Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Local Redefined... Brunching in the Groves

Amidst the orange groves and quiet roads of a very "southern" Florida lies a true gem -no, a pearl actually.  Here you will find a foodies dream at Pearl in the Grove with their homage to slow food and thankfully locally sourced ingredients that make all the difference in the world.  This place is well worth the short but pretty road trip (approx 45 minutes north of Tampa) to St. Joe by delivering simple yet rich flavors.  We recently visited during a girls weekend and found their quaint charm to be irresistible.

My friend Susan simply asked Chef and owner Curtis Beebe if we could perhaps try a tasting menu and he was more than delighted to honor us with some amazing tastes.  As a lover of farm-to-fork odysseys I was about to be impressed and savored every minute of it.

As each course was introduced to us they carefully explained the source of their ingredients... and topped it off with mouth watering touches like their homemade specialty item of the day like their sticky buns.

What treats arrived before us.....
Patrice's special sticky buns were heaven on a plate.

Fried green tomato with a perfectly poached egg, creamy hollandaise, and thick homemade bread topped with perhaps the best piece of bacon within the state of Florida.

When I say local, I don't JUST mean the pork sausage and dairy used in the sausage gravy & biscuits- here they make their own lard too!  

A unique spin on their hearty grits left me craving for more and it was the perfect accompaniment to the spicy creole shrimp omelet.  

Snap!  Crackly fried chicken over cornmeal and molasses waffles drizzled with local swamp honey.

 Never has a BLT (with fried egg) been happier in its short existence....and p.s. its barely the start of strawberry season, but these guys already have the IN on what an amazing sweet crop it is this year!

 Did I yet mention the freshly squeezed juice in our mimosas..... or the adorable interior setting of an old farmhouse so comfortable you felt like you were at home in grandmas kitchen....

We absolutely tried one of everything on the brunch menu and if we weren't fumbling for the door from our food coma we would have stayed for the family style dinner being served within the hour.  They serve a la carte dinner Wednesday through Saturday, Sunday brunch is 11-2 and that southern family dinner is 2-6.  

Stay tuned, however, because on Monday nights that are now previewing their new menu for their upcoming gastropub called "Local" opening soon nearby check them out here!  Most certainly we will be back here to check out the next great jewel being added to the groves of this beautiful area!