The sign on the door says, shirt and shoes required, written just below that the real policy is clear, flip flops and t-shirts preferred — that sums up the general atmosphere of newly opened Hurricane Grill and Wings on North 9th Avenue in Pensacola.
Housed in the former Jerry’s Cajun Cafe location, the Southern style architecture of the building with its sweeping porches and beach house style lend itself well to the new “beachy” decor of Hurricane. There are ample tables and chairs on the porches outside for dining al fresco.
Out and About had a chance to talk to Assistant General Manager, Jimmy Blough about the new location, the food and what is next for the business.
O&A: When did you open and how has business been so far?
BLOUGH: We have been open a week and a half, and so far it has been great. The lunch crowd is really packing in.
O&A: Why Pensacola for a new location?
BLOUGH: The demographics were good. The corporation also owns and manages Rotolos restaurants which have opened in Destin, Orange Beach and Gulf Breeze. We have another Hurricane that just opened in Orange Beach,AL and next, Niceville, FL.Our goal is 10 new locations in 5 years.
This is Hurricane Grill and Wings fifty second opening in the franchises history. Started in West Palm Beach, FL the majority of locations are in South Florida. The farthest north is Minnetonka, MN, farthest west Surprise, AZ. Their first location nearby was opened in Orange Beach, AL.
They have a fun Instagram contest going on at the moment, you take your picture with “The Most Interesting Man in the World” Dos Equis cutout, then upload it on Instagram @hurricanewings #mostinterestingguest to win a prize.
Be sure to sign up for the Flavor Rewards card which gives you 1 point for every $1 you spend. You get double rewards points when you sign up and on Monday nights. Gift cards are also available.
They provide live music every Friday and Saturday night. Also, for your viewing pleasure you will be happy to hear there are TV’s positioned throughout the restaurant so that all your favorite sports and TV shows are viewable.
At 5:00 p.m. on Friday nights, if you are brave enough, you can compete in a wing eating contest. You get one wing with the hottest sauce they have, you have to wait one minute and whoever can eat the other nine the fastest wins. You can only have water to cool you off.
Their drinks and hot sauces are rated category 1 through 5, 1 being the mildest weakest and 5 being the strongest or hottest.
Jacob and I tried a wide variety of items to get a sense of what they have to offer. Our waitress Emily was knowledgeable and eager to help us make decisions. The food came out quickly and was hot a fresh.
We started with some cocktails, Hurricane Bumpy and White Sand Sangria. Their cocktails are ranked by the same categories as the hotness of their sauces, category one represents a weaker drink, and category five is the strongest. They were both refreshing tasting and the presentation was fresh and colorful.
Next we ordered the Wood Smoked Fish Dip with Mahi-Mahi & Wahoo. It is a dip served with more than the normal crackers, you get fresh tortilla chips, sliced jalapenos, diced onion and tomato. It was flavorful and with the added veggies it could be jazzed up to individual tastes.
We tried the Conch Fritters and chose the Coco Loco sauce as well as the Rasberry Ice sauce. We liked the fritters and the sauces. At Hurricane you can chose from over 30 sauces.
The boneless wing appetizer is worth getting especially when kids are present, they will relate to a smaller boneless wing that can be eaten by little hands.
Hurricane’s World-Famous Garlic & Parmesan Fries are savory and buttery. You will need a lot of napkins to eat this appetizer.
Jacob had the Santa Fe Churrasco, it is an 8 oz. citrus-marinated steak, topped with sweet mesquite, fresh tomatoes, red onions and served with their full-flavored salsa. It was good and cooked just right. His preference is to substitute the Coco Loco sauce and suggested it was cooked on versus placed on top after being cooked.
For the husband, I ordered the 10-piece Jumbo Wings platter with sweet potato fries and Thai slaw. I ordered the Sweet Red Chili Sauce and the Thai Ginger and Garlic Glaze. He really like the wings that were dipped in the sauce after being cooked.
Overall, Hurricane Grill and Wings is worth going to. They have a fun local flavor and good food.