When I travel to my hometown of Pensacola for Christmas, I have at least two must-dos: shopping at Target and eating a grouper sandwich. This year, I got to do both in one glorious, hungover day.
Last year, I sampled the local favorite fish at two spots: a grilled grouper sandwich with fried green tomatoes at Fish House and a more downhome cornmeal-fried version at Marina Oyster Barn. Both were distinctly delicious. Since then, my mom has done some crucial grouper sandwich research and discovered what she thinks is Pensacola's best, at Peg Leg Pete's on Pensacola Beach.
After one bite, I agreed that this must be Pensacola's greatest grouper sandwich. Don't let the American cheese throw you; these people know what they are doing. First, the soft Kaiser roll is, in my opinion, the perfect vehicle for the large-flake fish. The grouper itself was ocean-fresh, perfectly cooked, and ideally coated in not-too-greasy golden batter.
Sometimes, frying fish can dry it out or strip the flavor, but here, it only made it better, moister. Though I was skeptical at first of the cheese, it was a noncombative and nicely complementary addition both in texture and flavor.
Don't even get me started on the French fries. I can normally resist eating all the fries on my plate, but the seasoned salt, not to mention the hangover, made these irresistible. If only I'd been able to stomach a Bushwacker.