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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Melbourne, Florida: The, Matt's Casbah

January 5, 2012
I don't know how we could have had a better day of hiking and birding than yesterday, but maybe it is "honeymoon" magic ! We visited the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge and walked the 5 mile Cruikshank Trail. It was named for Allan Cruikshank whose vision it was to turn the wetlands areas near the NASA launch sites that were pretty much off limits anyway into a habitat for the regional animal population. They have had much success saving a variety of species including the manatee, the alligator and they are a great snowbird site for many wading bird and duck species.
Here  are the honeymooners out on one of the many canals and small lake/lagoons that comprise this beautiful area.

This is a nice little 8-9 foot alligator we spied on the refuge. Yikes! We saw so many gorgeous birds, but I believe we most enjoyed the roseated spoonbills. Not only are they a stunning pink color, but they make a really interesting noise when they swallow sounds alot like Paul belching :)
Paul really enjoyed the Overhaul Canal area. It is the manatee viewing site, but them manatees ain't no fools. Unless it is 70 degree water temp, they hang out at the warm waters of the power plant. Paul liked reading about the history of the region. Native Americans used to haul their canoes over the water there at the narrow point and have done it before the non-natives arrived, providing many years of human activity to the region.

After our great hike, we headed back to Melbourne and tonight we ate at Matt's Casbah.
It isn't really fair to call it "weird," so maybe eclectic would suit it better. It appears to be owned by a pretty cool dude, the proverbial and actual Matt, who apparently did not want to get hemmed into a culinary corner. So he came out swinging with a series of restaurant endeavors, all in one building. Outside, there is a bar/bistro with seating and someone singing quite passable renditions of radio favorites. I am sure from looking at the entertainment schedule that they often have local bands offering their original stylings as well. This area is a bit loud, but if it is your first date and you aren't sure you actually want to talk to your tablemate anyway, it could be a fun choice. Just inside is a real honest to goodness bar. Then there is a sushi bar. You pass through that area into a large open room decorated with a local artist's painting and some draped ceiling fabric remniscent of a sheik's tent minus the bellydancers and this is the more formal dining area. I suppose Matt isn't too interested in hemming you into an eating corner either, since you can order from the extensive and varied menu regardless of where you sit...sushi in the outdoors, sushi at the sushi bar, sushi anywhere!
But, we did NOT have the sushi...although it looked mighty tasty. We started the meal with their warm nutted goat cheese and pita points which we both thought tasted great. 
 Paul had a whole snapper which he stated was the first whole fish preparation he had ever tried.  And it was awesome--nice white flaky fish in an in store creation: a spicy Thai chile sauce. 
 I had the twin lobster tails in caviar cream sauce. I have to say it was nice. One of the tails was a bit overdone (very slightly), but the other one was perfect. They served it with roasted seasonal vegetables. I could have had a whole plate of the veggies  and been totally satisfied. So good!
So what did Paul Parris, a recently married man have to say about this meal?
"Whole fish is a whole lot of good. The sauce was great!"
Price of this meal with a bottle of wine ($32) and a good tip: $125.00 (food $72).
Just in case anyone think's Matt satisfied all his restaurant cravings with the Casbah-- THINK AGAIN. Across the street is his wine, beer and cigar bar with many wines and numerous microbrewed and craft beers. We didn't check out the cigars, but I betcha there's bunches!

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
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    Dinner Deals Melbourne