Unique Eats

Cortez: Charming fishing village, perfect place for classic seafood shack

Cortez: Charming fishing village, perfect place for classic seafood shack

This authentic fishing village near Bradenton is the perfect place to find classic Florida seafood shacks — open air, casual with the freshest fish.

Eight Key West restaurants for authentic local flavor

Eight Key West restaurants for authentic local flavor

Key West has so many restaurants that it’s hard to make a decision where to eat. Next time I go, though, I have an intriguing list of restaurants filled with local color and character– and I’m sharing it with you. It comes from a fellow blogger who ate his way through Key West recently.

Drinks at the Maikai. Photo courtesy Slammie Productions.

Celebrate tiki culture in Fort Lauderdale at Hukilau, June 7-11, 2017

Hukilau is a festival of tiki culture that attracts more than a thousand people to Fort Lauderdale every year to celebrate rum drinks, tiki trinkets and nostalgia for the 1950s. If you don’t attend, you still might want to visit the unique bars and restaurants that attract the tikiphiles.

Marathon Seafood Festival: Fresh stone crabs

Marathon Seafood Festival: March 10-11, 2018

The Marathon Seafood Festival calls itself the Original Marathon Seafood Festival to emphasize it’s the real deal – indigenous and authentic. Marathon is a fishing town, and you don’t get fish any fresher than here, unless you catch it yourself.

Fort Myers Beach shrimp boat by Albert Heaps via Flickr

Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival, March 10-11, 2018

This isn’t frozen shrimp or imported shrimp or farmed shrimp. The huge boiling pots at the Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival are filled with fresh, right-off-the-boat Gulf pink shrimp. Members of the Lions Club have perfected the cooking technique over 50 years of Shrimp Festivals.

Schnebly Redland's Winery & Brewery has an inviting outdoor area for trying the wines and beers.

A day exploring the Redland: Agriculture and rustic charm thrive near Miami

The historic agricultural area surrounding the Homestead entrance to Everglades National Park offers so many cool experiences — a park where you can see and sample exotic fruits, free tours of a spectacular orchid grower’s estate, a local tropical-fruit winery and famous fruit milkshakes and cinnamon rolls.

October is prime time for seafood festivals in Florida

October is prime time for seafood festivals in Florida

Florida’s seafood festival season kicks into full gear. Here’s the October schedule.

Wat Mongkolratanaram -- Wat Tampa for short is located on the Palm River amidst live oak trees. (Photo:Bonnie Gross)

Tampa Buddhist temple: Sunday market for brunch in lovely outdoor setting

An open-air Thai brunch and market draws throngs every Sunday morning to this beautiful waterfront temple in Tampa. The food is very good and moderately priced. The exotic gold-trimmed temple is worth visiting just because it’s beautiful, set among shady live oak trees decorated with orchids.

Muscadine grapes by Flattop341 via Flickr

Florida wineries stomp grapes at harvest festivals

Harvest time in 88 degree August? Grapes in Florida? You bet. For the next few weekends, Florida wineries celebrate their harvests with grape stomping festivals.

JB's Fish Camp in New Smyrna Beach

JB’s Fish Camp: Running with the crabs in New Smyrna Beach

JB’s is your original crab shack, a funky Florida kind of place where blue crabs are served steaming from the kitchen and dumped onto sheets of brown kraft paper that serve as your tablecloth. There’s an outdoor dining deck with a tiki bar overlooking Mosquito Lagoon.