Gracie Rae is a fun, casual place with good food. It is connected with The Shrimp Boat.
We wound up at Gracie Rae on the last evening of a recent week long stay in PCB. Two nights in a row we had driven to Panama City intending to eat at a small, crowded seafood restaurant across the street from The Shrimp Boat (Hunt's). It's a very tiny place with tables tightly packed for maximum seating capacity. No atmosphere to speak of. And yet there are always people waiting for a table. So we really wanted to try their seafood. But we never felt like waiting. On our third try, we arrived at 4:30 thinking there surely would not be a wait that early. And there was still a 30 minute wait. So we opted for Gracie Rae and a view of the bay.
No regrets. We had a pleasant and enjoyable experience.
Before I mention the food, I must mention our server Touria Mazzouj. I only mention servers by name when they are exceptional. And Touria was fantastic! My husband is a big clown and he always attempts to joke around and have fun with servers. Some exhibit no sense of humor at all and others just seem disinterested in anything but the most basic serving duties (zero personality involved). Sure, it's a delicate balance. Nobody wants their server to dominate their table conversation. But a server can enhance or diminish the best or worst food experiences with warm personal interaction, a few laughs, and a desire for the customer to leave happy. Touria really took care of us from the moment we sat down. We chose a table away from the other guests (in view of the water, but in a back corner of the outside deck). It was our last night of the trip and we intended to linger and relax. Touria's unhovering attentiveness and bubbly personality literally caused us to stay longer. We even wound up taking a group picture with her because she was such a big part of the enjoyment of our meal. I told her we would be coming back to see her on future trips. And I hope she'll still be there (or at least let me know where she is if she leaves).
John had fried pickles and I had onion rings for starters. We liked both. On this occasion, we both had fried seafood platters, which were good. The grouper was especially good. I requested new potatoes and corn in place of fries and cole slaw. And to my great delight, I wound up with the regular basket of hush puppies, fries and cole slaw PLUS new potatoes and corn on the side. (There is no better way to make me happy than to bring me more sides than I'm expecting.) I was glad I didn't miss the cole slaw. It was delicious. The seafood was good, typical fried seafood for the area. Although it wasn't what I would describe as the absolute best, it was fresh and tasty. We will go back for the food and the atmosphere. And hopefully we'll get to see Touria again.
Gracie Rae is very casual and offers a great view. Most of the food is served in baskets. It's not fancy. There is sometimes live music (Friday and Saturday nights). And the key lime pie is outstanding!
Gracie Rae is located at: 1201 Beck Ave., Panama City, FL 32401