Amelia Island Eats …..

I love the flavor of fresh, local food when I am traveling.  You can walk into an Applebee’s or Zaxby’s just about anywhere you go, but you can’t find freshly caught seafood prepared with freshly gathered produce just anywhere.
Why should I settle for the common and ordinary when the uncommon and extraordinary are an option?!

While we were in Amelia Island last week, enjoying fresh and local fare was a highlight of our trip.  Raising little foodies sure made this a lot of fun!  In five days of dining out, we only had one meal that was a let down (The Marina Restaurant).

That is a pretty good record.
From traditional seafood dishes to eclectic cuisine we dined on it all.  A few meals that stood out for me would be the shrimp po boy I enjoyed beach-side at Sliders Grill the afternoon we arrived on the island. Sliders also served up some fabulous fried Kosher dills and calamari.  Audley was still talking about that meal when we left and a couple hours later as he was still full!

I thoroughly enjoyed lunch at Cafe Karibo our last full afternoon there.  This trendy little cafe is also a microbrewery.  There I had the absolute best shrimp salad on a fresh, buttery croissant.  This shrimp salad was fantastic; not too much mayonnaise in it, and the shrimp that had never been frozen was amazing!  I also added a cup of seafood soup to my order at Karibo.  Instead of the common bisque you find at many seafood restaurants, this was made with a tomato base and filled with diced potatoes, corn, snapper, crab, and shrimp.

All I can say is “YUM!”
Audley & I enjoyed a night out for two at The Crab Trap; a 30 year tradition in Amelia Island.  This casual restaurant with it’s hardwood floors, actual traps from fishing boats, and a really cool Florida/Georgia rivalry wall had the best fried seafood. I usually prefer my seafood broiled, but this one night, fried was the way to go.  Audley said the oysters he had to eat were the best, and for oysters (not always my favorite) they were good.  I think the thing I liked best about the Crab Trap was that the locals love this restaurant, too.  It was comforting to hear the waitstaff calling customers by name and greeting them as they walked through the doors.  That says a lot about their reputation.
Of course the night out for the two of us made this one of my favorite restaurants of the trip.
 
But, there was one restaurant that still has my children and hubby talking.  

This fun restaurant in one of Amelia’s historic homes was full of surprises that delighted our senses and thrilled our taste buds.

The first surprise was when you walked into the door of this sweet old home place.

As you enter the door, you are immediately transplanted from 1910 to 2011 with this fun and contemporary decor.  The red walls, white and black tile work and simplicity of it all really made a statement.
The kids were even impressed.

 

So why did I chose 29 South for our lunch?

 

 

 

You got it, my decision was solely based on the fact that chef/owner, Scotty Schwartz, had a gorgeous kitchen garden out back from which he gathers many of his ingredients.

I just love fresh!

The menu at 29 South was super fun.  We started off with two orders of these great pulled pork spring rolls topped with a sweet chili glaze.  Who would have ever thought something so different would be so delicious?!

 

Pulled Pork spring roll On Carolina Slaw with Sweet Chili Glaze
 

 

I chose to start off my meal with a completely scrumptious rich and creamy crab bisque.  It was loaded with vegetables and seafood and was quite satisfying.

 

crabs were harmed in the making of this scrumptious bisque!

And while I feasted on possibly the best shrimp & grits ev-ah  (how positively Southern is that dish?) ……

Mill Ground Grits and a Sherry, local shrimp & Andouille sausage pan gravy
 



…..the rest of my family seriously put away some lunch!

Fried chicken Sandwich, Applewood Pulled Pork,  Irish Ruben Clubhouse Sandwich, Waygu Burger (American Kobe beef),  & Buffalo Chicken Tacos w/ a spicy sweet sauce and blue cheese crumbles.

In fact Audley was so torn over what to order, he ordered both a pulled pork sandwich AND a ruben club sandwich!

{He was ready for a long nap after that.}

The best part was how awesome it was to enjoy a meal with my little foodies and have their take on it;  they had plenty to say, and all of it was positive.

 

29 South was well worth our time and a restaurant we will definitely visit again.

I don’t know if Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach is on your agenda in the future, but the local cuisine sure did add a lot of personality to our trip!

5 thoughts on “Amelia Island Eats …..

  1. Gotta move along now as I haven't eaten breakfast… Ah-ma-zing photos of some delicious looking food! The family photos are always great, too.

  2. Hey, Jen! What a fun place Amelia Island looks like. Never been, but always heard good things about it. That food is making me hungry. HOpe you & yours are well. I'm getting settled in ATL & enjoying it a lot. Glad to be home!

  3. Thanks so much for such a wonderful post about our little bistro! We are so glad you enjoyed it and hope you make it back to our little island again soon. Best! Nan and Scott

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