I love to find the locavore favorites whenever I travel, so I was delighted to discover 29 South in Fernandina Beach. I headed there for lunch last week while staying in Amelia Island and was quite amused by their fun and creative menu items such as Lobster Corn Dogs with Spicy Horseradish Ketchup spiked with Kettle One Vodka and their Foie Burger with Truffle Brie. While I'm an adventurous eater, I decided to go with their special of the day which was a house made Ginger and Sage Sausage served sandwich-style on a homemade biscuit with arugula, red pepper and egg salad.
What's unique about 29 South is they source most of their ingredients from local farms and provide organic, natural and free range ingredients whenever possible. There's even a Chef's Garden out back with peppers and herbs. They're also a winner of multiple awards including the 2009 Spirit of Slow Food Awards and 2010 Florida Trend Golden Spoon Winner.
If you're not into weird foods, don't sweat it. They describe themselves as a "chic neighborhood bistro with a little something for everyone" and they definitely stand by that statement. There are traditional entree choices as well as Southern classics such as biscuits and gravy, shrimp and grits, pork chops and fried green tomatoes. In addition to brunch, they're also open for dinner and have an extensive wine list suitable for any palate priced from affordable to pure gluttony. Literally, they have a pricey wine called Gluttony. While the dishes are seasonal, there is one thing you can always count on; coffee and donuts. I had many locals tell me "O-M-G you have to try this" with wide-eyed enthusiasm so I made sure to save room for dessert. Essentially, it's glazed doughnut bread pudding baked in a coffee mug and topped with mocha ice cream. It's as sinful as it sounds and worth every calorie.
The atmosphere at 29 South is casual and there is seating available indoors, but the best views are outside on their wrap-around porch. Here's the scoop to help you plan your visit:
IF YOU GO
WHERE: 29 South 3rd Street, Fernandina Beach
PHONE: (904) 277-7919
Save room for coffee and doughnuts!