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Experience Real Grayton at Grayton Corner Café & Wine Shop

July 29, 2019 by Manny Chavez

If you want to get some REAL Grayton flavor - this is where you wanna go!

Go where the locals go and eat what the locals eat. Delicious down-home cooking with flair. Grayt folks serving up Grayt grub with Grayt hospitality.

With all the restaurant choices available to SoWal residents and visitors, it's very comforting to sit down in a cool place offering a home-cooked meal. At the Grayton Corner Café & Wine Shop (GCC), co-owners Joy Steele and Chef Paul DiGiacomo have hit the jackpot with their down-home menu and terrific assortment of International Wines.

Chef Paul is a bit older now but the sign outside still reads as it did in the early nineties: "Hours May Vary Due To Quality Of Surf."

As Paul puts it, “we like to think of our place (GCC) as YOUR home, serving what I like to call ‘home cooking of the world’. Our veggie choices are the best and we serve only fresh Gulf fish. We don’t really worry about the menu (which changes daily) as much as what food we will prepare that day.”

As Joy explains: “What people comment most on is our fresh vegetables. We spend a lot of time road-tripping to various vegetable markets and stands all over Florida to bring the freshest to your table.”

To see what will be served on any particular day, go to their website at www.graytoncornercafe.com , or visit them on Facebook or Instagram. The entrée items listed will vary, but popular items include Chicken Salad or Smoked Mackerel on croissant or whole wheat bread over salad with one side for $13. Or,  Baked or Fried Chicken, Gumbo, Oyster Pie, Shepard’s Pie, Meatloaf, or Veggie Plate with 2 sides for $12. Every Friday is “Fried Chicken Friday” and the helpings are substantial. Add to this your favorite International Wine by the Glass or iced cold domestic or craft beer and you’re good to go towards dessert: Chocolate Pecan Pie or Rick’s Vanilla Bean Cheesecake. Iced cold sweet or un-sweetened sun teas and sodas are also available.

“Liza and Kaela are our ‘right-hand’ women working the kitchen and rubbing elbows with our customers,” says Joy.

Sides are constantly changing depending on what's fresh, but you are likely to see Okra & Tomatoes, White Acre Peas, Smoked Mackerel Dip, Cucumber/Tomato Salad, Potato Salad, or Cabbage & Carrots on the daily menu.

You will notice that “Wine Shop” has been added to the Grayton Corner Café’ logo…”We have a tremendously varied assortment of wines available either by the glass, by the bottle or by the case. We like to think of our wines as ‘thoughtfully chosen and agreeably priced’” explains Paul. “We look for a $20 bottle of wine that drinks like a $40 wine.”

Joy brings her extensive wine experience (she was the manager and bar manager at Borago’s for 16 years) to GCC and loves to plan with Paul their now infamous “Wine Nights.”

Wine Nights at GCC are sprinkled throughout the month with different themes offering 4 wines and 4 courses for $60/person and begin at 6:30 p.m.

“We pair our wine selection with our themed entrée selection, and it is a very intimate and cool…. a lot of locals, just a cozy vibe going on”, says Joy.

Long-time local favorite musician Hilda McDonald can be heard tickling the ivories for these mellow get- togethers. Reservations are required for Wine Night events…keep an eye on their website and Facebook pages to attend these sociable events.

Paul and Joy are now offering GCC Wine Club Memberships which include Dutch Membership (Single) at $240 annually; Date Night Membership (Duo) at $480 annually; and VIP Couple Membership (Duo) at $840 annually. They all include: four Wine Nights throughout the year; the opportunity to purchase wholesale wine on a weekly basis throughout the year; 10% off wine purchased at the GCC Wine Shop; 2-4 vouchers for Lunch & Tea (or glass of wine); and E-blasts with wine buyer’s top recommendations.

On Saturdays, GCC steps away from their usual lunch menu and offers their Saturday Night Dinners from 6-10 p.m. No reservations are required, and these nights are a great opportunity to partake of Paul’s fine food creations paired with Joy’s favorite wine selections.

The down-home foods served at GCC can be enjoyed both indoors (the cozy restaurant décor and wall art comes largely  from Joy’s home furnishings) or outdoors on a spacious porch overlooking the Mystic Porte lily-padded pond. Depending on the time of year, both are very enticing.

The Grayton Beach Corner Café is also used for in-house venues or catering purposes. Private parties are becoming a THING here with lots of room to revel in. Healthy food, healthy environment, what’s not to like about this scenario? Find Grayton Corner Cafe at 14 Clayton Lane, Suite 16 (just north of Scenic 30A on Hwy 283, at the Mystic Porte Shops, next to Shops of Grayton) Open: 12-4 p.m. Tue.-Friday, Saturday dinners 6-10 p.m.; Phone: 850-792-6331;  Web: www.graytoncornercafe.com.

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Manny Chavez's picture

Manny has been a working photojournalist his entire career and is now writing stories/taking pix for SoWal.com. He and his wife Kris live in Seagrove and have “seen a lot come and go.” Lots of stories have been told, with lots more to come!

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