Above photograph stolen from icanhascheezburger
For the next couple weeks I will be cruising around the Sunshine State and hope to post some of my economical epuricean findings therein -- that is, if I'm not too busy ordering pina coladas from sinewy cabana boys and watching this guy do his nightly show in Key West. I have a lot of restaurant recommendations from Roadfood and can't wait to sink my teeth into the following Floridian specialties:
-Stuff made with datil peppers, found all over the northeastern coast
-Ropa vieja, or really any Cuban specialty, in Little Havana, Miami
-Apalachicola Bay oysters on the half shell
-Hogfish, especially if it's hugged by a sesame seed roll
-Key lime pie, obvi
-Lots of BBQ (we tend to forget Florida's still part of the south)
-Some good mullet (and I mean the fish and the hairstyle, both abundant in these parts)
-Some good cooter (and I mean the turtle but not the ladyplaces)
Non-Floridians tend to associate Florida with geriatrics, Disney World, congestion, spring break, endangered manatees, endangered little Cuban boys on rafts, George W. Bush's first election, and violent crime. And by non-Floridians, maybe I just mean me. You would wonder why I want to go there. The main reason is that it's like 50 degrees warmer there than it is here in icy, miserable DC. Besides that, it's a mecca of honky tonk Americana, one of my favorite things. And, I'm quickly and happily learning, it's a mecca of good eating, my absolute favorite thing. I can't wait!
Also, if anyone has any good recommendations for cheap-but-not-scary motels, restaurants, and things to do, pass them along! For now, I'm planning on taking I-95 to Savannah, then switching between I-95 and A1A down Florida's east coast with a few days in the Miami area and Everglades National Park and quite a few days in the Keys (southernmost point of the U.S.!), coming back up along the Gulf Coast, posssssibly hitting up the panhandle, and coming back home through Atlanta, with a stop in Blacksburg, VA, to see the bro. Whew!