Flying to Florida: Guanabanas.

IMG_1677Hello readers! This week I take you a little south of the city – we’re flying to Florida.

Anyone that has been to Pittsburgh knows, it gets a little cold during the winter months.  To escape the bitter cold and the fluffy snow, many head down to sunny Florida for hibernation.  For all of the snowbirds and vacationers that find themselves in Jupiter, Florida – I recommend Guanabanas.

Welcome to paradise.  A 100% open-air restaurant filled with tiki huts, banyan trees and chiseled coquina stone pathways overlooking the bay. Originally opening as a sandwich shop by surfers in 2004, the restaurant has grown into a well-known hideaway in northern Palm Beach County for its tropical setting, delicious grub and live music from artists locally and nationally.IMG_1681

Located across the street from Square Grouper, the setting for the music video of the well-known song by Alan Jackson, It’s Five O’clock Somewhere, Guanabanas gives you the same island feel and puts the mind at ease.

The Guanabanas stage has seen some big names including The Fray, Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20, Natasha Beddingfield, the Spam Allstars, Iration, Sol Driven Train, Zach Deputy and more. Check their website for the entertainment schedule to see who might grace the stage next.

IMG_1680When we arrived at the restaurant, the hostess reported that we had about a thirty-minute wait. That was no problem because there was so much of the place I needed to explore. Strolling down the stone pathway, I enjoyed the beauty of the illuminated fountains, lush vegetation, lantern filled huts built around heavy trees and vines and best of all the waterfront view.

Eventually, we reached the boardwalk of the waterfront.  We took a seat on the dock , laid back and watched the boats, smelled the water and soaked up the view.  Before we knew it, it was time to take our seats at our table.

The table agreed, we should start off with some appetizers. We placed an order for the Florida fritters, coconut fried shrimp, chicken and cheese empanadas and the Guanabanas loaded chicken nachos.IMG_1682

The Florida fritters were fresh and the locally caught shrimp paired well with a Jalapeno mustard sauce. All of their seafood is from local sources. As one of the first participants of the “Fresh from Florida” campaign, all of their seafood comes from within the state.  Each fritter was indeed fresh and the jelly added a great flavor and additional texture.

The coconut breaded and deep fried shrimp had a nice taste and again paired well with their Jalapeno jelly and lemon. The chicken and cheese empanadas at first glance reminded me of pierogies from home, but were definitely a little different and again topped them with Jalapeno jelly sauce. It was a tasty fried treat. Lastly, the loaded traditional chicken nachos were topped with salsa, avocado, peppers with cheese swimming throughout and sour cream drizzled across the top.IMG_1685

We were filling up fast with these delicious appetizers but left a little room for the main course. I selected the pork tacos. Shredded juicy pork sat at the bottom of two tacos and was topped with cabbage slaw, salsa verde and a creamy queso blanco in a soft corn tortilla.

My friend also thought tacos sounded like a good idea and ordered the fish tacos. Topped with the same fixings as the pork, he commented his were also fresh and delicious thanks to all of the locally produced ingredients.IMG_1674

Guanabanas strives to provide its guests the true Florida experience with the outdoor beach design, local and exotic vegetation, waterfront view and fresh Florida seafood. Escape the cold Pittsburgh weather and enjoy the warm island-like atmosphere and fresh food.

Experience Pittsburgh, One Bite at a Time.

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