Saturday, April 30, 2011

New Smyrna Beach

Flagler Avenue, New Smyrna Beach


Coffee? Check out Chuckeyta's on Flagler Avenue near the beach. It's a local's spot that has homemade muffins, sandwiches, and quality coffee. They also have wifi and an eclectic array of furniture. If you're working, sit at the owner's grandmother's old dining set.

The Taco Shack

Tacos? The Taco Shack on N. Dixie Highway is a brilliant, relaxing joint. Definitely order the fish tacos, a roasted pork taco, and a steak taco. Sit and relax in the open air "dining room" with a beer while waiting for your food. The freshly made chips come out hot and crisp - don't fill up too much.

Fish House

Fried Oyster Po' Boy? Fish House is located just off Flagler Avenue and right next the beach - in fact it's basically in the beach parking lot. There's a variety of options on the menu, but the fried oyster po' boy is very tasty - get the remoulade sauce as well. The bun's toasted, the oysters are crispy and the sauce is spicy. Crunch, crunch, crunch and it's all gone. Order a Land Shark beer to wash it down. The blackened Mahi fish tacos aren't bad either - but not as good as The Taco Shack's.

JB's Fish Camp

Local Fish? JB's Fish Camp is just what you'd imagine it to be - on the water (river) - fresh fish - very casual. The crab balls are a must and the spiced shrimp too. Beyond that, just make sure you order something fishy. Get their early too, in the evenings when the sun's setting, it's a mob scene.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Real Maraschino Cherries

Real Maraschino cherries - not the nuclear red colored things most people end up with in their Manhattans - are actually pretty rare. The candid red things most of us slipped from our parents cocktail cabinets are really imitation and artificial. I haven't been actively searching for the real thing, but ever since I did some research on the ideal Manhattan cocktail, I think they have been in the back of my mind.

Recently while walking around an older school, St. Petersburg, FL equivalent of Eataly, called Mazzaro's Italian Market, I stumbled upon the real thing: Luxardo's Original Maraschino cherries. I shied away from buying them for fear of ultimately ending up with cherry juice all over my luggage, but my interest has been renewed. I see that they are available on, but they seem to be more expensive than at Mazzaro's (and they were that cheap).

But honestly, with cocktails, any little thing can screw one up, from bad ice, to poor quality ingredients. So why skimp on the garnish?