Mr. R. and I had date ‘day’ Saturday rather than date night on Friday. That’s because on Friday, Mr. R. was feeling a little under the weather. Why not go out on Saturday night, you ask? Well, because Sprint Cup racing was in Bristol AND the Dolphins were playing on Saturday night. Priorities, people!
So we found ourselves out on Saturday afternoon running a few errands and with the general intention of stopping somewhere along the way to celebrate date ‘day’. After errands, we made a couple of stops to appreciate the beautiful, if hot, afternoon (it is August in South Florida, after all). We stopped along A1A and went down to the beach to snap a few photos of the amazing blue water. We progressed to Jupiter Inlet to watch the boats for a while. Finally, we realized we were ready to find some grub.
After kicking around a few possibilities, Mr. R. took us to one of my absolute favorite places, Guanabanas. We had considered it last week but passed on it due to inclement weather. Understand, ALL seating at Guanabanas is outside. It’s on the Jupiter River on the west side of US 1 in Jupiter. The place is utterly beautiful, all lush tropical gardens, tiki huts, tables right by the water. But Guanabanas has something else going for it besides its gorgeous setting: their incredible food. They use fresh, local ingredients as much as possible. All their seafood is certified ‘Fresh from Florida.’ They use locally grown produce, and they even source the hot sauce on the tables from Palm Beach Gardens. That attention to detail is apparent in the flavor of their food.
We chose a high-top table in the bar area, where often they feature live music, ranging from great local musicians to national acts like Natasha Beddingfield and Rob Thomas, although all was quiet on Saturday afternoon. Be forewarned, if you sit in the bar area, you can only order from the left side of the menu (appetizers, sandwiches, etc.). If you’d rather have a proper entree, you have to sit in the dining area. The good news there is that the regular dining tables are next to the water, where in all likelihood you’ll watch kayaks and paddle boards go by as you enjoy the view of the river and mangroves.
They offer a nice Happy Hour, too, but Mr. R. and I were about an hour early for that. No matter, I knew what I wanted and promptly ordered the Cat 5, their spin on a traditional hurricane. It is yummy, delicious, and more importantly on a hot day, marvelously cold. Mr. R. settled for a Diet Coke.
Foodwise, we started with the fish dip. It was absolutely enjoyable, local fresh-caught fish, pureed and mixed with a savory smoky dressing. For lunch, I ordered the spicy shrimp wrap while Mr. R. had the Cuban sandwich. My wrap was amazingly tasty, and served with a side salad of mixed greens and their signature vinaigrette. Mr. R.’s Cuban sandwich (which was delicious, I tasted it) came with Guanabanas’ fresh-made lightly seasoned wavy potato chips.
We can’t recommend Guanabanas highly enough. It’s everything I love about a restaurant: local, beautiful setting, great food, friendly staff. Next time you want a casual place to eat or have a cocktail, Guanabanas is for you.