WIAW: Additional Florida Edition
Oo bet that title confused you just a little bit, huh? Stay quick on your feet folks, because this post will be speedy. I miss blogging so much and have not felt at all satisfied with what I have had time to post which is not much. I had a nice chat with my girl Meg about this yesterday – I also miss reading and commenting on all of YOUR wonderful blogs. But it also doesn’t do me any good to place stress on myself and try to make time for everything, because then what I do end up doing will suffer. I would rather do a few things to my best ability, and right now my top priorities are school and (alas, as much as I hate to say it) work. Hey, I gotta pay the restaurant bills. I have so much more than just FL vacation food recaps to share – there’s a lot of feelings associated with that food and the vacation and my birthday. I hope I will get to go deeper into that soon.
I love that stores like Wal-Mart, Target, and CVS (yes CVS) sell vino in Florida. CT needs to get with it. I also picked up a pair of dumbbells for my sister, mom, and I to use during condo workouts any time we are staying there. A long term investment!
My dad picked out a lovely yellow Publix cake for me with their pink buttercream frosting. I obviously chose a slice with a huge flower (icing lover here) for my first night of vacation! Anyone who has read my FL recaps before knows Publix cake is always involved, and anyone who’s had this cake knows their bakery makes the best cake ever and I don’t care where I get married, but Publix WILL make my wedding cake, even if it has to be shipped there. PUBLIX PLEASE COME TO NEW ENGLAND.
We went to see a MLB spring training game between the Miami Marlins and the Washington Nationals at the Roger Dean Stadium! My sis and I split a ballpark brew – I picked out a Goose Island amber ale. Quite refreshing and the 25% or so that I sipped was the perfect amount of beer for me!
I had the pleasure of enjoying an incredible, fabulous, unforgettable dinner at a very fancy restaurant in West Palm Beach called Top of the Point. My dad’s old boss is a member of the Phillips Point Club and was able to get us in for a meal with a grand view, grand tastes, and grand WINE. Their wine selection is incredible and my dad’s old boss is quite an expert so I was so excited to learn from him! He loved that I was a foodie and ordered octopus for the table immediately once he heard this. My sis even tried some – I was so proud!
The wines our table
guzzled sampled included a White Bordeaux (wine nerd in me loved it, I’d never had one before and it paired perfectly with my swordfish) and a Napa Valley Petite Sirah. I taught Hannah about sipping that alongside her bone-in filet (holla) and she was a fan of the wine pairing world. Mua ha ha, corruption.
We ALWAYS go to Duffy’s when we visit Florida – in fact there is a location two minutes from our condo! Unfortunately our service whenever we visit that location is always spotty and it was definitely a miss on this particular evening, but the food was fabulous as usual. They’d added tuna to the dinner menu so I had to get that, medium rare, and it was cooked very well. I adore their broc and black beans and also tried their chips and salsa for the first time – big thumbs up. And you can’t go wrong with a restaurant where it’s ALWAYS 2 for 1 happy hour. I utilized said happy hour and ordered Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir – I’d just done a case study on him after all. It was homework?!
After our visit, Duffy’s sent me the above tweet and essentially made my life with the hashtag they created. WINNING.
Another go-to FL tradition is CHICK-FIL-A! My poolside lunch one afternoon was their amazing chargrilled chicken sandwich with extra honey-roasted BBQ sauce and extra pickles. Love that hearty wheat bun, real/fresh chicken, and plenty of lettuce. I’m so jealous that Christina gets to go there so often.
One evening for happy hour my mom and I hit up the Cruzan Rum Bar, a laid-back, sand-filled, bonfire-lit destination right on the water! This place truly is a tropical bar and has a great Margaritaville vibe. Everyone (over 21) is welcome and though bar food is served, the drinks are the draw. They aren’t my typical creative cocktails but I asked for a simple margarita consisting of just lime juice, tequila, and agave. The bartender whipped one up with extra salt on the rocks and it totally delivered. Too bad the temps were a bit too chilly and I had to keep a jacket on, or I would have felt super vacation-y.
The only meal I did not eat out once in FL was breakfast, which makes sense since I have never really been a breakfast person. I was perfectly content enjoying my beloved plain Chobani with fruit, usually banana since that is my top choice.
A highlight of the entire trip was definitely meeting up with my FL blend Brittany again! We added another raw/vegan destination to our (very) mini list…Darbster in West Palm Beach. Again I don’t have the picture we took together uploaded yet 🙁 I will share it later, but just LOOK at our meals! We dished over our dishes (sorry I had to) and marveled at the unique cuisine – after we took forever to decide what to order.
The kale salad (with avocado, apples, sprouts, and apple cider vinaigrette – I KNOW so perfect) called to me so I subbed it instead of the side salad that came with my above raw “tuna” club sandwich on flax bread with eggplant “bacon”, avocado, lettuce, tomato, onion, and dill mayo. I’m glad I got the mayo on the side because I didn’t really end up needing it at all. The kale salad was out of this WORLD, I must have that ACV dressing in my life all the time. I don’t like thick bread on my sammies so the flax bread, while not great for holding a sandwich together, was A-OK with me and I even found whole nuts in the “tuna” salad which I imagine had a tofu base. Oh baby I’d come back here again in a heartbeat!
Brittany’s raw dish was a winner too – the flax Roma tomato (open-faced) sandwich with avocado, bell pepper, sprouts, lettuce, and onions. Her side salad’s vegan dressing again blew me away and she allowed me to sample a generous portion of the dish. Loved the flavor combo of the avocado with the bell pepper! I’m glad I ordered what I did though, because my dish included many of the same ingredients plus the tuna. Gotta try more more more!
The epic dinner out my family was waiting for was not, surprisingly, the earlier fancy one at Top of the Point. Nope, it was at Seasons 52. The blog world introduced me to this fresh and healthy restaurant (another chain that needs to get to New England ASAP) and I introduced it to my parents in Orlando last March and to my whole family last Christmas. Even my grandparents, long-time FL residents, hadn’t been and are now obsessed. The anticipation leading up to the meal last Thursday night was almost funny!
The night got off to a rocky start for me libation-wise after I ordered the strawberry-infused vodka basil martini and was so very disappointed by it. It came out as red as a cranberry vodka and I knew I’d be in trouble. I do not think strawberry infused and muddled mean the same thing but apparently Seasons 52 does! I could only taste the strawberries and they actually tasted quite artificial. However our waiter was usually a bartender and he brought me the Organic Sunshine martini (orange-infused vodka and agave) free of charge as a replacement, without me even asking! Great service, and though I’d had this martini during my Orlando visit and sent it back because it was too sweet, I think this bartender/waiter recognized my taste for a stiff beverage because this was so strong I couldn’t finish it.
I also was too full unfortunately to finish the above seafood special, a new-to-me fish (YAY) called char that tasted very similar to salmon. And this char sure was charred 😉 to perfection! The seafood portion was so generous and that was the part I could not finish so my lucky grandma got to take it home. But I adore Seasons 52’s mushrooms and also traded some of those yummy miso peas to my sis for a bite of her filet. My dad, sis, and our family friend all asked for their filets to be cooked the same way and they all came out at the same time, but my dad’s was overcooked! Bizarre…but still yummy. Also unpictured are the two flatbreads our table started with – the eggplant special and the pesto chicken with goat cheese. Love that barely-there thin crust!
I totally was better than this post shows about taking photos but my lunch break is way over and I have way too much to do here to be even taking a lunch break to write this…hoping to expand on the emotional side of this vacation tomorrow or early next week!
Have you ever visited Florida? Any go-to spots to recommend in the West Palm Beach/Palm Beach Gardens area?
Do you take repeat-destination vacations and have special spots you always have to hit up there for meals?
Which of these eats/drinks look best to you?