A grizzled sailor adjusts his eye patch as he leads his entourage down a winding street. A pirate with feathers in his cap breathes life into the history of a Spanish mansion. Tour Saint Augustine Inc.'s guides, always garbed in period dress, bridge the gap between St. Augustine’s past and present, recounting the city’s history through stories of early European colonists, famous local architects, and civil-rights activists.
Walking tours and hop-on, hop-off motorcoach tours begin in the Flagler-era historic district at the company's office. On foot, the guides follow a set tour path or tailor excursions to their group's interests as they travel to the past via a wormhole beneath the city’s gates. Their drivers also steer visitors down quaint side streets in historical horse-drawn carriages, and National Park Service–sanctioned guides lead guests into the bowels of the Castillo de San Marcos fort.
Framed black-and-white pictures fill the lemon-yellow and terra-cotta-red walls in Fratelli's Restaurant, evoking the casual ambiance of a family dining room beside the Mediterranean. The chefs demonstrate a similar commitment to homestyle comfort by faithfully re-creating familiar Italian-American staples. Ricotta-stuffed shells bake beneath a layer of mozzarella and marinara, and marsala sauce adds an extra dose of flavor to sautéed veal loin, chicken breast, or sliced rib-eye steak. Occasional maritime influences also work their way into the menu, as in the case of the housemade crab cakes and the shrimp or scallops in a spicy red sauce made with magma-marinated peppers.
Dick’s quickly silences grumbling bellies with a menu of tasty grilled edibles and a tongue-tingling variety of spicy twists. Fried pickles ($4.29), buffalo shrimp ($7.49), or wings in 365 available flavors ($8.99/10) engage mouths as guests wait for the main attraction—half-pound burgers, whose meatslabs are hand-pressed and grilled to order over the heat of omnipresent flame decals. Bacon, swiss, and lettuce enrobe the Squealin' Cheeser burger ($7.59), whereas sautéed mushrooms sit proudly atop the Shroomer burger ($7.59) and a trio of cheddar, american, and jack adorn the Three Cheeser ($7.59). All burgers come with a choice of steak fries or waffle fries and can be sharpened with any of Dick’s 365 sauce blends ($0.59 additional). Before strolling over to the nearby beach to squash sandcastles, diners can clog their molars with chunks of deep-fried Oreos ($3.99), a chocolate tribute to the hamburger and a smooth ending to a spicy ride.
Over the last century, many traditional Mexican dishes have found a comfortable home in American kitchens, from nachos covered in savory toppings to enchiladas and many variations of tacos. Luckily, when visiting El Porto Mexican Restaurant, guests don’t have to choose one of their favorite Mexican dishes over another. Instead they mix and match the shop’s combination dinners. Chefs pair tacos filled with carne asada, marinated pork loin, or fish with enchiladas, chalupas, and chili rellenos.
Chefs even create pairings specially designed for vegetarians, subbing in mushrooms, bell peppers, and spinach for the traditional meats of their dishes. The one thing that doesn’t come with these pairings is desserts, and options range from caramel-kissed flan to deep-fried tortillas filled with bananas, honey, strawberries, and whipped cream like the blimp in a great dream.
Maui Grill began the way that many great adventures begin: with a hot dog cart. After working as Wolfgang Puck's kitchen manager at Spago in Maui, Chef Don went rogue, and on Independence Day 2009, amid raging bursts of firework light, he opened his cart for business. One cart became two, and in 2012, became Maui Grill, an indoor Hawaiian eatery ripe for luau-style grub. Shrimp and seafood get gussied up with sweet Asian sauce and coconut, leaving plenty of room for garnishes of house-made mango and papaya salsa. After two-handing a burger or sandwich with pineapple slaw, patrons can question Chef Don about his time cooking in the Navy or ask a Hawaiian shaved ice if it's ever considered other depilatory methods.
Cruisers Grill's cooks flip mouthwatering burgers on plates and mix their own dressings, marinades, and sauces, all of which helped the eatery earn the title of Best Every Day Burger from TravelHost magazine. Founded in 1996 and purchased in 2007 by proprietor Bobby Handmaker, the restaurant now boasts four locations, with plans to begin franchising and open a fifth on Mars in 2014. Trivia and live music entertain patrons throughout the week at select locations, and a fleet of wooden booths proffers perfect views of onsite TVs.