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What's New: New Food and New Spaces

Posted on Feb 28, 2020 in Taco Bar , Mr. Gyro Hero , Bud & Alleys Construction , Amavida new flavors , March-April 2020

Burak and Olga Akkan, familiar faces at the Seaside Farmers Market, open Mr. Gyro Hero full-time, selling gyros, salads and other Mediterranean dishes.

Mr. Gyro Hero opens

Olga and Burak Akkan, who specialize in healthy Mediterranean recipes, have been selling gyros, hummus and salads at the Seaside Farmers Market for the past 10 years. Now they are moving into an Airstream trailer to be full-time vendors on Airstream Row. “We’ve had so many customers who wanted to see us full-time in Seaside so we’re excited to be moving in an Airstream,” Burak Akkan says. The couple’s gyros and Mediterranean salads will still be on the menu, with additions that include beef, chicken and shrimp kebabs, mezes and falafels.

Shrimp Shack moves, adds to menu

The Shrimp Shack, specializing in peel-and-eat steamed royal red shrimp, fresh lobster rolls, oysters and hearty seafood gumbo, is moving a few steps away from its current location on the beach side of town. Named One of America’s Best Seafood Shacks by Travel + Leisure, the shack will add to its menu, while maintaining the customer service and charm its customers love. New menu items include foods on a stick — shrimp, corn cob, sausage and lobster. The new building is located on the boardwalk near the Coleman Pavilion with seating and direct views of the Gulf of Mexico.

Bud & Alley’s enhancement nears completion

The enhancement project for Bud & Alley’s Waterfront Restaurant is in its last phase. The roof deck, with a new wrap-around bar, is set to be up and running in March, and the remaining enhancements should be completed by May. The restaurant won’t have a grand-reopening. “But we will have an opening that will be grand,” says owner Dave Rauschkolb. Bud & Alley’s, Seaside’s first beach-front restaurant and bar known for its casual fine dining, is one of the most notable historic landmarks in town, as well as in all of the 30A community. Celebrating its 34th year in business, the restaurant is South Walton’s longest established restaurant. Look for details about Bud & Alley’s enhancement project in the May/June issue of the Seaside Times.

Bud & Alley’s enhancement project includes adding deck space, an elevator to its roof deck and restrooms on both stories. Rendering by Dhiru Thadani

Taco Bar expands

Known for its South-of-the-Border favorites — Florida style, Taco Bar serves up fresh Baja fish tacos, homemade guacamole, burritos, top shelf margaritas and ice-cold cerveza for lunch or dinner.

Taco Bar’s evolution, as told by owner Dave Rauschkolb, spans 11 or 12 years, its old incarnation being attached to Bud & Alley’s. “I knew when construction would begin for Bud & Alley’s, we’d have to find a new home for Taco Bar to live. Thankfully the timing was right and we moved to the former Raw & Juicy Life space,” Rauschkolb says. “I’m a firm believer in the planets aligning. I use that metaphor a lot, in that you don’t always get what you want but you get what you need. Being in this location was supposed to be a temporary condition. But quickly we learned that this corner is a hot place to be. I love the juxtaposition between Taco Bar and Pizza Bar.”

The name Taco Bar came about because Rauschkolb, who loves Mexican food, kicked around a few ideas, wanting to avoid a Mexican name. “I’m not Mexican, so that would be a little disingenuous,” he says. “The simplicity of the name was great. And then when Pizza Bar came along, I thought, heck, let’s just keep it simple. So to have it come full circle and have them be next to each other not only works physically, because it’s a high traffic area to the beach, it almost seems planned, but it wasn’t. It was one of those happy mistakes.”

The expansion, set to be completed by May, includes adding interior space for food prep, as well as a wrap-around bar and awning. “It’s really made me happy to see that Taco Bar has found a home where it’s going to be for a long time.”

Taco Bar is adding a wrap-around bar and awning.

Amavida launches new flavors

The staff at Amavida Coffee Roasters got creative recently during a competition in which baristas submitted their own recipes for specialty drinks to be featured in Amavida’s cafes this spring. “Then we had a party!” says Jennifer Pawlik, program manager and benefit officer at Amavida. “At our barista jam, Amavida staff, from the cafes, to the roaster, to the admin side of things, were able to taste and vote. There were five participants and two winners, though it was very close.”

One winning drink is the Bubblegum Tea by Krisitin. The other is Matcha Limeade by Aleighsa. Cafe guests can expect to see these roll out in the first week of March.

Also, for a limited time, Amavida offers a turmeric chai latte (iced or hot) in addition to the usual masala chai tea latte.

Matcha Limeade, one of the winning new drinks of the staff competition at Amavida Coffee Roasters, will be served this spring. Photo by Aleighsa Wright, of Wright Media PC