30A Prime Interview with ‘Eat My Pasty’ in Panama City Beach
One of my favorite things to do is seek out unique local restaurants and give them a try. The Yelp app is my tool of choice for finding hidden gems and on a hot summer day not too long I ago, I used it to find “Eat My Pasty“. The name caught my attention and their food photographs looked amazing. A British Pub in Panama City Beach definitely met the “unique restaurant” criteria so my fiancé and I headed over to put our UK cravings to rest. I ordered a Cornish Pasty, which is filled with steak and potatoes and Bradley had the Fish N Chips. Both of our dishes were fabulous so we decided to try dessert. We split an Apple Strudel Pasty and waddled out of the pub knowing we had found a culinary treasure just a short drive from the 30A corridor.
My next step was clear… I had to get an interview setup with someone at Eat My Pasty so I did a little research. I discovered that Jeff Temperley is Eat My Pasty’s founding owner so I reached out to him and got it scheduled. As I pulled up to the restaurant, which is located just off of Highway 79 and Front Beach Road, I saw Jeff waiting to greet me. His friendly hello and strong British accent told me this would be a fun morning. Within a few minutes, I concluded that Jeff is a sweet and hilarious man who has a passion for delicious cuisine.
How ‘Eat My Pasty’ Came to Be
Naturally, one of the first things I wanted to know was how Jeff got from England to Florida… It turns out that he and his wife moved to the Emerald Coast because they had American military friends that were stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base and they were looking for a change of scenery. If you’re going to move to a new Country, it makes sense to go where you know people and where the weather is nice.
However, it didn’t take long for them to realize how much they missed British cuisine. I can relate to this on a much smaller scale being from Illinois and missing Chicago pizza. It’s human to miss things from where you originally grew up. Unlike me, however, Jeff decided to do something about his longing for authentic English food so he set out to bring a taste of the UK to Panama City Beach, Florida.
Like any new adventure, there are always many roadblocks and obstacles that stand in the way of success. Jeff didn’t go to culinary school so he had to teach himself how to cook like a pro. Slowly but surely, he learned how to make authentic English Pasty and began selling them at local 30A Farmers Markets. Long lines often wrapped around their stand as people could not get enough of their pasty and it soon became apparent folks loved what they were selling. Clearly, there was enough demand to justify taking their hobby business to the next level and that’s how ‘Eay My Pasty‘ was born.
From 30A Farmers Markets to Brick and Mortar – Eat My Pasty Begins
The pasty would always be the cornerstone of the business, however, Jeff realized he needed to add other menu items. Fish and Chips were a natural fit and he also decided to master the art of the burger. He developed his unique recipes by studying master chefs and taking ideas from all of them. When you bite into his burgers or his Fish N Chips or anything on the menu you will conclude that his strategy worked incredibly well!
People come from all over to enjoy menu items such as the “Jack the Ripper” burger and “Spicy Rooster” blackened chicken sandwich. There’s also the “Winston Churchill” burger which is one of my personal favorites! It’s incredibly juicy and has a spicy Chipotle sauce with melty cheese for days. The “Winston Churchill” is in my top 5 for best burgers of all time. No matter what you order, you can be sure it’s made with the freshest ingredients as that’s the only way Jeff cooks. He uses the best of the best ingredients and they’re always fresh, never frozen. Jeff takes extreme pride in what his restaurant brings to the table stressing to us that he will not let “rubbish” end up on your plate.
History of the Pasty
If you’re like me and are not a native Brit, chances are good you have no idea what a Pasty is actually all about. Here’s a brief history of the pasty just for you….
The correct English pronunciation of pasty is “Past-E” or ‘Past’ with an ‘E’ on the end. Maybe it’s just my midwestern accent but I had been pronouncing them as “Paaasties” with a long “A”. Oh well, I guess you really do learn something new every day.
Jeff explained that 1207 A.D. was when the first known pasty was created. However, recently archeologists uncovered a half-eaten pasty that dated back much further than 1207 A.D. The fact is that the pasty dates back a long, long time ago.
In its most pure form, the pasty is a crispy pastry shell with savory or sweet fillings. There are many different variations of the pasty. Some of my personal favorites include but are not limited to… Chicken Pot Pie, Jamaican Beef Curry, and the White Chocolate Cherry. Yum!
The Cornish Pasty (steak and potatoes) will always be a popular choice among patrons. There’s a myth about the Cornish that goes something like this… The Devil was scared to cross the Tamar river because he didn’t want the Cornish people to put him into a pasty. If he crossed the river he knew that they would have made a pasty out of him and he would be eaten in the most scrumptious way possible. Bad for the devil, but good for our guts.
The Pasty has long been a UK staple food for the everyday person and it’s easy to understand why once you’ve had one. For those that have never eaten a pasty, it’s time you head over to Eat My Pasty in Panama City Beach and have your taste buds blown!
Eat My Pasty is branching out as they recently purchased a food truck and customized it with a UK style theme. You’ll now find them serving their amazing food on the go in addition to at their Panama City Beach restaurant! You’ll find their food truck location schedule on their Facebook page here… Eat My Pasty Facebook
If you’re hosting a large event and need a great food option give them a call at… (850) 851-9050
We want to say a Huge Thank You to Jeff for taking the time to share his story with the 30A Prime team! Also, great work Whitney Holmes on the video portion of our Eat My Pasty interview which you can watch below…