Sunday, January 24, 2016

Dixie Crossroads Restaurant, Titusville, Fla.

Titusville, Fla.--Get your Florida rock shrimp eating on at Dixie Crossroads. This restaurant, established in 1983, started the rock shrimp movement by inventing a machine that could crack the hard outer shell of these shrimp. Located just a few minutes drive from Interstate 95 at exit 220, this piece of Florida dining history is worth a visit.

Wild caught Florida rock shrimp grilled, Dixie Crossroads Restaurant,
Titusville, Fla.,
Copyright 2015 by Helen A Lockey
Florida rock shrimp taste more like Florida lobster than shrimp making for a delicious meal but because the shell is so hard to crack they are more expensive than other shrimp. This means they tend to only show up on the menus of expensive restaurants.

But at Dixie Crossroads Restaurant they are affordable. You can buy rock shrimp by the dozen and get them fried, grilled or steamed.

On a recent visit, I ordered a plate of one dozen grilled in-the-shell rock shrimp ($15.99) served with melted butter and a wedge of lemon. The plate came with a choice of two sides dishes I chose the seasonal vegetable twice.

Deep-fried corn fritter, Dixi Crossroads Restaurant,
Titusville, Fla.
Copyright 2015 by Helen A Lockey
While I waited my server brought out a basket of hot, crispy, deep-fried corn fritters smothered in powdered sugar. They tasted like dessert.

The shrimp were luscious. Their mouth watering, slight kiss-of-the-sea flavor was so fresh and enticing that I ate every mouthful as slow as I could manage.

If you want to enjoy these Florida delicacies then head over to Dixie Crossroads Restaurant located at: 1475 Garden Street, Titusville, FL 32796
Phone: 321-268-5000

They are open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday, AND 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Accomplice Brewery & Ciderworks, Gluten-Free Deliciousness

West Palm Beach, Fla.—Making gluten-free alcohol for profit can be delicious. This is especially true at Accomplice Brewery & Ciderworks, owned by Matt Stetson and his girlfriend Felicione Merriman (a Celiac disease sufferer), who opened their brewery tasting room to the public in November 2015. “There’s no reason why ciders shouldn’t be as complex as wines,” said Stetson during a recent interview.

Matt Stetson and Felicione Merman owners of Accomplice Brewery &
Ciderworks, West Palm Beach, Fla.
Copyright 2016 by Helen A . Lockkey
Celiac Disease stops Merriman’s small intestine from absorbing the proteins found in gluten foods like wheat and barley, the main ingredients in most beers. “Matt’s super aware of my Celiac’s disease. He doesn’t want to have any of it (gluten) in the brewery,” said Merriman.

But just because they are brewing gluten-free alcohol doesn’t mean it is boring. “I mix wine, cider and beer processing,” said Stetson. He also bases all his creations on his Prussian born great-great-great-grandfather’s recipes. “I don’t use any cider yeast. I use wine yeast, beer yeast and bread yeast,” said Stetson.

Ciderbration, gluten-free, barrel aged hard cider from
Accomplice Brewery & Ciderworks,
West Palm Beach, Fla.
Copyright 2016 by Helen A Lockkey
This means he can come up with delicious libations like the one brewed for the New Year called Ciderbration, a five month old, barrel-aged, Imperial Cider that tasted more like champagne than hard cider with strong hints of green apples and grapes.

Most of their hard ciders, meads and ales take just 10 days to two-weeks to go from fermentation to glass. And because their volumes are more nano-brewery style (five to 35 gallon tanks), Accomplice Brewery & Ciderworks can come up with more varieties of exotic blends faster than their competition.

The exotic nature of Accomplice’s brews doesn’t stop with their ingredients. Stetson, an avid neo-noir, Tarantino and comedy movie fan has channeled his passion into the naming of their meads, ales and ciders. “We call all our meads names that are lines from the movie ‘Airplane,’” said Stetson during our brewery tour. He pointed to a five-gallon tank and said, “we are thinking of calling that one, ‘Excuse me Mam but I speak jive.’”

To keep up with the artistic nature of the brews, Merriman, a self-confessed foodie, has found equaling exotic and delicious gluten-free food producing Food Trucks. “We have a big gluten intolerant and celiac following,” said Merriman.

She added that they were also fans of the local food movement and that last year produced some ciders that included Florida grown mango and starfruit.

You can buy a 12-oz glass of cider for just $3.75. You can also buy Flights of their brews starting at just $3 for four sample-sized glasses to a six-glass Flight for $7. They also have a wide selection of beers from other Florida breweries.

Accomplice Brewery & Ciderworks is located at 1023 N. Florida Mango Road, #4. It can be a bit hard to find them, so don’t hesitate to call for directions, many people before you have, (561) 568-7242.

They have limited tasting room hours right now and are only open Wednesday (4-9 PM), Thursdays (4-10 PM), Fridays (4-11 PM), Saturdays (2-11 PM), and Sundays (2-8 PM).

You can also find Accomplice Brewery And Ciderworks brews at many Florida restaurants but the selection is not as good as at their tasting room.