-slow-smoked style of barbecue, turning out classic Southern BBQ favorites such as brisket, pulled pork, and sausage . (Non-pig fare includes salads, burgers, chicken / turkey, and a tuna fillet).
Sitting along the Santa Rosa Sound, the open-air, beachfront dining venue boasts family friendly atmosphere, scenic water views, and a variety of entertainment to go with the genuine smokehouse menu.
There is also a robust beer and cocktail menu, including craft and canned beers; signature and traditional cocktails (such as daiquiris and pina coladas), and a dozen or so wines of all colors.
Jimmy Buffet sang about cheeseburgers in paradise, perhaps it’s time to start thinking about a sequel: Pulled-Pork in Paradise.
Water Pig BBQ is located at 5 Via De Luna Dr. in Pensacola Beach across from the Hilton Pensacola Beach. The restaurant is currently open Thursday through Sunday, starting at 11 am and sanitation and social distancing protocols are observed.
With glass purposefully in hand, we at Travel Industry Today continue our series on some of the planet’s best bars, patios and rooftop venues. For more articles in the series, click here:
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