Organic food helped save Maria Ray's life. After undergoing surgery to remove a cancerous tumor enveloping her colon, Maria used nutritional therapies, which involve eating organic whole foods, to improve her health. She and her family wanted to share this knowledge with others, so they opened Maria's Organic Fountain–certified "green" by the Green Restaurant Association and one of the only organic restaurants in Indian River Valley. In addition to serving 100% organic fare, the café aims to provide a healthy and educational environment, evident in menu items such as the Hippocrates soup, which comes with Hippocratic Oath–printed napkins. Additionally, the staff are educated in dietary needs and food-therapy diets. They even use non-toxic food-based hydrogen peroxide to kill germs as well as organic cooking oil.
Every day, Vittorio's Pizzeria & Restaurant's proficient pie twirlers construct pizzas, hot sandwiches, and Italian specialties from scratch. The restaurant's modern, mostly horse-and-buggy-free interior harbors a kitchen from which emerge calzones and strombolis overflowing with molten cheese. The culinary team hand tosses the fresh dough that forms the foundation of each pizza, including nine specialty pies, in addition to preparing spaghetti and chicken parmigiana swimming in pools of marinara. The staff also delivers bottled beer and pours glasses of imported wine, cooling tongues better than the unity of a flagpole, a midwestern December, and a school principal's mandate to discipline his hecklers.
The infectious aromas of sizzling steak, fresh chopped cilantro, and spicy peppers flow through Costa Azul Mexican Restaurant, heralding the arrival of generous Mexican feasts. Chefs furl these fresh ingredients and more into tortillas to create tacos, flautas, and burritos. Guests savor the juicy nuances of tender marinated pork carnitas or the perfectly balanced flavors of the restaurant's signature paella. Tangy margaritas and ice-cold brews extinguish mouth fires caused by spicy fajitas or mid-meal freestyle raps. Costa Azul's chefs will also whip up their Mexican cuisine to help their guests celebrate special events, family reunions, and weddings with ease.
The Gin Mill beats back the advancing armies of hunger with hearty half-pound burgers, bolstered by reinforcements of domestic brews shipped out from an elegant mahogany bar. Eight-ounce patties weigh down bottom buns before customers seal in condiments by screwing on the top half of bread, making a carbo-protein feast flanked by waffle fries. Gustatory tinkerers can outfit their burgers with a blanket of cheese, strips of bacon, or their own crocheted burger cozies. Frothy guzzles of beer on tap or by the bottle chase meaty meals down the pipe with bubbly fervor until 2 a.m.
Overlooking the Indian River, the tiki-thatched roof of The Original Tiki Bar and Restaurant houses an expansive menu of fresh seafood, certified Angus burgers, and hearty sandwiches brimming with Caribbean flavors. The lightly fried Bahamian-conch fritters ($8.99) beckon utensils to vote the dullest knife off the table before juicy rib-eye steak arrives, resting atop a bed of mixed greens, pillowed by roasted peppers, onions and soft blue cheese in the steak salad ($14.99). The cuban sandwich makes roasted pork and smoked ham hobnob with swiss cheese, pickles, mayo and mustard within the tight confines of hot-pressed cuban bread ($8.99), and the mahi-mahi sandwich ($13.99) tops a kaiser roll with a blackened, grilled, or fried fillet swimming in tangy tartar sauce that recites Barbados’s national anthem twice before each bite. The Tiki Treasure plate ($19.99) buries sautéed lobster and shrimp in a heaping mound of diced tomatoes, mushrooms, scallions, and linguine, setting the trove off to sea aboard a garlic-bread raft. Diners can cool off their overworked mouths with a frozen concoction, such as piña colada or strawberry daiquiri, from the bar’s extensive drink menu.
Archie Summerlin, part-time poet and self-proclaimed hell-raiser, opened Archie's Seabreeze in 1947 to supply beer to soldiers stationed on South Beach, and his loyal crew continues to serve up pub favorites and cold brews from its vast menu. Like an amorous sea cow's song luring fishermen to the sea, the conch fritters ($7.99), soft shell crab sandwich with fries and slaw ($10.99), and the 8-ounce bacon cheeseburger ($8.99) beckon food-laden fingers to mouths. Domestic and imported bottles ($2.75+), and draft beers such as the Florida-brewed Key West Ale ($3.25) wet whistles as quickly as a referee in a water park.