While a lot of new restaurants are being built around Ft. Walton and even a few in Crestview, they're mostly barbecuey, meaty fare. Smokey Bones, Logan's Roadhouse, Coach-N-Four, Backyard Burgers. Apparently analyses of the demographic here reveal a simple love for burgers and steaks. I've actually seen people dress up to go to these places.
For those with more epicurian flair, there are a few other choices, but it always seems they're a big drive away.
Destin has a new Olive Garden, which is good. It was almost a Carrabbas though.
The Carrabbas in Pensacola--like any other Carrabbas I've seen--fills up fast after they open. They must make so much money: they cook half their stuff over fire (low energy) and employ great cost-cutting measures such as making you eat in the dark (they call this "atmosphere").
They're great about service though. There was a slight mix up at dinner regarding our salads and soups and the manager came out and offerred free desserts to all of us--and their desserts are excellent.
Just heard a song by Angels and Airwaves that was pretty good. Founded by one of the Blink 182 guys apparently.