House-hunting has brought M. and me out of our noisy Orlando neighborhood and into some small towns just a short drive away. Our first visit was to historic downtown DeLand.
DeLand is the first city in which M. lived when his family moved to Florida back in the day. In fact, his 91-year-old grandmother still lives there. As a bit of an insider, he recommended having lunch at a place called El Taco Amigo. It doesn’t look like much at all but MAN is it tasty! It shares a space with T’s Auto Repair and has just a few tables. We shared some super-fresh guacamole and the Bistec Ranchero. Delicious!
It was a cool day so we decided to grab coffee while we walked around the downtown area. We found a little gem called Trilogy Coffee and nearly missed its tiny space inside the DaVinci Design Art Studio (of course!). The entire coffee set-up was about as big as a bathroom and included the actual coffee roaster. The cold brew was bold and had a fantastic flavor.
Walking around DeLand felt like a stroll down Main Street, USA. There were tons of antique and specialty shops housed in historic buildings with their original, exposed bones. The roar and sputter of motorcyclists were a bit jarring, but a change from the sirens, helicopters and the constant din of Orange Ave. traffic.
Last stop was Persimmon Hollow in Artisan Alley. We shared a flight of beer and enjoyed the open-air feel of the bar with the brewing system as a backdrop. They placed classic rock and attracted some biker-types and more than one person wearing socks and sandals. As a couple of thirty-somethings, we felt like spring chicks.
DeLand has many treasures and is a charming small town, not to mention home of Stetson University (their claim to fame, let’s face it). It’s less than a 40-minute drive from Orlando and totally worth the trip.