Great Southern Café – A quick Review of a 30A Restaurant
This is written by a person who was a restaurant critic in New Jersey and New York. Her tastes do not usually lean towards southern home cooking but you will see her thoughts about it in the following review.
Great Southern Café, Seaside, Florida.
Jim Shirley is one of those chef’s that can make you feel like royalty while eating good home cooking. Yet, his good home cooking has a twist. Jim has brought to the Seaside area a bouquet of delicacies to the pallet like no other has done. He seems to have taken the dishes experienced from his worldly travels and infused those recipes with old southern cooking.
The result: fine dining with a twist of home cooking, presented beautifully and priced worthily.
I went to the Great Southern Café a couple of weeks ago with a guest from the Cosmopolitan area. We each had a dish that was beyond good. I had the Shrimp and Grits Ya Ya and she had the chicken with ginger sauce. I will start with the fact that our waiter was patient with us, as at first, all we wanted was a tall iced tea to quench our thirst from shopping on a rather warm day. We chatted a while and he did not bother us for the order but simply would look our way awaiting a signal that we were ready. That was so nice in itself as we really wanted to discuss a few matter. When we finally ordered, we had a couple of questions which he promptly and efficiently answered. Our wait for our lunch did not take long at all to be served and we were surprised to see that the portions were extremely generous.
The chicken was lightly breaded and it was a huge, very tender cutlet. The two sauces, asked to be served on the side, were just that, on the side and both were wonderful. The shrimp on the gouda infused grits with a portabella and spinach sauce was beyond delicious. Moreover, very unique. I have had cheese grits before but Jim is known for his gouda cheesy grits and no question why. Yum!
And of course, during the entire lunch, our delightful waiter was filling our iced tea and making sure everything was as we wished it to be.
The atmosphere is simple but pleasing and conducive to good conversation. White linen on the table enhances the delight of good food. And there is a large dining area on the side porch with its own bar! A great place to dine during the lovely fall weather and a great place to people watch!
I noticed several other tables and the dishes they were served. All I can tell you is I did not see one dish with any leftovers or any dish sent back! It was obvious that all the diners in our cozy room were enjoying every morsel as much as we had.
Although Great Southern Café has a Santa Rosa Beach mailing address, it is located in the center of the town of Seaside, Fl. off of 30A, behind the green and post office.