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Feb 5, 2007 10:15 AM

DC Hound in Florida next 2 weeks - Recs Desired

2 Middle Age old foggies makeing a drive loop starting Auto Train @Sanford to St. Petes then points South: Punta Gorda Saniebel/Captiva, Naples Marco Island...then over to the Middle Keys...North to South Beach, East coast, Palm Beach and eventually back to Sanford.

Looking for recommendations. We love Seafood and Ethnic foods. We also like to discover the sort of places that the guidebooks miss and only the locals frequent. Not adverse to tourist traps if they are worth it. Don't mind spending money on good food but also appreciate high value/great food/low ambience venues. Lastly, anyplace i can enjoy a cold one and watch boats pass by is my version of heaven.

Any and all recommendations welcome

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    1. On your return loop coming north back towards Sanford, hit Dixie Crossroads in Titusville.

      These folks didn't invent Rock Shrimp, but they figured out how to shell it and cook it. Marvelous fresh shrimp -- butbe warned, it's always crowded from big families to tour buses. Get a drink and wait it out.


      1. As for Miami area:

        One of my favorite places for a cold one and some ocean views is Scotty's Landing at Grove Key Marina in Coconut Grove. I can't tell you it's the best food in town, but the conch fritters and fish dip go nicely with a cold beer.

        Best fish sandwich in town is at Garcia's on the Miami River.

        One of my favorite unique Miami experiences is El Carajo, which is a great little tapas bar tucked into the back of a Citgo gas station at 17th Ave. & US1. Get the piquillo peppers stuffed w/ bacalao & topped with a squid ink sauce.

        An Argentinian parillada is a good authentic Miami ethnic experience. Graziano's in South Miami is supposed to be excellent; I've never been, my local haunt is Las Vacas Gordas on Normandy Island (71st St. just a bit west of Collins Ave.)

        1. Padrino's is a wonderful Cuban restaurant located near the Intracoastal on Hallandale Beach Boulevard. Hallandale is the last town in Broward County before you get to Miami-Dade County and South Beach. I especially love the chicken livers with onions. Their rice and black beans are to die for and their flan is the absolute best in the entire world, bar none. They won't give up their recipe for it either. Other good entrees are their chicken relleno, a version of chicken cordon bleu and their arroz relleno, with cheese and rice. Incredible. I've been eating at this place since 1985. Inexpensive to moderately priced. They also serve a whole fish that is delicous.