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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Hidden Gem at St. Augustine Beach: The Original Cafe 11

Find It and Visit It:
The Original Cafe 11 on A1A Beach Blvd.

Set back just a bit off of A1A Beach Blvd. is this hidden gem, located at the corner of 11th & A1A Beach.  There's a parking lot that fronts the street, but don't drive by this one!  It's a laid back and chill place that has something for everyone.






It had been a while since I'd been here last, and it got me wondering why, oh, why, haven't I been back here sooner? (actually, it has more to do with the fact that I live on the other side of St. Augustine, and usually only get out this way when hitting the beach).  Of course, I already knew Cafe 11 offered a pretty good selection of craft beer, and local beer, at that.  Check out these offerings: Mile Marker Blonde and Red Ales, Bold City Brewery Killer Whale Cream Ale and Duke's Brown Ale, Intuition People's Pale Ale and Aardwolf Belgian Pale Ale.  And, there are some additional good beers: Florida Ave Ale, Sweetwater IPA and 420, New Belgium Fat Tire, and other guest taps.  And, yeah, you can get a few of the "usual" beer offerings, too.  They also serve red and white wines, if you're not a hophead.




The Half-Price Happy Hour from 3-7pm daily is a real deal. I sat outside on the patio with my beer (a Mile Marker Blonde Ale) and just relaxed by watching the cars drive by.  There are six outdoor tables on the patio.   The inside bar area is small, but cozy.  Inside is a good amount of seating and a stage, which features various shows.  The staff is very friendly.



The venue is located across the street from beach access, and there are several public parking spaces in this lot as well.   It's a great location for coming off the beach, just walk across the street, and you're there.  Check out Cafe 11's website for a copy of the menus, which feature breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, and the schedule of shows.  It's open daily from 7am to 9pm, with brunch on weekends and holidays from 8am to 12:30pm.  The selections include a wide variety of salads, sandwiches, both cold and hot, wraps, vegetarian options, appetizers, quesadillas, chicken, salmon and seafood offerings, and coffee, tea and smoothie beverages. Heck, they even have fresh-baked muffins and cookies!  The "healthy" food options are really nice, especially when you're at the beach and might feel a bit guilty about eating something too heavy, especially when you're wearing a bikini under that tank top (just sayin').  I only enjoyed my beer on this visit, but I've had the wraps before, and they are tasty.

Many of you know that I'm a bird lover, and I was excited to have that gregarious flock of black-hooded parakeets make a few fly-bys.  I look forward to seeing them anytime I head to the beach, and they seem to live closeby.  Awww.  You can't really see them too well in this photo, but they are very striking.  Fun to watch.
All in all, Cafe 11 has some good beer choices and a good variety of comfort food, veggie and healthy food options, all in a chill but trendy atmosphere.  Find this cool little place, and take some time to relax after a hard day at the beach.  

Til next time, Cheers!  See you out and about in the beer, bar and beach world!  And, yes, it's Beach Season, so I'll be back this way very soon.....