A small dining spot called The Feast had wonderful reviews, so we were a little surprised to find it located in a strip mall. There were a few outside tables, but we chose to eat inside as the open air view was of the parking lot. Local artwork on the walls was available for purchase and many of them were of local establishments on the water.
The menu was quite extensive. I decided on a Fried Green Tomato BLT on a croissant with onion rings and baked beans. It was marvelous! I love fried green tomatoes, but have never had them on a BLT before. The bacon was crisp and it had a sauce with a little kick. Having it all on a croissant was an added feature. The onion rings were crunchy and delicious, but I have to mention the baked beans. They were the tastiest I have ever eaten! They were several types of beans, almost like Creole beans, but whatever they did to them gave them such tempting flavor. I would return to The Feast for the beans, alone. Barb ordered a burger, fries, and coleslaw which she said were wonderful, too. True Nosh or Truly Nauseous? A true nosh.
While in Florida, Barb and I enjoyed a visit from another close friend, Kathy. Back in the day, the three of us taught seventh graders in rooms next to each other. It created a lasting bond. One night we chose to eat at The Beach House. We snagged a table right on the beach and basked in the warmth as day turned to evening.
After some serious catching up (and a margarita) I decided to try two appetizers instead of an entrée. The first was Tots and Pearls. It consisted of Gourmet Tater Tots wrapped with house cured Norwegian Smoked Salmon, Sturgeon Caviar, and Crème Fraiche. Ordinarily I never would order tater tots, but I thought it sounded interesting. And it was. Beautifully presented, the small orbs of deliciousness, were sitting up invitingly. The firmness of the smoked salmon blended well with the slightly salty taste of the caviar. Velvety crème fraiche offered a contrasting texture as I bit into the smooth potato center. This tempting delight was certainly not my usual fare. The other appetizer I ordered was sliced Ahi tuna with pickled ginger and wasabi. This was wonderful as well. However, I knew I liked tuna, so it wasn’t a surprise like the Tots and Pearls. True Nosh or Truly Nauseous? Definitely a true nosh.
Even though it might be an interesting name, I’m not reviewing a place called Odds and Ends. I just wanted to show you three more pictures of delicacies that we tried in Florida. A delightful cup of steaming cappuccino was presented at the charming little French restaurant, the Bay Café. We sat outside right on the water and also had a fantastic meal.
Another time we tried Pepito’s Mexican Restaurant and I ordered a large margarita. I never dreamed it would be so gigantic! (Of course I drank it with no trouble.) The food was wonderful, but it’s the margarita that I’ll never forget.
Unbelievably, we dragged ourselves away from eating occasionally and did some shopping. There was an excellent shopping center there called Destin Commons and we enjoyed the different stores. Somehow we found ourselves at the Godiva store. (I wonder how that happened?) There were many flavors to select from and we chose well. Yummy!
Probably the best place Barb and I tried this year was Graffiti and Funky Blues Shack. It was tucked a bit back from the main road and between some shops, so it could be easily missed if you weren’t looking for it. We walked into the huge bar side first. It was pretty empty except for the band setting up for later. There were two separate bars and forty-three kinds of tap beer were offered. We enjoyed reading the names and hearing the descriptions of many of the brews. We both tried a chocolate beer. Yummy, but very filling.
After our good experience in the bar, we were hoping the dining room would meet the high expectations we now had for it. We were not disappointed. The artwork was cool – dare I say funky? Our waiter was friendly and other patrons seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Now to the food. Barb ordered the cedar planked salmon and said it was the best she’d ever eaten. I ordered the shrimp and scallop low country. The bread and oil served with garlic and herbs before the entrée was exceptional. When my meal arrived, I was a little disappointed that it was all served together in a bowl. I guess that I was expecting the grits to be on the side. One bite, though, and I was hooked. The blend of textures and flavors was a party in my mouth. I’ve thought about that meal on several occasions since returning home. It’s probably a good thing that I don’t live closer to this establishment or I would be a weekly customer.
Barb and I dined at Cuvee Bistro as we have the other two years we’ve been in the area. We weren’t disappointed. We started off with drinks. Barb had a martini that was served in a metal “martini glass.” I hadn’t made up my mind yet, but seeing hers, I wanted a drink that was served the same way. I choice a Cosmo and was delighted.
The bar was busy as there was a happy hour with half price drinks and appetizers if you stayed in the bar. Barb and I did our part to boost the Florida economy. The bartenders were bustling, but still had time to be friendly.
We each ordered an appetizer which was filling enough for the whole meal. I had the fried green tomatoes which came with warm brie, sautéed crawfish tails, hot sauce, and lemon butter sauce. Barb had the homemade bison sausage flatbread pizza with pickled jalapenos. We were impressed with the heat in each dish and the price. Delicious.
Ordinarily tea is not my beverage of choice, but in the atmosphere of this charming cottage, I delighted in it’s comforting flavor . The tempting and delicious food that accompanied the tea may have had something to do with it.
Upon entering the dining area we chose our teacups and went to a reserved table. A large selection of hats were available for the occasion. I chose a small pink bonnet that may have been in style in the forties or fifties. I just pictured Aunt Bee wearing it on the Andy Griffith Show and it made me smile.
I ordered the apricot tea and received a whole pot of it cradled in a cozy along with sugar cubes and lemon. A small slice of quiche accompanied a cup of cream of asparagus soup with cheese straws. The highlight was yet to come. A three tiered platter of sweets and savories including scones with lemon curd, ended the experience in a most pleasant way. I had to take some of the delicacies home. What a rare treat!
Barb and I tried a new place in a great location called Nauti Girls. It was right on the bay under the bridge between Okaloosa Island and Fort Walton Beach. The day was beautiful, so we sat outside on the wraparound deck. I ordered a cup of gumbo and one of their specialties – a baked potato. There was quite a wait for the food, which was unfortunate as the place didn’t seem very busy. Once served, the meal was fine, but certainly not exceptional. People must come here for the view as there are many places in the area with much better food. Was it truly nauseous? Not at all. A true nosh? Another negative. Maybe it’s the place to enjoy a cold drink and enjoy the view!
Cathy, a good friend of ours, and her husband spend three months in Destin each year. We always meet up with her a couple times while we’re here. This year Barb, Cathy and I went to Miller’s Ale House in Destin for lunch. It’s a large spot with eating areas inside and out. Being an Ale House there were lots of beers on tap. Barb and I each ordered a Shock Top. For entrees, Barb had the Blackened Chicken Key Lime Salad, which she said was similar to Applebee’s Santa Fe Chicken Salad. She was happy with it. Cathy chose Fish Tacos – three flour tortillas stuffed with grilled Mahi Mahi and topped with Pico de Gallo, lettuce, Jack and cheddar cheeses, and chipotle-cilantro sauce. Rice and beans were served on the side. Cathy enjoyed it. I ordered it last year and knew it was delicious.
I ordered a burger with cheddar cheese, fried onions, and jalapenos. It also came with lettuce, tomato, pickle, and fries. I substituted the fries for sweet potato fries which came with a cinnamon and honey dipping sauce. I really love fish, but after having it so many days, it was great to have a burger. It really hit the spot. The only down note was the cinnamon and honey dipping sauce. It was just a little too sweet for me. All in all – a great place.
I plan to do a few simple food reviews while in Florida. I want to give Nell plenty of new eating experiences for the next Noshes Up North book.
One of the first places we went to eat was The Marina Café in Destin. It opened at 5:00 and when we arrived, the parking lot was almost full and people were waiting outside the door. Lots of Early Bird Specials make for a busy restaurant! The first thing we noticed walking in was the wall of windows in both the bar and dining room. We sat at a table with a beautiful view in the bar area. I ordered a Tequila Mockingbird just because I loved the name. We enjoyed sushi appetizers – Crunchy Tuna and Crunchy Shrimp. Tempura added the crunch. Very tasty.
We soon went into the dining room and enjoyed the same gorgeous view. Crusty rolls were set before us with herb infused oil for dipping. We both ordered the pan seared Andouille encrusted redfish with cayenne butter, chive remoulade, and seasonal vegetables. The fish melted in my mouth with the cayenne giving it a good kick. We decided this place is a keeper.