after a week of formal dining, we ventured out of our resort in search of casual, seaside dishes. in flagler beach, florida, we chose the golden lion cafe, a brightly decorated, local eatery which offered us the opportunity to eat at a bright red picnic table and listen to the waves as we ate.
to start the meal, we ordered the golden lion’s “famous” nachos, nachos being a recurring appetizer choice throughout the trip. we received crisp, lightly salted, tri-color tortilla chips, fried in house, topped with creamy nacho cheese sauce, spicy beef and a heaping pile of lettuce. nothing fancy, but a perfect rendition of a classic dish.
to follow the appetizer, i chose the pesto grilled shrimp tacos with roasted red peppers, arugula and balsamic glaze, accompanied by crunchy french fries sprinkled with nutty, salty parmesan cheese. the shrimp were cooked perfectly and the pesto that coated them was mild, but bloomed with fresh basil flavor. before this dish, i never thought to combine shrimp, arugula and red peppers, but the combination was excellent. in addition, the balsamic glaze dressing the tacos was a terrific, sweet addition with a light acidic finish.
to tie it all together, we ordered a basket of super crunchy, aromatic onion rings to share and, might i say, there may have been the best onion rings i have ever tasted.
the golden lion offered simple, well executed cuisine, ideal for a no fuss, beach-side dinner.
after dinner, we walked less than a block up the street to sally’s ice cream, drawn by the bright exterior adorned with numerous signs telling the flavors. tiny illustrations surrounded the flavor names, clarifying the creative titles. after a difficult deliberation, i ordered my go-to; cotton candy in a waffle cone. the single scoop serving was plenty after a fairly filling dinner and a creamy, sweet ending to an evening by the beach.