We’re heading north to one of our favorite locales – Apalachicola. With St. George Island right across the bay, it is a hopping place in the summer months. We enjoy stopping in during the off season to get a real feel of the place. As you can see below, it’s under a 5-hour drive………unless you make stops – which we did.
The weather was looking gorgeous, giving us a break from the high 80s we’ve been seeing lately. Don’t get me wrong, LOVE the warm weather, but month after month after month of hot temps, you need a break.
Since we weren’t in a hurry, we took a different route. Not too many people & cars on this road. Eric was doubting the wisdom of google maps.
New roads gave us a chance to try new restaurants, like this one in Dunnellon, Front Porch Restaurant & Pie shop. It is a local favorite run by long-time members of the community. Everybody who’s working there knows everyone else – probably knows too much. Ha!
While driving I read Eric some of their menu. As soon as I mentioned fried chicken – he was sold. Naturally he had to add a basket of fried okra.
While I’m not the biggest fan of okra, the crunchiest morsels were okay dipped in the ranch dressing. Yes, it was ranch dressing and no, Eric did not partake.
While I was reading about the restaurant what sold me was mention of a cuban sandwich. Yep, that was my order, along with fries. The slices of roast pork on the sandwich were some of the best I’ve eaten!
Remember the full name of the restaurant…………….we had to try their pie. Cherry was my pie of choice with Eric ordering the blueberry pie. It was a tie concerning who won. 🙂
After a few more hours of driving, our next planned stop was in Sopchoppy – love that name. I will say, we have some unusual names for Florida cities.
Would you believe there is a brewery in Sopchoppy? Civic Brewing Company. Who knew? Well, actually we did, otherwise we would have taken a different route.
Here’s a snapshot of what was on tap. Eric selected the first one and I ordered number 8. They want the brewery to be a community hub, family and pet friendly gathering place for the surrounding area. They are the only brewery in Wakulla County.
We had been in the building waaaaay in the past, when it was a pizza place. The owner of the brewery is a native of Wakulla County. He opened in 2020 – not the best timing but talking to the barkeep (owner’s mother) he’s had success with small batch brewing and plans are in the works to upgrade and expand his equipment next year. And yes, she confirmed this 1912 building was originally a pharmacy, a restaurant, a pizza place and eventually this brewery.
Finally made it to Apalachicola early evening, checked into our accommodations and walked across the street to our second brewery for the day – Oyster City Brewing Company.
Did a little googling and discovered the idea was conceived in 2012 with the owners doing lots of research (drinking beer around the state – tough job), gave samples to friends and family for feedback before opening in 2013. An old dive bar was transformed into this brewery and the community has been supportive ever since. Their Mission: Improve their beer with every batch they make.
Lunch was so big we didn’t want much for dinner – but Eric wanted oysters. Only one place was open and serving food in this town, Half Shell Dockside it was. We’ve been there before and remembered their fish dip. You can barely see the pickles at the bottom of the photo. Didn’t remember them from the past, but it was a tasty addition.
Eric got his raw oysters……………….
I needed my six oysters cooked, with cheese, bacon & jalapeno bits of heat.
There was some fog rolling in off the Apalachicola River, keeping things quiet and mysterious. It’s been 40+ years since I’ve lived in a small town, things definitely close up early, especially in the off-season. That’s why we’re here. Is this where we want to spend retirement years? My guess – yes.
More adventures are coming.