SmokIN' butts bbq
Panama City Beach, FL
While driving down a side street towards our condo in Panama City Beach, Florida, the kids started snickering simultaneously, like to the point where I had to ask what was so funny? They of course wouldn't tell me and instead kept laughing because well that's what kids do right?
As we neared the "Y" in the intersection on S. Arnold Road the joke finally revealed itself. Situated to the right was a Huge food trailer, a couple picnic tables and a sign that read "SmokIn' Butts BBQ"... I cant lie, i snickered to myself as well a bit, without letting the kids know of course because well, adults don't laugh at stuff like this... LOL.
Me being a sucker for food trailers (for some reason, the food just seems to taste better out of them right?), I had to pull over. After marveling at the HUGE alligator on the roof for a few moments, I was able to focus on the menu. BBQ, Chicken, GATOR Ribs, "regular" Ribs Frog Legs & Turkey Legs (For the WIN!). It felt as if I was in a food induced haze and couldn't believe all of the options that were in front of me when finally the cloud I was in (which was actually the smoke roaring around the trailer from the massive barrel smokers in the back) cleared and I saw what I wanted, a Pulled Pork Sandwich and an order of...
As I stepped up to the window and placed my order with (who I would come to find out was) the owner, a mild mannered woman by the name of Dana. With my normal, inquisitive self I struck up a conversation about her business and learned that the "Butt" started smokin' about 15 years prior in Vernon, Florida where they remained for about 4 years until a manager from the Pier Park mega shopping / entertainment / lifestyle center in Panama City Beach, FL happened upon their fare and invited them to move into a spot in the then burgeoning development.
There they remained until they decided to relocate to their present location on S. Arnold Road. Over the years winning several awards including "Smokin On The Coast" , "Best Of The Bay" & "Best Of Ft. Walton"! As our conversation carried on, I realized how small the world truly is when she let me know that her origins were in Xenia, Ohio! Just over an hour drive from Columbus and just happened to be my mothers hometown!
My food was ready in a few minutes and I resisted the temptation to dig in right there in the parking lot since our condo was just a few blocks away.
As soon as I made it back I opened the "Butt Fries" and realized I probably should've only ordered this as the food was plentiful! Pulled Pork, Cheddar Cheese and BBQ Sauce built upon a base of French Fries, I was full after just looking at them but of course I dug in anyways.
The Pulled Pork was in abundance, back home in Columbus, we have BBQ joints by both the big chain establishments and local Mom & Pop eateries and I can say in comparison to Smokin' Butts, they all skip on the amount of BBQ they give you in a serving. The French fries remind me of the ones you wait all year to get because they only sell them at Fair's and I love them! You can easily taste the difference between something frozen in a bag and fried before you arrive and these. It took me the better part of 2 hours to finish this and that's with taking breaks in between to basically breathe.
If you live in PCB or the surrounding areas, Smokin' Butts is the "end all, be all" when it comes to great BBQ, after all the "Best Of the Bay" award pretty much solidifies this fact.
One thing alot of people fail to realize about Great (Not just good) BBQ is that a key ingredient isn't just the sauce or the coal / wood chips you use, it's hospitality. BBQ is a bonding food that works year round and the key to a good bond, is being a hospitabital person, which you will notice as soon as you walk up and they slide the window open to not just take your order, but to greet you FIRST!
I can't wait to go back and try the Gator Ribs next! When you visit, let them know we sent ya!
Side note: I'll be honest, I was so full from the "Butt Fries", I didn't get to eat my sandwich, but don't fret, we believe in "No good BBQ left behind round here" which was much to the chagrin of my son who had been begging me for my food since I got back in the car with it. However, he ate it and said that it was "Super Lit", which when translated to 1980's English means it was "Damn Good"!
Right on son, RIght on
404 S. Arnold Rd.
Panama City Beach, Fl