Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again.

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chickenplucker
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2014/03/17 16:15:09 (permalink)

Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again.

Last week I had the opportunity to travel to Orlando for a conference. My wife was able to get off and come as well. I asked before leaving in the "Where to Eat" forum and was given a lot of great suggestions which I took advantage of. First stop Wednesday at lunch was an old favorite of mine in Darien,GA. B&J Steak and Seafood is 2 miles or so off exit 49 on I-95 at 901 North Way in Darien. It is also only 2 blocks from the shrimp docks which is the best part of all. They have an extensive menu as well as a country buffet at lunch featuring some great looking fried chicken but I have visited 4 times and always order the same item. The 1/2 pound shrimp basket contains 15-17 lightly breaded melt in your mouth shrimp. It comes with coated fries,toast,and very good tarter sauce that tastes homemade. The wife opted for the oyster basket and they were cooked perfectly. Crisp coating and the oysters tasted like the sea with a wonderful brinyness. I apologize for the fuzzy pictures.

Oyster Basket

Shrimp Basket

More to follow.
#1

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    chickenplucker
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    Re:Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again. 2014/03/17 16:40:53 (permalink)
    Dinner that evening was at very cool place that is reviewed here. Yellow Dog Eats is a place that is just cool to hangout. A century old repurposed building makes a perfect BBQ joint. This is soo not a typical BBQ joint though. More new age/hipster even but make no mistake the que is solid. I ordered the "White Trash" which is pulled pork,topped with cole slaw,Gouda cheese,pecan-smoked bacon,Chef Fish's Gold BBQ sauce which tastes like typical Carolina mustard sauce.Very good.

    My wife ordered "The Rufus" which is pulled pork ,topped with Brie cheese,cherry pepper rings,drizzled with raspberry melba,then topped with Gold BBQ sauce. She got it loaded which added shoestring potatoes,crispy fried onions,and pecan smoked bacon.Whew!!! Sounds tasty and believe me it was.

    Two very unusual sandwiches that absolutely hit the spot. This VW bus in the back parking lot adds to the decor and funkiness. The open side is connected to the outdoor seating area and is decorated in red vinyl with stereo and lava lamps included. Very cool.

    This is a stop not to be missed in Orlando.

    More to come.
    #2
    wheregreggeats.com
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    Re:Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again. 2014/03/17 17:14:43 (permalink)
    So far ... a rockin' report !!!
    Thank you.
    #3
    chickenplucker
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    Re:Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again. 2014/03/17 17:27:02 (permalink)
    The next morning we took The Travelin Man's advise and went to Dixie Belle's Cafe. Thanks Travelin Man,we had a late breakfast and didnt even feel like eating lunch after this. The portions are huge and the food is outstanding. The service is some of the best I have seen with every waitress speaking and interacting with almost everyone in the room. If the waitress 2 tables over spotted your cup empty she filled it with coffee without breaking a step. We both started with the sweet potato biscuit which is a side item. The consistency is that of a biscuit/muffin and has a wonderfully sweet potato taste and a hint of cinnamon. With butter it was incredible.


    My wife's breakfast consisted of 2 eggs,bacon , 2 sausgae pattie,and huge biscuit split open and covered with thick,chunky sausage gravy. She couldnt finish it all..

    I forgot to write down the name of mine and cant find it on the online menu. It was a platterfull. A biscuit split open and covered with fresh cut home fries,a large portion of country fried steak atop that,the wonderful gravy over that ,and crowned with 2 scrambled eggs. Yes I finished it. Whew.

    One of the best meals of the trip.

     
      http://www.dixiebellescafe.com/ordereze/home.aspx
    post edited by chickenplucker - 2014/03/17 17:34:50
    #4
    chickenplucker
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    Re:Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again. 2014/03/17 17:51:37 (permalink)
    Dinner Thursday evening was at Bubbalou's Bodacious BBQ. There are several locations all independantly owned and this was the Kirkman Road location.
    http://bubbalous.com/
    We didnt look at the menu in depth to see the sides offered as extras and just ordered dinners which were served with baked beans,cole slaw,fries,and garlic bread. Linda had the brisket which in my opinion was cooked a little long. It was still tender and smoky with no visiible smoke ring. The best side was the extremely tasty beans which had sweet and smoky taste and contained quite a bit of finely chopped pork. The cole slaw ,fries and bread were good standard fare.

    I had the pulled pork plate with the same sides. It had a wonderfull smoky taste,very moist and came unsauced which allowed me to taste all 4 available sauces. Mild,Sweet,Hot,and Killer. The killer was very hot but was the winner in my book.

    Overall a very good meal. We arrived early and the house was packed before we left.

    #5
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again. 2014/03/17 18:02:36 (permalink)
    chickenplucker -
    Those shrimp do sound really good and the two sandwiches even better.  I've not seen a bbq sandwich set-up like that in my travels...I would love to try the list!  Great report so far - thanks for sharing! 
    #6
    Keysey42
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    Re:Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again. 2014/03/17 18:11:49 (permalink)
    Very good report so far — new places to try next time I'm in Orlando!
    #7
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again. 2014/03/17 18:18:14 (permalink)
    Great report. That breakfast is beautiful.
    #8
    chickenplucker
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    Re:Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again. 2014/03/17 18:20:41 (permalink)
    On friday after a muffin at the conference we were ready for a good lunch. The Columbia in the village of Celebration was our next meal. I had been to the original in Ybor City and was excited for my wife to try it. It did not dissapoint. Finding parking was more difficult that getting a table but it was a nice 70 degrees out,just perfect. After receiving our drinks the waiter presented each of us with a loaf of warm Cuban bread and a cup of butter. This bread was crusty outside and soft and fluffy inside. It was almost impossible to save any to eat with lunch.

    I ordered the Picadillo "Criollo" which was lean ground beef braised with onions,green peppers,olives,raisins,and capers. Served with white rice and ripe platanos. A very hearty dish but as usual Linda outordered me. LOL

    Linda ordered Chicken and Yellow Rice "Ybor". A breast 1/4 of chicken baked with yellow rice,green peppers,onions,tomatoes,spices,and extra virgin olive oil. The chicken was tender,moist ,and perfectly cooked throughout. The yellow rice may be one of the best dishes I have ever tasted.

    Linda also spotted this desert on the menu even before deciding on lunch. White Chocolate Bread Pudding. Made with Cuban bread,white chocolate, and creamy silver rum sauce. We shared it,after you see the photo you will understand. 2 large slices on regular sized dinner plate. Unreal.

    And the room was stunning. This is the main dineing room.

    http://www.columbiarestaurant.com/
    post edited by chickenplucker - 2014/03/17 18:28:46
    #9
    Greymo
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    Re:Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again. 2014/03/17 18:26:03 (permalink)
    I really love the Celebration "Columbia"  We will be dining there in July.  Their food is terrific, as is both their white and red sangria.
    #10
    chickenplucker
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    Re:Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again. 2014/03/17 18:47:35 (permalink)
    Thanks for the comments WhereGregEats, ChitownDiner,Keysey42,Michael Hoffman,and Greymo. Its been a good trip so far but a small dissapointment just around the bend.
    post edited by chickenplucker - 2014/03/17 19:29:28
    #11
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again. 2014/03/17 18:53:12 (permalink)
    Love the biscuit and eggs breakfast...that Travelin Man!  He lives life in the fast lane... We dined at the Columbia St. Armand's Circle recently and it was great as always!  One tip to make the bread last...ask for three loaves....per person.  Typically, it gets me through the bean soup and the 1905 salad!
    #12
    chickenplucker
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    Re:Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again. 2014/03/17 19:07:15 (permalink)
    Friday night I stepped out of my comfort zone a little but it worked out well. I have been to 2 Jewish deli's in my life with the northernmost one being in Savannah,Ga and the secone one was this week in Orlando. Toojay's Original Gourmet Deli is more of a full dervice sit down restaurant than a walk up deli counter. They have a large and varied menu. I had my heart set on a sandwich but Linda went in the opposite direction.
    http://www.toojays.com/
    With our drinks we were given several slices of rye bread with butter that was very tasty. I asked if they baked their bread inhouse and they waiter said they had a commissary that baked for all the stores offsite.

    Linda ordered a cup of Matzo ball soup which was loaded with veggies and turned out to be a hit with her. A devouted soup lover.

    I had a corned beef and pastrami sandwich which i dressed with deli mustard. The meat was very tender and there was plenty of it. The steak fries were cooked perfectly.

    Linda is crazy about liver and orders it whenever she finds it on a menu. She had it grilled with onions and served with mashed potato's and gravy. The liver was cooked done but still very tender. She loved it.

    We also picked up a selection of cookies and pastries to carry with us. The Macadamia nut cookies were excellent but I was dissapointed in the Black & Whites which had little taste. There was several different types of Rugalach. We got chocolate and also cinnamon with the latter being by far the best.

    #13
    chickenplucker
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    Re:Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again. 2014/03/17 19:09:35 (permalink)
    3 loaves per person Chitown? Remember the wife was with me. If I had been alone I probably could have gotten by with it.
    #14
    chickenplucker
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    Re:Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again. 2014/03/17 19:19:27 (permalink)
    Saturday morning we headed out for a much anticipated breakfast at Old Spanish Sugar Mill. It was a warm day and the last Saturday of bike weeks in Daytona. There were bikes everywhere from Daytona to the exit at Deland,in Deland,On the road to Deleon Springs and in Deleon Springs. This is 25 miles inland. When we arrived at the state park people were everywhere. They were having a car show which took up the parking lot and most of the grass. After finally parking and walking to the restaurant I told Linda that this isnt lookin good. A 3 hour wait??? Not today sadly. I did get inside long enough to get the lovely aroma of buckwheat pancakes cooking at the tables.. AARRGGHHH.
    post edited by chickenplucker - 2014/03/17 19:27:38
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    chickenplucker
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    Re:Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again. 2014/03/17 19:27:22 (permalink)
    Our last Roadfood meal before heading home was at Schooner's in St. Augustine. I had been there once before and could already taste the Minorcan Chowder. I should have gotten the bowl instead of the cup. It was thick with vegetables and clams and had that wonderful kick from the Datil peppers. It really leaves a lasting tingle in the throat.

    Linda ordered broiled scallops and they were cooked nicely.

    I had an order of fried shrimp which is served with a dipping sauce that is laced with the peppers. It really adds to the flavor. The hushpuppies here are just the way I like them,slightly sweet with a small amount of onion. I really could make a meal of the Minorcan Chowder and hushpuppies.

    Thats all folks.
    #16
    Keysey42
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    Re:Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again. 2014/03/17 19:50:21 (permalink)
    Glad you liked Toojay's — It's hard to talk my mom into going anywhere else when we go to Orlando, and we always take a loaf of rye bread home. The shrimp is our go-to meal at Schooner's. Next time you go, if you like onion rings, try theirs, they're awesome, with a crisp, light coating that's not the least bit greasy. They don't advertise the fact on their menu, but you can order the o-rings as a side with your meal. If you order them as an appetizer, you get a huge tower of them, almost too much for two people. And it's a shame you couldn't get into the Old Spanish Sugar Mill. I'm sure it's on the list for your next trip to this neck of the woods, and is definitely something to look forward to!
    #17
    Sundancer7
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    Re:Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again. 2014/03/17 19:50:52 (permalink)
    Chicken Plucker:  Roz and I had dinner there a couple of years ago.  The servers and the manager were double outstanding and we had a nice long conversation out on the patio.  I had several dishes and so did Roz.  I was talking to the manager and indicated that I had never had a Cuban sandwich and he promptly comped us one. 
     
    The dinner was double outstanding and I am glad you enjoyed dinner in the senior neighborhood.
     
    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #18
    chickenplucker
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    Re:Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again. 2014/03/17 20:00:10 (permalink)
    When I saw the onion rings at the next table I regretted not ordering them. They did look great.
     
    Paul I wish there was a Columbia whithin an hour or so of us. It would become our favorite I think.
    #19
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again. 2014/03/17 20:59:19 (permalink)
    My Toojays favorite is your choice with swiss, slaw and a smear...solid place that maintains consistency even as a small chain.
    Lind's scallops look awesome!
    #20
    The Travelin Man
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    Re:Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again. 2014/03/18 11:49:23 (permalink)
    I am glad you liked Dixie Belle's. I don't even think I have ever even mentioned that one here before, but I eat there pretty often, considering how relatively infrequently I ever get to Orlando.
     
    My personal opinion on Bubbalou's is that they get my standard "good...for Florida" designation on barbecue. I think they have been passed by as the barbecue wave has swept across the country. The new "hot" place in Orlando for 'que is Four Rivers Smokehouse, which I hope to hit this weekend when I head over for the NCAA tournament. Bubbalou's was once the kings of the Orlando barbecue scene, but they may have peaked about ten years ago.
     
    Toojay's is still a pretty good chain, but their quality has slipped as they have added more restaurants. The one here in town is painfully slow, service-wise. I still go occasionally, but when I first discovered Toojay's more than 20 years ago down in Palm Beach Gardens, I thought that if they ever put one where I lived, I'd be there everyday. Well...not so much.
    #21
    EdSails
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    Re:Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again. 2014/03/18 12:22:23 (permalink)
    Outstanding report, chickenplucker. 
     
    Boy, would I have loved to be a passenger in that van with those guys!
    #22
    mikeam
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    Re:Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again. 2014/03/18 12:53:00 (permalink)
    Nice report. Thanks for sharing.
     
    #23
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again. 2014/03/18 19:10:25 (permalink)
    Nice job, Chickenplucker!  Not only did you pick some good places to eat but you chose a nice variety of foods as well.
    #24
    love2bake
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    Re:Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again. 2014/03/18 22:47:28 (permalink)
    Great report!  I love southern food.  I have to admit I wouldn't have thought to go to a Jewish deli in Savannah, though--glad it was good!
    #25
    chickenplucker
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    Re:Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again. 2014/03/18 23:16:09 (permalink)
    Thanks for the nice words everyone. I hope to contribute more soon. love2bake if you get to Savannah try out The Midtown Deli. 21 varietys of bagels fresh daily.
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Midtown-Deli-Bagel-Shop/158021330876342
    #26
    love2bake
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    Re:Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again. 2014/03/19 10:26:38 (permalink)
    Wow--those look excellent!!  Now I want one...
     
    Might get to Savannah next year, and if so, I'll report back!
    #27
    lleechef
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    Re:Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again. 2014/03/19 10:31:53 (permalink)
    Great report, chickenplucker!  You ate some mighty fine lookin food.
    #28
    Davebassman
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    Re:Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again. 2014/03/19 11:40:02 (permalink)
    Great report with nice pics! Glad you like Bubbalou's. The location in Winterpark/Lee Road was one of the first "que joints" I had ever visited. Seeing it mentioned here brings back memories of vacations in Florida, visiting my sister-in-law back in the early 90's.
    #29
    sudie
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    Re:Middle Georgia to Middle Florida and back again. 2014/03/21 08:24:31 (permalink)
    B&J's is our favorite stop between Savannah and Jacksonville. We're usually there at lunchtime and always get the same thing ...a pound of fried shrimp, which we split, and a side each. I always get the Mac and cheese...crunchy and creamy. The shrimp come to your table just seconds from the fryer and are almost too hot to begin eating. The breading is very thin....nothing gets in the way of that fresh shrimp flavor. This is served with very good homemade tarter sauce and shrimp sauce with a bit of horseradish to it. We've looked at the buffet, which does look delicious, but we always get the shrimp. A must stop in Darien. Glad you liked it, too!
    #30
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