I’ve been to some pretty neat restaurants, some that revolved while you dined (EPCOT Garden Grille in the Land Pavilion), others that teamed with sea creatures, in Nashville, Tennessee and still others that had an hourly thunderstorm and jungle antics- another Orlando theme restaurant, but Panama City wasn’t the theme type of place- well, the biggest theme going there was seafood, and lots of it, but by sheer accident on our wanderings, we stumbled on what could only be described as the coolest restaurant ever.
Just the Cook is a floating kitchen- a houseboat docked at the marina (off of Bayview Road) in the historic St. Andrews district of Panama City. In all it’s beautiful simplicity, it is just that – a cook, a kitchen. A couple of humble plastic table and chairs are set up along a floating dock and it was there we dined on our Shrimp Tortuga and watched as the sun slipped behind the masts of the sailboats surrounding us.
Thursday night is summer sunset celebrations at St. Andrews wharf, so we were just shy of a day, but the sounds of the lines and riggings slapping against the towering masts like nautical wind chimes and the peaceful atmosphere was a welcome respite after our day at the beach.
The kids loved hanging out on the floating dock (not recommended for toddlers though) and indulging in cokes during our sunset show, We had seen houseboats before in North Carolina, but this was our first houseboat restaurant. Funny enough, we had once tried to persuade my husband that a restaurant on a boat would be cool to do- you could leave when you got bored with the area- obviously the owner of Just The Cook had similar dreams.
Twilight eventually gave way to darkness, and it was time to leave, our slow wander back to the car past the noisier, glitzier restaurants by the water confirmed what we already knew, we had found the coolest restaurant ever!
Things to Know Before You Go:
1. Check out their Facebook page here to see if they are open. (It’s an outdoor seating only place, so factor in weather).
2. Bring your appetite and a camera. This is the most beautiful sunset I have truly seen in years. Brings back some marina memories.
3.The ramp down to the floating dock is steep- so watch your step and kids.
4. Sit back and enjoy the view. Come on a slow day (not Thursday or weekend) for a more relaxed atmosphere.