My Top 5 Dining Experiences of 2010

Champagne to Celebrat 'Just Because', Libby's Cafe, Sarasota, Fla.
Champagne to Celebrate 'Just Because', Libby's Cafe, Sarasota, Fla.

2010 is wrapping up and I didn’t have the travel adventures I anticipated but I had a decent year of good food and memorable journeys. Here’s a roundup of my best eats of 2010 and not in any particular order:

Dinner at Libby’s Cafe & Bar, Sarasota, Fla.
When my parents and other relatives came to visit this past spring, I took my mom and aunt out to Libby’s Cafe for a girls’ night out with good company, delicious food and even a bit of champagne. Hey, life’s short not to enjoy a little bubbly just because.

Libby’s Cafe & Bar
1917 South Osprey Ave
Sarasota, Fla.
Tel: (941) 487-7300 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (941) 487-7300      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (941) 487-7300      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
www.libbyscafebar.com

Birthday Lunch at Dahlia’s Lounge, Seattle, Wash.
During my girlfriend getaway to Seattle for my 40th birthday trip, my friend ZeldaMae and I had the most fabulous lunch experience at Chef Tom Douglas’s Dahlia Lounge. It had a nice cozy feel, amazing crab cakes and fresh mini doughnuts served with vanilla mascarpone and jam. Mmm, mmm. Months later I can still taste that sugary goodness.

Dahlia Lounge
2001 4th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98121
Tel: (206) 682-4142
www.tomdouglas.com

Fresh Doughnuts at Chef Tom Douglas's Dahlia Lounge, Seattle, Wash.
Fresh Doughnuts at Chef Tom Douglas's Dahlia Lounge, Seattle, Wash.

Chicken Tacos at Alegria Tacos, Near Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
I despised Mexican food when growing up. I just didn’t like the flavor. My grandma introduced me to it when I would travel down from Buffalo, N.Y., to visit her in Sarasota. Eventually, I acquired the taste for Mexican and Tex-Mex and these days, I get my fix at least once a week and yes, I’m counting Taco Bell. One of the best tacos I have had in a while were enjoyed this fall at Alegria Tacos in Oakland Park, Fla., near Fort Lauderdale.  The restaurant is tiny but it sure packs a lot of flavorful punch in their tacos. Best of all, my meal was $8.

Alegria Tacos
3801 N. Andrews Ave.
Oakland Park, Fla. 33309
Tel: (954) 563-7170

Chicken Tacos at Alegria Tacos
Chicken Tacos at Alegria Tacos, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Breakfast at Blue Fox Cafe, Victoria, B.C., Canada
Come hungry to the Blue Fox Cafe in Victoria, B.C., because saying portions are generous is an understatement. I’m an eggs Benedict fan and their seafood version was incredible as well as the vanilla strawberry jam. Decor is kitschy and diners are encouraged to doodle their own blue fox on a napkin – if it’s a keeper, it may end up one of the restaurant’s tables for others to enjoy.

Blue Fox Cafe
919 Fort St, #101
Victoria, BC V8V3K3
Tel: (250) 380-1683

Breakfast at Blue Fox Cafe, Victoria, B.C.
Breakfast at Blue Fox Cafe, Victoria, B.C.

Dinner at The Perfect Caper, Punta Gorda, Fla.
Okay, I didn’t have to travel far to enjoy this restaurant, it’s practically in my backyard and it’s a true culinary gem for this little community. Chef Jeanie Roland is a James Beard Foundation nominee for Best Chef in the South and it’s the first restaurant in Charlotte County to earn a coveted Golden Spoon Award by Florida Trend magazine.Entrees are both visual and tasty masterpieces. My favorite item is the “Warm Goat” appetizer – it’s kind of a build your own deal with roasted garlic, roasted peppers, goat cheese, olive tapenade and grilled onion. You can create a different flavor each time.

The Perfect Caper
121 E. Marion Ave.
Punta Gorda, Fla.
Tel: (941) 505-9009
www.theperfectcaper.com

Warm Goat Appetizer at The Pefect Caper, Punta Gorda, Fla.
Warm Goat Appetizer at The Pefect Caper, Punta Gorda, Fla.

Here’s a video my sister and I made on how to enjoy the Warm Goat – excuse the darkness. Click here if the video doesn’t play.

Not sure about you but I’m hungry! Where did you eat this year?

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Jenn

Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

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