Uncle Don’s Local Market

Uncle Don’s Local Market…..all I can say is WOW!  Not only is Don delightful, his little produce market is awesome.  It poured rain during my visit so Don was busy taking things inside and making sure produce was protected from the elements.   Imagine really organic, local produce available  here on the island.  Admittedly, Don tries his best to make sure everything is local and organic, but there are times when some of the produce may come from Georgia but not our exact area and there may be times when what you find there may not all be organic, but he is committed to offering his customers the BEST, no matter what.

organic lettuce

I saw hydroponic lettuce that was nothing short of magic, so big and beautiful!  I’m hooked and will be making many, many visits to buy veggies for my kitchen.  I love the fact that Don uses any vegetables or fruit that are less than perfect for smoothies, juices and compost.  This green approach is something we all need to give more thought and energy too.  Something new for me, and I am a Foodie deluxe, are “Rainbow Carrots”, filled with delicious goodness…they will be appearing on my table for sure.

multi carrots

The offerings from local artisans such as Lisa Morrow with Frali Gourmet from Savannah, Bridget McKeown an amazing local artisan, Sandy Shuttles beautiful sand designs that incorporate sea shells into  decorative items and Bob Swinehart’s handmade crosses….everywhere I turned in this little shop I saw something to put on my wish list.



Fresh baked goods from local bakers and clever displays that celebrate holidays and seasons.  It’s all innovative, creative and something I want to have in my kitchen and home.


All produce is seasonal….I’m waiting for the Cherokee tomatoes Don told me about to appear in the lovely baskets and other pieces his wife, Hollie, uses for display.  I don’t think any of the items I saw in the store are NOT for sale…..just ask.  Except maybe the tables which are artfully covered with organic burlap and offer vignettes of local products and artisan’s wares……BUY ME….it all cries!  Don tells me Hollie is the visionary for the business, and it shows.


Don networks with local farmers throughout our area to bring you only the BEST.  If it’s in the market he has tasted it to make sure it is up to his standards.  On my next visit I’ll definitely be picking up a jar  of Slow Roasted Almond Butter from NaturAlmond a company out of the Atlanta area.  Yum……so many things to feast on, aren’t we lucky?


As our meeting ended Don shared with me his deep gratitude for the support this new business is receiving from the community…”It’s off the charts”, he said.  With the amazing response I’m receiving from this blog I know that to be true.  We have much to be grateful for!

Uncle Don's

Uncle Don’s Local Market – 1610 Frederica Road – St. Simons Island, GA – 31522

Too Big Buck

Too Big Buck, you ask?  This is no ordinary dog we’re talking about.  There’s even a book written about him, he’s that special!  My friend, Holly McClure, local literary agent and author is the proud owner of this lovely fellow.  He came to her and her husband, Jack, because he is not the typical Pomeranian.  In fact, he’s about three times bigger than most of the breed.  At three months he already weighed 15 pounds!


His original owner’s dissatisfaction with his size turned out to be a blessing.  Buck was taken in by Holly and Jack, then spoiled rotten.  Who wouldn’t spoil this cutie?  I have to tell you that this is a dog with personality plus.  He greets guests at the door with great enthusiasm and likes to be part of any social gathering.


Buck enjoys walking and running on the beach.  He’d like to be a lap dog, but as you can see, he’s a bit big for that!

Holly admits that Buck adopted HER the minute he layed eyes on her.  Love at first site!  And that hasn’t changed.  Read more about Holly and her wonderful books here: www.hollysullivanmcclure.com.  You can also order a copy of the book Holly recently published entitled, of course, “Too Big Buck”. It will be signed by both Holly and Buck if you order through her site.  It’s also available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for those of you who enjoy reading on Kindle or Nook.  A percentage of sales goes to help feed and care for animals in the Coastal Georgia area.


I’m pleased to call Buck my friend.  He and Murphy share a play date when it’s possible and the fur flies!  A good time is had by all!

Synergy Wellness Systems

Syn·er·gy  /ˈsinərjē/ – noun – The interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect great than the sum of the individual elements.


Dr. Vanessa Kinney is a breath of fresh air.  She is on a mission of healing and educating her patients about the importance of spinal health.  As we talked, Dr. Kinney showed me a chart of the human spine, pointing out the way in which each part of our body, every organ, every bit of tissue is influenced by how energy moves through the spine.  I mentioned that it seems as though our spinal system is like the mother board for our body’s.  If the spine is not aligned and in good shape, the rest of us will not be either.


Most impressive to me is Dr. Kinney’s approach to working with the human body.  As a chiropractor she received her education and training formally, yet she has gone beyond the traditional methods of adjustment to treat every element of the person.  Body, mind and spirit all come into play.  She also has her certification as a massage therapist which really does create a synergy of healing when combined with chiropractic adjustments.

spinal health

The third part of the triangle in Dr. Kinney’s practice is nutritional healing.  She offers consultations that help her patients begin to heal their body’s from the inside out by eating healthfully, making the right choices and supplementing with pure, natural, plant based products from Optimum Health Systems.

We discussed the problems inflammation creates in the body and how stress is the number one cause of disease.  Through monthly realignments this can be avoided.  She encourages her patients to actively participate in their healing and wellness.  Dr. Kinney has a great deal of respect for the relationship between patients and their medical doctors.  Anything she prescribes for you will also be accompanied by a request to ask your primary care physician about the course of treatment and how it will interact with your traditional medical protocols.

Dr. Kinney takes the time to listen to her patients, to carefully detect exactly what treatment is called for before any realignment begins and she emphasis preventive practices in a patient’s everyday habits to ensure good health.  She believes in “painless” adjustments, using an IQ (Impulse Adjusting Instrument) instead of traditional manipulation, although she may use some manual adjustment as needed.  In this way she can gently guide the spine to realign itself, letting all of the thousands of nerve endings that flow through it do so with ease.  The result is overall health and a sense of well being.

veggie basket

Patients are encouraged to increase plant based foods in their diets and to find a balance between complex carbohydrates, protein and fats. Dr. Kinney encourages her patients to use their kitchens as a healing laboratory.  Each treatment program is individualized to meet the needs of a patient.   Her number one oath is “Do Not Harm”.

You can visit Dr. Kinney for an initial consultation by appointment.  She commutes from the Jacksonville area and sees patients in her office on St. Simons Island Tuesday – Thursday with special appointments available on other days as needed.  Visit her website:  http://www.sws4health.com/.

Synergy Wellness Systems – 507 Ocean Blvd.– Suite 301 – Saint Simons Island, GA – 31522 – 912-433-5343


He Flies Through The Air




Admittedly, Coastal Kitchen is one of my favorite restaurants on St. Simons Island.  I love sitting out on the deck and watching the water, the breeze blowing the ornamental grasses that grow on the surrounding grounds and the pelicans diving into the intracoastal waters to grab a bite to eat.  Having been raised on the Gulf Coast of Texas, I also have to admit my passion for really good fried shrimp.  Texas shrimp is much different from sweet Georgia shrimp.  It has more of an iodine flavor to it, which I do not prefer having feasted on the local variety for the past five years.  Coastal has never let me down, their shrimp is always hand dipped and rolled in their homemade breading mixture, fried to perfection and served with hand cut french fries and crunchy cole slaw.  Feeling hungry now?


Jeff Montaigne is the proud owner of Coastal Kitchen.  He is passionate about serving some of the best fish and seafood to be found in our area as well as other fare for those who prefer turf to surf.  There are no shortcuts taken and everything is made from scratch.  Even the juices used in the bar are fresh squeezed and mixed with your libation of choice.  I have to make a return visit one of these days to sample a Salty Dog and the latest bar addition, jalapeno popcorn. You can peruse the menu here: http://www.coastalkitchenandrawbar.com/


The restaurant business is stressful at best.  It is a business that requires excellence, attention to detail and impeccable service in order to succeed.  For the past five years Jeff has filled the bill for local and visiting diners.  He joked with me that his is the best restaurant on Lanier Island, of course, we all know it’s the only restaurant on the small island just before the last bridge onto St. Simons, but that’s ok.  We’ll give him “the best” status anyway.


What does Jeff do to reduce his stress?  He sky dives!  Now, to me, this would be the most stressful thing I could ever imagine doing.   You will not, I repeat, NOT, find me taking this sport up.  But Jeff is dedicated to flying through the air, hand on the rip cord, savoring the sheer joy, the thrill of it all.  He shares a camaraderie with fellow divers who also enjoy the feeling of falling through the air to land safely on solid ground once again.

skydiving 2

Was he frightened at first?  He admits that yes, he began his first step out of the plane with a bit of trepidation and that “Oh My God”, the door is open and I’m supposed to jump feeling that took his breath away, but jump he did.  It took about eight jumps for him to handle the fear of it all.  From then on he was hooked, anticipating each new jump as a chance to save his own life.

skydiving 1

Something I did not know….there is an automatic activation device which will deploy automatically should anything happen to cause Jeff not to open his parachute.  Whew!  That makes me feel a bit better about it all.  And actually, the thought of flying through the air, floating gently down to Mother Earth does sound peaceful in a way.

Jeff is a guy who loves action.  The adrenalin rush he experiences with each dive keeps him going back for more.  He likes to have fun!  His staff reflects his attitude as they provide cheerful  service to a faithful clientele.  Happy hour is from 3 – 6 Monday through Friday, with live music served up on the weekends.  When all is said and done it’s hard to beat having a business you love in a setting like this!


Coastal Kitchen – 102 Marina Drive – St. Simons Island, Ga 31522 – 912-638-7790


The Red Dress Ball

I love the color red.   It’s lively, fun and fills me with energy.  Red is known to be a stimulating color and can be associated with everything from anger to love. In the 1938 film, “Jezebel”, Bette Davis shocked fellow debutante’s and their dates by appearing at the year’s most important ball in a bright red satin gown.  Shocking since unmarried women were to wear white and nothing else.  The dance floor slowly cleared out as the group ostracized Bette and her beau, played by Henry Fonda.  I would have been like Bette, always marching to the beat of my own drummer.


In this case  we’re talking about the color red because February is Heart Health Month.  The Brunswick Junior Woman’s Club is getting ready to host the Red Dress Ball, their annual fundraiser for the Glynn Heart Association.  Not only do the proceeds from the ball go to help patients who are in rehabilitation having suffered a heart attack,  it also raises funds for a Nursing Scholarship at the College of Coastal Georgia.  Miss Davis would have been proud to be the belle of this ball, all decked out in red and dancing to the beat.

red dress 3

This is a lively night with a “Wow” factor built right in.   Studio Pixel Pop will offer a photo booth with all the props for guests to strike a pose and have some fun.  Myrick Stubbs heads up the planning committee this year and her team of dedicated women have put their heart and soul into every detail.  There will be plenty of hors d’ouevres, a cash bar, dance music provided by “Spike At The Beach”, and a silent auction.  To participate in a 50/50 raffle, tickets can be purchased for $1.00, and your presence is not required in order to win.   Last but not least, A Diamond Raffle is being presented by Chadwick’s Jeweler’s in which one lucky guest will win a 1/2 carat diamond.  Just purchase a glass of champagne for$25.00 to be entered.  Red dress is optional, but preferred, as well as black tie……you’ll want to put it on to support this cause!


red dress ball 1

The event is being held at the King And Prince Beach and Golf Resort this coming Saturday night, the 23rd of February.  Tickets can be purchased online at www.brunswickjwc.com for the event as well as the 50/50 raffle.  Ticket sales will continue online until noon on the 23rd and can also be purchased at the door.


This important event takes the place of the Oleander Ball which drew a supportive crowd for 60 years in order to raise money for school lunch programs.  As the state began to publicly fund school lunches the ball began to fade away.  The current Brunswick Junior Woman’s Club is one of the largest in the state.  It is a club of service and holds membership in the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, the largest volunteer organization of women in the world.


Buy your tickets!  Get out that red dress, baby, and have a ball!  It’s all for the good and a great evening will be had by all!



Paws at Play

If you are a dog lover you’re going to love the new business on St. Simons Island, Paws at Play.  Paws at Play is a doggy day care center where your pet can come to spend a day playing with other dogs.  When I first heard about Paws at Play I thought it was a great idea and now that I’ve actually visited with the owners I’m thinking Murphy needs some time each week to interact with the pack that shows up on any given day.

paws at play storefront

Tommy Stark and Tina Sportschuetz are the masterminds behind this great idea.  Located in a lavender building on Center Street just off of Sylvan, Paws at Play is  canine heaven.  The space is evenly divided, right down the middle, so that large dogs are separated from smaller breeds.  Careful attention is paid to the safety and health of your pampered pooch as they frolic, run, jump and act as crazy as their little hearts desire.  AND they have installed cameras so that you can view your pets at play from your iPhone, iPad, laptop or other computer device. They will deliver your dog to a grooming or veterinary appointment if needed as well.  To read more about Paws at Play:  www.islandpawsatplay.com


“Dogs need to play with each other”, the owners told me.  “Walking on a leash with their owner is really more about bonding, not exercise.”  And from what I saw, they are absolutely right.   For an “only pet” who needs interaction with other dogs there is no better place. And if you have more than one it’s great for them to broaden their exposure to other dogs of various breeds.   I am told that when the dogs have played all day they go home and fall right to sleep, relaxed, well exercised and dreaming of all the fun they had.

dogs at play

The facility has just been licensed for boarding and Tommy is hard at work planning on the suites he will build in the back of the building.  His energy seems boundless and his positive attitude is infectious.  Both he and Tina have a background in dog training and care.  Tommy has raised and trained Rottweiler’s for years and knows the in’s and out’s  of dogs, what they need, what they should be eating, how they need to be motivated and guided so that they have the right “job” to do.  Yes, dogs need a job, even if it’s sitting in your lap and being coddled, they need something to fulfill them.  Here is the link for his Rottweiler site:  www.starkrottweilers.com.

Here’s what your dog will need in order to join the fun at Paws at Play:  a current rabies shot, all other vaccinations up to date as well as titer testing.  Business hours are Monday – Friday 7:30 am – 6:30 pm with training classes available on Saturday’s.  This is definitely the place to take your pet to insure they stay happy, fit and trim!

Paws at Play – 133 Center Stree – St. Simons Island, GA – 912-268-4361

To Your Health!

Many of us make resolutions for the new year and fail to keep them.  I really don’t think of it as failing, we just tend to set goals for ourselves that may not be reachable for one reason or another.  I have clearly resolved to eat a healthier, more plant based diet this year.  In keeping with that I met MiMi McGee and we talked about so many interesting topics:   healthy eating, growing our own vegetables, helping the environment.  The conversation was stimulating and thought provoking.


MiMi is one lady who walks her talk.  She is actively involved with “Coastal Georgia Veg Group”, a new local group that brings people of similar interests together.  The first meeting of the group in Brunswick happened a couple of weeks ago and they will continue on a monthly basis.  This is a group of people who are consciously aware of the challenges we face in our stressful lives, who want to do something to make a better environment as well as feed their bodies in a healthy way that enhances their overall well being.  You can find out more via “Meet Up”, http://www.meetup.com/Coastal-Georgia-Veg-Group/boards/view/viewthread?thread=31282132

heart shape by various vegetables and fruits

When I first layed eyes on MiMi, as I entered her lovely home in Brunswick, I immediately felt the glow of health that radiates like a beacon around her.  The light in her eyes, her skin, everything about her says lively, aware and loving.  As a vegan cooking instructor MiMi shares her knowledge of the healing power of a plant based diet with people who are seeking a better way.  It struck me that MiMi does not advocate a vegan lifestyle as something everyone must do.  She is very flexible in her approach to diet and speaks of balance as the most important thing.  MiMi is connecting people all over our area in an effort to raise awareness of the importance of eating locally grown produce.  You can attend monthly meetings where people like Mathew Raiford, chef on Little Saint Simon’s Island, share their passion for growing organic produce and raising livestock holistically.   This is a movement that is rapidly gaining momentum in the Coastal Georgia area.

the purples

MiMi is a dedicated steward of good will and healthy habits.  Her “Food For Life” classes are her avenue for reaching out to health conscious people all over our area.  She teaches classes on preparing nutritious foods that are proven to have healing qualities and she makes it  fun for her students providing them with hands on instruction.  You can visit her website, www.leafycafe.com, to find the schedule of classes that are currently held at the St. Simons Fitness Center, www.http://www.stsimonshealthclub.com/.  MiMi also offers classes privately and for small groups who gather in a friend’s kitchen to share a truly life changing experience.

MiMi 1

When I arrived at MiMi’s she had just prepared a “green” smoothie and offered me a glass to taste.  I’m pretty adventurous and I love a good smoothie so my answer was a resounding “Of Course, I’d love it!”, and what I tasted was so delicious and yummy I wanted more!  I have to learn how to combine veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds and other ingredients in the way that MiMi does……magical is the word that comes to mind!  I never knew that brussel sprout leaves and cabbage could be blended with apples, carrots, flax seed oil and other goodies to create such a sensational flavor experience.  It has me thinking I probably need to treat myself to MiMi’s course on making healthy smoothies as soon as possible.


It is so refreshing to talk with someone who is enthusiastic about what they are doing, it’s infectious!  MiMi is focused on making a difference in our area and on being a catalyst for a truly authentic Farmer’s Market where local growers and foodie’s can sell their produce, baked goods, artisanal cheeses, organic wines….the possibilities are exciting and endless.  Her goal is to educate people in a way that makes plant based eating easy and convenient.  I have a feeling that as my friendship with MiMi grows we’ll be sharing many deliciously healthy recipes with each other and my readers.  She believes that the balance in our diet can be achieved by lessening the amount of animal protein we eat and increasing the plant based sources.  I’m also looking forward to learning how to make non-dairy cheeses that will be a mainstay in my home, dairy has always been a digestive challenge for me.

Smoky Cheddar spread

I left MiMi’s place feeling renewed and energized.  A warm hug goodbye and a promise to get together and share food, ideas and avenues for getting this movement going in a big way completed a perfect hour together!  My adventure continues as I meet more people and have the opportunity to hear their stories, talk about what they are passionate about and write meaningful posts for my growing group of subscribers!  We’re all in this together, joining hearts and hands to improve the way we live.

Finally Friday!

It’s Finally Friday!  Sometimes there’s nothing better than a great steak for dinner.  I’m sharing one of our favorite menus today.  I hope you’ll enjoy it.  Try a BIG Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon to compliment the main course.  Start the evening off with guacamole stuffed endive spears and delicious blood orange margaritas.  It’s the weekend, enjoy!

Blood Orange Margarita’s (recipe courtesy of margaritarecipes.org – photo by Zesmerelda)

blood orange margarita

1 quart fresh blood orange juice or fresh orange juice
1 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 cup Cointreau or other orange liqueur
3 1/2 cups silver tequila
Coarse salt
1 blood orange wedge or orange wedge PLUS”PLUS” means this ingredient in addition to the one on the next line, often with divided uses
12 thin blood orange slices or orange slices
12 small sage sprigs or leaves

Method – The Procedure
In a large pitcher, mix the juices, Cointreau and tequila. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes.

Spread a small mound of salt on a small plate. Moisten the outer rim of martini glasses with the orange wedge, then dip the rims into the salt to lightly coat.

Add ice to the pitcher and stir well, then strain into prepared glasses. Garnish each drink with a blood orange slice and sage sprig.

Serve immediately; repeat as desired.



Endive Spears with Guacamole and Sweet Red Pepper

Serves 4 – 6

2 Endive heads

2 avocados, soft but not mushy

1 fresh garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

juice of 1 lime

sea salt and pepper to taste

1 red bell pepper, cleaned, seeded and finely chopped

Separate the spears from the endive head.  In a shallow bowl, place the meat from the avocado.  Mash the avocado with a large fork, blending in the remaining ingredients, except the red pepper.  Stuff each endive spear with guacamole and sprinkle with red pepper.  Cool, crisp and yummy!

wedge salad

Wedge Salad

Serves 4

This is one of our all time favorites.  I have been lucky enough to get my hands on the Morton’s Steakhouse recipe for their famous blue cheese dressing.  I always use Maytag Blue cheese when making this dressing.  It perfects the salad.  Note:  To be sure you are getting a good head of iceberg lettuce, make sure it is not hard.  You can take the head of lettuce between your hands and if it gives a bit as you push into it, it’s probably going to be delicious.  This is the perfect season for lettuce of all kinds and I always prefer organic.

One head iceberg lettuce, washed, dried, core removed and cut into quarters

2 heirloom tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped

4 strips of bacon, cooked till crisp and crumbled (optional)

1/2 red onion, finely chopped (optional)

Place one quarter of the head of lettuce on each salad plate.  I like to chill the plates prior to arranging the salad.  Top with blue dressing, recipe below, and chopped tomato.  Sprinkle with bacon, red onion and cracked black pepper if desired.

Morton’s Steakhouse Blue Cheese Dressing

1 cup real mayonnaise

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sour cream

2 tablespoons buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon Durkee Famous Sauce

1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt (I use Sangre de Cristo spice company Cajun seasoning in place of this)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled Maytag blue cheese

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and sour cream.  Add the buttermilk, Durkee sauce, and seasoned salt.  Whisk until well mixed and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Steak au Poivre

Maker’s Mark Steak au Poivre

4 Ribeye Steaks, New York Strip or filet if you prefer

1/2 cup coarsely ground peppercorns ( use a combination of pink, white, green and black)

1 teaspoon Celtic Salt

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup Maker’s Mark whiskey or your brand of choice

1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley for garnish

Combine the ground peppercorns with salt.  Sprinkle on each side of the steaks, pressing them into the meat.  Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet with one tablespoon of butter.  Reserve the remaining tablespoon for the sauce.  Cook on high flame for four minutes on each side (you can also grill these outdoors, you’ll want the heat on your grill up to 450 degrees).  This will give you a perfect medium rare – medium steak.  Cook longer if you desire more doneness.

Remove the steaks from the skillet and carefully add the Maker’s Mark and the remaining tablespoon of butter.  When the butter has melted, return the steaks to the skillet.  Serve with Pomme Frites, see recipe below.  Spoon sauce over the steaks once they are plated and garnish with chopped parsley.

Pomme Frites

2 Idaho potatoes, washed and dried

3 cups of good quality vegetable oil

Cajun Seasoning

Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, then in 1/4 inch slices.  Take those slices, placing them flat on a cutting board and cut in 1/4″ wide strips.  Heat the oil in a deep pan until sizzling.  Place the potatoes into the hot oil in batches.  When they are golden, place them on a cookie sheet lined with paper toweling to drain well.  Sprinkle with Cajun seasoning and serve.


Grilled Pineapple

 The perfect dessert for this meal.  It’s simple and always delicious!

1 pineapple, fresh, sliced in 1/2 inch slices (I buy the pineapple already cleaned and ready to slice)

1 jar Nutella

1 package mascarpone cheese

1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts

Fresh chocolate or plain mint ( I always have this growing in my herb pots)

Place the pineapple slices on a hot grill or stovetop griddle.  Cook for about 2 minutes on each side.  Mix the Nutella and mascarpone cheese in a small bowl.  Spread a generous amount on each pineapple and sprinkle with hazelnuts.  Garnish with fresh chocolate or plain mint leaves.



The Pie Guy!

One of the advantages of being a crossword puzzle fanatic is the opportunity to learn and use new words.  Mr. T. kids me because I always work them in ink….that’s how my grandparents taught me to do it.  Most Sunday’s you can find me on the front porch, Sunday New York Times in hand, working the puzzle of all puzzle’s.   A word I particularly like is :  “ONER”.  Oner is defined as an outstanding person, “One of a kind”.  After talking with Sal Cenicola last week in one of his rare “downtime” moments I would have to say that Sal is definitely a oner!


In his restaurant, Sal’s Neighborhood Pizzeria, located on St. Simons Island you’ll feel like you’ve entered a small Italian bistro anywhere in New York City.  The sound of Frank Sinatra’s silky voice fills the air as well as the aroma of garlic, tomato sauce, Italian herbs and spices.  All of these components combine to make for a very successful restaurant and dining experience.  Excellence is the word that kept repeating in my mind as I spoke with Sal.  He always demands the best of himself, his family and his employee’s.  The bar is set high, but Sal is the kind of guy other people want to please, making his challenge to those around him an easy one to meet.  While I sat in the pizzeria the place was teeming with business and servers were high energy, helpful and obviously loving their work.


A first generation American, Sal’s parents emigrated from Italy to Ellis Island, NY.  Sal was raised in Rivervale, New Jersey but also spent time in the famous Bronx area of New York as well as Long Island.  Family meals, time spent around the table together, sharing food, conversation and love all played into Sal’s life as a boy.  As a young man he ventured into the boxing ring and his passion for the sport began.  Sal won gold medal after gold medal as a lightweight contender and held an 18 win, undefeated record in the ring.  In the early 1980’s Sylvester Stallone acted as his co-manager.  The two still remain in touch today.  This past November, Sal was inducted into the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame where he joins other world champions.


BUT, here’s the amazing thing.  Sal is going back into the ring!!!!  On April 13, 2013, at the Peck Center in Fernandina Beach, go here, Sal will re-enter the boxing ring.  He’s  busy training and getting ready for the big day.  I asked him, “Why?”, and his reply to me….”I’ve got a fire in my belly and in my heart.  I’m in great shape and I can DO this!”.  I believe him!  Sal looks to be in extraordinary shape.  In training for the event he is running, working out and eating according to Robert Haas’ prescription for peak performance: 70% Complex Carbohydrates, 20% Lean Protein and 10% Fat.

Sal has a special sparkle in his eyes, a sparkle that speaks of his love for life, his determination to win, never to come in second and to share.  Throughout the time I spent with Sal he  greeted customers with a hug and a handshake.  His warmth and generosity literally permeate the atmosphere in the pizzeria.  And can Sal toss pizza dough?  You betcha!


When he’s not at the restaurant you’ll find Sal hanging out with his kids.  Family is everything to him.  He loves Sunday dinner, served up just the way his mother would have done it years ago.  Linguine with White Clam Sauce is his favorite meal, any time of day with a slice or two of his now famous pizza, a bit of red wine and lots of love.  It sounds like a recipe for happiness to me.

Stop by for a slice, take a pie home, enjoy one of Sal’s many delicious entrees….Mangia!  And be sure to say hi to The Pie Guy, I know you’ll be met with that winning smile and a hearty handshake!


Sal’s Neighborhood Pizzeria – 3415 Frederica Road – St. Simons Island, GA 31522 – 912-268-2328- Dine In or Take Out

Paddle & Putt!

I’m constantly learning about new things now that I’m venturing out to share my blog with all kinds of people.  Mr. T. and I were having one of our lunchtime picnics down by the pier on St. Simon’s one day several months ago when I looked out to the water and saw two people standing on what looked to be surf boards.  They were paddling along at quite a speed.  I remember wondering, first of all, WHY they were doing this and then I thought it looked like it would be really fun to do.  What I didn’t know is that they were engaging in what has become the fastest growing new sport in America.


I spoke with Mark Landis, manager at pro-golfer, Davis Love III’s popular shop, “Paddle and Putt” where all of the equipment you could possibly need to launch your adventure into “SUP” (Stand Up Paddle Boarding) is available.  Mark shared the background and origins of this amazing sport with me as we talked last week.  It all began on Waikiki Beach in the 1950’s when “beachboys” living in the area began taking thrill seeking American post-war tourists out to try their hand at a sport that did not have quite the same risks as surfing did.  The rest is history.  To read more about SUP go here.

Men and women alike are getting on board, literally, to engage in this high calorie burning sport.  There are competitions, races, groups…..you name it all around the world in oceanfront communities.  And why not when you realize that you can burn between 1100 – 1200 calories in one hour while enjoying the ocean, a beautiful sunny day and interaction with all sorts of sea life!  The sport is low impact, it uses the core of the body for strength and is an excellent cardio workout.

woman suping

Paddle boards are extremely stable and designed to be stood on with a large pad of textured rubber that provides traction.  There are various types of SUP boards as well.  At Paddle & Putt you’ll find Cruising, Touring and Surfing boards with lightweight carbon paddles that are easy to manage.  You can rent equipment, buy new or used equipment, arrange for a lesson and hook up with other SUPer’s as well.  Mark recommends that anyone interested in the sport not only visit the shop, located in Redfern Village, but “Like” Paddle & Putt on Facebook to be notified when groups are meeting to go for an excursion into surrounding areas.  Paddle & Putt also hosts an annual race that I will share information with you about when October comes around.

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You can SUP on the marshes, while enjoying the wildlife, on local rivers or in the ocean.  You may be joined by a dolphin or two as they tend to be a bit nosy and want to check out the interesting figure paddling through the water in their territory!  You might even notice a Right Whale if you are out far enough as they are in the area breeding this time of year.

There are also land boards that appear to be much like a skateboard with a land paddle to speed yourself along.  Sounds like a great upper body workout to me!  I have not been brave enough to try to SUP yet, but I’m thinking about it.  Mark assures me it is easier than kayaking.  We’ll see about that when I muster up enough courage to don my wetsuit and join in the fun!

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This is a great way to increase your balance, trim your body, strengthen your cardiovascular system and enjoy being out on the water surrounded by nature!  Mark showed me a true workout when he jumped on a board with no wheels that he balanced on top of a cylinder and rolled back and forth.  Not sure I have that kind of balance, but maybe all of the yoga classes have paid off over the years!  By the way,  I have actually seen photos of a woman doing yoga on a paddle board.  Mark tells me a local instructor actually gives lessons…..sounds like another blog post to me!

It’s win/win as far as I can see!  Let me know if you SUP.  Share your adventures, stories and advice in a comment!

Davis Love III”s Paddle & Putt – 300 Redfern Village – St. Simons Island, GA 31522 – 912-268-4247