In designing Sublime Restaurant and Sangria Lounge, Michael Perez drew inspiration from his Cuban heritage. He even used his grandmother's recipe to create the restaurant's signature garlic-seasoned beef empanadas. The pastry is just one of Sublime's tapas, though. The menu also includes hot plates of goat-cheese quesadillas and cold snacks, such as deviled eggs filled with housemade guacamole. The Latin-style dishes are a perfect complement to the bar's eight sangrias, which steep overnight to develop more complex flavors.
A Vintage Setting
Although Perez's eclectic menu helped Sublime earned an OpenTable Diners' Choice award, its historic location also played an important role. Located in a 1920s building that one housed a bank, the restaurant and lounge now features two floors of seating with hardwood floors and geometric windows that speak of Cocoa Beach's history.
Vintage 56 has been described as a tapas and wine bar. The décor is contemporary, with indoor and outdoor dining, cloth napkins and modern art, with music that is fun but not intrusive. The bar offers 56 martinis and a good-sized wine list and the menu features a touch of Mediterranean flair with a little Asian spice!
You might notice every group eating a different dish at Crispy’s Beer & Wine Bar. That’s because the bar has BYOF policy—that’s short for bring your own food—which lets guests soak up the 39 craft brews on draft without having to snack on bar peanuts. This policy inspires patrons to linger over pints of hoppy Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA or bottles of fruity Belgian Kasteel Rouge. The deep brown of Gulden Draak hints at its potent Belgian flavor and alcohol content, and light flits easily through the wheat-golden color of Paulaner Hefeweizen. Televisions overhead chatter, providing updates on athletic events or how scary the weatherman says thunder will be this weekend. Those who didn’t bring food snack on the bar’s small selection of locally produced appetizers and desserts such as chocolate-covered potato chips and beer brittle.
Baja Tavern's fresh menu showcases Florida seafood and salsas made from seasonal fruits and vegetables. Underwater treasures star in appetizers such as Bang Bang shrimp ($8.95), which are fried, tossed in a spicy chipotle sauce, and shot out of a small cannon on to plates. Entrees including the pan-fried tilapia ($12.95), a mild white fish with a flaky texture coated with parmesan breading, sate sea-faring appetites. The signature big fish burrito ($8.95) showers baked white fish in chipotle tartar sauce before dressing it in a flour-tortilla tuxedo for a tableside date with homemade chips and salsa. For land-locked appetites, culinary craftspeople slow roast marinated pork to craft caribbean pulled-pork sandwiches ($6.95). While enjoying the atmosphere or engaging in post-dinner staring contests, patrons treat taste buds to island-themed drinks from the bar.
The Hogan family have made a serious commitment to bringing the flavors of Ireland to Cocoa Beach. After helming an authentic pub for more than 25 years in Ireland, they packed up and headed to Cape Canaveral, where they opened Hogan's Irish Bar. But their Irish nationality?and a bar stocked with Irish whiskies and beer?wasn't enough to satisfy their need for a truly authentic experience. So they shipped everything from the original Irish pub to Florida, with pieces including the bar furniture and the iconic phone box that represents life in rural Ireland. They complete the atmosphere with live music and pints of Guinness to keep the merriment going in the New World.
When French native Joel Martin was young, his family moved to Africa. While there, Joel learned to stalk many jungle creatures including crocodiles with the help of his Malgache friends. Years later, in 1995, Martin packed up his own family and moved them to Florida, where the heat and humidity reminded him of his beloved childhood in Africa. Today he owns and operates Black Hammock Adventures, located near some of Orlando's busiest attractions, and charters picturesque airboat rides on the waters of Lake Jesup. His boat, equipped with Goliath's desk fan, skims earplugged riders past lake fauna at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. During rides, experienced guides pilot the vessel safely through narrow creeks and shallow wetlands, and help tourists to spot wildlife and at times, sunning reptiles. After zooming by the scenery, guests can stop by Black Hammock's free wildlife exhibit, enjoy a lively libation at the Lazy Gator Bar with live music every weekend, sit down at the full service restaurant featuring Executive Chef Barth that is known for its fried gator tail, or hand over their cameras as they pose for pictures with a live baby alligator or barter for an autograph with hunks of raw meat.