Day Eight - Friday, January 4 - South Carolina to St. Augustine, FL to HOME!
Rather than do an early breakfast in Charleston and then a lunch in/near Savannah and then on to St. Augustine, I chose to do a late brunch and then bee-line it for St. Augustine. As much as I love the Crab Shack
in Tybee Island, I think I made the right call - this was an EXCELLENT food day!
Since I scared up a cheapie hotel room out by the airport, I needed to drive in towards downtown. I had no idea what the parking would be like near my destination, so I ended up parking on Market Street near Marion Square Park and walked in towards downtown.
This stretch of road (I am standing across the street from Jestine's Kitchen
- almost in the parking lot of the fire department) contains one of the best roadfood per square mile ratio almost anywhere! Besides the aforementioned Jestine's, there is also Hyman's Seafood, Cafe Cafe, FIG (Food is Good)
, and a few others - 82 Queen is just off Meeting, as is SNOB (Slightly North of Broad), which are also both highly regarded, all within just a few short blocks.
My desination, though, was Diana's
- a place I have been before, and was anxious to visit again!
Diana's has a tropical theme, and actually made me feel like I was back home in Florida!
Charleston Surf and Turf - an English muffin, topped with a rib eye steak, eggs (I subbed out the over-easy for scrambled), shrimp, and grilled onions. The home fries are on the far side of my plate. This was, bar none, the best breakfast I have ever had. Yes, it was a few bucks - $12, I think - but, it is a hearty breakfast treat - the kind of thing you do once in awhile, not daily.
The perfect forkful.
My server (who also turned out to be the manager) was incredibly attentive, especially when she spotted my "Roadfood" book and my camera. We got to talking about my trip - and she asked me to post a review online. I am not a member of the site that she asked me to use, but I will gladly refer anyone reading here to hit Diana's - especially for breakfast! My intention was to get a nice salute from buffetbuster
by having one of Diana's famous desserts, but I realized what had become of the time, and if I didn't haul, I was going to be late for the basketball game in St. Augustine.
Hurry up, Boy! No time for picture taking now!
Good news...our team won - and that meant a celebratory meal! In St. Augustine, that would have to mean...
Eating at O'Steen's
almost always means a wait. The place is small - and gets crowded, quickly. But, the wait is oh-so-worth it!
The fried shrimp here are FABULOUS! Normally, the problem with fried shrimp (really - fried anything) is that the batter overpowers the taste of the food. At O'Steen's, the batter is just almost tertiary to the meal, itself. These shrimp are plump and flavorful - and come served piping hot. Also, one of the things I notice about these fried shrimp - I have never not been able to pull out all of the meat from the shrimp tail - these bad boys don't need extra surgery! The hush puppies were good - and, yes, that is fresh fruit on my plate. You will notice that there hasn't been a lot of vegetables or fruit on the plate in previous photos. I figured I would be a good boy and get some healthy stuff here.
My buddy had the fried oysters and declared them wonderful. He went with the more traditional southern sides, too. He also put away some of O'Steen's special red clam chowder, which he liked.
Overall, a winner. The perfect way to end my trip, actually, as I decided to drive home that night rather than stay over in St. Augustine. Unfortunately, I missed out on some of the other places I wanted to hit (Columbia Restaurant and The Brickyard) by going home early, but an extra night in my own bed was surely welcome by this time!
I still had to go back and pick up my car, though. That allowed me to take some pictures in downtown St. Augustine and around the campus of Flagler College.
This is the Casa Monica Hotel, which is often described here as a quality place to stay when visiting St. Augustine. It is a fabulous building, which is again left lacking in photo by my so-so skills!
The intricate ceiling in one of the buildings at Flagler College.
This fountain was outside the previously shown building. I liked the spitting frogs just fine, but I am not quite sure what they were trying to say with this....
That's about all, folks. I hope you enjoyed my adventures. I will do one summary post tomorrow, but I am beat for now!