Our first stop in St. Augustine was lunch at The Floridian. I had heard a lot from my girl Kim about this fantastic eatery that offers a new spin on Southern fare and vegetarian options for virtually every meat-centric dish, so it was about time we checked it out!
The interior has a rustic charm and the smiling faces that greeted us were a welcome addition, since for me a dining experience is as much about the aesthetic pleasure of your surroundings and how you're treated by the staff as it is about the food.
It was a breezy sunny day, so we opted to sit on the open-air covered patio outside and ordered...
[We shared] The fried homemade pickles with buttermilk ranch and a side of pimento cheese.
[I got] The FGT Hoagie (fried green tomatoes with cilantro mayo, cabbage slaw and local melted pepperjack cheese on a toasted hoagie bun) with a side Winter Salad.
[Matt got] The 'N Grits (local fish over grilled polenta cakes and sauteed veggies, topped with citrus sweet potato salsa and local goat cheese).
It was all pretty great, but our favorite things just happened to be the buttermilk ranch dressing served with the fried pickles, the cilantro mayo on my sandwich, and the pimento cheese...mmm homemade condiments win! Also, their mix-matched vintage plates...those also WIN!
After our lovely lunch, we headed over to The Hyppo for some homemade gourmet popsicles! They use mostly local fruits and spices for some truly inventive flavor combinations.
I got a coconut popsicle. The verdict? Yummmmy, of course.
But I must say, it did make me miss my favorite popsicle of all time from Luna Pops (in Wilmington, NC)...organic cookies & cream which has an entire Newman-O in the center! SO RIDICULOUSLY MIND-BLOWING! That being said, I really enjoyed The Hyppo. They mix things up a little by offering espresso drinks featuring Intelligentsia Coffee, a totally awesome Chicago-based coffee roaster and shop.
I'd say for only being in St. Augustine for a mere three hours, we did pretty well for ourselves food-wise!