It was move-in day for the new freshman class at Flagler College. Since we have a nearly six hour drive, OK, make it seven-plus if you count a stop to eat, a stop for gas and a pit stop, we headed down a day early. Once settled into our hotel room we began the usual search and debate about where to go to eat. We finally settled on Aunt Kate’s across the Tolomato River up in Vilano Beach.

Aunt Kate’s website describes the restaurant as follows: “Situated in a grove of live oaks on the bank of the Tolomoto River, you can dine on the outside decks under the trees or inside in either the main dining room or the Victory bar. The trees, scarred by fire, still lean over the water, framing the ever-changing sunset. Wading birds feed along the shoreline while pelicans beg from fishermen on the docks. Occasionally, a manatee or dolphin will swim along the shoreline while passing boats cruise the channel.” I couldn’t have described it better myself.

When we arrived we had our choice of seating inside or out on the deck overlooking the river. There was a nice breeze blowing and it wasn’t too hot at the time so we chose to sit out on the deck. Our server took our drink orders and gave us a few minutes to peruse the menu. Jenna chose grilled shrimp with black beans and rice and mac and cheese on the side. ConnieLou got the fish sandwich with cole slaw. Since shrimp and grits were on the menu and described as “sautéed shrimp served over cheddar cheese grits topped with bacon and mushroom country gravy and served with a house salad”, I just had to give ‘em a try and paired ‘em up with a side of mac and cheese instead of the standard house salad..

Our orders arrived and our table got quiet…a good sign

So how did Aun’t Kate’s fare on the Thumb’s Scale? We gave ‘em an easy 6 out of a possible 6. My shrimp and grits and mac and cheese might just have been the best I’ve ever had and Jenna and ConnieLou didn’t have any complaints about their orders. Aunt Kates definitely made the repeat list.

So far I’ve avoided including pictures on this blog but the comment about the sunset in the description and the sunset we saw as we waited for dinner inspired me to take the rare opportunity to post a picture. Check it out…

Aunt Kates Sunset