Meals Journeys: Seaside Views (and Meals) Beat the Mountains Each Time


Kara Kimbrough

“Seaside or mountain? This query is usually requested throughout “get to know” classes within the office and different locations. For me, it is a no-brainer. Rising up in a state with hills, not mountains, to not point out 26 miles of lovely man-made seashores overlooking the Gulf of Mexico at our southernmost tip, I am fairly keen on the seashore. “I’ve by no means come throughout a seashore that I did not like” is a press release that simply applies to me.

I really feel responsible visiting seashores aside from our stunning Gulf Coast, however typically I do. Listed here are some highlights from a current journey to Florida’s spectacular Emerald Coast.

Sundown over the Emerald Coast. Photograph courtesy of Hilton Sandestin

A number of days with buddies at Miramar Seaside close to Destin was the right begin to summer season. For those who’ve by no means been there, it is an space of ​​northwest Florida identified for its sugary sands, emerald-colored waters, and exquisite sunsets.
Extremely recent, inventive and scrumptious culinary discoveries made the journey to a brand new hemisphere.

Actuality was left behind as we walked up the palm-lined driveway of the Hilton Sandestin Seaside Golf Resort and Spa and entered the cool oasis. Nestled inside the cocoon-like resort are almost 600 spacious visitor rooms and suites, a world-class spa, health heart and 6 on-site eating choices. Partitions of glass open onto an expansive swimming pool, luxurious lounges and a newly expanded seashore deck.

The seashore and the water dealing with the Hilton Sandestin. Photograph courtesy of Hilton Sandestin

A number of steps away, the scintillating Emerald Coast, named for its gentle inexperienced coloration interspersed with sensible blue stripes, beckons you want a magical oasis.

Renting a condominium on the seashore or a personal house is one thing quite a lot of my buddies do each summer season. Nevertheless, placing cooking utensils in a condominium and filling the fridge will not be my concept of ​​a calming trip. However checking into a flowery resort, turning into a washing go well with, and heading to an umbrella-covered lounge chair on the pool or seashore is my solely job? It is my concept of ​​a memorable trip.

On the resort, recent seafood meals, scrumptious po’boys and sandwiches, revolutionary entrees and artistic desserts mingled with resort enjoyable.

Surrounded by unparalleled pure magnificence on the seashore and alongside quiet palm-lined streets, visiting a spot known as Pungent’s appeared, effectively, a little bit sacrilege. Nevertheless, it got here extremely really useful by a buddy from Hattiesburg, so we determined to provide it a attempt.

Positioned in Santa Rosa Seaside on Florida’s well-known Freeway 30A, Pungent’s is a full of life and informal restaurant. After sampling the mammoth wedge salad topped with crispy bacon, sliced ​​tomatoes, onions and the restaurant’s scrumptious Inexperienced Goddess dressing, adopted by fried shrimp, catfish and different seafood sides sea, we confirmed that we had made the fitting determination relating to catering.

Additional exploration of 30A yielded glimpses of pristine sandy seashores, uncommon dune lakes, loads of buying and eating alternatives overlooking the water.

Intrigued after studying that Bud & Alley’s in Seaside was named after a canine and a cat, we chosen it from a gaggle of eating places and meals vans within the space. Sitting at a picket desk overlooking sensible water, I sampled top-of-the-line shrimp po’boys of my life.

Frivolously seasoned and breaded shrimp had been nestled on a mattress of the tastiest coleslaw I’ve ever tasted. The chef shared his secret for including sugar, grated onion and garlic powder to what I assume is a home made mayonnaise base with possibly a sprinkle of Greek yogurt.

Different standouts embody big cinnamon rolls and home made pastries on the Hilton’s cafe and lobster rolls at Seaside’s Shrimp Shack.

The culinary spotlight of the journey was a go to to The Vue at 30A in Santa Rosa Seaside. The quaint restaurant was named “Finest Waterfront Eating” by Journey and Leisure Journal. Postcard-worthy views of the water and within the night, unbelievable sunsets, from its glass-enclosed eating rooms or oceanfront patios are mesmerizing.

The arrival of dinner was the one factor that might have taken my eyes away from the waterfront view of a fiery sundown. I had tasted lobster tails earlier than, however the chef’s crab-stuffed model was extremely completely different. Two Maine lobster tails are topped with crabmeat, smoked Gouda cheese, cream and panko breadcrumbs.

It was an unforgettable meal topped off with a peach and mango cobbler with a crust so gentle and delicate it actually melted with each chew.

Le Vue has a seafood-focused menu, however there is no scarcity of steaks. Others in our social gathering loved the filet mignon topped with a half purple wine chorizo ​​glaze and rosemary fingerling potatoes.

Queuing in entrance of Destin’s well-known The Donut Gap was necessary on the final day. Pancakes, waffles, omelettes and cookies are only a few of the breakfasts on provide at this old school pastry restaurant. Nevertheless it’s the greater than 30 flavors of home made donuts that line up residents and vacationers all day lengthy.

A field of 12 completely different flavors of home made donuts accompanied me to my dwelling nation with a seashore, not mountains.


For the graham cracker crust: (a store-bought model will be substituted, however this recipe is so good!)
2 cups graham crackers, finely crushed
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted

Pie filling:
2 cans sweetened condensed milk (14 oz.)
1/2 cup bitter cream
Zest of 2-3 limes
3/4 cup lime juice, about 6 can be wanted (use limes if obtainable)
2 massive egg yolks

To make the crust:
■ Preheat the oven to 350 levels. Soften the butter and put aside. Finely crush the graham crackers in a meals processor, blender, or crush them in a Ziploc bag utilizing a rolling pin. Add the sugar and pulse a number of occasions till mixed (pour right into a bowl and use a whisk if you’re not utilizing a meals processor or mixer), pour within the butter and stir with a whisk or pulse a number of occasions till mixed .
■ Pour the combination right into a 9-inch-deep pie dish and, utilizing your palms, press down on the underside and up the edges. Bake for 6-8 minutes till simply golden and never browned. Take away from the oven and let cool utterly on a wire rack for no less than 10 minutes.

To fill:
■ Preheat the oven to 350 levels. Wash, dry and zest 6 limes, reserve the zest. Squeeze 3/4 cup lime juice (about 6). Pour the lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, bitter cream, egg yolks and zest into the bowl of a stand mixer and blend over low warmth till mixed, then improve on medium-high for 2-3 minutes, scraping down the edges as wanted.
■ Pour filling into cooled graham cracker crust. Bake at 350 levels for 15-20 minutes till the middle is about however nonetheless strikes barely. Don’t brown. Take away from oven and let cool for half-hour, then refrigerate for no less than 3 hours.
■ Garnish with whipped cream, if desired.

Kara Kimbrough is a meals and journey author from Mississippi. E-mail him at [email protected]