Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Buttonwood Cafe in Flamingo, FL

While visiting South Florida, I ventured deep within Everglades National Park and found myself in the former town of Flamingo. Flamingo is the furthest south that you can travel in the park by road. Flamingo was an actual town at one point which was occupied in the late 19th and early 20th century. Eventually Flamingo became a ghost town and was incorporated into the national park. The ruins of the former ghost town are apparently still present, but today Flamingo consists of a visitors center, marina, campsite, and an abundance of alligators and crocodiles.
Behind the bright pink Flamingo Visitor Center, there is a screened in area that houses a restaurant called the Buttonwood Cafe. The location provides a very nice view of Florida Bay.
The restaurant itself was essentially a food truck with table service. There was a trailer attached to the screen enclosure where all of the cooking was done. Servers took orders and delivered food. Apparently there was a more permanent restaurant here in the past which was destroyed by hurricanes and was never fully rebuilt.
I ordered the grouper sandwich. This consisted of a fried filet of fish on a bun with lettuce, tomato, onion, and tartar sauce included alongside the sandwich. I assembled all of the sandwich components together and this ended up being a tasty sandwich. The large piece of grouper was freshly breaded and fried. The breading had a very nice peppery flavor. The bun was a step above a standard hamburger roll. Coleslaw and fries were served on the side.
I enjoyed my meal at Buttonwood Cafe. It was my first experience dining in one of Florida's National Parks. It was also the furthest south I've ever eaten in peninsular Florida. I'd gladly return to the Everglades to eat here again!

Buttonwood Cafe on Urbanspoon

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