Panama City Florida food boat at Shell Island serves barbecue, snoballs

PANAMA CITY — When the sun is shining, Back Porch BBQ food boat is on the water, bringing brisket, pulled pork and snowballs to hungry customers on Shell Island.

“I just go to Shell Island and stay in St. Andrew Bay,” said Carol McAdam, who owns Back Porch BBQ floating food boat and the companion concession trailer with her husband, Michael McAdam. “As long as the weather’s permitting, we’re out.”

Michael added, “If we’re not out, we’re cooking.”

Back Porch BBQ operates the waterways in a Sun Tracker 32-foot pontoon houseboat turned food boat, where the sleeper has been replaced with a counter and red cabinets accented with a red Hamilton Beach microwave. 

“Red attracts, makes you hungry,” Carol said.

Across the aisle is a fridge and freezer, and there’s a steam table. The icing is the New Orleans Style Shaved Ice Machine that makes the base for 21 snowball flavors — from banana to wedding cake.

The Back Porch BBQ food boat often serves barbecue to other boats in St. Andrew Bay that pull up to its drive-thru window before it even reaches Shell Island.

“I like sour apple; he’s a cherry,” Carol said. “I have a little piece of sour candy I put on the top of the snowcones. If I run out of the candy and someone gets to the bottom and doesn’t see it and asks, I know they’ve been here before. And we’re starting to sell ice cream, just got a shipment. I try to make them all happy; we have a great time out here. I love everybody.”

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