OKALOOSA COUNTY — Looking for some new places to dine out? A number of new restaurants have recently opened across Northwest Florida, each with something special to savor.
Locals learned how to cook their own lobster over a tableside stove, while one restaurateur now gives customers a meal and a show with flambé-style dining.
There are also several new eateries that promise to satisfy any sweet tooth.
Here's a list of some of the area's newest restaurants:
Julie’s Southern Joy
258 Eglin Parkway N.E., Fort Walton Beach
Julie’s Southern Joy is a dine-in restaurant featuring a menu of Southern comfort recipes. The menu includes daily special entrees for $9.99 such as meat loaf and brown gravy on Mondays and fried catfish fillets on Fridays. Desserts include pecan praline bread pudding, apple caramel cheesecake and hot fruit cobbler.
Dock on the Island
1318 Miracle Strip Parkway S.E, Fort Walton Beach
Housed in the former Fudpucker’s on the Island building, Dock on the Island is a restaurant featuring a menu under three main categories: barbecue, shrimp and tacos.
The restaurant is just one business in the complex that is now called Island Time. The center is also home to new and existing businesses that include Fat Daddy’s Arcade, Escape Zone 60, Maximum Magic Dinner Theater, a beach retail shop and a marina offering rentals and other attractions.
1548 John Sims Parkway East, Niceville
Diners in search of fresh cuisine can look no further than Asian Ichiban of Niceville, where protein is delivered to the table still crawling and clawing.
The Ichiban Special Curry Hot Pot, a meal cooked on a stove in the middle of customers’ tables, is a twist on the popular fondue dining experience that originated in Switzerland.
At Asian Ichiban, the meal comes with live lobster, chicken, beef, shrimp and scallops, prepared with a mix of vegetables and a choice among five curry flavors.
Flambe After Dark
5 Racetrack Road N.W., Fort Walton Beach
Flambé After Dark features table-side flambé dinning, where chefs douse entrees and dessert with liquor, set it ablaze and cook the meal alongside diners.
Taqueria Mi Gente
699 Beal Parkway N.W, Fort Walton Beach
Similar to the Chipotle Mexican Grill chain restaurants, Taqueria Mi Gente is a cafeteria-style eatery that allows customers to pick their taco, quesadilla, burrito and nacho fillings as they move down the food line.
On the menu is Tacos de Pescado, a taco with beer-battered fish, cabbage, cilantro, tomatoes, onion relish, chipotle sauce and avocado. There also is Burrito de Camaron, a shrimp burrito with rice, beans, cheese and salsa pico, and the Super Quesadilla with cheese, choice of meat, sour cream, guacamole, lettuce, jalapeno and tomato.
29 D Miracle Strip Parkway, Fort Walton Beach
Okaloosa Donuts is a take-out eatery with $1 standard doughnuts such as cinnamon, glazed, powdered, strawberry and buttermilk. Filled doughnuts will be $1.25 and standard doughnut holes are 30 cents each.
The shop also has ever-changing signature and specialty doughnuts for each season that include mermaid doughnuts, Fourth of July doughnuts and even a pirate-themed doughnut for Billy Bowlegs.
In addition to the pastries, the shop will offer nitrogen-infused coffee and hot chocolate.
Hebert's Specialty Meat Market
872 US-98, Destin
A Louisiana-based market chain, Hebert's offers a rotating Cajun-style takeout lunch plates such as crawfish etoufee on rice, deboned stuffed chickens and red beans and rice.
Sunset Bowls and Coffee Ave
211 Florida Place SE, Fort Walton Beach
Sunset Bowls and Coffee Ave are a pair of food trucks in downtown Fort Walton Beach. The trucks collectively serve acai — a Brazilian berry — bowls topped with fruit and granola, smoothies, espresso drinks, nitrogen infused coffee and more.
Fubar Pizza Bar
114 Amberjack Drive, Fort Walton Beach
Customers who missed Helen Back Cafe breathed a sigh of relief after FUBAR Pizza Bar — located at the old Helen Back site on Okaloosa Island — continued with the old sports bar’s menu following its opening in April.
The restaurant is named after an acronym that originated in the military that stands for “fouled up beyond all recognition,” which dates back to World War II. The R-rated version uses an expletive to start the acronym.