Monday, October 8, 2007

Da Beach

Had a great weekend at the beach (the weather was surprisingly good and there was no red tide in sight!) but I regret to inform you that I have no pictures from the weekend. Much thanks to my friend who gave me her old camera, but it turns out it really is defunct and is no longer working. So as soon as it is in my budget, I’ll get myself a new camera, hopefully one that will fit into my purse and doesn’t weigh over three pounds.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love the beach. And how loyal I am to certain restaurants in the New Smyrna area. Two of them I’ve been going to as long as I can remember. The most recent newcomer to my fav beach restaurants category is Chases, which is where we went on Friday night. I know not to expect impressive cuisine there, but usually the fish is pretty good and the view is fantastic (it’s right on the beach). Unfortunately, it was raining pretty hard that night, so grimy plastic roll-down covers obstructed the view, and the food was really the worst I’ve had in awhile. I got the Mahi sandwich (sans bread) and veggies. My Mahi tasted pretty good, but arrived to the table in about 5 pieces. It was almost like the cook was trying to put the puzzle back together. Like Humpty Dumpty. I hope he was wearing gloves. My frozen veggies were served cold and flavorless. But after all of that, the ocean breeze did make its way to us, and they had Blue Moon, so I guess I can’t complain too much.

Saturday night was definitely a treat. One of the restaurants that really sticks out in my childhood is Norwood’s. I remember being a child and my parents would let me order the King Crab. I only got it once a year, and I have vivid recollections of all that hard work for the sweet crabmeat. So off we went, with me fully intent on crab legs for the evening. I quickly changed my mind when I heard about one of their specials for the evening: Surf N Turf for $19.46 (to celebrate the year that they opened). Granted it was a 4 oz Filet and a little bitty Lobster tail, but this meal was delicious.

My filet was cooked a perfect medium rare, barely covered in a thick and sweet Demi Glaze, and served over a thinly slice garlic Crostini. The lobster was tender and sweet with great seasoning. The rest of my plate consisted of fresh steamed veggies (again with great seasoning) and two of the best damn Hush Puppies I’ve ever had. My dinner companion had the Seafood Alfredo that he reported as delicious but the seafood was a bit overcooked.

Over the years Norwood’s has come to have the second largest wine collection in the state (I believe Burns is the first). I was thrilled to flip through all 51 pages and dream about those wines that I’m afraid I’ll never be able to try (because they cost more than my rent). But the steward was amiable, and we ordered a 2006 Meritage from Moon Mountain in Sonoma Valley. It was the perfect accompaniment to our meal. After dinner we enjoyed a light and honey scented 2005 Riesling from Mosel.

Check out their extensive wine list:

For me, no trip to New Smyrna would be complete without a giant portion of Coconut Shrimp. So while it was raining early Sunday, we headed over to JB’s Fishcamp for my all time favorite beach dish. The Jumbo Butterfly Coconut Shrimp are crispy and fried to perfection. I don’t really know what else to say about this lunch. It’s the best Coconut Shrimp. End of story. Simplicity at it’s best. Kinda like the restaurant itself. If you’ve ever been to JB’s you understand the experience. If you’ve never been, it’s worth the trip!

Looks like their site is still under construction and really doesn’t do the place justice. But it’s a good reference for directions if you’ve never been:

Lastly, Dr. Southbeach would be very proud of me for driving right by Tasty Treat on my way back to Orlando! It's on SR44, just east of I-95, and it has the best homemade peanut butter ice cream!

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