Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Tybee Blogger Convergence

A few weeks ago my blogger friend up in Statesboro, Georgia posted an article on her blog, Some Kinda Good, about the Restaurant Week taking place on Tybee Island. Rebekah wrote, "Seafood on the Georgia coast with good company gets me more excited than a child on Christmas morning. Moreover, restaurants that want to show off their menu offerings at affordable prices are that much more enticing."

Well, Rebekah sure got us excited. My bride and I had been to Savannah, but we somehow missed Tybee Island and after reading Rebekah's words we decided to take a road trip up to the island and see what culinary delights might be awaiting us. I emailed Rebekah that we weren't square, that we would be there, and she suggested we meet up on the island for what we'uns in Tampa refer to as a Blogger Convergence.

The Belle of Ballast Point and I secured reservations at the Ocean Plaza Beach Resort. We had requested a more economical room overlooking the parking lot since we weren't going for the beach, just for the food. When we arrived at the Ocean Plaza we were given a complimentary upgrade to a fourth floor room with a balcony overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. This was a much appreciated surprise, and even though it was colder than a, uh, it was way too cold to spend much time on that balcony.

I was able to stand the 27 degree cold long enough to capture this Atlantic Ocean sunrise:

There are a plethora of outstanding dining options on Tybee, and Rebekah suggested that she and Kurt meet the Belle and I at Coco's Sunset Grille.

The Belle and I were surprised to find a gem such as Coco's situated down a rutted gravel road in the middle of nowhere. It took us awhile to find the place, but once we did, we were thrilled. From Coco's web site, "Nestled in the marsh behind Tybee Island, on the shores of Lazaretto Creek, CoCo’s Sunset Grille is one of the very few restaurants located at an operating marina and is a jewel of the Georgia coast. With perfect views of the river and marina, from our large patio you can watch the shrimp boats returning with the day’s catch as the sun sinks slowly over the marshes."

This was like a slice of the old Florida I knew in my youth before the developers raped the land and blocked off the state's natural beauty with walls of condominiums.

We had barely parked before we spied Kurt and Rebekah heading over to greet us. Rebekah is just as charming in person as she is on her blog and on national TV (The Taste and The Doctor Oz Show).

The four of us walked through the door of this eclectic establishment and were immediately greeted by friendly folks who seemed glad to see us. We were promptly seated, presented with Restaurant Week prix fixe menus, and our drink orders taken.

We could order from the regular menu, which had some taste-tempting items that will have to wait for a subsequent visit, or we could order from the special prix fixe menu. The four of us chose the prix fixe, with a side appetizer of steamed shrimp for Kurt.

Megan was our server for the evening. She was charming in her own peculiar way. Beneath that somewhat brusque exterior lurked a warm soul with a sense of humor. I would ask for her again whenever we go back. I don't think I would give her any sass, though.

My bride began her meal with a bowl of French Onion Soup that disappeared rather quickly. I'll have to assume it was good since she didn't share.

Rebekah, Kurt and I each started with the Bacon Wrapped Scallops. These tasty treats from the sea were out-of-this-world good. Of course, everything is better with bacon, but the semi-sweet spicy glaze with hints of the Orient was superb.

For her entree, my bride chose the Sirloin Steak Marsala with scalloped potatoes and grilled asparagus. The Marsala sauce was divine, but that steak was so tender, juicy, and packed with flavor that it pert near brought tears to my eyes. Yes, I did sneak a bite.

Rebekah chose the Shrimp Cakes as her entree with mashed potatoes and sauteed veggies along with a cup of remoulade. The shrimp cakes were declared good and really didn't need any sauce for enhancement.

Kurt and I seemed to be of the same mind this evening. We both went with the Thai Tuna with wasabi mashed potatoes and sauteed veggies. I requested my tuna be quickly seared with a mostly raw middle. That is just what I got and it was perfect with the semi-sweet house Thai sauce.

For dessert, several of us could not resist the Fried Strawberries. Those berries were dipped in a pancake batter, deep-fried, and then rolled in cinnamon sugar with dollops of whipped cream. I have to try that at home. Those berries were...well, the berries.

The Belle chose to be different and went with the Praline Pecan Pie...another treat for the buds of taste.

Speaking for myself, the dining experience at Coco's was fantastic, and it was enhanced by meeting and dining with a friend and fellow food blogger.

Our prix fixe dinner for two with adult beverages came to a pittance of $65.81. We tacked on a 20% for Megan. She provided good service and put up with me.

I wish that a wad of Tampa Bay restaurateurs would come up to Tybee and dine at Coco's to discover that delicious, innovative food doesn't have to break the bank.

Coco's Sunset Grille on Urbanspoon

Coco's Sunset Grille on Foodio54

Our new friends from Statesboro:

Thanks for a delightful evening.


  1. Hey Jon!! LOVE this post! You weren't kidding about that gorgeous sunset view from your room. What a beautiful photo! And that action shot of my fork in the potatoes turned out pretty darn good too. Ha! Thank you and Lydia for such an awesome time. Can't wait to do it again. Long live Tybee Island and Coco's Sunset Grille! Good food and good company, that's what it's all about.

    1. You are right - good food and especially good company is hard to beat. We are also in favor of doing it again...maybe some place warm next time?