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Chow-worthy in Cedar Key?

meatn3 Sep 9, 2009 10:32 PM

I haven't been there in years. Searching this board I found very little mention. Any hounds with finds to share?

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    Lpflaum RE: meatn3 Sep 9, 2009 10:39 PM

    Tony's has some of the best chowder I have ever had in my life. My father loved it so much he requested that we mail some to him at home in Kansas.
    www.tonyschowder.com

    6 Replies
    1. re: Lpflaum
      meatn3 RE: Lpflaum Sep 9, 2009 10:45 PM

      The chowder looks fantastic! Cedar Key is looking more interesting...

      Thank you.
      :-D

      1. re: meatn3
        m
        mikeh RE: meatn3 Sep 10, 2009 09:40 AM

        Thanks for starting this thread, meatn3. I'll be down in Tallahassee in a few weeks and Cedar Key is also in my potential radius of exploration while I'm in FL. I haven't been there since the early 90s, and at that time everything there was the sort of gimmicky and not-so-good "paying for the view" type of thing that you often find right on the beach in North Carolina. My parents tell me that back in the 70s, it was a mecca for hole-in-the-wall local seafood with character and vibe.

        Hopefully we get a couple more recs. here to make a day trip of it. I've heard pretty much universally great things about Tony's though, so that might make it worth it in itself. Slightly OT, but it's interesting to note that at the same 2009 competition that Tony's won 1st place in the clam chowder category, Michael's Seafood in Carolina Beach, NC won the best "'seafood chowder" prize.

        1. re: mikeh
          meatn3 RE: mikeh Sep 10, 2009 10:14 PM

          I hope we get more rec's too! I was there in the early '80's for the art festival and just remember massive crowds - no memory of food.

          I'm visiting family in the Tampa bay area. I'm planning a return trip to the Triangle by way of Homosassa to try the Yulee Museum Cafe. Tampa hounds have given high points for their Cuban! Then on to Cedar Key. I attended FSU, but have not been to Tallahassee in quite some time. That new BBQ place makes the idea of a visit sound interesting.

          Is this your farewell trip before you head west?

          Hope this link works, I'm having some technical issues...

          www.sptimes.com/2006/12/05/Floridian/...

          1. re: meatn3
            meatn3 RE: meatn3 Jan 10, 2011 06:01 PM

            Well, over a year later and I finally tried Yulee Museum Cafe.

            Small, clean and friendly, located just down from the old sugar mill ruins on a quiet street that is dripping with Spanish moss hanging from oaks. I had a 1/2 Cuban, a cup of garbanzo bean soup and got a guava pastry for later. The Cuban had no pickle and yellow mustard was the primary flavor. Bread and meats sans mustard were quite nice. The soup broth was tasty, but the beans were undercooked. The pastry, consumed hours later in an anonymous I-95 hotel, was killer! Wish I had bought several!

            This was the Mon. just after Christmas weekend. Could have just been an off day after a long holiday weekend off. I would try them again if I were nearby, but wouldn't make a trip just for the food.

            Other chow possibilities were nearby. Neon Leon's Zydeco Steakhouse was down the road. They were closed, not sure if it was due to Monday or if it is just for supper. I would love to try them just for the name! Big parking lot, looks like a Friday night get gussied up and dance sort-of place.

            Towards the river is a small building that has smoked mullet, but just later in the week. I did see a trailer with smoked mullet on US 19. Alas, my cooler was full and I already had my yearly fix at Ted Peters, so I had to pass on the chance to taste.

      2. re: Lpflaum
        meatn3 RE: Lpflaum Sep 28, 2009 11:30 PM

        I wasn't able to work Cedar Key into this trip. Hopefully next time...Thanks for taking the time for the referral!

        1. re: meatn3
          Mild Bill RE: meatn3 Sep 29, 2009 07:19 PM

          I just got back!

          It was a nice day trip from Tampa, and it was our 16th wedding anniversary...
          It must be the slow season because not much was going on...

          There's really only a small area with restaurants and shops----- Dock Street...

          We went to the lil' visitor center first thing, and asked about what to do and where to eat---because I was a food guy, it was our first time there, and who knows when we'd get back...

          She pointed us to Dock Street but refused to recommend one restaurant over another, and a few other shop owners behaved similarly...
          I hated that!

          I saw Tony's and I wish we went there...

          ---------Well, there's really not much to do in Cedar Key, unless you hop on a boat tour...

          You just drive a little, and walk around the small tourist and restaurant area that is supposed to be known for 'their own farm raised clams' and good seafood...

          I was PSYCHED for a clamfest, and was told by the visitor's center that "most all the places have clams on the menu"...

          We ended up at this, place, named Frogs...
          A shopowner said she just came from there and it was good...

          We left another place that looked interesting but was cash only...

          So we ordered two seafood combos (for variety) @ $17.00 each, a dozen Clams in a butter-garlic broth $10.00, and a single softshell crab appetizer, $5.00, for my wife because she had one once and liked it...

          The combos were supposedly fried shrimp, fried oysters, scallops, deviled crab, & grouper ----- fries and cole slaw...

          My wife never had fried oysters and she still hasn't...
          These things were tiny, dry, and fully consumed in a bland thick batter crust...
          Scallops (bay scallops) were the same... Batter balls...
          Softshell crab------ consumed in stupid batter crust...

          The shrimp were good...
          The Deviled crab could have been purchased in the frozen section of a Circle K....
          Pastey and bready and good for nuthin'...
          The fish was 1" by 3" and was dry... Grouper? Who knows...

          My poor wife was OD'ing on breading...

          The Clams-------- the famous clams---- were like small lima beans...
          I ate them in a couple seconds and had no idea I ate clams...
          The experience didn't register...

          Almost $70.00 thrown out the window...

          But we enjoyed the trip...
          We were in Cedar Key for 4 hours tops, before we turned the car back towards Tampa...

          Would we go back?
          If it wasn't for this supposed 'Seafood Festival' in October that I'll investigate, I'd say not a chance in hell!

      3. Bumstead RE: meatn3 Nov 7, 2009 06:46 PM

        Island Pizzeria in Cedar Key has an "Oyster Rockefeller" pizza that is out of this world. Garlic, spinach, bacon, Parmesan and fresh Cedar Key oysters. The four of us were skeptical and ordered a small 8" pie and were completely blown away. The traditional mushroom and peppers pie we ordered with it could not compare.

        -----
        Island Pizzeria
        12720 State Road 24, Cedar Key, FL 32625

        2 Replies
        1. re: Bumstead
          Mild Bill RE: Bumstead Nov 7, 2009 07:40 PM

          Damn, that Oyster Pizza sounds good!!
          I wish...

          1. re: Mild Bill
            ibew292 RE: Mild Bill Jan 23, 2010 09:23 AM

            Anything new or new reports about Cedar Key. Coming from the tundra in the middle of Feb and am hungary for some seafood.

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