st. augustine, florida: salt water cowboys

After spending three nights at Disney World, we packed up our overtired children and headed to the beaches of the eastern coast of Florida. We stayed in a beautiful condo in Palm Coast, just south of St. Augustine. My parents drove over and spent a couple of nights with us, and the first night they were there, we ate at a long-time favorite restaurant of ours, Salt Water Cowboys.

Just outside of St. Augustine, Salt Water Cowboys sits at the dead end of a two lane road, and the restaurant itself juts out over the marsh. The food is always good, but the thing I like most about the place is it’s location. It’s just stunning, really. And if you happen to go at sunset, you’ll never forget the experience.

When we first arrived, my common sense flew out the window and my 21-year old inner self got the better of me. After reading the drink menu, I ordered a Cracker Coolade.

Now, really. What grown-up woman – a mother of two, no less – who professes to be a foodie does that? Seriously? This is the type of establishment where you order a beer. And sweet tea. I’ll chalk it up to heat stroke or something, but regardless, I started a trend that night. We all – my parents included – ordered this frighteningly blue drink served in a mason jar with a maraschino cherry poking out the top.

One of the highlights of dinner was the basket of cheesy garlic toast that always starts the meal off.

The house salad is a typical salad, but it’s topped with a creamy vinaigrette with a bit of a kick to it. I didn’t hear our waiter tell us what type of vinaigrette it was – or perhaps my head was in a fog from the Cracker Coolade – and I forgot to ask, but it was delicious. It was sweet, tart, and had a spicy kick at the end. I was guessing it contained horseradish, but I could be totally off.

The menu at Salt Water Cowboys is your typical Florida fish camp type menu. It’s got just about any fried local fish or shellfish you can imagine, and they serve frog legs and alligator tail too. I’ve had the gator tail before. And which, when fried, tastes like…well, like anything else fried. I tried to stay on the somewhat healthy side, so I ordered the broiled shrimp stuffed with blue crab and served with a red pepper sauce.

Um, yeah. Nothing healthy about that dish. But darn tasty.

Jane and Michael Stern reviewed Salt Water Cowboys on their website, and since I am a huge Splendid Table fan and love the roadfood segment the Sterns do on that show, I was tickled to see it there. Salt Water Cowboys is a really unique Florida seafood restaurant, and honestly, it’s a toss-up between which shines brighter – the food or the setting.

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36 Responses to “sharing our passion – food blog forum orlando”

  1. Velva — April 10, 2011 @ 9:18 pm

    Great post! It’s wonderful when you can gather with your blogging friends. Meet and share what brings you together in the first place-FOOD! Awesome! No doubt you made a lot of new friends.

    Please, please take Aggie to a Gator game. Go Gators!!!


    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — April 10th, 2011 @ 9:38 pm

      Velva – When Aggie told me she was a Gator months ago, I knew then we would get along famously. 🙂

  2. JulieD — April 10, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

    MJ- thanks so much for coming! I had so much fun & it was so awesome to finally meet you in person!!

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — April 10th, 2011 @ 9:39 pm

      Thank YOU, Julie, for all your hard work to make this event happen. We must plan more meet-ups soon.

      • JulieD replied: — April 11th, 2011 @ 6:58 pm

        Yes we do! First one is 5/14, food bloggers’ bake sale (still trying to figure out a location) and we hope to do more every few months. Let me know if you’re interested! 🙂

        • JulieD replied: — April 11th, 2011 @ 7:01 pm

          By more, I mean more casual meetups in the Orlando area. 🙂

          • mj (merry gourmet)

            mj (merry gourmet) replied: — April 11th, 2011 @ 7:50 pm

            Julie – I can’t make the May 14 one because of work, but I’m definitely up for more meetups in Orlando.

  3. Winnie — April 10, 2011 @ 9:32 pm

    Looks like such a great time! Thanks for sharing your terrific photos and recapping the experience 🙂

  4. Aggie — April 10, 2011 @ 9:40 pm

    Haha, you wont have to drag me!! 🙂 I’ll come running!

    What a great weekend. I’m still processing everything, so many ideas and inspiration. It was great to finally meet you in person, felt like we were old friends! Can’t wait to get together again!

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — April 11th, 2011 @ 7:51 pm

      I agree – it felt like we’d known each other for a very, very long time. *hugs* to you, Aggie. 🙂

  5. Leigh — April 10, 2011 @ 9:47 pm

    So glad you had such a fab time!! It’s so wonderful to get a chance to surround yourself with people who share the same passion you do. I’ll be glad to eat any of your expertly-styled food any time. 🙂

  6. Brian @ A Thought For Food — April 10, 2011 @ 10:13 pm

    Wow… what an event! No doubt I would have been inspired.

  7. Binky (Kristen!) — April 10, 2011 @ 10:14 pm

    Merry, it was so nice to meet you, live and in person.
    I love how your bean salad photo turned out!

    This weekend, the vast world of food bloggers became cozy classroom of peers and friends. What a fun + educational weekend!

    I hope our paths cross again! Let me know if ever you’re in NYC. 😀

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — April 11th, 2011 @ 7:51 pm

      Binky – I’d LOVE to get together again sometime. Stay in touch!

  8. Denise @ Creative Kitchen — April 10, 2011 @ 11:40 pm

    It was so great to finally meet in person!! It was such an AMAZING weekend, and as much as I learned in the forum….I feel the best part was meeting all of the incredible food bloggers and finally connecting in real life to those that share the same passion as me.

    Like you…I was in awe of the greatness of the Food Blogging Community! I am blessed to be a part of this great community & can’t wait to get together for future events and Florida blogger meet ups! Loved your post!!

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — April 11th, 2011 @ 7:55 pm

      We are very lucky to be a part of this. I’m so glad to have met you, Denise.

  9. thatshowiroll — April 11, 2011 @ 9:47 am

    Hey, your pictures are looking good! I could eat your beans right now! Interesting to know that you live in Gainesville; we have close family there. It was a pleasure to meet you and I really enjoyed my time at Food Blog Forum and in the workshop with Helene.

  10. YAY! So happy to see a post on this! I will be working on mine, too. It was wonderful meeting you, too. I look forward to seeing you once more soon! 🙂

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — April 11th, 2011 @ 7:56 pm

      Michelle – it was so fun to meet you!

  11. Lindsay — April 11, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

    Ha! You caught me. Short people have to get those shots somehow!

    Truly a pleasure meeting with and very much looking forward to working with you!! 🙂

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — April 11th, 2011 @ 7:58 pm

      Did you notice my 3-inch sandals? That’s how I get around the vertically-challenged problem. 🙂

  12. Liz the Chef — April 11, 2011 @ 6:45 pm

    You have confirmed for me that I’ve done the right thing by signing up for Camp Blogaway, a weekend retreat for food bloggers, coming up in 3 weeks. It will be my first such event – excited!

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — April 11th, 2011 @ 7:58 pm

      Oh, Liz, you have totally done the right thing. You will LOVE it.

  13. Taylor — April 11, 2011 @ 8:09 pm

    Looks like an awesome time! Great recap. Wish I could have been there to join!

  14. Ethan — April 11, 2011 @ 8:58 pm

    If the tweets were any indication, a great time was had! Thanks for sharing, hope you share a few of the secrets that were told during the session too! 🙂

  15. RJ Flamingo — April 12, 2011 @ 12:26 am

    Always fun to get together with you, MJ! And so great to meet so many that I tweet with – and new friends, too! Make no mistake – I learned a lot this weekend, but the personal connections are the best part of these weekends. Thanks for the shoutout, babe! xox

  16. Maris (In Good Taste) — April 12, 2011 @ 4:41 am

    Sounds like you all had a wonderful time! Just about the best part of blogging has been the friends I have made and the amazing people I have met!

  17. Katie — April 12, 2011 @ 2:57 pm

    *Sigh,* what a great even! I really wish I could have been there – I hope there are more to come in the future 😉

  18. marla — April 12, 2011 @ 10:49 pm

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful experience with us! I went to FBF last year in LA and had a blast. Love catching up with all the buddies, making new friends & learning awesome blog stuff. Can’t wait to meet you some day soon. Are you going to BlogHer Food??

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — April 13th, 2011 @ 10:16 am

      Marla – Yes! I’ll definitely be at BlogHer Food. I’d love to connect with you there.

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