Thursday, October 26, 2023

Good grub includes barbecue, gator bites on Cocoa Beach foodie trek

Cocoa Village boasts a super food tasting experience with entrepreneur Halim Urban, who runs his popular tour with wife Jessica. With 20 years in the food business, they offer lively sampling options. 

Ribs and brisket, sausage and all the trimmings
are on tap at Crydermans Barbecue, beloved
institution which offers a range of feastings. 



IMMERSE YOURSELF in Cocoa Village,  tasting its fabulous food, strolling its pleasant streets, enjoying the story of this historic town of 20,000 people.

Your lively guide shows you around town and stops at favorite dining haunts while pointing out art and architectural highlights.
Cocoa Village has been around a long time, since fisherman founded it in 1860. 
It is known for fine food: delicious burgers, brisket as good as any in the world, pizzas with pizzazz, succulent seafood, fabulous barbecue and bakery, and satisfyingly tender deep fried alligator. It boasts a variety of fun ethnic
Ossorio's chicken curry
salad with balsamic
vinegar on a warm
croissant is yummy.

restaurants, ranging from an eatery serving mean drunken noodles to a quaint bakery with mouth-watering curried chicken salad served on a  warm croissant.

Gator bites at Pub Americana, deep fried and tasty.
WE ATE ourselves silly -- well not quite -- at four distinctive and different eateries.  First, Pub Americana, a colorfully decorated, popular dining joint serving tasty gator bites. Then on to the welcoming and busy Ossorio Bakery and Cafe, a flashy Asian restaurant called Thai Thai serving fabulous drunken noodles, and a classic "meat house" called Cydermans, one of the town's most popular places for an authentic, succulent range of meats of every description.

Bruce Keller and Christene "Cookie"
Meyers, on the food tasting trail
in the fun town of Cocoa Village, Fla.
Halim opens the door for a tasty
helping of drunken pork noodles
at Thai Thai, where he once worked.
The Original Cocoa Village Food Tour is well planned and bountiful with friendly hosts and chatty personnel in the eateries. The attractive town -- on the east coast of Florida -- is just a 45-minute drive from downtown Orlando. Besides its food, fun nightlife and theater, the area is famous for its fine beach, gentle surf, laidback lifestyle and unspoiled, natural landscape. We met several couples and many families, enjoying relief from "big city life." 

Food tour Halim guides visitors in a tasty tour of
 Cocoa Village food treats, here at Pub Americana.
Our amiable guide, Halim Urban, runs the Original Cocoa Village Food Tour with wife Jessica. The pair has flair, a low-keyed charm and vast knowledge of the quaint little town they calls home. Over 200 merchants run pretty galleries, intriguing shops, attractive restaurants, bars and more. The town's ethnicity ranges from French, Mexican and Cuban to Thai, Chinese and Greek.
HALIM PROUDLY described the cattle farming, citrus growing, fishing and luxury travel that mark the town's early days. Walking from restaurant to cafe is a superb way to sample the food as well as the spirit of the town. We had a great time and heartily recommend these tours. Several options and themes are offered by the enterprising Urbans.

Airboat Rides, out of Melbourne, offers fun
 swamp tours with gators, birds and lively chat.
work off the treats, head for the swamps for a different kind of "feasting" -- this one with the eyes, to savor the moist green mangroves, the call of birds and the swoosh as alligators slither through the water, bobbing and surfacing in search of a meal. 
WE RECOMMEND recommend Airboat Rides. Its small, smart staff of locals launches fast but comfy boats from two locations with spirited commentary and knowledge of the swamps. The operation's main launch is from the Lake Washington Boat Ramp and Park in Melbourne, at the headwaters of lovely Upper St. John's River.
More information:
Village Food Tours:
Airboat Rides Melbourne:

Magnificent lions await a visit in Florida's Brevard Zoo,
home to exotic and endangered animals from all over the
world, a highly praised facility for its preservation efforts.

While we're in the neighborhood, we visit a world class zoo in Florida. Come with us to explore one of the nation's highest rated zoos. Brevard Zoo, a 75-acre nonprofit facility in Melbourne, Florida, is home to more than 900 animals and more than 195 species from Florida, South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia. The zoo was the vision of volunteers in the early 1990s and is internationally know for its education and preservation efforts. Remember to explore, learn and live and catch us weekly for a fresh spin on travel, nature, the arts, family and more:



  1. This sounds like fun. We did one recently in New Orleans and loved it. Thanks!

  2. Florida Family AdventurersNovember 2, 2023 at 2:36 PM

    Yes, correctly repaired and deep fried quickly, alligator is delicious and good for you!