Tampa to Apalachicola
Did a search and the posts seemed old. Traveling to your wonderful state this month from the tundra and am looking for suggestions for spots in Tampa ,Cedar Key , Apalachicola, Homosassa and points in between. Want food that's not necessarily mainstream. Would like to try smoked Mullet. Will be traveling the back roads so give me some help please. Want the can't miss places. Each stop will be for 1-2 nights.
you can get smoked mullet right now in Tampa on South MacDill, just south of Euclid. Look for the redneck with the huge smoker on a trailer. Good stuff though. Also the boiled peanuts were good too.
You've picked a couple of my favorite small towns that still have a bit of the "old Florida" in them...
In Cedar Key, walk past the touristy places right on the water and check out Annie's Cafe, a super casual place on the right just before you hit "town" - the fish is local and fresh. I like the soft shell crab sandwiches and the mullet. I've heard the crab cakes are also very good and they also serve a cheap, down-home breakfast. In town I like Tony's for the incredible clam chowder. That stuff is so good I hear they're even shipping it to the Northeast. Make sure you stop in for a drink at the Neptune Lounge at the Island Hotel for some local color.
In Appalachicola, you must go to Boss Oyster. The Owl Cafe, Tamara's Cafe, and Verandah's are also very good. Take time to stroll around town; this is a real working fishing village and if you want someone to take you out fishing, I can send you some rec's.
The Homosassa area isn't teaming with great restaurants (I know, my mother lives just east of there in Inverness), but you may want to check out Peck's Port Cove for fresh crabs and an interesting drive out to the Gulf. There's also Charlies right on the Homosassa and Crackers on Crystal River -- neither are that "chowish" but you can't beat the views. I've heard Vintage something-or-other in Crystal River is quite good but I haven't been there.
Have a wonderful trip and please post a review when you get back......
smoked mullet on the side of US 19 on your way throu hernando and citrus counties. There is a semi-permanent trailer on the west side of the road.
in Perry, Goodman's BBQ was good the two times i stopped there last year, and the baked beans are a real treat.
annie's in cedar key was a winner years ago. good to hear it still is. the shrimp was excellent. not much to do there otherwise.
in Homasassa, the Mueum cafe does a great Cuban sandwich and deviled crab.
also near homasassa, Margerita's for decent pub grub and giant margarita's. ask if they still have the 9/11 show on saturdays. God i wish i videotaped it. It was f-in great. i also had a great burger and grilled quail.
way down ozeolla trail west of 19 there is a little country store was GREAT BBQ. do yourself a favopr and go out of your way. even my girlfriend, aho doesn't love BBQ the way i do, loved it. John, the guy who runs the place and smokes the meat, is top niotch people.
don't be afraid to stop on the side of the road for b0oiled peanuts, fried peanuits, garlic crabs, deviled crabs etc. even if you're not especially hungry.
On the way into apalach, see my friend Frank at the Cypress Diner in East Point. It will be on your left before the bridge to Apalach. he knows good BBQ and has a heart of gold. He has recently opened , and everything he made for me (before opening) was good. I'd love to hear how he's doing. Tell him Andy sent you if you can muster the nerve.
in Apalach, the Owl was good contemporary, Boss Oyster is a good bet, the AP. Seafood restaurant on the main drag was good, but drive straigfht through town and get thee to the Indian Pass Oyster Bar. best dive in the area.
Peck's in Ozello, Tony's in Cedar Key, Spring Creek Restaurant in Spring Creek, Boss Oyster in Apalach and, well worth the trip, Indian Pass Rar Bar.
Mullet is kinda scarce; your best bet is from a stand along the road.
Between Lanark village and Carrabelle, on 98, there is a seafood market that sells smoked mullet and smoked mullet dip which is excellent. (Millender & Son Seafood 501 NW Avenue A Carrabelle Florida 32322 (850)697 3739)
Not sure if you plan on traveling 27 to Tampa or the interstate HWYs.
In Medart is Huttons - a roadside food trailer that is very good, fresh, and inexpensive for what you are getting. Angelos in Panecea is great for grilled seafood and steaks. The Family Coastal in Sumatra is considered by many to have some of the best seafood (but it is a little out of the way). Boss Oyster is a can't miss, esp. this time of year. Chef Eddies is also good. Enjoy your trip!