Lubi’s Hot Subs, Jacksonville FL

“This goes against the grain,” I said. “Coming all the way to Jacksonville and not picking up any new content for our blog.” We were in town for Christmas to meet my mother halfway between our base of operations on Saint Simons Island and her place in Apopka. We dropped Marie’s sister’s boyfriend at the airport and then made our way to Jacksonville Beach for our four year-old to play and rampage at South Beach Park and Sunshine Playground. Nearby, we’d have lunch with Mom and her husband at TacoLu, which I figured, correctly, that her husband would really enjoy. Continue reading “Lubi’s Hot Subs, Jacksonville FL”

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Shrimp Creole with Pappy’s Sauce by Watson Kitchen

We were invited to sample a few treats from the good people at Watson Kitchen, a little family business based in Tampa FL. Since shrimp creole is one of my go-to dishes in cajun restaurants – come back Monday for more along those lines! – I was most curious about what their sauce was like. They were kind enough to include two jars of their pickled vegetables as well. Continue reading “Shrimp Creole with Pappy’s Sauce by Watson Kitchen”

Beach Road Chicken Dinners, Jacksonville FL

After spending the Saturday of our trip exploring Orlando, we left Sunday morning to spend a few hours with each of Marie’s parents on Saint Simons Island. The road there takes us through Jacksonville, and I was looking forward to trying a place that we’d been thinking about sampling for quite some time. Beach Road Chicken Dinners originally opened in 1939, and we arrived just as the place started to fill up with both the after-church crowd and the Jaguars tailgating crowd. Since it’s one of the oldest existing restaurants in town, they’ve got a set, old-fashioned way of doing things. It’s not quite family-style dining, as everybody orders their own proteins, but they do offer up unlimited sides. Continue reading “Beach Road Chicken Dinners, Jacksonville FL”

Harry and Larry’s Bar-B-Que, Winter Garden FL

We’d been bumming around Orlando for many hours, wasting a fair chunk of them in traffic, and it was getting a little late as we made our way to the last restaurant on our list. Now, my original hypothesis had been that barbecue in Florida must be very heavily influenced by each restaurant’s proprietor’s hometown style. Ah, what a silly error that was to make. I totally overlooked that thousands of people are actually born in Florida and grow up here; they don’t just retire to the Sunshine State. Take Ashlee and Katie Grimes, for example. They’re sisters whose family has lived in central Florida for four previous generations, and they’ve grown up smoking barbecue not far from Orlando. Continue reading “Harry and Larry’s Bar-B-Que, Winter Garden FL”

Gabriel’s Sub Shop, Orlando FL

I figured, incorrectly as it turned out, that stopping by a sandwich shop would make a nice midday snack for Marie and our daughter. I had looked around and learned that Orlando is the home of two small chains of such shops. I flipped a coin and Sobik’s, which is very popular, came up tails. I picked Gabriel’s instead. The original store was opened in 1958 by Paul Gabriel, who passed away in 2013. That business, today in its second location on Edgewater Avenue, is still in family hands. At the chain’s peak in the 1970s, there were almost twenty stores around Florida and Georgia. Continue reading “Gabriel’s Sub Shop, Orlando FL”

Ice Cream in Orlando

A really fun resource for people looking for fun things to look at while driving around is Debra Jane Seltzer’s Roadside Architecture. I look at it from time to time wondering what might be nice to see. You know what we don’t have a lot of in Georgia? Buildings shaped like ice cream cones. That’s okay. Florida’s got that covered. There’s a small chain of ice cream shops around central Florida called Twistee Treat, and we drove out to the one on E. Colonial Drive (FL-50) to get some milkshakes. Continue reading “Ice Cream in Orlando”

Beefy King, Orlando FL

I’m going to say something here that might make Orlando natives and lovers bristle, but here goes: the city does not have a good reputation for interesting and unique eats. It’s said to be a roadfood desert. If it has champions, they are quieter than most. Nevertheless, Sweet Tea & Bourbon, the best of the many food blogs in Florida, has devoted some time to the town, but not even Mike sold me on any must-eats. This was going to take some time and research. I settled on five places for Marie and I to visit with our daughter while our son played with his grandmother all day in Apopka. I also picked eight places to shop to really give us a chance to dig into the city that the Mouse calls home and is surrounded by a more extensive grid of toll roads than I’ve seen anywhere before. Continue reading “Beefy King, Orlando FL”