Tag Archives: St. Augustine

Eating & Drinking in St. Augustine

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Yes we did make it to the Old Town on the days that we didn’t golf while we were vacationing in St. Augustine.  Those were some chilly and cloudy days for Florida. Take a look!

And just like when we were in Las Vegas and Kaua’i, I didn’t snap photos at every place where we ate or imbibed. But I’ll list some of the places we tried anyway. When we go back one day, we’ll have an account of where we’d like to return {and what to order!} and where we can skip.

A1A Rail Works

A1A – Beach Front Avenue!” Did I just do that? Oh, yes, I did! And we did it all trip, too. I mentioned that the only real craft brewery in St. Augustine is the one we visited – Mile Marker. However, when Rob inquired about places with lots of tap brews at check-in, A1A was mentioned. It’s actually a brewpub and they do brew their own beer. But they do not distribute. Think Rock Bottom Brewery, or for those of you in the TC Metro, Town Hall Brewery. It was late afternoon of the day of our arrival. And it was chilly.

We settled in for some of the best beer cheese soup we’ve tasted: A1A Ale & Cheese Soup – Red Brick Ale blended with aged cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, caramelized onions and roasted barley.

And these didn’t suck either. {Actually, rather addicting!}–>: Blue Cheese Chips – Fresh, housemade chips and blue cheese cream sauce topped with scallions, smoked bacon and blue cheese crumbles.

The beer was good, but not outstanding. It’s what we expected. But I’d like to give a shout out to Terri’s Skinny Cocktail {under 125 calories}: Strawberry Soda – Cruzan strawberry rum, sugar-free triple sec, fresh-muddled mint and strawberry topped with soda. Mmmm…
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JP Henley’s

Just behind A1A is JP Henley’s, which boasts over 70 beers and many wines by the glass. We loved the selection and ordered a couple of apps. We were served plastic forks and knives, so I felt like we were in an airport. And the food wasn’t anything special. If I were to visit JP Henley’s again, I’d go for the beer and then head over to A1A for the food! It’s smallish inside, so I can only imagine what it’d be like when it’s packed.

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Murray Bros. Caddyshack

Yes, you guessed it. Bill Murray and his five brothers opened this place. And the location was perfect in that we had finished a day golfing and happened to be staying at the World Golf Village. But the food – not so much. Between our Cheeseburger Pizza, Pork Chops and Fiesta Salad, nothing was that great. There isn’t really a reason to go back when there’s so many other places to try in St. Augustine. However, if you are a Caddyshack fan, check it out. This place could be a museum with all of the memorabilia on the walls!

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Milltop Tavern

After our stops at Mile Marker Brewing and the San Sebastian Winery, we parked near the old town. As we were walking around, we stopped for a coffee to warm ourselves up. Were we really in Florida?

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Then we made our way down the pedestrian-only St. George Street.

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It was late afternoon and time for some food! We hadn’t had lunch so we w climbed the stairs of the Milltop Tavern to the second floor where live music was thriving. We found a seat at a little table top against the wall. The heaters were on, but this place has to be open to the outside in nicer weather. This is a great place for local music, but the food was so-so. I had some black bean nachos while Steve & Terri ordered the black bean soup. They must like their black beans there! {For the record, I do, too.}

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The Prince of Wales

We wandered off St. George Street hoping to explore further and maybe find another place to stop. And it was this “Taste of England” joint that was chosen. It’s basically a very small one-room restaurant with a handful of tables inside an old house. The bar seated maybe two people. When I walked through the door, my face felt instantly greasy. Maybe this is the British Equivalent to a greasy spoon? We stopped for a drink. Then Rob decided to order some onion rings, which the group seemed to love; but I was too full from my earlier nachos. The room was small enough that you could talk with everyone in it. And we kind of did… Someone was looking for prime rib in town for later that evening. We couldn’t give any advice, but the locals on the other side of the room overheard and offered theirs.

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Barley Republic

We found an Irish Pub! This is a tradition Rob and I have that my friend Jen and I started when we spent ten weeks backpacking Europe after college. We just had to stop. And we are so glad we did. They offer over 70 beers, ten of which are on tap.

Rob peruses the menu, while Steve checks out the malt vinegar while the musician sets up for set!

Rob peruses the menu, while Steve checks out the malt vinegar while the musician sets up for set!

But the best find? They had the Southern Tier Pumking on tap! Rob and I spotted it at the same time. But we were worried. How could they still have it on tap? Would it have gone bad? We decided to chance it. We were still teaching Terri about beer outside of the light stuff! A round was ordered. We found out later that they’ve had it for a while, but just tapped it the week prior for the first time.

With the Pumking, Irish music and good friends, we felt like we were home. Well, not at home, but relaxed and content. We stayed for quite a while, some of us enjoying Pumking after Pumking {10 ouncers were only $4.50!} But Steve was eyeing the Bangers and Mash that others tables were ordering. Let’s just say he ended up getting a to-go order. And he loved it. Good food, good beer and good times. Win-win-win.

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King’s Head British Pub

On our last day, after a long day golfing at King & Bear, we weren’t really up for going back to Old Town, so we did a little search for something not too far from the World Golf Village. We ended up at another pub! Who knew there were so many in St. Augustine? I was really not feeling like going for more greasy food, but I had no other options to offer.

Adorned with twinkle lights, it seemed to be in the middle of nowhere, except for the fact that it was right off of a highway.  When we walked in, it immediately felt like a traditional British Pub to me with its dark wood, patterned red carpeting and tap handles. And despite the fact that I was originally looking for something a lot healthier, I opted for the Fish and Chips. I know. Grease. What I said I Didn’t Want. But they were the best I’ve had since Anchor Fish & Chips in the Twin Cities. I was fulfilled. And the guys enjoyed the Pasties they ordered, too.

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It was kind of cool that we didn’t always have a real lunch so that we could jump around and have a few apps here and there to try a bunch of different places. Next time, I’d love to try some St. Augustine restaurants on this list and give the Savory Faire Food Tour a try…

What’s your favorite item on an Irish or British Pub menu?

Cheers~
Carrie

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San Sebastian Winery

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After our adventures at Mile Marker Brewery in St. Augustine, we made our way San Sebastian Winery to stop for a quick tasting before venturing down to the Historic Old Town of our nation’s oldest city!

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Visiting a winery while in Florida wasn’t something I expected to do. But when we were looking up things to do on that cloudy, rainy day in St. Augustine, I thought, “Why not?” It was a stop on the Trolley Tour {which we decided to forego due to timing and cost}.photo 1(2)

I didn’t really know what to expect in terms of varietals. Florida isn’t exactly a notable wine-making region. However, there are wineries in all 50 of our United States. We found that many of the wines here are made from Muscadine grapes.

This tasting was very different from any I have ever experienced! The first floor of this old railway building is strictly retail for the winery. Climb the stairs one flight where you will be guided to a room for your first taste. You are given a small plastic tasting cup with your first wine. {The tasting cup is like one that you’d use when tasting a featured wine at a liquor store or wine shop.} You take this cup with you and move room to room to get a taste of the next wine!

Of course, the list of wines we tried wasn’t spectacular, in my opinion, but I loved the setup and layout. My favorite of the regular wines was the Castillo Red, which was probably the driest of the bunch, if I remember correctly. But the fave of the group was the Rosa. We got a couple of bottles of that to take back to the hot tub later that evening.

But my ultimate favorite was the Port {Bin 12 below} which comes in the coolest bottle ever, but I wasn’t sure I could pack it that well in my luggage. The wine totes I use aren’t exactly made for that bottle. What amazed me, though, were the prices of these wines! Some went for as low as $7.99! Usually small wineries like this charge much, much more for their wines.

And did I mention that this tasting was complimentary, did not require a reservation and included a {smallish} taste of at least eight wines on this list? Crazy, if you ask me!

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The lines at the register were long because people were stocking up and getting crazy discounts for ordering multiple cases. Who knows where this barrel was going:

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I even met a few women who were using BOGO coupons – buy one case, get one free. Seriously?! How do they make any money?

My guess? There is a wine bar and jazz club upstairs, known as The Cellar Upstairs. We went up to check it out. It was midday and the place was hoppin’ with music and people. They even have beer on tap for you non-wineaux! What a cool place to hang out. And in the summer (or if there was nicer weather), I’m sure it’s even busier outside on the rooftop patio. You can sit overlooking the Old Town!

What’s the most unique winery or wine experience you’ve ever had?

Cheers~
Carrie

Mile Marker Brewing – St. Augustine, Florida

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Before we left for vacation, I did a little research to find out if there were any local breweries we could hit. We were flying into Jacksonville, where there seemed to be a few. However, our destination was St. Augustine and I only found one real brewery there:

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Steve and Terri are new to the craft brew scene, but were willing to adventure out on a rainy afternoon. As per the usual, this craft brewery was a bit out of the way in an industrial park. They often brew out of a garage. This was a new experience for Steve and Terri!

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Mile Marker Brewing is named for St. Augustine being a mile marker off of U.S. Highway 1, which starts at zero in Key West. They also seem to love dogs here, which is evident by the other sign I saw and posted a couple of days ago. I also like their Hurricane Evacuation Plan:

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They have a lot of offerings, including a few guest brews…

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I was glad that Steve and Terri got a sampler so that they could try out a few to learn their tastes:

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Steve’s favorite was the Blonde Ale and Terri’s fave was the Coconut Porter, which is also what I ordered. Rob enjoyed the IPA.

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I just love their logo, which was designed by a local artist:

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All of the games are free at the brewery! We decided to play a game of darts. I don’t think I’ve ever played on an a traditional cork dartboard where we had to tally our Cricket score on a chalkboard. Loved it!

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After we played the best out of three and it seemed to get too hot indoors; we made our way into the garage where we decided to compete in a triathlon! Darts was the first leg. We’d play a game of Cornhole and Pool to finish it off.

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Let’s just say that I have no skill at cornhole. I didn’t think it’d be that hard because I’ve played a game like this with bean bags when I was a kid in grade school. But I was pretty much useless. On the other hand, Steve and Terri are pros!

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We thought we’d finish up with pool; but do you notice the ping pong table in the background? We had to finish off with that and make it a quadrathlon! I mean, why not? {Did I mention that it was free to play all games?!}

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Rob’s a ping pong master. During our turn, Steve and I just tried to keep the volley going and not keep score. Not a true game, I suppose. But it was a great way to spend a rainy afternoon. And it was only the beginning of our adventures that day. Come back tomorrow to find out where we went next!

Where is your favorite place to play bar games and what games do you like to play?

Are you in a league for any of these games?

Cheers~
Carrie

Golf & Travel {Food & Fitness Link-Up}

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I can’t believe it’s been an entire week since we got back from our St. Augustine vacation! Why St. Augustine, Florida? First of all…

IT’S WINTER IN MINNESOTA!

With all of these double-digit-below-zero temps, it was the perfect time to get away. We had never been to St. Augustine, but our friends Steve and Terri invited us to join them. We were ready for a little sun, a little golfing and good times.

SA Golf-Guys

Our first couple of days was not sunny nor warm! But we made do. It was still 60 degrees warmer than Minnesota. We ended up with two days of golfing. Steve introduced me to a website and app called GolfNow, where you can search for courses, set up tee times and often find discounted rates!

Because of that app, we golfed on a “cold” and cloudy day in Florida at Magnolia Point for only $25. That included greens fees for 18 holes, a cart and lunch.

Yes, you read that correctly.

For $25 per person we golfed 18 holes and had lunch.

We arrived early and had a drink at a bar. Talking with a retiree, he said that the course we’d be playing is as good as any he’s golfed in Northeast Florida. What? We weren’t expecting that for $25!

The course was beautiful. It would be even more beautiful in the spring or summer! We knew we were in Florida when when the residents’ trees adorned oranges!

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They also had a sense of humor…

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I’m not a good golfer by any means. Rob’s friend Lisa gave me one golf lesson at her golf course the first time I met her. {Thank you, Lisa!} And, I don’t think I’ve ever told them this, but I’m very grateful that I have friends that don’t care that I’m not a very good golfer and take my playing in stride. They also retrieve my stray balls more than I have ever retrieved theirs! It’s a wonder they ever ask me to golf again.

But you wouldn’t believe what an active sport it is! Every time Rob and I golfed in his company’s Couples Golf League and I’d carry my clubs, I’d burn 900+ calories {per my heart rate monitor}. And on this trip, when we golfed, even with a cart, my Jawbone UP registered more than 13,000 steps per day. That’s with my broken toe and my fellow golfers helping me retrieve each ball of mine during our scrambles!

But let’s get back to golfing in St. Augustine.

We were staying in the World Golf Village, so it was only natural to golf at one of the beautiful courses on site. We chose to golf King & Bear because Steve found a deal on GolfNow for $104/per person. That may sound like a lot if you’ve never golfed before… and even if you have. It’s more than I’ve ever spent, being a not-so-good golfer and all. But we were on vacation and knew expected it. Here’s why:

  • We were in golf country! We expected we’d play a spendy course or two.
  • We just played an excellent course for just $25 with lunch. The cost of the two courses together, averaged out nicely. 😉
  • King & Bear normally goes for $169/per person. $104 is a deal for such an experience.

It’s funny, because it was a cold, windy and cloudy day when we played Magnolia Point. When we played King and Bear, it was sunny and beautiful. But we seemed to enjoy Magnolia Point better.

Sure, K&B was a bit tougher.
There was more water.
I lost a lot of balls.
But it also felt a little stuffier.
Like the course was more about status.

One of our carts broke down at K&B. The guys walked about 3 holes while we waited for another cart to replace it. It took at least a good 20 minutes. Yeah. After the turn, they sort of scolded us that we were a few minutes behind. Really? Are you kidding me?

I will say that those greens at K&B were tough. We came close to making so many putts that we really should have had! But we had fun. And that’s all that matters. Status or not.

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Tips for Golfing When Traveling:

  • Use GolfNow.com – You can find some courses you may have never known about and get some great deals. This is worth it, especially if you aren’t a great golfer and it doesn’t make sense to spend a ton of money to golf.
  • Pack your clubs together –  We put my clubs in Rob’s golf bag so we only had to check one set of clubs. I only use a few clubs anyway. I checked it as regular luggage. Since we only needed one suitcase for the two of us for a long weekend, I checked one bag for each of us online when I checked us in for our flight. I wasn’t sure if we were supposed to pay more or book our clubs separately for oversized baggage, but Delta didn’t say anything. So with my Delta Amex card, we checked both bags for free. At each course we golfed, we just asked if they had an extra bag (neither had one) so that they knew that we had our own clubs and were all playing. (When we were in Hawaii, we could “rent” a bag for $1.)

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And now for this week!

planning

Food

Dinners:

  • Pork Chops with Garlic Butter Sauce & Garlic Green Beans
  • Zoodles with Meat Sauce – I’m going to test zucchini noodles out for the first time!
  • English Muffin Pizzas
  • Leftovers

Lunches:

  • Leftovers
  • I’m going to try to put together a few Quick & Easy Bowls like I made for dinner on Thursday. I’m thinking Mexican this time – spinach, black beans, rice, tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, cheddar, and a Salsa-Ranch Dressing that Biz always recommends!
  • I have blueberries, strawberries and pineapple, as well as nuts as snacks. And of course, my daily dose of dark chocolate.

Breakfasts:

  • I have a couple of options available and will make them depending on what I am in the mood/have time for each day:
    • PB Toast
    • Granola with milk

Fitness

  • Post-back surgery PT exercises until I get strong enough to move into more yoga.
  • Recumbent bike – With a broken toe, I need to stay off the treadmill for a few more weeks. Although I did do a lot of walking on the golf course. The toe isn’t well enough to fit into a real shoe yet. {I’m still wearing the boot.} But it is feeling better every day!

If you golf, what are your tips while traveling?

What are your tips to making sure you get exercise or activity while traveling?

Cheers~
Carrie