The west coast of Florida has some of the best beaches I have ever been to. The Gulf Coast sand is the softest and whitest sand you will find in the United States. I grew up in Chicago and we would make a retreat to the beaches of Florida every Spring Break when the Winter Blues were at their peak.
This is my first time to St. Pete’s Beach as we normally would frequent Clearwater (only less than an hour away), Cedar Key, Cocoa Beach or our ultimate destination: Destin. St. Pete’s has a mix of all Florida beaches and made me feel like I was a teen again traveling with my family.
I stayed at the Don Caesar’s or “The Don” as locals call it. It’s a giant Pink hotel that is a designated historic hotel built in 1928. This place has old world charm. You can sense what it was like in its hey-day. It’s exquisite but not over the top pretentious. Really, it is gorgeous at first blush and I had the pleasure of upgrading to a oceanfront view. I felt like I was a celebrity or the Queen of the World. Giddy as a schoolgirl.
However, the record comes to a screeching halt…..It was not the most favorable weather as a winter storm blew in and laid a chill across the beach with a heavy cloud layer. Not the best way to start the trip but it won’t stop the tourist.
A great walk on the beach was in order first to explore the beaches and what there is to offer. The hotel offers a lot of water sports and I have my eye on the open ocean kayaking for the next day when the weather is to be more favorable. My motto for Florida is, “If you do not like the weather just wait as it will change.” I head north up the beach and get a little exercise in and ultimately get “my toes in the water, ass in the sand.” I head on up to place that was well spoken of called “Caddy’s on the Beach” which is in Sunset Beach, FL.
This oceanfront place is the closest to the water and has a great outdoor seating area and enclosed patio with heaters. The latter was the better option on this chilly beach day.
The place is an eclectic joint that is typical of a beachfront bar/restaurant. Feels like a neighborhood friendly place that welcomes the tourists with open arms. Totally shabby chic and beachy. Hi tops, patio tables, plastic cups…which seems to be in mass in Florida. But I digress.
So, I take a spot along the plastic covered wall overlooking the waves rolling in on the beach and order up their Caddy Mary. According to the menu it is a basic run of the mill Mary that is Absolut, tomato juice, fresh lemons and limes and celery. My server said she was going to make her special Bloody Mary for me. Served in a plastic glass of course. However, there was a surprising blend of flavors. It is not as simple as indicated on the menu. One of the first things i noticed was the opportunity for me to bob for Spanish Olives in this drink. Seriously, there were at least half a dozen and really was a nice complement to the drink as it was obviously olivey. Then, you get the next layer of flavors which is obviously attributed to the special Caddy Sauce (I will tell you…I would buy this sauce by the case. I ended up adding more to the drink as it was that good!) The Caddy Sauce is a blend of Tomatoes, Onions, Bell Peppers, Jalapeno, Garlic, Vinegar, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Natural Spices. Holy Cow as Harry Caray would say.
The combo of this added layer of flavors and the olives bouncing around made this a winner winner chicken dinner. Which is a perfect reaction for this place is run by a former Casino Hotel Manager named Tony. Who I had a brief encounter with while gazing at the ocean and slugging down my Bloody Mary. A cross between Italian mob dude from Jersey meets Vegas Casino dude to laid back kind of beach guy. He seemed as complex as the Bloody Mary and house sauce I was enjoying. He was kind enough to send over a great breakfast item to me gratis. A mini Upside-down Pineapple Cake. Umm, I think I melted. Salty and Sweet is a perfect combo and not something the Doctor would recommend but I was not in a position to argue with this. WOW! And I am not a big sweets person. It was warm, soft and melted in your mouth. Yes, life sucked at that moment. 🙂
This location is well worth a venture to. One I would go back to in a heart beat. Especially when the weather is more favorable as I imagine this would be a full day drinking place. The menu looked inviting too as there was lot of BBQ and off course the staple fried Florida seafood treats. And to get more of that awesome sauce.