Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Trip to Florida's Gulf coast

My second cousin got married at Long Boat Key in Florida over the weekend. I met my mother down in Tampa and we drove to the key for the wedding. I now know that the food scene down there is quite exciting. We ate well the entire long weekend!

We started out by splurging at Wright's Gourmet in Tampa. We had the best Cuban sandwiches there. Cuban sandwiches are ham and pork on baguette style of bread with mustard sauce, cheese and pickles. It is pressed like panini in a sandwich machine. We shared a piece of fantastic chocolate cake and also a piece of rum cake. The chocolate cake at Wright's is moist and fluffy. It is loaded with frosting. YUM! The rum cake is a rich butter cake lightly soaked in rum so it isn't at all stodgy. It is also topped with pecans. We bought cream cheese brownies and a seven layer bar to go. They were good but the cakes were the best.

The next day we had stone crab claws, currently in season, for lunch at a place in St. Armand's Circle in Sarasota. The stone crab claws are large and fat. They are loaded with crab meat. That night we went to the wedding. It was really fun and the food was good. The cake truly rocked though. The tiers were different flavors. I had chocolate with cherry filling and white icing.

On Sunday my mother and I ate dinner at a darling place called Euphemia Haye. My mother ordered fried green tomatoes coated in bread crumbs served with a pecan pesto, feta cheese, and a roasted red pepper reduction. We both thought it was one of the tastiest dishes we've had in a while. If you've never had fried green tomatoes then you are missing out! I ordered a specialty pizza topped with roasted, barbecued duck and shitake mushrooms. Love some duck!

Euphemia Haye offers desserts that are truly a sight to behold. The meringues defy gravity. My mom and I shared a coconut cream pie. The coconut cream filling was unctuous and rich. It was topped with fresh whipped cream. The pie crust disappointed us somewhat. It was tough in texture and dull in taste. It needed some butter to give it more flavor.

Just when I thought we couldn't eat any better, we had lunch on Monday at Spanish/Cuban place called Columbia Restaurant in St. Armand's Circle. My mother had the lunch special, a stuffed chicken breast. I cannot recall what was in it but it was gorgeous and delicious. I ate shrimp salteado which had chorizo, peppers, onions, and potato cooked with the shrimp.

Needless to say, after all of the wonderful food, I am feeling rather Rubenesque and will be eating plain, fresh veggies for a few days.


Marsosudiro said...

speaking of Gulf-oriented foods, have you eaten at Gulf Rim in Hillsborough?

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Tampa! I'm so glad you tried Columbia. Isn't it amazing?! If you are ever back, and go for dinner, you can catch a flamenco show.
- Erin