St. Augustine, Florida is full of culinary delights. Visitors who seek out chain restaurants, little diners, ethnic cuisine, or anything in between will definitely find plenty to satisfy them in St. Augustine.
St. George Street, what I like to call the ‘Williamsburg of St. Augustine,’ provides a few restaurant choices that go above and beyond. Up until March I had two St. George Street favorites . . . the Bunnery Cafe, where one can get amazing St. Augustine specialties of the breakfast variety, and Spanish Bakery, a terrific little restaurant serving old Spanish recipes for an unforgettable lunch. But then I had the good fortune of staking out the Florida Cracker Cafe and happening to pass by at lunchtime.
A “cracker” is another name for a tenacious Florida pioneer of days gone by. Fortunately, the menu choices are far better than anything the pioneers had available to them! Visually, Florida Cracker Cafe is a quaint restaurant nestled “off the beaten path.” Hungry, thirsty travelers, tired from a day of St. Augustine shopping, can easily find the large Spanish-style yellow arch that signals the St. George Street entrance. (For those of you who enjoy knowing the locations of restrooms along any given stretch of land, Florida Cracker Cafe fortunately has a very nice one located behind the restaurant!)
Those traveling through St. Augustine with pets will be glad to know that Florida Cracker Cafe offers beautiful pet-friendly outdoor seating. Not only does the location provide a great view of St. George Street (some of the street’s famous colonial architecture peeks out above the archway and quaint Spanish wall) but the seating area itself evokes the tropical charm St. Augustine is famous for. Each outdoor table is equipped with a sort of “tiki-hut” style of roof which, it seems, lights up at night although I did not have the chance to see this. A quaint cobblestone pathway and rustic wood railing ties the scene together.
The tables are nicely presented, but of course the best part is the food! There are many items on the Florida Cracker Cafe menu that I would have liked to try, but I decided to try something new and had the Crab Cakes. For my side items I chose pasta salad and ruffled potato chips. Yum! The salad was very good and the crab cakes were tender and tasty. Other family members had the Fresh Fish Platter (unfortunately, way too fishy) and the Fried Oyster Platter (her mouth is already watering for another taste when trip time comes around again!)
Here is a very small selection of Florida Cracker Cafe menu items, many of which make my mouth water for St. Augustine cuisine as I write. Seafood choices include Conch Fritters, Crab Balls, Florida Cracker Shrimp Po’Boy, Fried Calamari, Fried Oyster Platter, and a selection of fish sandwiches … if you’re feeling daring, enjoy a Florida favorite, Fried Gator Tail!
There are many American favorites to choose from, among them the CharCheeseburger, the All Beef Super Slaw Dog, the Stacked Smoked Turkey Sandwich and many others. There is a selection of salads for health-conscious and salad-loving visitors. And for desserts? For a little piece of Key West in St. Augustine, try the Key Lime Pie. Feeling like a pioneer? The Florida Cracker Pound Cake might be your thing. My personal favorite is Nana’s Peanut Butter Pie, which I certainly wish I would not have been too full to try.
Oh, well. There’s always next time!