Helen Back-Okaloosa Island

3-Shells3 Shell-ey’s from Shelley

5-Shells5 Shell-ey’s from Jon

Here’s to you Jon (my vacationing tenant who recommended I give Helen Back a try).photo(22)The urge to try the Helen Back devilish pizza started with a vacationing tenant of mine.  I got a call from Jon prior to his arrival on Okaloosa Island.  He was planning a huge surprise 50th birthday party for his wife and rented many of our condos (way to go Jon…you get the husband of the year award FO SHO!)  Jon had a bone to pick with me because Helen Back pizza was not on my “Shelley’s Favorites” list.  So I promised I would try it out.  I took my good friend Nit-Nat and we headed out for a girls night.  Awwww….ain’t she a cutie?photo(25)

So what’s this place like Natalie??  “Biker Bar” and “Military people” Natalie said.  Okay, that’s a good heads up.  Sounds fun, local, let’s go!  We pulled up and it’s a red building, fire colored neon lights around the edge, and a dirt parking lot. Nothing fancy, but it looked packed so it must be fun.photo(26)  Tons of Harley’s were outside the joint.  No biggy.  I like motorcycles and sometimes wish I was a biker chic.  We were headed to our table when we were stopped at the entry.  They had this weird cover charge.  We pay $10 each in cash and they give us “Helen Back Dollars” and we can spend them that night or that week. What? Why?  The kid doesn’t know.  We actually spend a lot time over beer and pizza figuring this one out.  Result??….we think the owner wants cash.

So it’s on the harbor overlooking the Brooks Bridge which was cool.  You can drive your boat right up to the deck outside, park it, and head in for some pizza or a drink.photo(24)  We chose to sit outdoors, but there is indoor seating too with a bar, many TV’s, and tables inside.  So the first table we walk by a lady loudly shouts, “She was a F’ng Who..r..”  Hmmm, okay. Nice.  Let me sit two tables down from her.

We sit and order drinks.  The menu is simple.  And of course I have to get the pizza, right?  It looks delicious with so many great toppings and cheese.  Many people are smoking around us.  Not fun if you’re not smoking as well.  But, okay, onto the pizza.  So….it….was…. just good. Not amazing, and not the best, and not “I will come back I love you so much pizza”.  It was just good.photo(23)  Maybe it was because mine was a small and all of the toppings and sauce were in the middle? Dunno.  Not enough sauce, nothing amazing.  And they totally got Natalie’s order wrong and didn’t offer to take it back and fix it for her.  They said “Oh, we’ll take the two .47 cent toppings we got wrong off of your bill”.  Gee, thanks!

A guy behind us kept saying, “I’m so f..’ng this and so f…’ng happy, I just got out of prison”. No joke.  A biker started his Harley.  Revved it about 60 times. Okay dude, we got it. You own a bike and you are a bad ass.  Check.  Meanwhile I can’t hear Natalie and exhaust is wavering in the wind.  Oh did I mention this is after we got picked up by some goofball?

So listen, my military cousin loves it and I am sure some of my tenants like Jon love it for many reasons.  Jon, feel free to leave a comment ;)  But for me, there are too many amazing restaurants to try in our area and biker bars  just aren’t my thang.  But hey, it might be yours!  So if it is, go for it!!! I just gave you a good rendition of Helen Back pizza in my opinion.  So next time, I might try Clemenza’s, a more tame Italian restaurant down the street.

What do you think?



  1. First let me qualify my response with I am not certain we have ever made it to sunset at Helen Back as we usally make the Happy Hour/Super Happy Hour after we run out of “adult beverages” on the beach. I did see an article that they were just recognized as the best pizza on emerald coast, so I am not alone on my review :-) As for biker night, I have to admit that we have never made it although now I know why!!! What I can say is when it comes to pizza, I highly recommend the LARGE top line minus anchovies. We had a group of 28 and called ahead for tables and they were very accomodating. I think next trip to the Island, we will just have to invite you to one of our Helen Back outings so we can show the “locals” the ropes on Helen Back!!BTW we had a great time and all the condo’s we rented from you guys were awesome. We had a special week with family and friends that we will remember for a lifetime

    • Jon, you are hilarious! Thank you for the witty 5-Shell recommendation. I can’t wait to hear what other’s think.
      We’ll have “The Battle of the Shells” for Helen Back. Thanks again for YOUR opinion. That’s what this blog is all about. I am
      so glad you had such memories at our condos. We hope to have you again soon!!

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