Thursday, May 28, 2015

Driftwood Bistro - Jekyll Island Georgia

This marked my fourth visit to Driftwood Bistro located in the Villas by the Sea on Jekyll Island. My first three times eating here was during a girls getaway back in February. I've raved on and on about how good it was and I've been wanting to come back again. Since John and I  spent Memorial Day weekend at the beach with his sister and brother-in-law we decided to end our stay with dinner and see if it was as good as I remembered. (hint: It was)

We arrived promptly when they opened at 5pm and we were seated right away. As soon as we sat down our waitress brought water without being asked and she explained the wine list. You can order a bottle of house for $10.00 and if you don't drink it all they'll pack it up to go. We ordered a bottle of Riesling. I'm no wine expert but it was pretty tasty.

We started off with a basket of Smashed Okra that was smashed (of course) dredged in corn meal and deep fried. It was good mainly because it didn't taste like okra:-) Crispy but not greasy. 
We also ordered wings. I didn't have any and by the time I thought to take a picture the guys had finished them off. They must have been good.

The menu is pretty diverse to suit most any taste including shrimp, crab cakes, flounder, catfish, pork loin, pot roast,chicken fillet and even meatloaf.  The shrimp, fish and chicken can be ordered grilled, deep fried or blackened and you can choose a regular or a petite portion. They also serve hamburgers and sandwiches.

I ordered the pork tenderloin with sweet potato casserole and collard greens.
The sweet potatoes were a tad bit sweet for me but it was still good and the collards were perfectly cooked with bits of garlic. This is a petite portion.

John had the fried catfish with sweet potato casserole and squash casserole. I had the squash on a previous visit and it was one of my favorite dishes. 
This is a petite portion.

Our dining companions ordered the crab cakes, Yankee pot roast and the meat loaf. All got rave reviews.

And of course we indulged in dessert...

Peach cobbler a la mode topped with real whipped cream. The ice cream was to die for. Smooth and creamy - just like homemade.

Bread pudding topped with real whipped cream, I'm not a bread pudding fan but John said it was good. There was a layer of custard on the bottom then the bread all baked together. 

And a really big cup of coffee to finish off the night.

The Driftwood Bistro is a family friendly place with a comfortable atmosphere. The waitstaff was friendly and attentive and the prices were very reasonable. One bottle of wine, two appetizers, five dinners, three desserts and coffee for $101.00 not including tip. That's pretty good for feeding five people. 

Verdict? I'll still be raving about this place and looking forward to my next visit. 

The Driftwood Bistro is only open for dinner Monday through Saturday. 

Go and enjoy a wonderful meal and finish it off with a walk by following the signs in the parking lot to the Driftwood Beach 

The Driftwood Bistro on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 17, 2015

A Night in a Castle- Auf Schonburg, Oberwesel, Germany

We are typically pretty thrifty when we travel.  Not staying in a hostel thrifty but more the small, family run hotel with breakfast included kind of thrifty.

When we first starting talking about this trip to Germany Nancy said she wanted to stay in a castle so we thought OK, why not?

She did the research and found a castle on the Rhine. It was a bit pricey but how often do you get to spend the night in a 1000 year old castle?

Castle of choice Caste Hotel - Auf Schonburg high above the medieval town of Oberwesel in the middle Rhine Valley. 

A beautifully restored castle with a turbulent history. It was first mentioned in history between 911 and 1166. From the 12th century the Dukes of Schonburg levied customs on those traveling on the Rhine River. At the height of its power during the 14th century 250 people representing 24 families lived within the walls of Schonburg. In 1689 the French burned the castle and it sat in ruins until 1914. when the castle was purchased by an American named Rhinelander. He spent 2 million Gold Marks to restore the castle. In 1950 ownership returned to the Town Council of Oberwesel and in 1957 the Hittl family moved into the castle on a long term lease. They established the hotel and restaurant as we see today.

Auf Schonburg

I knew that if I was going to stay in a castle it would have to be a room in the tower. We carefully searched the choice of rooms on the website and choose room 22. A room in the round tower with a tiny balcony overlooking the Rhine River. It looked perfect.
(Our room was in the tower with the pointy top that's behind the red building. You can just make it out in the photo below)

This was our first view of the castle on the hill as we arrived in Oberwesel.

View as we crossed the bridge to the castle.

Key to our room. I don't think we'll lose this one!

Stairs to the tower

Welcome sherry waiting for us in our room.

A Tour of Our Room

 A bed fit for royalty. 
See that chest of drawers looking piece of furniture on the wall? That's the door to the fire escape. A ladder going down the side of the tower. Believe me I prayed that we'd not have to go down it!

Bookcases and a neat little sitting area,

The bookcase was filled with Germany titles. I left a book I'd brought along on the shelf above the bench seat. "The Inheritance of Beauty" I wrote a little note on the inside. If anyone stays in room 22 check it out and see if it's still there. 

Our balcony

Ye Old Royal Bathroom

Complimentary robe and slippers

What the heck is that Jethro?

We're such yokels. Even though we were staying in a castle we got all excited about the free mini bar...

Stay tuned!
I'll be posting about the food we ate and a little more about the Rhine.

Lunch at the Florida Creamery and a Four Mile Walk

Well summer is officially here. Temperature wise at least. 

Because of the heat we walked at the mall yesterday but wanted to get outside today. My only stipulation was SHADE! So we went to Riverside hoping to have some shade and a breeze off the river. 

We walked a couple miles to Avondale and picked up a Geocache behind the Old School Barbershop.

Due to it's location this cache was appropriately called the Mustache Cache Stash and the hidden box contained fake mustaches. The owner requested finders to post a picture of themselves with a mustache so we accommodated...

John brought his own mustache!

Since we were in the shopping area of Avondale we decided to eat lunch at the Fox diner but we got sidetracked along the way. The Florida Creamery caught our eye and we stopped in for a quick bite to eat and a nostalgic trip to Florida in the fifties.

Florida Creamery on St. John's Avenue in Avondale

Old fashion candy and drinks

Just a sample on the Florida wall art

The menu is mostly ice cream. Yum!

Obviously this place focuses on ice-cream but they also serve a Nathan's hot dogs. The only non ice cream food on the menu. That makes ordering easy! We both had a hot dog with slaw and onions and shared a bottle of ginger beer and a bag of chips for ten bucks.

The hot dog was good and the slaw was tasty. Finely chopped like hot dog slaw should be with a hint of celery seeds and pepper. 

 I loved the Reed's Extra Ginger Brew it was not too sweet with a little kick of heat and made of real ingredients!

Extra Ginger Brew
Ingredients: Sparkling Filtered Water (Sweetened by a blend of raw cane sugar, pineapple juice from concentrate and honey), Fresh Ginger Root, Lemon and Lime Juices from concentrate and spices. Non Alcoholic. Free of Preservatives, Caffeine, Gluten & GMO’s.

Just right to quench the thirst on a hot day!

I'd love to sample the ice cream but not today. We have more walking to do!

A few of the sights on our walk through Riverside and Avondale

There's the shade!

Standing guard

Loved this!
Take a book, leave a book. Too bad I didn't have a book with me...
That was our day. Where did your feet take you this weekend?

Florida Creamery on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Three Mile Walk and Lunch at Stan's Sandwich & Grill

Saturday morning we headed to the San Marco area of town to take a walk. It was a beautiful day in Jacksonville. Cool and sunny with just a little breeze. On a whim I looked up restaurants in the area and came across Stan's Sandwich & Grill. The reviews were good so we decided to take a chance.

I'm not sure that walking three miles did much to counteract the lunch we had at Stan's Sandwich & Grill but it was soooooo good!

Stan's Sandwich & Grill

 John ordered grilled pastrami and fries. He said it was the best pastrami sandwich he'd had in a very long time. 

I ordered the Super Combo. Turkey, ham and roast beef with onions, tomatoes, lettuce and pickles on a sub roll. Oh my gosh it was good! It was also good that I ordered the regular and not the large. The regular was huge but I managed to eat every bit of it and I probably would have eaten every bit of the large:-)

We shared the fries. They were hot and crispy. Seasoned just right. 

I had a cherry limeade. Does anyone remember when they'd give you a real lime in your cherry limeade? I miss that...

My sandwich was so good I was craving another one by Saturday night. 

Trying to Walk Off Lunch.

A few of the sights on this walk...

There are lots of little parks scattered all around the San Marco Area. Greenscape Celebration Park is located on the St John's River. We also found a Geocache in this park.

Beautiful flowers in bloom

Another lovely little park. Moss draped oak trees and a neat fountain.

All in all a wonderful day. Perfect weather, charming surroundings and yummy food.

Stan's Sandwich & Grill on Urbanspoon