Stuart is an attractive and bustling town of about 16,000 people located on what in recent years has been designated as the "Treasure Coast". It is located on the east coast of Florida about halfway between north Palm Beach County and Vero Beach.
Hundreds of years ago many Spanish galleons were lost in storms off the coast of this area, and millions of dollars in gold and silver went down with the ships.
Treasure has been discovered off and on over the years, and people are still looking.
Modern treasure for Stuart and Martin County comes from the many new upscale waterfront and golf course developments, and from the town's wonderful location where Hobe Sound and Indian River Lagoon come together at St. Lucie Inlet and the Atlantic Ocean.
The town is surrounded by water: the St. Lucie River has a north fork and south fork; Manatee Pocket is a natural hurricane harbor located just south of St. Lucie Inlet with the small fishing village of Port Salerno.
Sewell's Point is an elegant older Stuart neighborhood with the Indian River Lagoon on its east and the St. Lucie River to its west.
As one drives around Stuart, it is hard not to be near beautiful water. This abundance of waterfront has made Stuart a marine service center.
There are several first class marinas and boatyards in the area, and a charter fishing fleet that specializes in taking sport fishing enthusiasts out to battle and catch sailfish in the ocean.
The beautiful beaches of the Atlantic Ocean are nearby at Jensen Beach and Hutchinson Island. Stuart is truly a magical place.
Manatee Pocket is well known by boaters as a natural "hurricane hole", as good a place to take shelter in a bad storm as any harbor along the east coast of Florida.
The shoreline of Manatee Pocket is busy with fishing related enterprises like charter boats, commercial fishing boats, marinas, boatyards, and seafood restaurants.
Manatee Pocket is the location of the working waterfront town of Port Salerno.
Pelican Cafe and Beach
351 Southwest Flagler Avenue
Stuart, Florida 34994
Pelican Cafe and Beach is a
casual dining place on the St Lucie River in downtown Stuart. It features outside dining with a great expansive view of the river at the base of the high rise bridge that crosses the river.
The restaurant is on the north end of the historic Stuart downtown district.
If you have a dog, bring him or her along too. Dogs are welcome and seem to enjoy the view as much as their owners.
You will be perfectly dressed if you wear shorts, tee shirt and flip flops.
All of the seating is outside under umbrellas. You can choose to sit on the deck at the base of the bridge, or in the sandy beach area. If you are a connoisseur of bikini clad young women, the beach area might be your cup of tea. If you are offended by beach attire, then the deck is for you.
Once in a while weather conditions will force the owners to close the cafe. If it's too windy or a rainy day of long duration, they might close. If you notice the weather isn't great, you should call the restaurant to make sure they're open.
They have a huge menu for a place this small. You can have chowder, shrimp, chicken wings, hamburgers, chili, calamari, conch fritters, short ribs, Greek salad, fish tacos, blackened fish, hot dogs, mussels and you name it. I've just scratched the surface of their menu.
I enjoyed conch fritters as an appetizer, and a tasty salmon entree with the fish wrapped in banana leaf and served with Bahamian style rice and steamed vegetables. It was very good and reasonably priced. I had a Budweiser with the meal; they serve beer and wine only.
Kimie was my server, and she was attentive and very bright. She served a special treat called a "short rib turnover" that was absolutely delicious. It's kind of a cross between a dessert and a meat pie; sweet flavor, stuffed with shredded meat that I assume was beef. Whatever it was, it was great.
This neat little place has such a large and varied menu that there seems to be something for every taste.
Some Other Treasure Coast Restaurants
Captain Hiram's - Sebastian
Original Tiki Bar - Fort Pierce