Off The Eaten Path
All too often we get into a rut and seem to frequent the same restaurants over and over again. We are comfortable with our choices because we are familiar with the staff, the food, and you know it will always be a great meal. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it’s nice to go exploring and discover new places to eat, which is one of the reasons I love most about my job because I’m always finding new restaurants! I’m not the type of person that likes to eat the same thing every time, but don’t get me wrong I have my favorites too, but as a foodie, I love the adventure of seeking out new dining experiences, and always trying something new.
Now let’s dive right in and see what these places have to offer, and what I had to eat!
Flat Dog Diner – Vero Beach, FL
As I was driving by on Aviation Blvd, the Flat Dog sign grabbed my attention, so I looked them up on social media and found out that they are indeed a breakfast & lunch sandwich shop, with a little Polish influence. I met the owner’s wife, “D” during my visit and I asked her what the top sellers are, and she said the Chili Cheese FD and the Mushroom Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches. I ordered the Philly and “D” included a few Pierogi too! The sandwich had a generous portion of meat and cheese and was quite tasty. The Pierogi are made fresh in-house and are some of the best I’ve ever had!
Flat Dog Diner
Address: 3300 Aviation Blvd, Vero Beach, FL 32960
Phone: (772) 577-5244
Garcia Plaza Bakery – Fellsmere, FL
When looking for the most authentic tacos in Indian River County, I’ve heard Garcia’s mentioned a few times, so I knew I had to stop by and try them for myself. This is your typical Mexican grocery store and they have a ton of items to choose from. They have all the normal staples you would expect, plus baked goods, a nice selection of Mexican sodas, and of course the restaurant. Place your order at checkout, then go to the kitchen window and wait for your order. So, did the tacos live up to expectations? The tortillas held up well, the meat was tender and flavorful, and the tomatillo salsa added a little kick. In my opinion, they were on par with other authentic tacos I’ve tried at other Mexican grocery stores around the area.
Vargas Mexican Food – Sebastian, FL
Located on US Hwy 1 just a little north of Hwy 510 is this tiny Mexican restaurant with big flavors and even bigger portions! I stepped inside, and it’s more of a to-go place, with only a few tables available if you would like to dine in. The Vargas family, Bernardo, Veronica Vargas (owner), and their son Erick all work together to make the business successful. A friend of mine kept telling me about the Chilaquiles and how good they were, so I had to try it. When they handed me the to-go container, it must have weighed over 2 lbs! Chilaquiles are basically corn tortilla pieces that are fried, cooked in salsa, and sprinkled with cheese. It was quite good, and I definitely had leftovers for dinner the next day!
Vargas Mexican Food
Address: 8802 US-1 Suite #1, Sebastian, FL 32958
Phone: (772) 571-6196
Zafè’m Caribbean Restaurant – Vero Beach, FL
Vero’s newest Caribbean / Haitian-inspired restaurant opened about 11 months ago and is located off of US Hwy 1 on 45th Street, just north of the Cumberland Farms. The name is pronounced, “Zaff emm” which means mine, or MY Caribbean restaurant. The owners, recently moved to the area from Tampa to be closer to family who live in Port St Lucie. During my visit, I got a chance to try several different items from their menu, which were all quite delicious! I especially loved the fried red snapper and the Haitian coleslaw! It’s made like a traditional coleslaw, but they add sliced-up habanero peppers for a spicy kick!
Zafè’m Caribbean Restaurant
Address: 2190 45th St #105, Vero Beach, FL 32967
Phone: (772) 584-3886