Tag Archives: Strawberry

Baci Trattoria – Restaurant Review 2017

by Thomas Miller – Food Blogger / Restaurant Critic for Vero Vine and Vero Beach Foodie

As one of my all-time favorite places for breakfast in Vero, I was really excited for the opportunity to review Baci again.  Last year my friend and guest blogger, Eden Collona wrote the review and I was a bit jealous because the food and experience we had was so amazing.  The items on the menu are truly unique and tend to have funky names and a story behind them.  Getting to meet the owner, Karen Scott Fulchini was another highlight of my first visit.  Her warm greeting makes you feel like you are family and dining in her own home.  If you have an opportunity to sit down and dine with Karen, I highly recommend you do.  Her stories alone are worth the time to have a meal with her.

Located in Downtown Vero just off 14th Avenue in a strip mall, Baci is in the corner between the new VB American Bar & Grill (review) and Carmine & Lucia’s (review).  Parking is somewhat limited depending on the time of day you arrive, but there is street parking if you cannot find any spots in the parking lot.  While the inside air-conditioned space is limited, they do have an outdoor patio that has lots of space.  Even in the heat of summer, its shaded and lots of fans to keep the air moving.  The inside is nicely decorated and Italian inspired.  The staff does not seem to change that often, so it’s nice getting to know them and seeing them again each time you visit.

 

Now on to the food!  Let’s jump right in and see what I had to eat!

Insalata Antipasti – ($13.00) – As someone who follows a very low carb diet at home, it’s nice to see a restaurant offer this as an option for someone like me.  The antipasti platter includes shaved prosciutto, genoa salami, mortadella, fresh mozzarella, provolone, and fire roasted peppers.  Portion size was large and quite the bargain for the quality of meats and cheeses served.  Two of my favorites on the platter were the mortadella and the fresh mozzarella. They were both superb! The fire roasted peppers were soft, sweet, garlicky, and went perfectly with the taralli croutons served alongside.

Fried Polenta Fingers – ($8.00) – We got our first taste of these at the Bacon Festival and immediately fell in love with them.  While these don’t have bacon in them, they do have parmesan cheese and are wonderful!  They have a certain richness to them, and the more you eat, the better the flavor gets.  You get two sauce options, either the tomato basil gravy or the spicy Italian pesto dipping sauce.  We had the Italian pesto sauce and it was a perfect match with the polenta.

Shrimp Emanuela – ($13.00) – The polenta at Baci seems to be taking a starring role lately due to customer request.  I know because I’m one of the customers that have requested it several times in other dishes and not just in the Primavera Benedict.  This dish was the inspiration of Chef Amy and she insisted we try it even though we just had the polenta fingers.  It contains two of the same polenta cakes that they use in the benedict and are topped with garlic butter shrimp, served over a bed of fresh spinach, and garnished with shaved parmesan cheese.  Additional garlic butter sauce was served alongside.  Such simple ingredients, yet they work so well together.  It was so good!

Peasant Grits Pot – ($10.00) – If you are really hungry, then might I suggest you give this one a try?  The pot is filled about a 1/3 of the way with their wonderful creamy grits, then topped with sautéed spinach, bacon, pimento cheese, two eggs cooked to order, and chopped chives as a garnish.  I ordered my eggs sunny side up because I figured the runny yolk would further enhance this dish.  The grits were nice and creamy, the bacon was crispy, and the eggs were perfectly cooked sunny side up.  It was delicious!

Holy Cannoli Pancakes – ($10.00) – HOLY CANNOLI BATMAN!!!  This right here is why I say that Baci is different.  Where else can you find something like this on the menu in Vero?  It’s made with 2 pancakes, with the top one folded back and stuffed with cannoli filling.  It’s then topped with more filling, a strawberry then drizzled with some chocolate sauce, and dusted with powdered sugar.  The pancakes were light and fluffy and I was surprised that it was not as rich as I thought it would be with all the cannoli filling.  What does make it rich is the chocolate sauce, so they only put a little bit over the top for garnish and give you a side of it so you can add as much as you desire.

In Conclusion:

Why do I love Baci so much?  Because it’s different, and in this case, different is good.  While they do still have some classic Italian dishes on the menu, they also don’t follow the rules of what an Italian restaurant is expected to serve and have created some truly unique dishes.  While spaghetti may have had a hand in building this place, stuffing it into a gigantic meatball and covering it with Sunday gravy is what keeps people coming back time and time again.

Have you tried Baci Trattoria?  What has your experience been with them?  Sound off in the comments below and let me know your thoughts, or feel free to email me at thefoodguy@verovine.com with your questions or comments.

Atmosphere – 5 Forks

Service – 5 Forks

Food – 5 Forks

Rating Scale Legend:

1 to 5 Forks – 1 Bad to 5 Excellent

Website | Facebook Page

Address1918 14th Ave, Vero Beach, FL 32960

Phone(772) 794-4747

Open Daily from 7:00am – 3:00pm

The Crab Stop of Vero Beach – Restaurant Review

by Thomas Miller – Food Blogger / Restaurant Critic for Vero Vine

For my next tasting experience, I head downtown to The Crab Stop of Vero Beach.  Seafood is one of my all-time favorite meals, but I don’t get to eat it on a regular basis because my wife is not a fan. When this opportunity presented itself, needless to say, I was excited to finally get a chance to try them.  What really peaked my interest in reviewing this restaurant was first and foremost the Facebook pictures they post of their food.  I’m always seeing these large platters of seafood that look so good.  If you have not liked their page yet, I highly recommend you do, so you can see what I’m talking about.

As I pulled into the parking lot around 5:30 pm, the lot was nearly full already.  I luckily got one of the two remaining spots that were left.  Street parking is also available with a short walk to the restaurant.  After taking a few pictures of the outside of the building, Ellis, one of the Co-Owners, came out to greet and welcome me to his restaurant.  As we walked in, I noticed that there were only a few empty tables available. This was a good sign that the food must be really good.  The walls are painted bright yellow and classic R&B played on the radio, so it had a fun, yet laid back comfortable atmosphere.  I had a seat at my table and prepared for what I anticipated to be an epic meal, so let’s get started!

Let’s dive right in and see what this place has to offer and what I had to eat!

Conch Fritters – ($8.95) – For those of you that don’t know what a conch fritter is, think of it like a hush puppy with diced up conch in it.  The outside had a nice crunch, while the inside was soft and tender.  They were perfectly seasoned and not greasy at all.  Served alongside was a rémoulade sauce that had a slight kick to it.  It was very creamy and a nice compliment to the fritters.

Corn Fritters – ($2.75) – Now these look tasty!  Corn fritters are very similar to the conch fritters, only they have a sweeter batter and have corn instead of conch in them.  The outside had a nice crunch to them, and they were soft and slightly sweet inside.  They were dusted with powdered sugar to garnish and were so good!

Crab Cakes – ($8.95) – What better way to serve crab cakes than in the shell of a crab!  The crab meat mixture is stuffed inside the crab shell, fried, and served with a side of their rémoulade sauce.  While the outside looks quite crunchy, it was softer than I expected.  The inside was chock full of crab meat and very little fillers.  They were very well seasoned and quite delicious!

Caribbean Rice – ($15.95) – As a food writer, I’m rarely at a loss for words, but this one had such a WOW factor, I didn’t even know where to begin to describe it.  It’s made with half of a pineapple that has been scooped out.  A mixture of rice, sautéed yellow squash, zucchini, peppers, onions, carrots, chunks of pineapple, diced up shrimp, and Caribbean seasonings.  The mixture was stuffed back into the half of the pineapple, baked, then topped with grilled shrimp to complete the garnish.  This thing was HUGE, it overhung the plate as you can see from the picture above.  I dug in and it was sweet, salty (in a good way), spicy, and had all kinds of different textures going on.  This is definitely a one of a kind experience in Vero and it was insanely good!

Snow Deluxe – ($49.95) – Since it was just me at the review, they brought out a “smaller” version of this dish since the full-size one would just be too much food for one person.  The bowl had to be at least 12 inches in diameter, and it had at least a half-pound of garlic potatoes, sliced smoked sausage, peel and eat shrimp, hard boiled egg, two corn coblets, two clusters of snow crab hanging off the side of the bowl, and topped with a lobster tail fluffed on top of its shell.  This was my first time trying something like this and it was wonderful!  The aroma of the garlic coming off of this when they set it down on the table was intoxicating!  I dug in and gave it my best shot, but sadly I was unable to finish it and took the rest of it home.

Strawberry Pound Cake – ($3.99) – While not made in house, it’s made by a local bakery and friend of the restaurant called Bon Bon’s Sweet Confections.  The cake was very moist and had a wonderful strawberry flavor.  A nice way to round out a fantastic meal!

 In Conclusion:

As a food writer that eats at a lot of places in town, it’s getting harder and harder to impress me, yet these folks somehow managed to do just that.  Everything was beyond fresh and cooked to order.  The flavors were bold and everything was seasoned to perfection.  The owners, Ellis and Beverly can be found throughout the restaurant working and greeting their customers, making sure things are to your liking.  At the end of the year, I write an article about the best of the best.  I call it my GOLDEN FORK Awards.  I have a category for Best Seafood and I’m going to go out on a limb and say that The Crab Stop is going to be pretty hard to beat.  Will they win my GOLDEN FORK award for Best Seafood in Vero?  You will have to stay tuned to see if anything else I eat this year can top it.

Have you tried The Crab Stop of Vero Beach?  What has your experience been with them?  Sound off in the comments below and let me know your thoughts, or feel free to email me at thefoodguy@verovine.com with your questions or comments.

Atmosphere – 5 Forks

Service – 5 Forks

Food – 5 Forks

Rating Scale Legend:

1 to 5 Forks – 1 Bad to 5 Excellent

The Crab Stop of Vero Beach Website  |  Facebook Page

Address: 2263 14th Ave, Vero Beach, FL 32960

Hours:

Thursday 11AM–8PM
Friday 11AM–10PM
Saturday 11AM–10PM
Sunday Closed
Monday 11AM–8PM
Tuesday 11AM–8PM
Wednesday 11AM–8PM