Foodie Day Trip – Melbourne & Palm Bay, FL

In spring of 2020, I rebranded my blog to include the entire Treasure Coast, not just Vero Beach. With only a handful of new restaurants opening each year, I wanted to expand my reach to include a much larger, more diverse area with a lot more restaurants to explore. While the Treasure Coast only goes from Sebastian down to Jupiter, my coverage area starts in Melbourne and goes down to West Palm Beach. I figured it was easier to define my coverage area with these larger more well known cities.

This new article series, Foodie Day Trip will feature a few of the top rated restaurants from these areas. My selections are merely what was rated highest on Trip Advisor or just from a simple Google Maps search, looking for those unique hidden gems that are just waiting to be discovered! I decided to start at the top of my coverage area and work my way down the Treasure Coast.

For those of you who are new to my blog, I’d like to mention that I only write about and support locally owned mom & pop and chef owned restaurants. I feel it’s important that we support these businesses in our area, because they are the life blood of our local economy. These restaurant owners care more about what they are serving you than the chains do. At the chains, you are merely an order number, where if you frequent a local restaurant and become a regular, they get to know you by name, and even what you order.

Now let’s dive right in and see what all these places have to offer and what I had to eat!

Red Ginger Melbourne Square – Melbourne, FL

Outside of Mall Mural, entrance is just to the right of the palm trees. They also have an entrance from inside the mall.
Dining Room
Honey Lime Chicken with Fried Rice
Soup Dumplings

The dish that started the idea for this blog post is the elusive Soup Dumpling! I first learned about these a few years ago. I didn’t think I could find them anywhere outside of Hong Kong, so I was very excited to find a restaurant that was making them locally. So, what is a soup dumpling anyway? The wrapper is made from flour and water, then rolled out, thin on the edges, and thicker in the middle. They do this to help it from breaking open and so it’s easier to pinch and fold it. Inside the dumpling there is a ground pork mixture and a gelatinous pork broth, which when steamed, liquifies into soup. They can be tricky to eat, so I watched a YouTube video before I visited to learn the proper way. The way I found that works best is the bite the top off, then put the entire dumpling into your mouth. If you don’t puncture it before you eat it, it will spray the juice everywhere! They are not on their regular menu, but they do run specials on the weekends. Be sure to follow their Facebook page to see when they are available.

This was my first time at Red Ginger and I was pleasantly surprised by how nice the restaurant was, considering it’s location in the Melbourne Square mall. The inside is quite large and very colorful. We noticed a few tables with burners at each seat for hot pot parties. They also have a party room in the back that can seat up to 40 people. My wife tagged along and she ordered the Honey Lime Chicken dish. With a diverse menu of several different Asian cuisines, including a sushi bar, I highly recommend you stop by and check this place out!

Red Ginger Melbourne Square
Address: 1700 W New Haven Ave #633, Melbourne, FL 32904
Phone: (321) 951-8818
https://redgingerusa.com/


Hemingway’s Tavern – Melbourne, FL

Front Entrance
Dining Room
TOSTONES DE CERDO ASADO – Fried green plantains, topped with coconut sugar, mojo pork and habanero maple syrup.
BAHAMIAN YARD BIRD SANDWICH – Caribbean jerk or mojo grilled chicken breast on coconut bread with a guava jalapeño aioli, lettuce, tomato, rum-glazed onions, and fried sweet plantains.

As the #1 top rated restaurant on Trip Advisor, I wanted to re-discover this place since it’s been a few years since my last visit. As the name suggests, this place pays homage to the Nobel Prize winning author, Earnest Hemingway. The menu is inspired by his favorite foods and cocktails. The restaurant was remodeled since my last visit and is decorated in the 1930’s Key West style. The menu is quite diverse and several dishes sounded interesting. The two that grabbed my attention are featured above. The Tostones were slightly sweet with the coconut sugar and maple syrup and the amount of pork on top was quite generous. For the Bahamian sandwich, we opted for the mojo seasoned chicken. The sandwich was quite tasty and was served with a side of yuca fries and coleslaw.

Hemingway’s Tavern
Address: 1800 W Hibiscus Blvd Suite 115, Melbourne, FL 32901
Phone: (321) 802-9648
https://www.hemingwaystavern.com/


Pherrara’s Pizzeria – Palm Bay, FL

Front Entrance
Dining Room
Chicken Francese – Egg-battered chicken is sautéed in a lemon white wine sauce and served over spaghetti.
Meat Pizza – Pepperoni, sausage, ham, bacon, meatballs & mozzarella.

Located right off of I-95 is my next stop in Palm Bay. I LOVE Italian food, so I had to include Pherrara’s Pizza! I took a seat in the dining room and was greeted by the owner, Robert. The menu is quite diverse and offers many different Italian dishes along with a nice variety of pizzas. I ordered the Chicken Francese and a 10″ Meat pizza. The chicken was quite tender and had a very bright lemony sauce, it was delicious! The pizza was the perfect size and was baked to perfection. The crust was crunchy on the bottom and still had a nice chew. The sauce vs topping ratio was good, but I think next time I would order a little extra cheese.

Pherrara’s Pizzeria
Address: 1200 Malabar Rd #7, Palm Bay, FL 32907
Phone: (321) 327-2906
https://www.pherraraspizzeria.com/


Rose Garden Caribbean Restaurant – Palm Bay, FL

Front Entrance
Place your order at the front counter, take it to go, or eat at the one table for 2 inside.
Roast Chicken, Sweet Plantains, and Rice & Peas

Caribbean food is one of my all time favorite cuisine types. I noticed that Melbourne and Palm Bay areas had several to choose from, and with this place just a short drive down the road from Pherrera’s Pizza, I just had to stop by and check it out. I met the owner, Rose and she told me that they have owned this place for a several years. It’s rather small inside, and more of a to-go style place than dine in since they only have one table with 2 seats. The chicken was baked, was tender and quite flavorful. The sides were two of my favorites, sweet plantains and rice and peas!

Rose Garden Caribbean Restaurant
Address
: 1384 Malabar Rd Ste #4, Palm Bay, FL 32907
Phone: (321) 676-8613

I’m planning to continue this blog post series and visit a few new area of the Treasure Coast on a monthly / bi-monthly basis. I will work my way from North to South, unless you have any suggestions for me? I travel any where from Melbourne to West Palm Beach, so please comment here or send me a private message with any recommendations you might have.

Written by Thomas Miller

Thomas Miller, aka “The Treasure Coast Foodie” and “The Foodie Guy” is big on organic everything and very particular about his butter. He has reviewed over 250+ local restaurants in the last 6 years! His food photos are devoured by 10’s of thousands each month on his website treasurecoastfoodie.com. As a Google Maps Local Guide, he has submitted over 2,500 photos that have been viewed over 38 million times. His foodie tribe is over 25,000 on the Treasure Coast and his Foodie Meetups & Chef’s Table Dining Experience events are some of the Top Culinary experiences in the area!

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