Finally back from our trip to Florida. I don't have time just now for a full-blown post, but I do want to throw a bunch of food-related thoughts at you with the few minutes I do have:
Awesome Spice Shop
While hanging out at John's Pass, I happened upon The Spice and Tea Exchange (www.spiceandtea.com). This little store had more spices, dried herbs, specialty salts, gourmet teas, dry rubs, and other awesome things than you can possibly imagine. We're talking walls full of spices in jars that you're encouraged to open and sniff. They even make their own spice blends in-store and there are some fantastic, fragrant combos. I picked up a Tuscan blend for myself that I can't wait to try. At approx. $4.95/oz, it's only slightly more expensive than that teeny McCormick jar you have in the cupboard and a whole lot fresher.
I encourage you to check-out their website. If you'd like to order, please do call the John's Pass store directly. The stores are franchises and the gentleman there was so helpful that I'd really like to throw some business their way. Plus, I get the impression that each store has its own collection of in-store blends, so you might get a different variety by calling each store direct to see what they have or what they can recommend for your particular piece of meat, fish, or poultry.
On Fresh Corn...
It appears that Florida is cranking-out sweet corn on the cob in the off-season this year and it's pretty darned delicious. I happened to find some at my local Dave's Market here in Rhode Island and I sampled some directly in Florida from a Publix and it's delicious. Also, it seems to keep well for a few days in the fridge, which is uncommon for corn. If you find some in your store, grab it...especially the variety with the white and yellow mixed kernels.
It's not often that I rave about chain restaurants but I happened to have the rosemary pork tenderloin at Olive Garden the other day and...wow. I'm speechless. Tender, juicy. Maybe could have a bit more flavor to the sauce, but the accompanying roasted potatoes make up for that. Do spend the extra buck and try it if you happen to eat there in the near future. It almost makes the 90 minute wait with no reservations or call-aheads policy worth it.
That's all for now. Stay tuned...more to come!