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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Great Places to Visit in Melbourne, Florida

Melbourne Florida isn't a culinary capital, but with a little knowledge about where the locals eat, you can get great food at a decent price. I'm going to discuss several of my favorite places in and around Melbourne so you have some choices no matter where you are as you travel around our town.

Let's start beach side since that is one of the biggest draws to the area. If you are down at the boardwalk in Indialantic and a fan of New York style pizza, Bizzaro's is the place to go. I had forgotten how good pizza from up north was until they opened. Rumor has it that the secret to NY pizza is the water- regular tap water processed by the city of New York. That is what gives the dough its distinct taste and my wife tells me that Bizarro's imports water from the Big Apple for just that reason (who cares as long as it tastes good!). If you order a large, better have some help because the pies are oversized. The place is right off the north end of the boardwalk and there are few parking places so walk or bring someone to run in to pick up your to go order while you circle. It is not a big place, but there are a couple of booths inside and tables on a covered patio outside. Bring cash because they don't take plastic or debit cards. Can't beat a great slice of pizza and a cold beer with a great view of the ocean! (321) 724-4799

Speaking of beach side eateries, eat where the local surfers eat when you are in Satellite Beach- Da Kine Diego's. A little shack of a place with great burritos; not Mexican, but Hawaiian! You get big overstuffed burritos you can eat by hand filled with healthy ingredients. All dining is outside- it is located on the west side of A1A so your view of the beach is obstructed by a condo, but it is a good place to go for a quick bite when you are hitting the waves. They also have fun entertainment for the whole family like movie nights. Definitely worth checking out if you are in the area- (321) 779-TACO (8226)

If you are in downtown Melbourne and want to have a nice dinner with your spouse, go to our favorite restaurant- Continental Flambe located on E. New Haven Avenue right next to the railroad tracks (I know, sounds weird when you read it like that). It is an upscale European/French restaurant that doesn't break the bank. Although the price per person is around $25-27 (more for the specials), about half of the menu items are a package deal- appetizer, salad, entree, and desert all for one price. This is our special occasion place because it has great atmosphere and food. The wait staff is attentive and we have never been disappointed in our meal. Try their Karma Sutra martini- it is almost as good as the name! Making reservations are a must- it used to be a great secret eatery for us a couple of years ago, but it looks like the secret is out. (321) 768-2445

On the west side of town, my favorite Mexican place is the Fiesta Azteca on Wickham Road just south of Sarno Road. In my opinion, the best Mexican food in Brevard County is right here. The service is good, food is prepared quickly and it has a nice atmosphere. I only order one thing- the super chicken burritto: it is big- enough for two people, but I don't share! Go to their website and you can look over their menu or find a location near you- there are several in town. This one was the first one (I think)- it was on Sarno, but they moved to this location when they were ready to expand. The only minor problem is the traffic since they are located just south of the Wickham/Sarno intersection, but it is only an issue if you want to go north when you are leaving. (321) 242 5966

In the Avenue Viera Mall area, Five Guys is the place to go for burgers. They are hand formed, come with lots of toppings and a big pile of fries. These are made the way burgers should be. The price is around $7, a little more than McDonalds or Burger King, so we don't go there often but I try to avoid hitting fast food restaurants regularly anyway. This is more of a treat than a daily affair for us. The price hasn't scared away customers- you will normally wait in line to order but it moves quickly. It is a fast growing franchise and there is another shop off of Palm Bay Road just west of the I-95 interchange. Use the store locator on the site and find one near you!

That just about covers the four corners of Melbourne, Florida so you should be able to find good eats if you are in and around town. I've enjoyed eating at these spots and I'm sure you will too. I'm always looking for a good place to get a meal so if I find one I'll keep you updated. Don't waste your life or your money- start LIVING!

John is an electrical technician and SCO on the Space Shuttle at Kennedy Space Center. He is also a private pilot with commercial, instrument and multi-engine ratings and has lived in Florida for 25 years.

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