January Weekend Foodie Stops

I can’t believe the calendar has flipped a page and we are in the shortest month of the year!  January was a busy month for us.  We rang in the New Year with Megan, Donald and Zeke in Gainesville!  We dined on bellychon (recipe here), black eyed peas, palitaw, kutsinta and sapin-sapin!  We also popped open the bubbly at the stroke of midnight!

The first weekend of January was spent in Tampa.  Ralph attended the annual Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting.  We got to listen his mentor Dr. Peter Wainwright give the Keynote of the meeting.  His family traveled with him from California and it was a great reunion.

This month was a great month for finding new favorite restaurants.  I hope you try them and enjoy them as well as we did.

Boca Tampa (Tampa)

I usually am just a tag-along on Ralph’s meetings so I get to sight see on my own when he’s attending the sessions!  It’s a win-win situation always.  Looking for a place to have brunch, I found Boca Tampa.  It is a farm-to-table restaurant with a rustic vibe.  Disclosure: anything rustic or vintage vibe will always get a check mark on ambiance for me.  Service was quick that day because it was on the tail end of the brunch time crowd.  I sat across the “lettuce” wall.  Yes, they grow lettuce right inside the restaurant.  They also source their produce and other ingredients from local producers.  I thoroughly enjoyed what I ordered (see below) and I hope to return there with Ralph next time we are in town.

Ginger Pomberry


Salsa Verde Bisteca


Around The World Cafe (Indialantic)

What a gem of a find across the causeway.  This is a family-owned and run restaurant and serve European inspired dishes including borscht, crepes and pierogies.  I especially love how they serve their coffees and teas in mismatched porcelain cups and saucers.  It felt like we were having brunch at a cafe in Europe.

Roy’s Omelette


Veal Pierogi








Hemingway’s Tavern (Melbourne)

This is hands down one of our favorites in Brevard county.  We love everything about it.  The ambiance, the food and service.  We have not had a bad visit to this restaurant.  The food is great and so are the drinks.  We’ve come here for brunch, lunch and dinner.  Some of our favorites are the Tostones de Cerdo Asado, Truffle Fries and Pork Belly Flatbread for starters. Crabs on the Rock and Key West Bowl for dinner and Sweet Plantain Bread Pudding for Dessert!

Pork Belly Flatbread

Blue Gill Quality Food (Gainesville)

This was our first time to visit the Blue Gill Restaurant and it was an instant hit.  The decor was rustic and open.  The  menu is varied with seafood, game and beef.  They have a full bar and has a “barn” that can be a perfect venue for a special event.  We will definitely be back for a second trip the next time we visit Megan, Donald and the Zeke-ster!  In the meantime, if you happen to be in the Gainesville area, check them out.








Metro Diner (Suntree)

We have heard of the Metro Diner from friends who had visited the joint in Melbourne.  The hype is true.  They serve yummy food and service is great.  We were immediately seated even on a busy Friday night.  Check out all the deliciousness of the Monte Cristo and the evening’s special, Pork Chops with Apple Chutney.



January has been a very busy month having spent all 4 weekends in different places.  As much as I love traveling, sometimes I just want to stay home and wake up in the house an entire weekend.  February is shaping up to be the same as January!


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