GRAYTON BEACH – AJ’s Grayton Beach is pawsitively thrilled to announce that Santa Paws will be making his annual stop at AJ’s Grayton Beach this Sunday, Dec. 10 from 11 a.m. till 3 p.m.
Bring your fur babies out for Sunday brunch in the outdoor courtyard and get their photo taken with Santa! Enjoy Tito’s drink specials, live music with Will & Linda, and grab some Tito’s swag for your favorite fur baby from the Tito’s team.
Road Dogg Rescue will be on site with many dogs and providing information on how you can adopt or foster this holiday season. The team from Tito’s Vodka will be on site to see if Fido made Santa’s nice list this year, and giving out some swag to all those on the nice list!
ROSEMARY BEACH – The Courtyard at Pescado will be hosting a Festive Cocktails, Cheese and Charcuterie Class Thursday, Dec. 21 at 6 p.m. A highly trained bartender will guide guests with a step-by-step process of making three cocktails that are sure to impress your friends and family. Finish your experience by sitting back and relaxing with the bartender’s choice of drink.
The class is held on the ground floor location, The Courtyard at Pescado. The ticket includes bartender’s instruction on making three craft cocktails and one bartender’s choice of drink to end the event, plus cheese and charcuterie.
Tickets are $149 plus 7% tax and 22% gratuity and can be reserved at http://sevn.ly/x5OjE0Dk.
ROSEMARY BEACH – The Courtyard at Pescado and Maker’s Mark are collaborating to bring you a night of festivities to include Christmas wreath-making, coffee, bourbon and chocolate. A Merry Maker’s Christmas Celebration will be held Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on the ground floor of the Orleans Building in Rosemary Beach at The Courtyard at Pescado.
Barry Fish will be performing a selection of Christmas songs. Tickets are $69 per person plus 7% Tax and 22% service charge and are available at http://sevn.ly/xq6Zblov. Tickets include one Maker’s Mark Cocktail, all additional beverages will be charged on consumption at menu price.
MIRAMAR BEACH – The Market Shops 8th annual Bloody Mary Festival, held Oct. 14, raised $41,000 for Habitat for Humanity – Walton County. The shopping center was once again transformed into a bustling festival ground to host and welcome over 1,000 attendees. Festive tomato-themed balloon décor, courtesy of Mingle and the Good Grit Agency, greeted guests as they entered the lively courtyard and grand lawn, each full of restaurants, vendors, and merchants from The Market Shops. Event goers made their way around the tents sampling each Bloody Mary, complete with over-the-top accoutrements, and served in specialty cups sponsored by Compass Builders of Florida.
The sold-out event showcased 15 of the finest restaurants and bars on the Emerald Coast, each serving unlimited tastes of their most creative and innovative Bloody Marys, made with Distillery 98’s local Half Shell Vodka. Participating restaurants included Auston’s on 98, The Beach House, Big Bad Breakfast, Brotula’s Seafood House and Steamer, Camille’s at Crystal Beach, Chanticleer Eatery, Chef’s Bistro 30A, Chiringo, The Henderson, Louis Louis/ The Red Bar, Outcast Bar and Grill, Ovide, Ruby Slipper Café, The Shrimp Basket, and Soleil.
Upon check-in, guests received a token to vote for the coveted People’s Choice Awards for the “Best Bloody Mary.” A panel of select food critics and regional media also judged each Bloody Mary and selected the following winner as the most delicious and most creative, along with their pick for the “Best Accoutrement” award. All awards were custom made by local artist, Maxine Orange.
People’s Choice Award
1 – The Shrimp Basket
2 – Ruby Slipper Cafe
3 – Chiringo
Judge’s Choice Award
1 tie – The Red Bar/Louis Louis
1 tie – The Beach House
In addition to the Bloody Marys, guests sipped on local craft brews served by Idyll Hounds Brewing Company, spiked seltzer from Palm Folly, and champagne from Gulf Water Wines at the Bubbly Bar.
Guests also had the opportunity to enjoy numerous food options throughout the festival from the various restaurants located directly within The Market Shops, including Ben & Jerrys, Chicago Hot Dogs & More, Hunter’s Chicken and Burgers, Maple Street Biscuit Company, Parlor Doughnuts, and Pizza by the Sea. There were also shopping opportunities on the lawn, courtesy of Escapology and Fit2Run, the Runner’s Superstore.
Vacayzen and Shofar Productions transformed the Grand Lawn into the ultimate tailgating experience with lounge seating and a jumbo screen live-streaming college football, sponsored by Abora Insurance Group. Throughout the event, guests sampled cigars from Shore Thing Cigars, took photos in the interactive photobooth sponsored by Legendary Marine, and danced to ’80s rock band, Catalyst, on the main stage, sponsored by The Market Shops.
Since its inception, The Market Shops Bloody Mary Festival has raised over $200,000 for local charities. For the past six years, Habitat for Humanity – Walton County has been the beneficiary of the annual event. The money raised through ticket sales, donations, and sponsorship from this year’s festival will go directly toward Habitat for Humanity – Walton County’s efforts to build and provide homes for working families in the area.
“This was the best Bloody Mary Festival yet,” said Bob Duncan, managing partner of The Market Shops. “We were proud to host and see the community, participating restaurants, sponsors, and volunteers come together for such a fun event to raise funds to advance Habitat’s mission.”
From 6 to 10 p.m., the restaurant will be closed for the private event and transformed with festive holiday décor, courtesy of The Grove Salon. Attendees will be greeted upon arrival with complimentary valet, sponsored by Centennial Bank, and a glass of champagne, courtesy of Corcoran Reverie, to toast the evening. Inside, Café Thirty-A’s culinary team will be serving a plethora of hors d’oeuvres including hand-rolled sushi, a dinner buffet featuring some of the restaurant’s signature dishes, as well as a dessert spread sponsored by Coastal Insurance. There will also be a cash bar sponsored by Coastal Luxury Real Estate, DJ sponsored by 30A Luxury Vacations, and a commemorative Epic Photo Co. photo booth sponsored by A BOHEME Design. Guests are encouraged to dress in evening attire, black tie optional.
“Harriett looked forward to this event, year after year,” said Jackie Maliszewski, co-owner of Café Thirty-A. “She loved bringing together her friends, longtime patrons, and community members for a festive evening benefiting our local community. She was always passionate about giving back and we’re proud to continue hosting one of her most treasured events.”
The evening will boast a large silent auction featuring items from various local businesses, as well as a generous raffle package, with all proceeds benefiting Caring and Sharing of South Walton’s efforts to provide food and financial assistance to local area families and individuals in need. In 2022, the annual Christmas Charity Ball raised a record-breaking $50,000 through ticket sales, donations, raffle tickets, and auction sales.
Tickets are on sale for $150 in advance or $175 at the door, with 100 percent of the ticket sales and auction proceeds benefiting Caring and Sharing of South Walton. These funds will go directly to providing neighbors in need with access to food, financial assistance, counseling, case management, and connection to other community resources. Tickets can be purchased online at www.cafethirtya.com.
Grilling festival showcases all the Big Green Egg can do
By Michelle Farnham Nov. 2, 2023
PENSACOLA – The weather might be cooling down, but the grills are heating up! The 11th annual Pensacola EggFest is back for its 11th year, serving up unlimited samples of grilled delights prepared on that instantly recognizable kamado-style grill, The Big Green Egg. Held at the Blue Wahoos Stadium, 351 W. Cedar Street in Pensacola, EggFest is presented by Kia Autosport and runs from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12.
So what can ticket-holders expect? Admission gets you into the stadium where you can bounce from table-to-table, enjoying freshly grilled bites from each of the cook teams, while marveling at how versatile the Big Green Egg can be. Beef, pork, chicken, seafood – even pizza and desserts can be created, and cook teams will be looking to earn points with flavor, creativity and presentation.
“We have everything from barbecue to dessert to paella,” event founder and co-organizer Jerold Hall said. “You name it, these guys can come up with whatever they want – we had bacon-wrapped dates and smoked mullet dip win it one year. That’s one of the cools things about this. You want to cut your grilling chops? Go cook against different recipes!”
More than 40 cook teams are competing for grilling glory, with prizes going to the top three Judges’ Choice and top three People’s Choice teams, as well as one team that best represents “the Spirit of EggFest.”
This year’s panel of judges includes award-winning chef and TV star Big Moe Cason, Iraq War veteran and New York Times best-selling author Kevin Lacz, columnist Sean Dietrich, and chefs Bob Trudnak and New Zealand’s Michael Jeffries.
“Probably 60 to 70 percent of our teams return every year,” Hall added. “We have a great, loyal following: restaurants, backyard guys, recovering chefs, and everything in between. It’s a lot of fun.”
He pointed to perennial favorites T Grill With E’s, Legendary Marine’s Yacht Q team, Momentum Church, Hot Spots Charters, and Pensacola Celebrity Chef Dan Dunn to be strong contenders for the 2023 title.
Hall said they are able to welcome just a few more cook teams before they hit their cap, if any groups are interested.
“This year’s ticket sales and team registration has out-paced last year’s event,” Hall said. “We cut the teams off at 50 because of space. You think of a stadium as being big, but it’s full of seats! We always have a few last-minute entries. We’ve got some new restaurants coming, including Ruby Slipper Cafe and The Shed BBQ & Blues Joint.”
While spots for Friday’s VIP dinner and Iron EggChef Battle have sold out, general admission tickets are still available online for $55. Children under age 10 are admitted free.
Once the smoke has cleared and the charcoal cooled, there’s the business of what to do with all 70 of the once-used Big Green Eggs. Escambia Electric Motor Service will be selling off the demo grills at a discount ranging from $150 to $436; interested grillers should call 850-432-1577 to place a $100 non-refundable deposit.
EggFest is a regional event held in locations all around the country. The Pensacola installment serves flavor, fun, and fundraising. Proceeds support Rally! Foundation, which provides financial assistance to families of children battling cancer; as well as Manna Food Pantry, Studer Community Institute, and other local charities. Since 2013, this volunteer-run event has raised over $650,000 for local charities.
Four days of fun celebrates talent from near and far
By Michelle Farnham Oct. 31, 2023
ALYS BEACH – This weekend the idyllic waterfront community of Alys Beach opened its streets to a celebration of purveyors of craft. From restaurateurs to mixologists, artists to musicians, guests were able to experience a showcase of the talent that enriches the 30A experience, each artisan with their own story to tell.
Tracing its roots to 2019, Alys Beach Crafted has evolved into a four-day extravaganza, starting with Emerald Coast Storytellers at Firepit Park, moving to wine and spirits seminars, the Makers Market and demonstrations around the amphitheater, live music, the festive Firkin Fete, and the elegant Spirited Soiree, all held from Oct. 25 to 28.
Friday’s featured ticketed event Firkin Fête filled Central Park under the soft glow of twinkling strings of lights. The crowd was energized by the sounds of New Orleans-based soul band J & The Causeways.
The Alys Beach culinary team, under the direction of Chef Drew Dzejak, rolled out a literal smorgasbord of delights. Guests plated up an assortment of kielbasa and sausages, suckling pig, and spaetzle and pierogi, just to name a few.
30A’s newest barbecue joint, 3 Sons Bar-B-Q, was on hand offering mini versions of their brisket Slab Wraps and Chachos, a take on nachos featuring house-made chicharrones and pulled pork.
“This is our barbecue interpretation of a gyro wrap. I’ve got naan, brisket, cucumber, tomato and onion and our white barbecue sauce I call ‘Slabziki,’” said pitmaster/owner Chris Vaughn of the Slab Wraps. “This event is fantastic! It’s a big crowd and we’ve gotten a lot of good feedback.”
On the beverage side, Idyll Hounds Brewing Company tapped its Divide and Conch’r double IPA, Birmingham’s Ghost Train Brewing Co. offered a robust latte stout, Grayton Beer Company poured the Ocean Billy Brown Ale and White Dunes Belgian White, heavy on the orange peel. Hailing from Freeport, Odd Pelican Beer Co. kept things festive with the Go Big or Gourd Home, a pumpkin brown ale with cinnamon and brown sugar.
Palm Folly Hard Seltzer was a change of pace with its firkin of 6% ABV Hatton’s Folly, a pineapple-coconut hard seltzer infused with Campesino Rum wood chips. Also on tap was their Lucky Catch: pineapple, mango, 8% ABV; and Sailor Finn, 4.7% lemon hard seltzer.
“Originally we were just going to pour seltzers tonight but we wondered, ‘Can we make a seltzer firkin?’ and we did!” said owner Meaghan Easterhaus. “We’re a hybrid, almost like a beer-seltzer. We brew on traditional beer-brewing equipment, we just use fruit purees instead of a grain. That makes this super low-calorie, low-sugar, low-carb, but with a beer quality, and it’s gluten-free.”
For a little variety, guest could also enjoy “wine in a stein” and spirits from tables throughout the space.
Saturday’s Spirited Soiree graced the Alys Beach North Sea Garden Pedestrian Path.
Shaking up their specialty cocktail “Sippin In Paradise,” Stephanie Saputo and Keyatta Mincey Parker made the drive from Atlanta to represent A Sip of Paradise Garden, sharing stories of their nonprofit bartenders’ community garden.
“We were inspired by how pretty it is here,” explained Saputo, as she worked on their drink featuring Rhum Volcanique, JM Orange Liqueur, spiced hibiscus cordial and freshly grated nutmeg. “We wanted to create a drink you could crush on the beach!”
For a bite of brine, Serenoa Shellfish was in from Sopchoppy, Fla., fresh-shucking Skipper Sweets oysters.
“These are harvested from Skipper Bay near Panacea, Fla.,” said owner John Harley as he offered up his cucumber mignonette. “These are known for being salt-forward and sweetness on the end, hence the name. A lot of times a sweet oyster doesn’t have the salt, but we don’t do not-salty oysters!”
30Avenue newcomer Idyll Hound Proper impressed with a duo of bites: bao buns with pork belly and pickled cucumber on a steam bun; and poké wontons with edamame ginger hummus. Blue Mountain Bakery provided a sweet ending to the stroll with an assortment of bourbon cinnamon rolls, gluten-free pumpkin spice cake, and cookies.
The Alys Beach culinary team served both crispy rice salad with pork belly, and Tom Yum Goong with shrimp and rice noodles. Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood plated sous vide prime New York Strip with winter truffle bordelaise, while The Citizen mixed up “The Cure,” a mix of 818 Blanco Tequila, Heirloom Pineapple Amaro and ginger syrup.
Making its Crafted debut, Seaside’s The Daytrader Tiki Bar poured a new seasonal cocktail, Campe See No Evil, from the mind of cocktail consultant Bootleg Greg. Starting with Campesino Aged Rum, Greg incorporated cold brew coffee, pumpkin puree and cream, spices and a syringe of rum coffee. The glass was rimmed with a granola-pumpkin seed-macadamia nut mix.
“We’re slinging our best! The rim reminds me of Cinnamon Toast Crunch!” admitted Daytrader chef/owner Nikil Abuvala. “This drink is just for the holidays, part of our fall series of cocktails as we go into the Christmas holidays.”
Diana Lane, director of public relations for Alys Beach, was pleased with the soiree’s flow, noting the hard work behind the scenes that makes everything appear so seamless.
“Our events team is just incredible. They do an amazing job working with the mixologists to pair the drinks to the food really well,” Lane explained.
Alys Beach Crafted serves as a community fundraiser, with proceeds from the 2023 installment going to the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County. The 2024 celebration is slated for Oct. 23 to 26.
Four days of epicurean delights benefit Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation
By Michelle Farnham Oct. 22, 2023
WATERCOLOR – A harvest festival is a celebration of the bounty. Put that celebration in stunning WaterColor, fill it with fresh Gulf seafood, local brewers and distillers, a lineup of South Walton restaurants, add in some incredible imports on the wine and food front, and it’s a plentiful bounty, indeed.
Harvest After Dark is the evolution of the Al Fresco Reserve Tasting, held in Marina Park. A more intimate affair under the tent, ticket-holders were treated to everything from the soon-to-open Wild Olives’ charcuterie board, The Salty Butcher’s fresh-cut prosciutto, and Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood’s A5 Japanese Miyazaki wagyu, on which Chef Fleetwood Covington “spared no expense.”
Dude Food Fire‘s John O’Neal created his one-bite wonder in an on-site pizza oven: a peppadew pepper stuffed with a puree of medjool dates, herbs, ricotta and honey, all rolled in French ham.
“You take this with any white wine, that is the perfect bite. If this is not your one-bite wonder, then your life is very sad,” O’Neal mused.
Down from Atlanta, Chef Nolan Wynn of Banshee assembled a sesame miso cracker with a candied short rib, shiitake and Parmesan mousse with parsley crema and a parsnip chip.
“This is our first time at this event; my wife used to vacation here when she was a kid, so she’s very jealous I’m here!” Wynn laughed. “We’ve had a great time; everything has been very organized and very smooth.”
In addition to 17 tables of wine and spirits, the Ash & Air Mobile Cigar Lounge, and live music, departing guests were treated with a to-go plate of Frito pie from Harvest veterans, Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q.
WaterColor came alive Saturday afternoon for the Grand Tasting, featuring an impressive 63 tables of delights.
The Fox brothers – Jonathan and Justin of Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q – again anchored the food, rolling out a generously portioned progressive dinner of smoked meats.
“We have our smoked beef brisket, spare ribs and jalapeño cheddar sauce. Once we go through the brisket, we’re bringing out our beef short ribs, and in about an hour, we’re bringing out our smoked brisket cheeseburger on a homemade potato bun,” Jonathan explained. “We like to keep people coming back to us!”
Of course there was plenty to sip on – wines, spirits and beers – including Jackson Family Wines, Slay Rosé, and local favorite 30A wines, to name a few.
Grayton’s Beach Camp Brewing Co. offered its Long Strange Tripel, Bold Brew Coffee Porter, and Cato the Elder IPA but Mat McCown, volunteering on behalf of Westonwood Ranch, said the Something Witty Belgian White had been the most popular.
“It’s very easy-drinking, has a little bit of bitterness at the end,” McCown said. “The porter is actually a blend made with cold brew from Amavida.”
Owners of a sweet tooth were in luck, with multiple tents offering desserts. Jonesing 4 Cookies was back, offering pumpkin, chocolate, sugar, red velvet, matcha and oatmeal flavors. King of Pops handed out samples of their gourmet popsicles, Sweet Henrietta’s presented trays of mini cupcakes, and Blue Mountain Bakery and Swiftly Catered served a mountain of their gluten-free puddle cookies, in addition to savory offerings.
“We’ve got a rich tomato broth, shrimp, scallops, all served on collard green rice.” McCord said. “When you’re cooking for 1,200 of your closest friends, you’ve got to bring the heat!”
Over in the VIP tent, some of the area’s finest restaurants were on display. Blue Mabel offered a smoked pork belly and crawfish cavatappi; The Henderson plated pickled shrimp aquachile with a pineapple gel, avocado mousse and pickled Fresno chili on a madero chip; and Seagar’s served prime New York strip with winter truffle bordelaise.
Santa Rosa Beach-based artist Lindsay Tobias of Art By Doman was live-painting canvases in her signature style, melding abstraction and realism.
Competition sees 23 teams vying for grilling glory
By Michelle Farnham Oct. 15, 2023
SEASCAPE – “Oh no, I’m so full I couldn’t possibly eat another bite.”
“No really, I … Oh, OK.”
This scene played out over and over again Oct. 14, as ticket-holders indulged in all that the Big Green Egg could produce during the 9th annual Eggs on the Beach. Hosted by Bay Breeze Patio at Seascape Towne Centre, you could try everything from pulled pork with mac and cheese (Team Grease Police), smoked shrimp and pineapple (Saltwater Restaurants), to “pastalaya” with smoked chicken, pork and andouille (Team Uncle Theo & the Fixin’s).
InDyne offered a Cajun shrimp and sausage with Angel’s Envy remoulade.
Bosforo served lamb and Wagyu beef Kofta with tzatziki.
Team BE-CI dished up their caramel apple bread pudding.
South Walton Academy, The Eggstras, grilled up bacon-wrapped venison rolls.
Nice Racks BBQ compiled a BBQ sandwich shot with pickled onion, pulled pork and Hawaiian bread.
Perennial favorites K’Eggs Over Easy were back with their Texas Twinkies.
Team Brock, cooking for Fisher House, made bourbon smoked sausage gravy and biscuits.
Bay Breeze Patio co-owner Susan Kiley was thrilled with the 23 teams that turned out for the wonderfully sunny event.
“They’re just knocking it out of the park, they’re cooking their hearts out, they’re all just egg-cellent,” Kiley said with a laugh. “We are excited to have welcomed some new teams, including a few non-profits like the Distinguished Young Gentlemen, a juvenile justice program; and the Gulf Coast Autism Center.”
“We’ve got a lot of exotic foods here this year,” added event co-organizer Tracy Louthain. “We’ve got alligator from Sea Market, lamb from the upcoming Bosforo for Food For Thought, venison from South Walton Academy, so that’s a fun new twist. This is more than a barbecue competition, it’s everything!”
Defending champs K’Eggs Over Easy, a group of grilling enthusiasts from the Cypress Breeze neighborhood, were back with their Texas Twinkies.
Mark Zang, the team’s self-proclaimed “PR guy” was handing out their jalapeño orange bourbon iced tea while also hyping up their food offering.
“We’ve taken a jalapeño and dug out all the seeds, so it’s not too hot, then we’ve put in a seasoned cream cheese, smoked sausages and wrapped it in bacon, topped with a raspberry-chipotle bourbon sauce,” Zang explained. As it turned out, the combo was worth a repeat win with the crowd.
New to the party, Angel’s Envy was a partner, providing the 23 cook teams with bourbon to incorporate into their dishes and bonus cocktails, if they chose. They hosted interactive games to win prizes and even offered free engraving on purchased bottles of bourbon and rye.
Local liquor rep Brad Daniloff was working the Angel’s Envy tent, which offered two drinks, including their Kentucky Buck cocktail, made with Kentucky straight bourbon, lemon, strawberry and ginger beer.
“This is a great event, a good turnout and everybody’s really into it. We’re getting a lot of love,” Daniloff said.
Bourbon of course makes a great dessert ingredient, and several teams took advantage. Tasters got to enjoy the likes of bourbon caramel bacon ice cream (Pecan Jacks for the Walton Skate Association), caramel apple bread pudding (Team BE-CI), and banana nut bread foster (Team Sea Market), all featuring Angel’s Envy.
Throughout the day you could see a panel of judges – Chef Jude Tauzin (Tony Chachere’s), Chef Dan Tederous (Hilton Sandestin), Nikki Nickerson (Cowgirl Hospitality Group), Carrie Honaker (food and travel writer), and Chef Chad Donelson (Bitterroot) – evaluating bites for the coveted Judges’ Award. Honors are also doled out for best Angel’s Envy bite, the Taster’s Choice Award, and the top three non-profit teams are presented a cash prize for their charity.
1 – K’Eggs Over Easy 2 – Brotherhood of Distinguished Gentlemen: Walton County Juvenile Justice 3 – Nice Racks
Angel’s Envy Best Bite Award
1 – Sea Market 2 – Food For Thought 3 – Florida Q
1 – Healing Paws for Warriors – $3,500 2 – South Walton Academy Eggstras – $2,500 3 – Brotherhood of Distinguished Gentleman: Walton County Juvenile Justice – $1,500
Tasters’ Choice Award
1 – K’Eggs Over Easy 2 – Saltwater Restaurants Inc. 3 – InDyne Honorable Mention – Captain’s Choice
Eggs on the Beach is an annual fundraiser for its two benefitting charities, Fisher House of the Emerald Coast and Food For Thought Outreach, both of which assist families here in the Florida Panhandle.
Photos by Michelle Farnham
Team Bosforo, cooking for Food For Thought, took second place in the Angel’s Envy Best Bite.
Team Distinguished Young Gentlemen turned heads with their brisket biscuit.
The versatile Big Green Egg was the star of the show!
Brunch restaurant draws inspiration from three continents
By Michelle Farnham Oct. 4, 2023
MIRAMAR BEACH – Open since the Fourth of July, the brunch hotspot Bistrology lives up to its name. Bistro: a European eatery owned by management, and -ology: a subject of study.
With its highly visible frontage on Highway 98, the months-long remodel of the former Jordano’s Pizza drew a lot of attention as owners Henry Guerrero and Jonatan Gallen – who have a construction company together – poured many hours and many dollars into their dream.
“All of the kitchen, the bathrooms, the flooring, the decorations: we put every single detail in this place from scratch,” Henry said.
Plan extra time for your trip here, not just because the menu is extensive and warrants a thorough consideration, but because, as Henry puts it, Bistrology “is not a rushed experience.” Everything, from the food to the fresh-squeezed orange juice, is made from scratch and to-order, so don’t expect fast food wait times. Don’t expect food that tastes like fast food, either.
“Everything is homemade and it’s made fresh. All the time we try to explain this to the customer because our plates take 30 minutes to make. We don’t have anything pre-prepped or frozen,” Henry said.
“We want to make this a whole experience for our guests, so we have really great WiFi, we installed purse hooks on the tables, it’s beautiful inside – all these little touches make this a comfortable place to spend time.”
An outdoor patio with sunshades and fans is offered for those wanting to dine al fresco, and Henry said they can accommodate large groups with a reservation during the week.
Sips to savor
Bistrology proudly pours “art-made coffee,” either run through their espresso machine, lovingly dubbed “Emily,” or their Japanese syphon system, which is a show in itself. While Henry and Jonatan pride themselves on shopping locally for as much product as possible – especially the seafood and Florida oranges – the coffee is imported from the best destinations in the world: Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ethiopia and Rwanda by way of Destin Coffee. Enjoy it by the cup or take a Bistrology-branded bag, roasted and ground in-house, home with you.
For espressos, find the expected standards – Americano, latte, cappuccino and frappuccino – but also hot or cold versions of Nutella with Oreo crumbles, Pistachio with dulce de leche, and cinnamon topped with whipped cream and burnt cinnamon.
What about the food? Henry, who hails from Colombia, and Jonatan, a native of Spain, wanted to create a unique fusion of their cultures’ cuisines with traditional American brunch fare. Here you’ll find standards like pancakes, French toast, egg dishes and avocado toast, but with a decidedly international flare.
“We tried to make a fusion of Colombian and Spanish food, but using American food as the base,” Jonatan explained. “All the sauces and everything is homemade. We do everything here.”
Food is prepared by Colombian chefs with experience cooking for major hotels in the capital city of Bogatá.
“We’ve got a couple plates from south of America, like Peru, Mexico. We took the best from every country,” added Henry. A dessert case of Alfajores offers the traditional Argentinian dulce de leche cookies, too.
From the pancake menu, the Ham & Cheese Symphony leans in an unexpectedly savory direction, crowned with a sunny side up egg. If you’re after waffles, the Spanish Passion features Serrano ham and manchego cheese with a passion fruit glaze. Croissants and avocados each come stuffed, like the the Dulce de Leche croissant with singed marshmallow, or the Peruvian ceviche with shrimp and fried green plantains. More standard “American” flavors are available, too, including some gluten-free options.
Bring your appetite, as portion sizes are impressive.
“I’m a foodie guy,” Jonatan admitted with a laugh. “When I go to a restaurant and they serve a $30 plate, and it’s just a small plate, I hate that! I prefer to make a good breakfast with big portions.”
If you’re thinking more lunchtime fare, order off the sandwiches or burger menu. The Steak Brie Fusion comes with skirt steak, caramelized onion, brie and pesto mayo, topped with a fried egg. Or try the Lomo Saltado, a traditional Peruvian stir fry dish starring beef tenderloin, onions and tomatoes.
“We are really happy with the local people for the support,” Henry said of business, which has been booming since day one. “Of course when you open a business, you think it’s going to be successful, but not like this.”
Bistrology, located at 10004 Highway 98 in Miramar Beach, is open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. seven days a week. Reservations are available on weekdays. In addition to take-out, delivery is available through Uber Eats and Door Dash. Visit them online at www.bistrology.restaurant.
Photos by Michelle Farnham
Pictured at top: The Gallen Ciabatta Toast: A fusion of flavors from Spain treating two ciabatta bread toasts with an avocado base, burrata cheese, secret sauce based on paprika and caramelized peppers, all topped with a crispy pork belly.