Everglades City has another specialty: In addition to the blue crabs, fresh pompano, and frogs' legs you can get everywhere, they make a mean deep-fried corn on the cob, the best of which is served at the Camellia Street Grill. At Camellia Street the corn isn't at all greasy, just lusciously melting, spiced with thyme and what tasted like cajun seasoning, although the proprietor was unwilling to reveal exactly what went into their secret recipe. Camellia Street also makes a delectable fry bread, which comes with a sort of tomato-pickle relish that's sweet, sour and out of this world. They regaled us with rich and fatty soft-shell blue crab and grilled pompano as tender and soft as butter. Another really fun thing to do is to go to the beautiful Rod and Gun Club on the Barron River in the evening, order gin and tonics, and shoot a couple of rounds on the antique pool table in their cocktail lounge, or bang out some tunes on the old upright piano.
I highly recommend Everglades City either as a day trip or overnight (the kayaking through the mangroves on the Turner River is pretty magnificent too). As it happens, the famous annual Everglades Seafood Festival is set to run there very soon: February 6, 7, and 8: it sounds like a great opportunity to eat seafood until you drop.
-- Gail Shepherd
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