Review: Old St. Augustine, Florida and the World Golf Village

November 7, 2017- by Steven E. Greer

I went on a spontaneous trip to St. Augustine, Florida, with no planning. I saw that The Who was playing there (review found here) and thought that the nearby World Golf Village would be nice to get some rounds in. This is what I found.

On Friday night at the beach amphitheater, I greatly enjoyed the concert. I had to park in an annex lot near the beach and found it stunning. There was a full moon and no condo development for as far as the eye could see. I was thinking to myself that this might be a good place to live.

Then, On Saturday, 14-miles away at the Golf Village, I began to notice that this part of the country is isolated by water inlets creating a vacuum of education and culture. The restaurants served food on par with a bad cafeteria. The service staff were horrendous. The locals speak some weird version of English that is hard to understand.

Unlike nearby Savannah, for example, St Augustine is not a charming southern hospitality town at all. It is the demographic that the comedian Larry the Cable Guy mocks.

If you are considering golfing, don’t. The courses are poorly maintained and managed. The golf complex is 14-miles away from any restaurants. There is not a single redeeming quality to this resort.

If you stay by the beach with a family, it might be a good trip. I did not fully investigate that. But based on the food in the town and the service, you can probably find better locations to vacation.

Harry’s Seafood was supposed to be one of the best. It has nice two-floor outdoor balconies like you would see on Bourbon Street. But the food is what you would get at a diner anywhere in the country. I sent my jambalaya back due to lack of seasoning. The red snapper was acceptable, but the key lime pie barely tasted like limes.

The next day, I tried Prohibition Kitchen. It was just a sports bar. My lobster roll was all wrong.

A little 300-year-old blacksmith shack that now serves coffee and ice cream served me cookies and cream instead of butterscotch ice cream. But the young men running the stand insisted that I was wrong.

That is what irritated me the most. The locals who work in the service industry are like out of the movie Deliverance.

Th best “meal” I had was at the amphitheater. Mojo’s Taco Vida double stuffed taco was nice. The inner crunchy shell keeps the extra voluminous stuffings in check without breaking through the soft shell.

When I flew back and landed at Charlotte International Airport, I started to spot signs of civilization. I never thought that I would appreciate Ohio as a Mecca for culture. It’s all relative.

What is fascinating to me is that, in this day of social media and Internet, somehow we still have these backwaters in this country where time stood still, but not in a good way. How is that possible?

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