My Favorite Things
My Favorite Things is a local coffee shop/boutique/lunch and breakfast spot that has been known to the Pensacola area for several years now. Initially, this coffee shop served only breakfast and lunch, but last year they extended their hours and their menu and began serving an evening meal. The restaurant itself is tucked in between Jerry’s Diner and The Magnolia. It’s a quaint coffee shop turned-restaurant with a cute and quirky personality. The dining atmosphere is casual and laid-back with an indoor dining area as well as an outdoor courtyard.
Recently, I dined at My Favorite Things and was quite impressed with their dinner menu. The menu included an extensive variety of options. Steak, grouper, salmon, braised lamb shank, and lobster ravioli are among the dinner selections. For those with more of a gourmet street food craving, the menu also offers tacos, burgers, and flatbreads. With such a blend of culinary options, anyone is certain to find a food that suits their palate.
It was honestly hard to choose from all the tempting entrées. Admittedly, I am a bit partial to seafood. Living on the Gulf Coast, I’m rather spoiled by the convenience and availability of fresh seafood. While I do love a good steak, more often than not you’ll find me ordering seafood when dining out. I’m pretty much a fan of grouper prepared in any form or fashion.
When Tosh, our server, brought out the Grouper Pontchartrain I was quite impressed. I was not expecting such a generous serving nor such a lavishly crafted presentation. The golden-crusted grouper regally set atop a crisp leaf of Savoy Cabbage. The grouper was peeking out from underneath a generous amassment of jumbo shrimp, crabmeat, onions and mushrooms all married together in a rich, buttery sauce. To the side and slightly underneath the cabbage-encased grouper, sat a fluffy white cloud of whipped potatoes. Adorning the plate and adding a pop of color was an assortment of zucchini, yellow squash, diced sliced tomatoes and ribbons of purple onion.
The grouper was a large, fresh fillet. Grouper is a lean fish with a nice firm and flakey texture. It is light in flavor without being overly “fishy.”The grouper fillet was generously coated and dressed with Panko crumbs and then panéed to a light and golden brown. The Panko crumbs added just the right crunch. The Grouper itself was impeccably cooked to just the right doneness without being the least bit dry.
The grouper would have been delicious simply by itself. But why stop here? At least that’s what the culinary mastermind at My Favorite Things seems to think. This light and flavorful fish is then topped with a Pontchartrain sauce. The Pontchartrain sauce is FULL of jumbo shrimp and lump crab meat. Again, they don’t skimp on portions for this entrée! The shrimp and crab meat swam in a delightfully rich and buttery Pontchartrain sauce. Red onion, mushrooms, parsley along with a hint of lemon balanced the sauce and gave it the ideal balance of buttery creaminess and herbaceous earthiness.
The Grouper Pontchartrain is served with My Favorite Things mashed potatoes and your choice of a side. The vegetable of the day was medley of yellow squash, zucchini squash, red onion and tomatoes. The mashed potatoes were fluffy and buttery, just they way mashed potatoes should taste. The vegetable medley was sautéed splendidly and was the perfect side to compliment the rich flavors of the Grouper Pontchartrain and the whipped potatoes.
Next time you’re in the East Hill area for dinner, stop by My Favorites Things and try the Grouper Pontchartrain. Even if you’re not in the area it’s definitely worth a special trip. It may just become your new favorite thing.