Southern BBQ lives in Homestead, Florida
"Here you go my love." My sweetheart kissed me on the forehead as he brought over my Heineken. The weather was perfect for a chilled glass filled with something hoppy. In Florida, this is our version of the seasons changing, the telltale sign of being able to sit outside comfortably and wear a light jacket. Fall was coming and this made me happy.
"Cheers." We said in unison marveling the forestry before us.
A raccoon walks past us hardly noticing our presence. The animals in Cauley Square Historic Village are used to humans by now. They seem to live together in a respectful harmony. He, or she as far as I could tell, ate an old bagel as I casually stare without any of us freaking out.
It's our Sunday adventure to Homestead, which was a 44 minute drive from our house (read: civilization) so this constitutes as a miniature road trip of sorts. We were here to make the trip worth it so to speak.
The Village Chalet is dazzling. There's a gentleman hanging up tea lights that i’m sure look darling at dusk. But this little tea house is dazzling because it's something from the past, and in my foolish and perhaps ignorant mind, they used words like dazzle in this era. James Dean thoughtfully stares at us from his side of the bar. There are no men, except for mine, just women engaged in passionate discourse and dressed up a little fancy. We hide ourselves in a corner so we could read out loud without bothering the other guests.
Once we’ve had our fill, we walk around the tiny shops staying nowhere for too long. Some of the vendors are friendly and others knew we aren’t going to buy anything so they don't pay us notice. We don't care. We silently nod understanding they have a business to run and we have a mini day trip to enjoy.
Having worked up an appetite window shopping, we head over to the only real BBQ joint in all of South Florida, Shiver’s BBQ. Natives of Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama, leave thoughtful reviews with humble recommendations.
Everything in Homestead is a 15 minute drive, everything. No matter how “close” the reviews say, the area is smeared across grassy lands with sheets of nothingness and cow pastures between restaurants, shopping centers or homes.
And then we proceeded to eat until we hated ourselves. The comfort of a warm and hearty meal marks a seasonal milestone I look forward to every year. While I’m usually envious when I see Instagram posts of people around the world curled up with coffee and big sweaters, auburn leaves and boots, South Florida has its own flavor of fall and it can be lovely. It’s an exceedingly warmer climate but a spirit of seasonal change is here nonetheless. I’m ready for you fall.