I told you Sara bakes. For our Pensacola cook-whatever-leftovers-remain-in-the-fridge meal she googled, “one egg desserts” and came up with the most amazing cupcakes. She paired the not-too-sweet cakes with very sweet sugar frosting with a squirt of sour lemon. mmm. I also had the pleasure of meeting Sara’s mom, Mary, who taught her everything she knows. Mary once met Julia Child who told her to “follow the cooking gleam.”
Scott and Amanda and their animal portraits are the coolest cats in Pensacola. We ate delicious chili and cupcakes in their rad East Hill home. Ask cool strangers to dinner. It’s a nice thing to do. I want to remember that when I have a home. Scott blogs music, and also, they’re getting married in less than 30 days.
The firs time I went to End of the Line I promised myself I’d try the fixed menu vegan brunch ASAP. It was really the only place I wanted to eat in Pensacola. I waited till our last day to try it (maybe, perhaps to keep Pensacola mysterious), before moving on. I’m sorry, I can not tell you what everything on the plate is. All I know is it was vegan and delicious. It started with a green soup (which is how the waiter described it), proceeded to a vegetable gravy (vegan cheese and nut based?) with spice bread and grits. It all ended with a vegan chocolate brownie. It took a couple hours too long, but we sat in the sun at picnic tables in the back garden, and said goodbye to strange Florida.
Also, do you live in Pensacola and like intrigue? Help this guy out.
I searched Miami high and low for a coffeeshop that had decent and affordable coffee, reliable wifi, comfortable seating, and maybe a friendly barista or two. I was surprised to find nothing even close (although there was great cuban coffee all over the city). Pensacola, on the other hand, surprised me with End of the Line Cafe, a bohemian vegan cafe. While I prefer dairy milk in my coffee over soy or almond milk, I’ll take it for the atmosphere at End of the Line. The folks are nice, the music is great, and the vegan sandwiches (blt and tempeh reuben) are excellent. They have a fixed dinner on Thursdays and brunch on Sundays. I’ll let you know.
All of us travelers have ways of making random spaces filled with Pier 1 decorations feel like home. Sara bakes. Cookies. Muffins. Lemon Bars. Anything at all hours. I never know when amazing smells will tempt me from the kitchen. Her baked goods are so incredible that it’s not worth even trying to put up a fight. Luckily, she’s also my running buddy. She makes these amazing Banana Crunch muffins from Ina Garten. And her recipe for the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had is all in her head. Hopefully I’ll get her to write it down before we part ways. It’s possible I’ll no longer be able to feel at home anywhere without her cookies.
Sure, we thought about going to IHOP for free pancakes this morning to celebrate National Pancake Day, but that would require sneaking in real maple syrup and a jar of peanut butter. And then we thought about going to the Coffee Cup, a Pensacola classic diner, but I knew I’d end up ordering eggs and grits.
So we made pancakes at home. Jeremy and I were both inspired late last night by Austin/Mexican pancakes directed to us by a Texan coworker. Y’all (I’m feeling the Texan influence) know I love pancakes. These were sweet and sour and light and fresh, instantly sending them into the Top 3 Pancakes Ever Eaten (by me). Drizzling lemon juice and zest on top was the clincher.
My pancake love came from my parents. Mom cooks ’em, Dad dresses ’em. Here is an example from this week. I’m always on the search for the perfect pancakes. If you’re feeling hungry today, let me recommend one of my favorite resources on the internet. I’ve had success with these and these, but I’m still searching for my go-to recipe. Next I want to try these (cardamom!)
According to the local weekly:
“The Moon Pie was created in 1917 when Earl Mitchell Sr, a bakery salesman, visited a bakery that catered to coalminers. When asked what they were interested in, the coal miners told him something filling and easy to eat as they often didn’t get a break for lunch. When asked how big the baked goods needed to be , one coal miner held up his hands to frame the boom–“about this big,” he said. Thus, a legendary Southern treat was created. moon pies now range in flavors from banana to the ever-popular, but elusive peanut butter.”
In 1972 officials of the Mobile, Al Mardi Gras banned cracker jack boxes because they were too dangerous. Moon pies became the official Mardi Gras treat in 1974. What does that mean? People hurl them at you from parade floats.
Check out photos from Pensacola Mardi Gras Parade.
Eat at Soya & Pomodoro in downtown Miami if you’re around for lunch. I don’t usually like Italian places, let alone for lunch, but I had a delicious pasta dish with spinach, mushroom, and smoked mozzarella in what looked to be an old alley between two buildings. There were couches and bookshelves and tables spilling onto the sidewalk. I ate the Italian pasta, but stuck with the Cuban coffee to follow.
Miami is full of new Latin foods for me to try, including ones brewing in our own kitchen! Living with two lovely Latinas is fantastic! Virginia made Huancaína, a tradition Peruvian sauce with aji and queso fresco. She deseeded and chopped 2 ajis amarillos, and mixed it in a blender with queso fresco, two hard boiled egg yolks, and about 1/4 c of evaporated milk. It was served on a bed of lettuce with boiled potato slices and hard boiled eggs.