Beach Monkey Review

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Sandstomper
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Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:47 am

Just returned from 9 phenomenal days in Paradise. We had some friends in from Atlanta who routinely dine at some of Atlanta's finer establishments. After drinks at The Pier, they were curious about The Beach Monkey, so we decided to go for dinner. I have only had oysters at the bar, which were very good, so I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

Well, we got the best! Our friends ordered the grouper and mashed potatoes and salad. I had the oyster/shrimp po boy (they were very willing to provide the combo, where others have not) and my wife ordered a shrimp salad. All entrees were fantastic. Very pleasant and prompt service.

We had another friend visit on Sat. night, and our friends were eager to introduce him to TBM, so we did an encore. The wait was significantly longer than our Fri. night experience, however, we could have gotten there earlier, so I can't fault the restaurant. I changed my order to the mahi-mahi sandwich, (blackended to perfection) and our friends remainded with their previous night's order. Our other visiting friend ordered the all you can eat crab legs. First order was prompt, however, his re-order was very slow. The restaurant was going through the closing ritual, when his order finally arrived. We had all finished, so he declined the order, which they insisted he keep as a to go, and they adjusted the bill to a single order.

The men's room was clean, the women reported that the women's room still uses the shower curtain.

Overall, we had an excellent experience at a great value.

I hope that others have had an improved experience.
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terbear427
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Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:33 am

Long-time follower of this forum, and have enjoyed several vacations on this beautiful island since finding it on an "escape" trip from Destin several years ago. We are back again for a shorter-than-desired 5 days, but I was having severe Navarre Beach withdrawals and we'll take what we can get!

I decided to register to let you all know my husband & I had a very nice evening at the Beach Monkey Saturday evening, 7/16.

My husband had their special, Mahi Mahi, blackened and was very satisfied with it. I had the grilled shrimp and it was amazing, very flavorful, with just the right spicing. Our appetizer, the Smoked Tuna Dip, a fave of ours whenever we visit Florida, was also very good and much better than we had last night at a restaurant on Okaloosa Island.

I did not visit the bathrooms, because I did not want to find anything to ruin our otherwise very pleasant experience :wink: My husband didn't report any issues with the restrooms, but of course, he used the Mens Room (I hope!)

We did wait for about 40 minutes, but it was raining, it was a Saturday night, and we didn't mind - hey, we're on vacation with all the time in the world!

All in all, we were happy we got to experience the new Beach Monkey, and the food was better than we remember under the Cocodrie's name. Now, if our remaining days can be rain-free (at least the all-day rains like our first 2 days), our vacation will be terrific! Of course, a wet Navarre Beach is better than a hot, humid Indiana any day :D
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AngelGirl
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Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:03 pm

terbear427 wrote: Of course, a wet Navarre Beach is better than a hot, humid Indiana any day :D
Great report and fun to read ~ glad you finally registered and began posting! Don't be a stranger! ;-)

Blessings,
A.G.
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RosalynnW
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Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:04 pm

I live in Indiana, Noblesville to be exact and I'm looking forward to my first visit to Navarre Beach. The weather here is awful and I wish I was on the beach right now. I wouldn't mind the rain either.
Rosalynn - Where can I find coupons for Navarre restaurants & attractions
navarrelover
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Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:16 am

We've visited Navarre 8 times in the last 18 months. We fell in love the first time we saw it. We love it BECAUSE there isn't a lot of infrastructure on the beach. That said, I like having Juana's AND Beach Monkey close at hand and really wanted to like Beach Monkey so we checked it out on Friday, July 29.
We were waiting to check in and stopped in for lunch around 12:30. There was a large group of maybe 12 and a couple of tables of 2 and 3...not crowded by any means.
I loved the decor. It's a "beach bar" and everything fit. It's not fancy and it's perfect for dropping in for a sandwich after a day on the beach, still wearing your swimsuit. :). I even checked out the infamous "shower curtained covered" bathroom and found it neat and clean and the curtains didn't bother me at all.
I have to say that with atmosphere, you have to have service and food to back it up. We weren't terribly hungry so ordered a dozen oysters each and 1/2 lb of peel and eat shrimp. At $10 a dozen and $7 for 1/2 of shrimp...the prices were standard but not a deal by any means.
I wanted a Po Boy or sandwich but at $11....that was too much for a Po Boy and fries for lunch.
We also ordered a beer each. The waitress was friendly and our beer arrived promptly. Twenty minutes later, we wondered if they were waiting on the oyster boat to come in....The waitress came by around this time to tell us that the oysters would be out in a moment but they were out of peel and eat shrimp. At this time, we weren't about to order anything else to go with our oysters for fear of another 20 minute wait. The oysters were small but sometimes they are and we enjoyed them.
There was nothing on the menu that stood out...I think they should embrace "beach bar" and go with it. $9 for a cheeseburger and $11 for sandwich combos at lunch is way too much for a paper covered table and shower curtained bath room, in my humble opinion. And, for a beach bar, to be out of SHRIMP on a Friday which I would think is a big day heading into a big weekend for beach businesses in July....that's inexcusable.
My advice would be to limit the menu and lower prices.
I'll try again....but at the current prices and menu selection...I would only try it for the convenience factor.
Donna
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DMRHS
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Mon Oct 17, 2011 3:55 pm

My husband & I ate at the Beach Monkey on Oct. 7. It was a Friday night, but we were there early (around 5pm) and we sat outside, so there was no wait at all. As a matter of fact, there were only 6 other people sitting outside.

Our server was quick, pleasant, and the made the visit quite enjoyable. My husband has the grilled redfish with mixed vegetables & rice and claimed it was very, very good - cooked perfectly & reminded him of mahi mahi. I had the fish taco (which is more of a fish roll-up/wrap - but I appreciated that because it made it easier/less messy to eat), which was delicious. I also had the VooDoo Juice, which was mighty tasty. :D

I would definitely go back again. I bet it's a fun place a little later in the evening!
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PensacolaKid
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Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:33 am

DMRHS,

Thank you for the pleasant review. Sounds like perhaps some of the issues they had a while back, may have been rectified. I would like to see all the restaurants compete to be the very best.....everyone wins doing that.
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jennjeff1
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Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:38 am

On 13 August 2011 we had the worst dining experience ever at Beach Monkey, including shards of glass in our mashed potatoes, slow service on a slow night, the check was screwed up and we were double billed for drinks, and totally offended by the "Bush attacked us on 9/11" truther comments by the bartender. When we confronted the owner and gave her our local address for a refund, she said she would refund us and said she ran a pro-military establishment. It's been over 8 months of waiting now and no refund, and the last correspondence indicated the owners are no longer interested in sending a refund. We have our e-mail conversations in writing and will be filing them with the BBB and Chamber of Commerce in the coming days. Beach Monkey has the best location on Navarre Beach but it is wasted on poor service. Other locals and snowbirds we have talked to have had similar comments about the owners and service lacking when we relay our more than unpleasent expereince at Beach Monkey. We do not receommend Beach Monkey to visitors and send them to any of the other fine establishments in the local area.

~Jeff and Jenny
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PensacolaKid
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Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:10 pm

JennJeff,

I had the same promise from the General Manager of Johnny Huston's just down on 98. Had a horrible experience with the dingbat Manager that evening and was handed off to the General Manager, with whom I spoke, AFTER I had already returned to Houston. He promised to send a gift certificate to bring us back. Never saw it and frankly, no longer really care because I won't patronize the place any longer. Our waitress that evening....wonderful but had her hands tied by management.

As for Beach Monkey....I have always felt that the first and second concepts of that building (going back to the 70's) were by far the best, with the first being the absolute best....Liolio's. So much potential for the right concept and the right owner's. I have patronized The Beach Monkey approximately 4 times over the past 4 years. I am not a fan but I have heard some good things about it, albeit, sparingly and spaced out. It appears there is absolutely no consistency with the establishment.
SouthernBreeze
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Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:03 am

I need to go back and check but i thought that i saw they were for sale again.
SouthernBreeze
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Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:27 am

Yep, it is on the market for sale.
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PensacolaKid
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Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:30 am

Thanks for the information SouthernBreeze. That does not surprise me in the least. When they opened under the name Beach Monkey and with the painting concept they had, which looked to me like they were putting band-aids on bullet wounds...it just did not look or sound like a solid concept. Then mostly bad reviews came in. The reviews in and of themselves were bad enough but when you don't address and correct the bad things, that is even worse.

I hope the guy makes some money back and I hope a legitimate buyer/owner comes in and makes this property what I feel it is destined to be, a place that will stand for decades and be enjoyed by hundreds of thousands.

Maybe it is just me but when you have a restaurant on the beach (so to speak) and you don't have a seafood specialty or something that you are known for...like a shrimp or oyster bar or Gumbo or something of that nature, well...it just strikes me a bit strange. I could actually say the same thing about Juana's main menu. Although good and seemingly consistent, it is generally bar type of food with nothing that really stands out that people would drive for miles to enjoy. Now sunsets and activity and fun....hard to compete with it, although the Pier Bar is doing an outstanding job.

I know back in the 70's when the Beach Monkey was, Liolio's they were famous for their broiled Flounder and Red Snapper and their JUMBO fried shrimp. Times were different then, I understand that but they had some of the best on the Panhandle. When the Holiday Inn was around they had a great little oyster/shrimp bar that had outstanding gumbo, oysters on the half shell, boiled shrimp in a boat and very cold beer. I can not remember what Barracuda's had but I know they had something that was associated with them.
SouthernBreeze
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Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:15 am

If I am remembering correctly, I believe Barracudas had a good muffaletta sandwich as well as decent seafood, salads and pasta along with the usual fried bar type food.
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PensacolaKid
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Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:30 am

That rings a bell, SB. I was thinking it was some type of sandwich and more specifically, I thought it was a grilled or fried Amberjack or Grouper Po-Boy? The ol'd brain does not have the elephant capacity it once did!! :?
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EastBayBabe
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Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:31 am

Yup, loved the muffaletta's from Barracuda's! Have never found another one like it. :(

Now, as to the Beach Monkey .... I sure hope someone buys that place and makes it the best ever. There is so much potential for that location, it's just a shame that they didn't try to go the extra steps to make it stand out. First off, I think "beach monkey" is a goofy name. Second, with their "bikers on the beach" Sundays, they basically ruined it for anyone other than bikers to stop in there. Sure, they attracted a lot of business with the bikers, but sometimes people are spooked by their appearance.

P'Kid - I think it's time for you to step up to the plate .... and make the best location on the beach, the best location to gather and eat! :wink:
May your troubles be less, and your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door.
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