When it’s my time to cash in my chips, I want my last meal to be at Billy’s Oyster Bar in Panama City Beach, Florida. I just returned from my second visit in about fifteen hours. I just could not control myself. This funky joint came highly recommended not for the ambiance, but for the food. The atmosphere is remarkably similar to my previous last meal location, Al’s Place (Al the Wop’s) – located in the Sacramento River town of Locke, California. Al’s has the most sinfully delicious (i.e. greasy) cheeseburger on earth. They also con visitors into giving up dollar bills so that the bartenders can stick them to the ceiling. At Billy’s, both the ceiling and walls are plastered with singles, but it looks likes the bills are there to stay. I spotted one with a 1987 date inscribed with permanent marker. If you find yourself east of the Mississippi, stop by Billy’s. The Select Steamed Florida Blue Crabs are damn good. The raw oysters are the best I’ve had, even in July, and the steamed shrimp are perfectly seasoned, hot and delicious. I did not want to stop eating!
So, west of the Mississippi…Al the Wop’s – east of the Mississippi…Billy’s Oyster Bar. It doesn’t have anything to do with this recipe, but it’s worth remembering.
Grilled Salmon with Bourbon Glaze
- 4 6 to 8 ounce salmon fillets skin removed
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup bourbon
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh gingerroot peeled and minced
- 1/3 cup orange juice preferably freshly-squeezed
- 1 lemon juice only
- Season salmon with pepper. Combine remaining ingredients. Place salmon in a glass or plastic container or large zip-lock bag. Reserve 1/2 cup of the marinade. Pour remaining marinade over salmon and refrigerate 2 to 4 hours, turning occasionally. Remove salmon from marinade (discard marinade). Pat fish down with paper towels and air dry in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Grill fish over white-hot coals until just cooked…a little rare in the center is perfect! Just before removing from the grill, brush with reserved marinade.