One great feature of living at the beach in north Florida - it's a great place to visit - AND I already live here, so the travel time is minimal - more time for shopping, sipping adult beverages and finding new and novel ways to beat the Florida heat. I'll be posting some of my summer adventures here in the coming months - day-trips and short jaunts, new spots or favorites revisited - it's all part of my Florida Staycation!
Recently my friend Alison popped in for the weekend from St Louis. We enjoyed acting like tourists, snapping pics at Ponte Vedra and Jax Beach, and during the requisite daytrip to St Augustine we grabbed a delicious and healthy lunch at The Floridian.
Since it opened last September it has been on my Urbanspoon wishlist. It's the kind of place I love. Casual ambiance and a seasonally rotating menu featuring fresh, quality ingredients, sourced locally and regionally, prepared creatively and presented simply. It's real food -with real flavor. Remember flavor?
The essence of summer shines through in every sip of chilled Watermelon Lemon Basil Soup. The first impression is watermelon - not too sweet though - and the other flavors open out as you taste each bite.
Scarlett O'Hara wouldn't wait another day to sample the Southern Belle - lovely to look at and loaded with charm - crisp cool local lettuces, sweet South Carolina peaches, Sweetgrass Dairy's Crossroads Bleu, toasted pecans and roasted sweet potatoes in a lemon-basil vinaigrette.
Alison enjoyed the Summer Salad - a hearty plate of Georgia blueberries, spiced garbanzo beans, carrot, white cucumbers, quinoa, goats' cheese and lettuces in a Honey-herb vinaigrette. The cucumbers were a little tough, so they mostly got scooted to one side of the plate, but she enjoyed everything else in the mix.
We let our enthusiastic hosts describe every item on the dessert menu, and though they all sound amazing, we were full from the generous salads and had to take a pass.
Another great thing about Staycationing - when you find a place you love - there's no need to wait another year to return!
I'll be introducing more friends and fam to The Floridian, I'm sure. Next time I'm going for the Banh-Mi sandwich - my latest obsession. I'm sure you'll see it on Urbanspoon or Instagram. It's the real deal, Beasties. See you there!