This past weekend, my husband and I found the time to take my mother-in-law up to the little town just north of Tallahassee, Havana, Florida. This little town filled with shops and antique stores also houses some local dining options.
So on Saturday morning we were looking to get out and enjoy the beautiful day before heading back home to enjoy our college football game that was going to be on at 8 pm. We decided to head up to Havana, Florida and explore their antique stores. We arrived and went into several stores before deciding to grab some lunch. Some friends have been telling us about a little gourmet shop that serves wine and beer along with an assortment of cheeses and a small menu of sandwiches salads and on Saturday nights, a Prime Rib Dinner for $24.95, so we decided to give it a try for lunch!
First of all, when we walked in we were smacked in the face by the amazing aroma of their food cooking in the back. In looking around we found a variety of specialty gourmet items, cooking gadgets, house made jams and jellies, a large selection of wines and beers and some specialty cheeses. They also have a large candy assortment that greets you just as you walk in!
Located behind the Antique Mall in downtown Havana, Florida, Joanie’s Gourmet Market has a nice selection of lunch items to choose from. Whether you are looking for a lite bite or a full on fill-you-up lunch, they have you covered. On this day’s lunch the three of us opted for different items, I chose the chicken quesadilla, my husband chose the cuban sandwich and my mother-in-law the spring salad. Of course, my husband indulged in a specialty IPA (India Pale Ale) beer while my mother-in-law and I chose to stick with the simple bottled water.
While waiting for our food, which was less than 10 minutes, I decided to walk around and take in their items available. In the indoor dining corner, Joanie’s offers an assortment of gourmet cookies and crackers along with specialty coffee (which they advertise they will happily grind for you before you leave) and some in-house made jellies, jams and relishes. They also offer an assortment of cheeses to go with their wide selection of wines. (The one thing I was a little disappointed to see was that a very popular local cheese dairy was not in their case, but things could change) They also offered wine party items for purchase along with specialty cutting boards and utensils.
After taking time to explore the market/café, our food arrived at the table and I was ready to give it a try. First of all, the Means’ are avid eaters of all things in the mexican food genre, so I was very happy to try the chicken quesadilla and it was full of flavor and I couldn’t stop raving about it. Packed with shredded chicken, shredded cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses on a pressed tortilla and served with a side of sour cream (which I did not use) and house chipolte ranch dipping sauce, DEVINE!
My husband, a big cuban sandwich lover, was pleasantly surprised at how packed with flavor the sandwich was. Full of hand carved ham, roast pork and swiss cheese all pressed with house made mustard (that packs a little punch) and dill pickle slices. Their cuban lived up to all expectations! Though hot and delicious, I couldnt’ even take myself away from my quesadillas to give his sandwich a try! He loved it and that’s all that mattered.
My mother-in-law, who is a very light eater, opted for the Spring Mix Salad thinking it would be small and manageable since we had finished breakfast just a few hours earlier and she doesn’t eat as often throughout the day as my husband and I do, found herself staring down at a huge, beautiful salad. The Spring Mix Salad is packed with a variety of mixed greens and topped with mandarin oranges (one of her favorites), Craisins, blue cheese crumbles and spiced walnuts with a house balsamic dressing on the side and a few Terra veggie chips, she certainly had more than she could consume with this choice.
After finishing our meal, we all opted to splurge on a little dessert from their case. I opted for the English Toffee which was really exceptional and my husband and mother-in-law opted for the chocolate covered peanuts, which they loved.
102 W. 8th Avenue, Havana, FL, Joanie’s Gourmet Market & Fabulous Cafe is open Wednesday – Thursday from 10 am until 7 pm, Friday – Saturday from 10 am until dinner is over and Sundays from 11:30 am until 5 pm. Lunch begins each day at 11:30 am. Joanie’s also has live music on the weekends. Want to know what their daily specials are? Give them a call at (850) 539-4433. Dinner is served on Friday and Saturday nights and a Sunday Brunch with Mimosas, Bloody Marys and Long Islands! They also have some front porch seating available in the shade if you choose to enjoy the cool breezes coming.