Nestled deep in southern Wakulla county is a little gem called Spring Creek Restaurant. Our food comrades Chuck and Bill suggested checking it out this past weekend. They said it was reminiscent of the southern country dining they grew up on (Bill actually grew up in New Jersey, but let’s not let the truth get in the way of a good story). In fact, going there IS like going back in time.
Though actually part of Crawfordville, Spring Creek is a gulf town just north of Oyster Bay. It has maybe ten streets and twice as many houses. According to their menu, Spring Creek Restaurant has been doing business since 1977. The place has a huge limestone fireplace, wood paneled walls, and an all-around country motif . On each table sits a jar of croutons, imitation bacon bits, and ranch salad dressing in a wine bottle. The words “modern” or “fashionable” will not come to mind, but therein lies its charm.
Shrimp, mullet, oysters, soft shell crab, and even Florida stone crab claws were all available when we went (check out the menu here). For starters, we got a salad that came out as half of a head of lettuce with whole vegetables in a stainless steel bowl that you get to prepare yourself. Don’t like green onions? No worries, just don’t put them in. Sara ordered the tomato pie and shrimp. If you’ve never had tomato pie, it’s a real treat. Imagine pie crust filled with the ripest tomato, fresh basil, onion and cheese that’s baked ’til piping hot. Without a doubt, it was the highlight of our meal. I ordered the All You Can Eat Quail or Catfish, because why not? The idea of unlimited quail and catfish struck me as very funny since neither is particularly easy to come by. They brought me two. Of each. To start.
After dinner, we took a leisurely walk around the town. Near what was possibly a general store we found a boat launch that we walked down to catch sunset by the water. Chickens, dogs and cats all approached to greet us. A dog licked a cat on the head. It’s that kind of place.