I’ve saved the best from our trip to Titusville, Florida, for last: Dixie Crossroads. We ate there the first and last nights of our visit.
From the outside (which I didn’t photograph because it would have required standing in the highway), it’s not much: just a large restaurant along Garden Street in downtown Titusville (Highway 406) with a big orange sign spelling out its name.
We began our first visit in the “gazebo,” otherwise known as the bar, which had just opened for the season that February night. Our waitress busied herself cleaning, but we managed to chat about snow in the South before we were summoned to our table.
The restaurant was full that Friday, so the hostess tucked us into a little room in the back with a waitress named Patti. She brought us beer, a Villa Maria chardonnay from New Zealand, which was soft and medium-bodied, and corn fritters. I ate far too many of those sweet little devils.
I loved this square, substantial, paper napkin (it’s on top of the menu). Both menus were made from paper (online, the entrees are divided into “seafood” and “not seafood”). The waitress, who definitely knew her stuff, suggested the large Royal Red shrimp, which live 1,200 feet down and are fished by only a few intrepid captains. I ordered the Royal Red dinner, broiled, and Todd ordered the “Shellfish”: breaded rock shrimp, scallops, and more shrimp of a variety I can’t recall.
We could have ordered the Best of the Cape [Canaveral] Shrimp Special, featuring 1 dozen each of rock, Royal Red, brown, and white shrimp. Never having encountered “brown” or “white” shrimp before, we were intrigued but didn’t think we could eat 25 shrimp each.
I’ve had a lot of shrimp in my life, but never before have I bitten into one and said, “That is beautiful.” The Royal Red were the most tender, flavorful shrimp I’ve ever had.
Todd’s rock shrimp were decent, but the scallops (on the right) were small. I much preferred the meal he had on our second visit: shrimp and grits flavored with bacon. I had Royal Red and Villa Maria chardonnay both times (as well as a much drier Placido pinot grigio), and finished my 5-day visit to Florida with key lime pie, which, frankly, didn’t taste any better than key lime pie I’ve had in the Denver area. Of course, the limes weren’t in season.
If you visit Titusville, you might as well go to Dixie Crossroads and try the Best of the Cape Special. Let me know how it was, OK?