Saturday, August 30, 2014

Shopping in a small 'Old Florida' town

We've found that Fridays are the best day of the week to hit small towns when we want to go antiquing, etc.  We hit Dunedin a few weeks ago and decided to try a very different small town yesterday.  Dade City is north of Tampa and is what I think of as more 'Old Florida.'  Partly because they're are a lot of older people who live there and have probably lived there since they were born.  You don't see much in the way of funky art shops like you do in Dunedin or parts of Tampa, St. Pete and Sarasota.  Dade City has antique shops, good food and that small town 'everyone knows everyone else' ambiance.

Dade City -- home of the Pasco County Courthouse.


We discovered after doing a bit of shopping and then hitting a neat little local place called the Perks Cafe for a late morning snack that there are a lot of 'regulars' who frequent the eating places and shops.  Perks had delicious snacks (they also serve lunch) and I was able to get my iced coffee fix while Duane and Linda had their Chai Tea.  Duane and I each had a slice of delicious homemade banana pudding cake and Linda had a banana muffin.  Good stuff!  We highly recommend Perks to anyone visiting or passing through Dade City.  Like every store and eatery we visited, the people working there were very friendly and somehow knew that we weren't from Dade City.  Hmm... I wonder what gave us away?

Pretty shops with cool architecture.


We did discover when we resumed shopping after our late morning snack that we'd better hurry if we wanted to make it in time for lunch at any of the locally owned places.  Many of them close as early as 2pm.  One of the shop owners suggested an eatery called A Matter of Taste.  That's where we had lunch --- we made it before their 2:30 closing time -- and it was wonderful.  Neat atmosphere with '50's music playing and photographs of Marilyn Monroe, Bogart and other old time celebs on the walls.  I ordered a fried green tomato and bacon sandwich.  Boy, was it good.  Linda had fish tacos and Duane ordered a sandwich called the Marlin.  The portions were very generous and we left there feeling pretty full.

All three of us also purchased items from the various shops, too, so that's always nice when we all manage to find at least one treasure.  I bought a Wallace Nutting signed print, Duane found a nice piece for her Delft collection, and Linda and I both bought vintage children's books.  I plan to record my purchase for Audible so it's in my TBR (to be recorded) pile.

A Matter of Taste cafe.  (Yellow building.)

More shops.  The daily thunderstorms had come through...

Our last stop -- where Duane found her Delft piece.
We had a great day and were ready to head for home around 3:30.  Some of the shops had closed and others would only be open until around 4pm.  I did notice that at least one of the local eateries re-opened from 5-8pm for dinner.  After that, we had the distinct impression that the sidewalks would be rolled up in preparation for the next day.  Good thing we didn't go any later than we did.  A nice little town in which to shop and spend the day.

Our purchases.