Exterior of Addison on Amelia

Category Archives: Happy Tomato

Two More Favorites = One Great Lunch!

July 25, 2012 by theAddison


The Happy Tomato is by far my favorite place for barbecue.  Love the pulled pork and the ribs.  Rich and his crew also put together some real nice salad sandwiches with either shrimp, tuna or chicken. 
The Happy Tomato has a pretty outdoor courtyard with a few tables for enjoying your lunch.  But where can you eat if you crave air conditioned comfort?  Get your Happy Tomato lunch to go and walk across the street to another of my favorite spots, the Green Turtle Tavern.  You can sit at the bar in their AC, enjoy the best barbecue and have a cold pint or two to go with your lunch.  With 40 different beers to choose from you’ll be sure to find something that goes with that Rib and Chicken Plate that you brought with you, all in the comfort of air conditioning!

And don’t forget, if you love barbecue the Great Southern Tailgate Cook Off is coming to Amelia Island on August 24th and 25th!

Smokin’ at the Happy Tomato

July 2, 2011 by theAddison

And speaking of food….

I walked down to the Happy Tomato this afternoon to pick up the baked beans for tomorrow’s July 4th (on the 3rd) cookout.  I knew I’d need two hands to carry the beans so I didn’t take Maggie Doone or One-Eyed Louie.  Without those two beasts I had the opportunity to check out the Happy Tomato’s kitchen. 

Rich, who is the owner, chief cook and bottle washer of the Happy Tomato does some pretty amazing things with food in this smoker of his.  It was converted from a drum with a firebox attached to the side.  The smoke (and heat) runs under the cookbox to heat it up some and then flows through the cookbox and out the chimney.  The smoker you see in the photo is used for chicken, ribs, brisket and other smaller cuts of meat.  He uses another smoker for the butt which takes a lot longer to cook.

Rich entered the Great Southern Tailgate Cook Off last year and was pleased with his results in the final judging.  He learned a few things about what the judges expect and he is ready to go back at them this year.  The Cook Off is August 26 and 27.  Mark your calendars, save the date and reserve a room.  The food at the Cook Off was great last year and it is going to be awesome this year.

Back to those beans.  I should probably taste them, you know, just to check them out….

Summer is Cookin’ and Smokin’!

July 24, 2010 by theAddison

I am really getting excited about this new summer event on Amelia Island. The first Great Southern Tailgate Cook-off is being held here on Amelia Island on August 27th and 28th and I just can’t wait! I love events like this!

The organizers (Thank you Bretta!) have got 42 of the top BBQ teams from around the country coming to our beaches to compete for over $20,000 in prize money. Top name teams like Myron Mixon of PitMasters, the General Porkticioners, Lotta Bull and the Late Night Whiskey Smokers. They will be cooking and smoking chicken, brisket, ribs and pork butts with lots of sampling to go around after the judging.

I am a griller, not a barbecuer, and I wouldn’t even try to compete with the people coming to the competition so at the Addison Happy Hour on Saturday the 28th we will be featuring barbecue from the Happy Tomato. Rich, head man at the Tomato and competitor in the Cook-off, will be cooking us up some of his prized pulled pork and smoked turkey. We’ll get some chicken salad and shrimp salad to go with the meats and we will have our own barbecue feast out on our veranda.

So we’ve got the Great Southern Tailgate Cook-off at the end of August followed closely by Labor Day weekend with the new Sun Splash series of reggae concerts. October will be here before you know it with cooler weather and even more to do. The Amelia Island Jazz Festival is in the first 10 days of October and we have put together a Special Jazz Weekend Package just for the Festival. My favorite car event of the year follows with the Amelia Cruizers Car Show on October 16th. The next thing you know we’ll be decorated for the Holidays and cooking Thanksgiving dinner for our guests. Wow, the Holidays already. Right around the corner!

When I first came to this country….

June 17, 2010 by theAddison

When I first came to this country I had nothing! Less than nothing actually but I have been in the United Sates for 18 years and, let me tell you this my friend, the United Sates has been very, very good to us.

The 4th of July is coming up and it is a good opportunity to reflect on the freedoms and opportunities that we, as American citizens, have. Yes, I am an American citizen now having been naturalized in July of 2008. (As a side note: I find the expression “Naturalization” to be odd. What? I was unnatural before?) This discussion began at Happy Hour this evening and I continue. Why do people emigrate to the United States? Repatriation with family, employment opportunities, as refugees from oppressive regimes, and the favorite catch-all phrase “to enjoy the American way of life”.

Since coming to the United States we have enjoyed many successes and have made many friends in many neighborhoods. Shannon and myself did well with our engineering careers and now find ourselves doing well in a totally different adventure, running a B&B in Florida. The land of opportunity!

July 4th is the greatest day of celebration of this country; it’s birth, growth and how it stands today among nations. Fernandina Beach is a small town in a small corner of the country but we celebrate with the best of them. The July 4th weekend starts off with a Sounds on Center street concert on Friday night. Saturday has the Farmer’s Market in the morning and the second of the series of SunSplash Reggae Concerts in the afternoon. A Union Soldier garrison will be held at Fort Clinch on Saturday and Sunday.

On the 4th we will be extending our regular Happy Hour with a “Bob’s Favorite” cookout. Shannon may drive the breakfast menu but I love doing the Happy Hour cookout. I’ll be grilling hot dogs and my hand-made hamburgers, served with all the fixin’s. We’ll also have side salads plus some baked beans from the Happy Tomato. We can watch the 4th Parade as it passes right in front of the inn after Happy Hour and lead everyone down to the marina for the fireworks. A great weekend with great beach weather is ahead for all.

While we’re celebrating the 4th, let us not forget the 1st. My home and native land, Canada, celebrates their own national holiday on July 1st. Happy Canada Day, eh!

Third Street is Lunch Street

April 17, 2010 by theAddison

Third Street is Lunch Street. Well, not exactly. It isn’t like anyone except for yours truly really thinks that Third Street will be named Lunch Street but there are SO MANY great places to eat lunch within two blocks why shouldn’t the street be renamed?

Starting at the corner of Ash and Third we have 29 South. Scotty, the owner and head chef, cooks up some amazing Southern ecclectic food. 29 South is also open for dinner but the lunch menu is good too. You can check out their menu and even reserve tables online at http://www.29southrestaurant.com/
Heading north along Third we see Kelly’s. They have just re-opened the restaurant and it looks great. Their courtyard is their dining room and they have done a fantastic job getting it ready for serving lunch. They have a lunch menu that they run all day with a few dinner entrees thrown in for evening fare. They just opened on Friday so we haven’t had a chance to get in there yet but we’ll post reviews as they come in from our guests.
The next lunch spot is the Happy Tomato. Tremendous pulled pork sandwiches and other barbecue. Great salads. You order at the counter, grab a table in their treed courtyard and they will bring steaming hot pulled pork sandwiches with your choice of sauces out to you.
Across the street from the Happy Tomato is the Green Turtle, my personal favorite. It is a pet friendly, non-smoking bar with $2 PBRs and a great sandwich menu. My favorite? Their Maxwell Street Polish Sausage served with onions, peppers and chips. Their Chicago Dog is authentic, real tasty and only $4. There’s no sign out front so keep an eye out for the Scramble Campbell bus.
Crossing Center Street and heading one block north we get to Cafe Karibo. This is the island’s only brew pub and they serve a full menu (heavy on sandwiches and salads) either indoors or on their spacious outdoor patio. The food is always good and they are always tweaking the menu.
The last stop for lunch along Third Street is Arte’s Pizza. We love the food here. One pizza and one salad is a meal for two heavy eaters. The pizza is real New York style and even our guests from New York are impressed with it. A favorite place of the locals so it is often crowded for dinner. Go for lunch and enjoy your pizza on their new outdoor patio. This photo really does not do the food justice. This photo makes it look like a cantina from a Clint Eastwood movie. The food is WAY better than the building looks.
So how do you follow up lunch at one of these great Third Street eateries? At the corner of Third and Center is Fernandina Fantastic Fudge. They have not only fantastic fudge that is made on premises but they also have a wide selection of Working Cow ice cream from a small boutique dairy. It must be great ice cream, the line-ups for it can be really long in the hotter afternoons.
You had a good sleep in one of our comfortable beds, enjoyed breakfast on the Addison’s veranda and have had lunch at one of our popular restaurants along Third Street. Still hungry? Want some dinner? Check out our new Local Dining page on our web site. We have restaurant descriptions and links to their menus so that you can find exactly what you crave.
Bon appetite!
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