You Gonna Eat All That?

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Location: Virginia, United States

(Biscuit Girl)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Vacation Wrap up - Part One - The Food

How can two weeks go by so fast? But at least we had fun, relaxed, tried new things and ate some great fresh seafood. This first post will cover the food. Come back later this week to hear about Sophie's first outing in the kayak, a Tiki Bar and our first venture with Salsa dancing at the OM Bar and Chill Lounge (the phrase What happens there, stays there should be enough to peak your interest in that story).

The condo we rented was right on the beach. We were serenaded all day and lulled to sleep with it at night with the sound of the ocean. And the weather couldn't have been better. Sunny, low 80's during the day and mid 60's at night.

We only cooked dinner twice in the condo. Jim bought some Cobia fillets and a pound of shrimp from Ocean's Seafood. He sauteed the shrimp in a bunch of garlic and served it as an appetizer. While we happily munched in that, he took the shrimp shells and boiled them down to make a shrimp stock for the Cobia. He added some garlic and saffron for additional flavor. It was all wonderful and the shrimp had to be the freshest I've eaten in ages. It was so good that we went back to Ocean's Seafood a few days later and bought 2 pounds for another home cooked dinner. Before dinner I made a spinach artichoke dip for us to munch on while Jim cooked. The shrimp was served with rosemary baby potatoes, Brussels sprouts and fresh rosemary focaccia.

We wanted to cook in more but there were too may good places we also wanted to eat at while we were in town. One of the first places we went to was JB's Fish Camp and was I a happy camper when I discovered they had rock shrimp! I loves me some rock shrimp steamed with some drawn butter. They taste just like lobster. We went back one night midway through the trip and shared a pound of them and a salad for dinner. Yum, yum!

Other restaurants of note that we went to were Romesco's. We took Jim's parents there and shared appetizers of artichoke hearts, peppers stuffed with prosciutto and cheese, and garlic shrimp. For our entree's, Jim chose a rosemary ham paninni while the rest of us ordered little pizzas. It was all very good. If we'd remembered the camera, you'd see for yourself.

Another must go to place is Scott's Bluewater Grille.Each month they feature a country or region for their specials. The May region was Indonesia. Jim ordered a squid dish from the specials menu which was "very, very hot" according to our server. But we're used to eating very hot food so Jim wasn't too concerned about the heat. The squid was served in 1/4 inch thick, 2 inch long planks onto top of a saffron coconut rice and topped with a spicy red sauce that looked like it had a lot of Sambal Oelek in it. Yes it was spicy but nothing we couldn't handle. I ordered scallops served over coconut rice. They were so fresh, so tender and sweet and cooked to perfection.

On our last night in town we went to Spanish River Grille, another favorite place. From the neon bull on the wall over the bar to the warm cozy colors on the wall to the tasty tasty food, it's a must go-to place each time we're down there. And of all the places we go to in New Smyrna Beach, it's the one place that I have to have dessert. Their Chocolate bread pudding (with caramel ice cream) is decadently delicious. But before I get ahead of myself, we shared a Caesar salad and ordered the whole Hogfish Snapper served over saffron rice (for Jim) and a bowl of steamed mussels and a side of fried yucca (for me). When they brought out Jim's dish, the server said, "Meet Bob" as she set the plate in front of Jim. Haha! Bob, meet Jim......Jim, eat Bob. The hogfish was tender flaky and moist. My mussels were plump and tasty. And because I only had the appetizer order of mussels, I had room for dessert. I looked at them menu knowing what I wanted but I just had to be sure they didn't sneak something even better on the menu. Nope. Bread Pudding was still the best thing there. I let Jim have a few bites and he kept me from picking up the plate and licking it clean.

Then there is Blackbeard's. Raw oysters are what draws Jim here. I enjoy their salad bar and fish dishes. We had dinner one night and lunch one afternoon. The bar is DARK, cool and the kind of place you could sit in all day and drink beer. For dinner there, Jim started out with a dozen raw oysters. I won't touch them with a ten foot pole so I sat patiently and sipped on some wine while he devoured them. I ordered the Grouper Scampi with a baked potato . Jim got the Oysters Rockefeller (yes, more oysters). The grouper was about the best I'd had while down there. And I even tried one of the Oysters Rockefeller. It was ok but I happy to stick with my fish.

A favorite place for the in-laws is Norwood's. It's been around forever and Jim remembers going there before they got air conditioning. The old place used to have big screened windows and ceiling fans. Now it's more upscale, with quite the wine collection. We shared fried calamari as an appetizer and it was perfectly cooked, not a single chewy piece in the batch. For our entree's, Jim's mom got the grilled mahi mahi, his dad got the broiled seafood platter.Jim ordered the grilled Wahoo which was delicious. And I got crab stuffed red snapper. It wasn't as good as the other entrees, a big section of dark bloodline was left in the snapper giving a good bit of it an unpleasant taste. But there was plenty that was good so I didn't go hungry.
Other places of note were The Breaker's. A restaurant right on the beach off Flagler Ave. You can grab a seat inside and look out past the bar to the ocean or get a seat along the windows that look right out onto the beach. Among the best things on the menu are the hamburgers, the buffalo chicken sandwich, the buffalo wings, a Key Lime Mahi Mahi sandwich. Plenty of cold beers on tap or by the bottle help wash it all down.
Then there was Clancy's Cantina. We heard they did a good job with fresh seafood which they did. But the cheesy piano player wasn't my style. I think he only knew the first two lines of songs because that's about all he ever sang. I'd go back and sit at the bar for a drink but we have other places we prefer for dinner.

Next up: The OM Bar and Chill Lounge (where the salsa lessons took place and some other things that I can't deny since Jim took pictures), the Key Harvest Tiki Bar, Sophie sporting her new doggie life jacket and more.

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Blogger Freya said...

Looks like you had a wonderfully relaxing time with tonnes of great food! Can't wait to see part 2 (and Sophie in her new jacket!!).

1:54 AM  
Blogger Glenna said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time! So glad you enjoyed vacation and that you're home safe. The foods looks fabulous.

9:25 AM  
Blogger s'kat said...

What a lovely trip... it looks like you went crazy with all the fresh seafood!

2:41 PM  
Blogger Deborah Dowd said...

Wih food like that, and the great scenery, it must've been some vacation. Thanks for letting us get a glimpse of your fun, food and relaxation (jealous!)

8:31 PM  

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